I enjoyed the movie in the theater, but was looking forward to the DVD.
Allowed me to catch the smaller subtle hints and review the dialog. This movie opens new areas, and wraps up some of the open plot items. As some have said there is a lot about nothing, but this movie was needed to bridge the gap from the earlier movies to the next 2 movies.
The cast went from kids to adults in how they handle situations, went from playtime to serious issues.
Now that Harry has faced down Voldemort twice and lived, and watched friends and family suffer and die, he's making the transition from child to adult more rapidly and with more pain than his peers. And it doesn't help that he's feeling more alone than ever. Another excellent, yet much darker movie than the earlier ones, Order of the Phoenix sets the stage for Harry's emergence as a force for good and a leader - reluctant, to be sure - in his world and that of the Muggles.
Lord Voldemort has returned, but few want to believe it. In fact, the Ministry of Magic is doing everything it can to keep the wizarding world from knowing the truth - including appointing Ministry official Dolores Umbridge as the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts. When Professor Umbridge refuses to train her students in practical defensive magic, a select group of students decides to learn on their own. With Harry Potter as their leader, these students (who call themselves "Dumbledore's Army") meet secretly in a hidden room at Hogwarts to hone their wizarding skills in preparation for battle with the Dark Lord and his Death Eaters. New adventure - more dangerous, more thrilling than ever - is yours in this enthralling film version of the fifth novel in J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter series. A terrifying showdown between good and evil awaits. Prepare for battle!
MTV Award, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Best Summer Movie You Haven't Seen Yet
With its fifth cinematic outing, the Harry Potter film series has ascended to another level. In addition to providing a self-contained, well-paced adventure, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix also begins to coalesce the epic ether that has been building over the past four films (especially the last two). With this movie, we sense that we're on the brink of something big, dark, and ominous...For a franchise that began under the lightweight guardianship of director Chris Columbus, these pictures have gotten progressively darker. The Order of the Phoenix is easily the gloomiest yet. The movie is not suitable for young children...With The Order of the Phoenix, Harry Potter has truly come into his own, fulfilling the promise of The Prisoner of Azkaban and The Goblet of Fire. These are no longer cute stories of wizards and magic and things that go bump in the night. They are dark tales where the themes and creatures become increasingly distorted as the frames whiz by. The Order of the Phoenix is the best on offer to-date from the Harry Potter cinematic franchise, and one of the few reasons during the summer of 2007 to venture out to a multiplex.
The students at Hogwarts leave youthful hijinks behind once and for all in "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix." Considerably grimmer and grittier than the previous pictures in the phenomenally successful series, new entry finds the young charges' head-on collision with adolescence taking a backseat to their sober confrontation with unvarnished evil...Extravagantly produced in the expected manner, pic nevertheless marks a notable departure in tone from those that preceded it. From the opening scene, portents of bad tidings ahead hang over everyone and everything connected to the wizarding world, even as the magical establishment insists there is no threat at large in the land...Concentrated focus results in an unsettling mood and dramatic scenes of unusual intensity. But condensing the book, which at 870 pages is the longest J.K. Rowling has written, into the shortest film in the series has come at a price. Many viewers won't at all mind that this is the first "Potter" picture without a Quidditch match, nor that house elves and cutesy ghosts are largely absent as well.
DVD, Widescreen, Special Edition
A.O. Scott, The New York Times
Sleek, swift and exciting.
Colin Bertram, New York Daily News
It's action-packed, darker, more epic and thankfully schmaltz-free...the best "Harry Potter" film yet.
David Edelstein, New York Magazine
This is the best Harry Potter picture yet.
Larry King, CNN
Miraculous! A feast for the eyes...magical movie-making!
Once you see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix you'll want to see it again and again.
Pete Hammond, Maxim
The most successful film series since James Bond continues with another rousing winner...a wild ride all the way.
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
...the best of the series so far...has the laughs, the jitters and the juice to make even nonbelievers wild about Harry.
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