.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Sean Biggerstaff, Daniel Radcliffe

Directed by Chris Columbus
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 2
Community: star rating
5 2 0
November 15, 2002

It's not that Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, the second of J.K. Rowling's Potter novels to hit the screen, is a bad movie. It's an improvement on the first. The young actors — Daniel Radcliffe as Harry, Rupert Grint as Ron, and Emma Watson as Hermione — exude a new ease. There's a more exciting game of Quidditch. And Kenneth Branagh preens evilly as new Hogwarts prof Gilderoy Lockhart. But once again, director Chris Columbus takes a hat-in-hand approach to Rowling that stifles creativity and allows the film to drag on for nearly three hours.

Hit delete on Dobby, a computer-generated elf with a voice more jarring than Jar Jar's. Among the creatures (spiders, mandrakes, a giant snake), only the spiders truly scare. A top Brit cast doles out exposition that only the late Richard Harris manages with poetic elegance.

For the next Potter film, Columbus will be replaced by Alfonso Cuaron, the Mexican director of the lyrically sexy Y Tu Mama Tambien. Brats and skittish parents may freak out, but I can't wait.

prev
Movie Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “American Girl”

    Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

    It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com