Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone

Director: Chris Columbus
Year Released: 2001
Rating: 2.0

Harry Potter is little more than a video game demo that you're not exactly allowed to play, but rather encouraged to sit and marvel at instead. Yes, it's usually stunning, but there's really little else to put it on the level of something Spielberg or Lucas would pull off - it feels like a clone of Lucas' Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace to be precise, with the same acting troubles (I understand children are hard to direct, but the consistent expression of wide-eyed wonder at the 'fantasy world' they're trapped in is tiresome) and heavy reliance on elaborate, distracting CGI setups (the game of Quiddish is just like the Pod Race, but on brooms). Alan Rickman, Robbie Coltrane and Richard Harris are fantastic in their respective roles - Rickman, as always, relishes playing slimy 'villains' (also see: Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves). Kids should fawn all over it; adults will, no doubt, experience déjà vu.