|Harry Potter & the Sorcerer's Stone (2001)
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Richard Harris, Alan Rickman, Robbie Coltrane
Director: Chris Columbus
It seems he got it right. Director Chris Columbus, that is, making "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone," one of the few faithfully translated books to the screen. The most hyped film since the most recent installment of the Star Wars series, "Harry Potter" didn't sell me on being the next big epic it was talked up to be, but man was it good, and for once I am eagerly awaiting the next installment.
For those who aren't too familiar with the story, it goes like this: Harry Potter survives an attack as a baby by Lord Voldemort, an evil magician who kills Harry's parents but can't hurt Harry himself. His uncle and aunt raise Harry, keeping his magical heritage secret from him, but Harry learns the truth on his 11th birthday. He is invited to Hogwart's School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where his enchanted adventures begin.
This film was translated wonderfully, working for all ages alike. It seems the series author, J.K. Rowling, has written these books with films in mind, describing every last detail with delicate care and imagination. Daniel Radcliffe plays the title character and does a fine job of portraying the young wizard, but the supporting characters throughout the film are much more enjoyable, headlined by Robbie Coltrane (as the intimidating but lovable Hagrid), Alan Rickman (as the devious Professor Snape) and, playing Ronald Weasley and Hermione Granger, Harry's two best friends at school, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson. "Harry Potter" is truly a treat for anyone looking for a great movie to sit and enjoy. The special effects aren't overwhelming and the ideas aren't too far-fetched, but the story will reel in just about anybody.