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About the Movie
“Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” opens in 1926 as Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident…were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.
Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews
- Reviews Counted: 269
- Fresh: 197
- Rotten: 72
- Average Rating: 6.8/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Rotten: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them turns out to be a hyperbolic name for a pretty so-so movie -- one with entertaining passages, but which mostly feels like a big-budget prequel to the better, more cohesive film that's yet to come.
Fresh: In all, the movie is a cunning and peppy surprise, dulled only by the news that no less than four sequels await.
Fresh: Yates has fresh tricks up his sleeve as he preps for four more planned films. Five years after the last Potter movie, his 20-something fans can age alongside wizards and witches again. Magical.
Fresh: The great fantasy in Fantastic Beasts is that everything can be put back how it was, no matter what happened.
Bad Pacing, Otherwise, Fantastic
Fantastic. Warner Bros. finally decided to make an in-Harry-Potter-universe textbook into a movie. Ok, I’ve actually taken a look into one of the published copies of the book, and the only aspect of this book made into the movie was author Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) and his fantastic beasts that cause some mayhem and are scapegoated by the American version of the Ministry of Magic, the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA, which I originally thought was them saying Yakuza, and wondered “what’s the Japanese mob doing here?”). The rest of this film was mostly about a series of weird events the MACUSA uses Scamander’s creatures as a scapegoat to cover up a darker event I won’t specify here for the sake of not spoiling, but in the words of Macbeth “Something wicked this way comes.” And it takes forever to come, because the pacing is weird, from a series of newspaper headlines, to Newt’s arrival, the setup of the climax, the actual “Fantastic Beasts” with some info on where to find them given, stranger things, beast search, (spoilers), (spoilers), (massive spoilers). But I digress, because pacing aside, Fantastic Beasts is a fantastic film. While Newt, Tina (Katherine Waterson), Jacob (Dan Folger), and Queenie (Allison Sudol) are not our new Harry, Ron, and Hermione, because obviously, they’re well past school, but not at the age they were in the epilogue, and we’re meeting them as brand new characters, not ones we read about and had described to us in books (maybe Newt, but I’m not sure). In that context, they stand up as fine new characters to the wizarding world we know and love as fans, and if this is your first time, I recommend you keep going. We all have dreams like Jacob (who wants to open a bakery), and he acts as the eyes of the viewer, which works really well because despite being a prequel to a very well-known series, there is still a lot of new territory (but something familiar for us hardcore fans who’ve read the books/listened to the audiobooks… I’ve said too much), and this time, we all need someone to reflect that. Jacob worked as a No-Maj, I mean, Muggle, character introduced to this world, and whether you’re brand new or an old-timer, we all need a little exposure to the newer aspects of the wizarding world. The effects aren’t anything new in the context of the wizarding world, but it’s nice to see them again, and they’re as well-done in 1920s New York as they were in 1990s Britain/2001-2011 movies. The inclusion of the beasts is very organic, and connects to the overarching plot set up for the sequels. What’s also organic is James Newton Howard’s soundtrack, which does its job like an auror: conveying the appropriate emotions and using it appropriately. What’s also appropriate is the humor: well paced (unlike the plot) to keep you from falling asleep, and clean language. Fantastic movie with terrible pacing, but it’s the first in a series, so don’t panic.
This was an alright film if u don't look at it as Harry Potter. First off (and in my opinion the biggest problem) was the plot. It was all over the place from start to finish not to mention they left a ton of stuff out. I felt like the movie was rushed from book to film. The other big problem was the lack of character and story. I walked into the first Harry Potter not knowing the character, and walked out knowing the character and his life before and after Hogwarts. With this movie I know nothing about the person walking in and know even less when walking out. I feel this is nothing in the line of Harry Potter. And why did Johnny Depp make an appearance in this idk
This was a hugely missed opportunity for both WB and Rowling to really inspire a new audience. Tragically, the story is fataly fragmented and poorly executed. The characters lack depth and the story is so choppy you'll wonder if you're looking at the cuts or if this is really what the director intended. Even excellent CGI can't save this movie from the disconnected plot and subplots. JKR may be looking to extend another franchise but Warner Brothers can't make this work.
- Genre: Action & Adventure
- Released: 2017
- 2017 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts Publishing Rights © J.K.R.