Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone ★★★ Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone 2001 (PG)
Muchanticipated screen adaptation of J.K. Rowling's first book about a Dickensian orphan who discovers his wizardly legacy, didn't disappoint its legions of builtin fans. Director Columbus remains painstakingly faithful to the book, although film plays, understandably, like a highlights version and sometimes lacks any personality of its own. This may have been intentional (directors Steven Spielberg and Terry Gilliam were perhaps passed over because their personal stamp would override the material), and it doesn't detract from the outstanding production and captivating story telling. Stellar all-Brit cast is fun to watch, and the special effects are what you'd expect given a $125-million budget and use of no less than nine effects houses. Even those not familiar with the book will enjoy the film's many charms. Good mix of entertainment for kids and adults, although a bit long for the very young. 152m/C VHS, DVD, Blu-ray Disc, UMD, HD DVD . US Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Robbie Coltrane, Richard Harris, Maggie Smith, Zoe Wanamaker, Alan Rickman, Ian Hart, John Hurt, Tom Felton, Harry Melling, Richard Griffiths, Fiona Shaw, John Cleese, Warwick Davis, Julie Walters, Sean Biggerstaff, David Bradley, Matthew Lewis; D: Chris Columbus; W: Steven Kloves; C: John Seale; M: John Williams.