Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
Director: David Yates
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, Emma Watson, Imelda Staunton, Helena Bonham Carter, Robbie Coltrane,. Michael Gambon, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, Ralph Fiennes
The most bloated book in the Harry Potter series gets one of the snappiest film adaptations. In the fifth episode the Hogwarts School is gradually taken over by the Ministry of Magic and the new sadistic headmistress Dolores Umbridge (deliciously portrayed by Imelda Staunton), while Harry continues to fight off Lord Voldemort. The story is trimmed down to its bare bones and some regular set pieces and characters have been thrown to the sidelines, all to the benefit of the film. The tragic climax is visually arresting but it doesn’t quite have the emotional impact you’d hope. Followed by The Half-Blood Prince.