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Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, Maggie Smith, Robbie Coltrane ... see more see more... , Alan Rickman , Richard Harris , Richard Griffiths , Ian Hart , John Hurt , Warwick Davis , Fiona Shaw , John Cleese , Julie Walters , Sean Biggerstaff , ZoŽ Wanamaker , Tom Felton , Harry Melling , Matthew Lewis , David Bradley , Bonnie Wright , James Phelps , Oliver Phelps , Chris Rankin , Devon Murray , Verne Troyer

The best-selling novel by J.K. Rowling (titled Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in England, as was this film adaptation) becomes this hotly anticipated fantasy adventure from Chris Columbus, t... read more read more...he winner of a high-stakes search for a director to bring the first in a hoped-for franchise of Potter films to the screen by Warner Bros. Upon his 11th birthday, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), who lives in misery with an aunt and uncle that don't want him, learns from a giant named Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane) that he is the orphaned son of powerful wizards. Harry is offered a place at prestigious Hogwarts, a boarding school for wizards that exists in a realm of magic and fantasy outside the dreary existence of normal humans or "Muggles." At Hogwarts, Harry quickly makes new friends and begins piecing together the mystery of his parents' deaths, which appear not to have been accidental after all. The film features alternate-version scenes for every mention of the titular rock. Richard Harris, Alan Rickman, Maggie Smith, John Cleese, and Fiona Shaw co-star. ~ Karl Williams, Rovi

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82% liked it

1,145,527 ratings


80% liked it

191 critics

PG, 2 hr. 32 min.

Directed by: Chris Columbus

Release Date: November 16, 2001

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DVD Release Date: May 28, 2002

Stats: 58,468 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (58,468)

  • March 3, 2013
    Though it may be a little overtly child-oriented for adult audiences, this is still a beautifully designed world full of wonder and a great start to a series. Full review later.
  • January 18, 2013
    Ah, the first film adaptation of the beloved Harry Potter series.

    Harry Potter is an 11-year-old boy who comes to find out that he is a wizard. He lives with his uncaring Muggle (non magic) aunt, uncle, and cousin since his parents died when he was a baby. They were murdered by ... read morea dark and powerful evil wizard named Lord Voldemort. Harry would be dead too, but was miraculously saved, making him something of a legend.

    Upon learning of his guarded magic roots, Harry gets enrolled in Hogwarts- a British school for witches and wizards. While there he learns to come into his own, meet people that are actually good to him, and learn more of his dark past.

    Looking back, I don't know if it was a good idea to have Chris Columbus direct this, as he does have a reputation for being something of a hack, albeit a decent one. I think his direction is okay here. Yeah, retrospectively it could have been better, but it could also have been much worse. At least with him at the helm we get a good amount of whimsy to go along with a bit of menace, and that's a good thing, as the book was likewise not too heavy on the darker stuff (though that sure changed as time went on).

    Many liberties are taken, which is weird since the book is quite short, and the film is two and a half hours. It does get the point across decently enough though, and also works as a piece for those unfamiliar with the source material.

    John Williams provides great music, there's wonderful art direction and set design, and there's some nifty set pieces too. Featuring an all-British cast, this film is impeccably cast, and the performances are good too. Finding decent child actors is hard, but they really scored here.

    My enjoyment of this movie has waned over time, but it's still not a terrible piece of work by any means, so check it out.
  • December 19, 2012
    I'm taking a look back at the Harry Potter series with as unbiased of eyes as I possibly can being a massive fan of the books and films. Sorcerer's Stone starts the series off well with a great cast of newcomers and veterans stepping into roles that would shape some of their live... read mores for the next decade. Christopher Columbus' direction leaves a little to be desired, but the atmosphere, set design, costumes, special effects, and music supplant themselves at almost instant classic status and would be excellent for years to come. The film itself is a little too slavish of all the details in the book and therefore the pacing gets hurt at times and it is a little long, but the magic is there and in full force and the tone is just right: not too dark and not too childish. We all know how dark the series gets by the end, so it is a little nice to get back and see how everything started. Overall, it's probably one of the least interesting in the series in terms of film making, but it is one of the most well liked entries in the series and sold the most tickets of them all, making it a pretty darn successful kick-off of the franchise.
  • fb1442511448
    August 11, 2012
    Chris Columbus makes a magical bound from this first installment. 'Sorcerer's Stone' will leave its fans satisfied from the accurate direction as well as leave moviegoers a sensational feel. The film's young cast provide a charismatic charm that even modern-day stars could not po... read moressess. 4.5/5
  • fb100000293612769
    May 28, 2012
    It is flawed for sure, but the loyalty to the text, Williams' magical score, and the beautiful message of friendship and a mother's love make it an iconic film that will be remembered for its cultural significance.
  • February 10, 2012
    Based on the novel of the same name by rags-to-riches author J.K. Rowling, HARRY POTTER AND THE SORCERER'S STONE was just the beginning of a cinematic legacy. It is a fantasy film for the entire family, twisting both clich√ (C)d aspects of magic (i.e. magic wand becomes simply wa... read morend; various spells, charms, and curses are created rather than a corny "Abracadabra!") and Greek mythology into its own characters (i.e. Fluffy the Three-Headed Dog, though he went by a different name in mythology), and it goes far enough to even create its own magical sport.

    Okay, so we have to give most, if not all of the credit for such brilliance to Rowling for spending years of her life creating such decent entertainment. But people who read "Sorcerer's Stone" (the book) when it first came out in 1997 (1998 in North America) were anticipating the book adapted for the screen. And in 2001, they got it. Maybe the characters weren't as imagined, but it was astounding for fans to see the dazzling visuals of Quidditch (the sport played on broomsticks), mountain trolls, Norwegian Ridgeback dragons, and spells. And it still is.

    If you saw 1990's HOME ALONE, you know that Chris Columbus has some pretty good experience with family movies (though the humorous aspect of HOME ALONE was mostly because of the scripting by John Hughes). After Steven Spielberg was turned down for a directing role (he wanted to make this into an animated film--just imagine how terrible that would have been), Columbus was confirmed. He made this first film a work of art, with just as much magic and creepiness that the author intended.
  • January 17, 2012
    Gets the party started. Good enough for me.
  • November 10, 2011
    A smart fantastic start to an ptherwise average franchise only really for action or potter fans.
  • October 30, 2011
    One of the best start's to a phenomenon ever recorded, my second favorite in the series, and a start to one of the most successful franchises ever created.
  • fb729949618
    July 31, 2011
    Haven't read the books so can't compare, but this is a great film and a great start to the franchise.

Critic Reviews

Anthony Lane
November 27, 2013
Anthony Lane, New Yorker

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is, despite its trickery, that plainest and least surprising of artifacts: the work of art that is exactly the sum of its parts, neither more nor less. Full Review

Todd McCarthy
March 5, 2008
Todd McCarthy, Variety

A near-perfect commercial and cultural commodity. Full Review

Jonathan Rosenbaum
March 5, 2008
Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

I hear the J.K. Rowling books are great, and on the basis of this 2001 movie I'm ready to believe it. Full Review

February 9, 2006
Time Out

What a feast for children! Long, and engrossing. Kids will love it! Wizard! Full Review

Robert Denerstein
August 9, 2002
Robert Denerstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News

It offers more delights than disappointments -- and that qualifies as one of the year's great reliefs.

Peter Rainer
January 22, 2002
Peter Rainer, New York Magazine

The filmmakers want to show us a magical world that is, at the same time, wholly believable. They want to create matter-of-fact miracles, but what they end up with is mostly just plain matter-of-fact. Full Review

Richard Roeper
November 27, 2001
Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper

[A] complete triumph... Full Review

Rita Kempley
November 24, 2001
Rita Kempley, Washington Post

You can't expect perfection from muggles. Full Review

Andrew O'Hehir
November 18, 2001
Andrew O'Hehir,

Professional entertainment with just enough human moments to squeak by. Full Review

Peter Howell
November 16, 2001
Peter Howell, Toronto Star

I doubt that most Harry Potter fans will mind a film that attends to their wishes so splendidly. Full Review

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    • Dudley Dursley: I'm not Harry.
    • Harry Potter: [appearing from behind a wall] I am.
    • Hagrid: Well of course you are.
    • Neville Longbottom: You're sneaking out aren't you? You'll get Gryffindor into trouble again.
    • Hermione Granger: What is it?
    • Harry Potter: He's going to sacrifice himself!
    • Hermione Granger: No you can't, there must be another way!
    • Ron Weasley: Do you want to stop Snape from stealing the stone or not?
    • Severus Snape: Clearly Potter, fame isn't everything is it?
    • Draco Malfoy: You think my name's funny do you? No need to tell me who you are. Red hair and a hand-me-down robe? You must be a Weasley.
    • Vernon Dursley: What happened?
    • Harry Potter: I swear I don't know! I was just staring at the glass and then it was gone, it was like magic!
    • Vernon Dursley: There's no such thing as magic. [shutting him in the cupboard under the stairs]

Harry Potter and ... : Watch Free on TV

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone Trivia

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's S... Trivia

  • What was the ORIGINAL name of the first Harry Potter movie "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone"? Which was released in London June 26 1997?  Answer »
  • "There is no such thing as good or evil, there is only power and those too weak to seek it!". Is said in which Harry Potter movie?  Answer »
  • In Which Harry Potter Movie did Harry, Ron and Hermione get caught up in the Devi's Snare?  Answer »
  • In Harry Potter and the sorcerer's stone, What was the elixir of life?  Answer »

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