Harry Potter is due to start his fifth year at Hogwarts. He is desperate to get back to school to find out why his friends Ron and Hermione have been so secretive all summer. However, what Harry is about to discover in his new year at Hogwarts will turn his world upside down…
When a malicious Ministry of Magic employee takes the “cursed” Defense Against the Dark Arts position, she uses it as a point from which to usurp power away from Dumbledore. Harry engages in a personal battle with her while dreaming of a strange door at the end of a corridor which hides something that Voldemort wants desperately. To top it all off, Harry and friends must take their very difficult, very life-changing fifth-year tests: the OWL exams.
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix is the fifth fantasy adventure film in the popular Harry Potter film series, based on the novel Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, by J. K. Rowling. The director is David Yates. The screenwriter is Michael Goldenberg, who replaced Steve Kloves, writer of the first four films. Warner Bros., the distributor of the film, has scheduled a UK release date of 12 July 2007, and a US release date of 11 July 2007, both in conventional theatres and IMAX theatres.
Reviews of the film are generally positive. The Telegraph headlined their review “Potter film is the best and darkest yet”. Imelda Staunton’s performance as Dolores Umbridge and Helena Bonham Carter’s as Bellatrix Lestrange were widely acclaimed; Staunton was described as the “perfect choice for the part” and “one of the film’s greatest pleasures”, “coming close to stealing the show”. Bonham Carter was said to be a “shining but underused talent”. Variety also praised Alan Rickman’s portrayal of Severus Snape, writing that he “may have outdone himself; seldom has an actor done more with less than he does here”. The Sunday Mirror, giving the film four out of five stars and called it “a dark and delicious delight and a must see movie”.
The Times of London expressed disappointment that the three main actors were not able to fully advance the emotional sides of their respective characters, weakening the film. The Hollywood Reporter wrote that Phoenix is “quite possibly the least enjoyable of the series so far”, and that despite “several eye-catching moments”, “the magic