‘Goblet of Fire’ the best yet

But the new Harry Potter movie is more violent and scary, too

Things are getting darker and darker at Hogwarts.

The fourth Harry Potter movie, "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," is the first one not to have a happy ending (which won’t be a surprise to people who have read the book, which is almost everybody I know). There isn’t much that is happy in the whole movie, which is more frightening and violent than the last one, which was more frightening and violent than the one before that.

If this keeps up, the next one will match the "Lord of the Rings" movies for violence, although there still probably won’t be as many kissy scenes.

For the people who haven’t read the book, this one takes Harry to the age of 14, a year older than me, at Hogwarts, the school for young wizards, with Lord Voldemort and the Death Eaters really going after him now.

The plot centers around the Triwizard Tournament, in which two other wizardry schools come to Hogwarts, and a champion from each school competes in three contests. Harry is mysteriously entered, too, as a fourth contestant.

For people who haven’t read the book, I won’t go any further, except to say that the contests are violent and sometimes what my father kept calling "intense."

And my father asked me to think like a parent. How young can a person be and still be allowed to see this movie?

It depends on the person, but I’d say no younger than 8 to 10 years old (and that compares with 10 to 11 years old, which is the limit I would set on the "Lord of the Rings" movies).

Pretty much any child could have watched the first Harry Potter movie without a problem, I think.

But for those who can take it, this is the best Harry Potter movie so far. The special effects are very good. There are some funny scenes when the students from the three schools get together for a dance. The movie might have been a little shorter (it is 2½ hours), but I’m not sure how I’d do it because it was a long book.

And I miss the old Dumbledore.

But I would give it four stars, again warning that there is less and less fun at Hogwarts.

And if you’ve read the books, you know it is only going to get worse.

Zach Smith, 13, Oak Park


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