For people of a certain age (read: people born in the ‘90s), the Harry Potter series is our pop culture holy grail. It turned many children into avid readers and charmed not only their hearts and minds, but the hearts and minds of their parents and teachers (well, at least most teachers) as well, thanks to their inventive stories and memorable characters.
Harry Potter was a huge phenomenon even before the first film came out in 2001, and after that it became omnipresent. It not only thrilled on page but on screen as well, churning out some of the most well-received, both critically and financially, blockbusters of the 2000’s. It made stars of the three leads: Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint, and Emma Watson, who continue to be successful today.
The popularity of the series has lead to video games, an interactive immersive website, and even several theme park attractions. It’s notable for touching on social issues present in our world as well as the wizarding world, including racism, classism, and fascism, creating a whole generation of readers more understanding of social issues.
The most powerful and moving theme within the Harry Potter series, however, is the power of love, from the love of Harry’s parents to the love Harry has for his friends. Even though the saga of Harry Potter and his friends ended in 2011 with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part Two, there’s since been a continuing series: a five-movie franchise focusing on the wizarding world in the 1920s. In honor of Daniel Radcliffe’s 29th birthday, we’ve ranked all eight OG Harry Potter movies.