Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

We saw Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix last night, and it totally lived up to the hype. I had just a few minor gripes (why did they establish that Ron, Hermione, et al couldn’t see the thestrals and then not play that up for humor when they were flying on them?), but I think it’s my favorite of the movies to date. They mostly cut out the right things to cut to let the story move forward, though I’d maybe have liked a few scenes to be a bit longer. Another minute with Sirius wouldn’t have hurt, nor would have explaining a little more clearly why they all get mad at Cho. Rowling’s strength is not in writing action, and I found the ending battle to be more exciting on film than in the book. Like the cemetery scene at the end of Goblet of Fire, the end could have been scarier and sadder, but it worked. I especially liked the way the Order of the Phoenix and the Death Eaters flew around and flicked spells at each other, and then how the Voldemort vs. Dumbledore battle looked like they were conducting an orchestra with their wands. It was no Yoda vs. Darth Tyranus fight, but the following internal conflict between Harry and Voldemort was great. They’re lucky Daniel Radcliffe grew up to be a good actor.