Directed by Mike Newell, the fourth installment to the Harry Potter series finds Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) wondering why his legendary scar -- the famous result of a death curse gone wrong -- is aching in pain, and perhaps even causing… More Directed by Mike Newell, the fourth installment to the Harry Potter series finds Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) wondering why his legendary scar -- the famous result of a death curse gone wrong -- is aching in pain, and perhaps even causing mysterious visions. Before he can think too much about it, however, Harry boards the train to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, where he will attend his fourth year of magical education. Shortly after his reunion with his best friends, Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson), Harry is introduced to yet another Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher: the grizzled Mad-Eye Moody (Brendan Gleeson), a former dark wizard catcher who agreed to take on the infamous "DADA" professorship as a personal favor to Headmaster Dumbledore (Michael Gambon). Of course, Harry's wishes for an uneventful school year are almost immediately shattered when he is unexpectedly chosen, along with fellow student Cedric Diggory (Robert Pattinson), as Hogwarts' representative in the Tri-Wizard Tournament, which awards whoever completes three magical tasks the most skillfully with a thousand-galleon purse and the admiration of the international wizard community. As difficult as it is to deal with his schoolwork, friendships, and the tournament at the same time (not to mention his feelings toward the ever unfathomable Professor Snape (Alan Rickman), Harry doesn't realize that the most feared wizard in the world, Lord Voldemort, is anticipating the tournament, as well. ~ Tracie Cooper, Rovi
Consensus: The main characters are maturing, and the filmmakers are likewise improving on their craft; vibrant special effects and assured performances add up to what is the most complex yet of the Harry Potter films.