Movie Review: Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince

Updated on July 30, 2009
C.P. asks from Arvada, CO
17 answers

Has anyone seen this movie that may have words of advice? I have a 10 yr old and 11 1/2 yr old boys. The older of the two is easily scared and I don't want to freak him out further. The 10 yr old is totally into Harry Potter and thinks I'm being mean by withholding it from him. How do you rank the violence/alcohol/etc.? Would you recommend it or should I continue to hold off? Thanks for the help!

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thank you to everyone that responded! You've put my mind at ease. At least I'm more prepared for what may happen. I think, judging from your comments, I'll leave my 11 1/2 year old at home and take the 10 yr old. My older boy isn't "in" to Harry Potter anyway so he won't be missing anything. Thanks again for the feedback -- it is GREATLY appreciated!

Featured Answers



answers from Grand Junction on

Assuming they have seen The Goblet of Fire and The Order of the Phoenix - I thought this movie had less violence. Have they read the books? If not the ending may be a bit shocking. I would recommend reading the book first. It had a lot of teenage stuff going on - who likes who, love potions, and "snogging". I took my son who is 11 1/2 and found it appropriate.

More Answers



answers from Salt Lake City on

Hey, C.--I know you've already got lots of responses, but I can't resist adding my thoughts.
The movie was fun and the scary parts lasted less than 10 seconds each (Muggles being afraid as Death Eaters cause various disasters around them; a girl being thrown into the air after touching a cursed necklace; the Sectumsempra spell making Malfoy bleed; the Inferi-zombies crawling out of the water to attack Harry and Dumbledore; and, of course, the Death Eaters attacking Dumbledore at the end). If your son has read the books, he will be familiar with all of these parts and themes and it will not be anything he is unprepared for.
I found it very interesting that in this film adaptation, even though there are a few very sad and intense parts, the overall feeling was far lighter than in other HP movies. I have spoken with some of my friends who are also big HP fans and they have said they are disappointed in the movie because it feels more like any other teen movie and less like a Harry Potter adventure. I disagree, as my whole family enjoyed it and we have all read and love the books, but there was a lot more amusing teen angst than in previous films. I think the comic relief of various love triangles makes the intensity of the film exactly appropriate for a family movie. There was a lot of flirting and joking around, and that lightened up the sense of urgency.
There was some alcohol use, but it was not central to the plot (student having butterbeer at the local pub; teachers drowning their sorrows briefly). The violence is mostly suggested and always has consequences; Malfoy stomps on Harry's nose but Luna fixes it; later, when Harry and Malfoy fight with spells and Harry hurts Malfoy, he is genuinely remorseful. The use of violence is always (with the exception of warding off the Inferi) considered an unethical, "Dark" option.
My husband and I took our children, ages 7 and 3, to the movie on opening day and I was worried we were being reckless. But because they were familiar with the storyline it was totally fine. I see HP stories as a classic good-versus-evil dilemma and we have talked a lot with the kids about how even when sad things happen in the stories, we know good will prevail. I think setting that tone diffused any potentially scary parts. (Also, I distracted my younger son with candy when the Inferi came out and he was oblivious.) There's one startle moment in the whole film.
If your son who is a HP fan has not yet listened to the audio books, I highly, *highly* recommend them. Jim Dale performs them with various voices and they are amazingly engaging and fun. My family enjoys the movies as an afterthought, but we dearly love the books, particularly listening to the audio books. They are positively magical for all of us, and might be a nice introduction to the series for your more sensitive son.
Best wishes!

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Salt Lake City on

check out the website they go through a parental review/breakdown of violence, swear words, any time alcohol shows up or if there is attitude in the movie whenever we are unsure if we should take nieces/nephews or even go ourselves sometimes we check out my brother manages the region for a theater company and he put us on to it. we never have surprises at the movies anymore

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on is a great movie review website.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Billings on

I have recently saw the movie. It is good, however if one of your children scares easily, I would suggest telling them that you will wait till it comes out on RedBox then rent it for a $1.00 and watch it in your home. There is a part that I jumped at and my 14 (almost 15) screamed at.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Pueblo on

I took my 8yr old to it and he was fine. There wasnt that much violence. If your son read the book it described a lot more than the movie showed on the violence aspect. If your 11 yr old freaks that much why dont you take just ur 10 yr old and then take ur 11 yr old to another movie.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Denver on

I took my 10 year old who was thrilled because it was rated PG and the last two were rated PG-13 and I didn't allow him to see them in the theater! We enjoyed the movie very much. There are a few scary moments but no gore or anything really gross. There is some tension and scary parts with the Deatheaters and because of the death of Dumbledore but you don't see anything really horrible. It was much less overt than the last one in my opinion. If your 10 year old has read the book, he should be fine. don't take the 11 year old if he doesn't want to go - why freak him out unnecessarily??



answers from Provo on

I honestly thought this movie was less scary than all the other Harry Potter movies. If the older boy has seen them and is okay, he'll be fine with this one.

If he hasn't seen them or if he's not okay with their scariness, I would suggest finding a friend that your other son can go with to the movie so he doesn't have to miss out.

This is rated PG and the feeling isn't nearly as dark as some of the other HP movies. There's also not as much peril in this one.



answers from Boise on

Check out the web site This web site tells you in detail what exactly is in the movie. (language, violence, sexual content, drugs, etc.) I don't let my kids see a movie now without looking on this web site. It is a great resource. By the way I saw this movie with my 14 year old and my 11 year old and it was great. A little long but really good, especially if you are a Harry Potter fan.

Good Luck



answers from Salt Lake City on

I took my kids ages 10, 9 and 7. They were fine with it although I was surprised it wasn't going to be PG 13 they left out some of the fighting from the book that would have made it more intense. THere is the scene in the cave where the inferi or Zombie creatures come out of the water that is pretty intense, there is also scene with Harry and Malfoy with blood in it and then you have a main character die at the end. My 10 year old son that is into Harry Potter wanted more of the action from the book, so he was a little disappointed by the movie. This movie is a lot darker than the first few movies, but equivalent to the end of Goblet of fire. If they have seen the other movies and were okay they will be fine, but only you know what your son is sensitive too if he was scared at the other movies and you don't want to deal with nightmares just take the one that is into Harry Potter.

Good Luck with your decision.


answers from Pocatello on

I took my 5 and 7 yro to see it. They did fine. :)



answers from Boise on


I have read all the book and seen all the movies as soon as they come out. At first they were cute and whimsical but they have gotten darker that is for sure. As for Alcohol, I would say it is pretty much non existent. There is one scene with butterbeer that does allude to drunken effects, but I would not be concerned about it. My concern would more be the violence and the darker nature of the film. Not wanting to ruin any of the plot for you, I can tell you bad things happen as people get hurt and worse. It is much scarier than the previous films, especially from the first 2. If your child scares easily I would not recommend it. I don't think that it is much more scary than the end of Goblet of Fire (Movie 4), however it is a bit more graphic. And there are zombies. Silly to mention I know, but I knew what was going to happen and I was quite startled at the zombie part. They are your children so only you can know. Maybe you should go see it with a girlfriend and rate it that way? My baby is only one, but when I saw it I decided he would be 10-13 years old before I let him see the final 5 movies (4 books, they are splitting book 7 into 2 movies from what I hear). I hope this helps!




answers from Denver on

I haven't seen it but here's where I go to make decisions:
whether or not you agree w/their politics/viewpoints/etc., they give such detailed information that you can comfortably make your own decision without seeing the movie first by yourself.
the other suggestion is to go see the movie by yourself - huge hassle I know but my mom did it for a lot of movies when I was a kid. I hated her then for it but am grateful now.
good luck



answers from Colorado Springs on

Have they seen Goblet of Fire? The scariness level is probably similar or a bit less than that film, though the character who dies is one they will care about more so that might be a bit harder. I'd say, however, that is Goblet of Fire didn't phase them, they'll probably be fine. Does the older one already know the plot line from the books?

As for violence, there is one scary scene where there is some blood, but the person gets healed and it fine. most of the time these movies are completely blood free. it is a very intense movie though, broken by lots of great humour.



answers from Denver on

My husband took children ages 5, 6, 10 and 13. The little ones were my sister's boys, and she insisted that they'd enjoy it. It turns out....they enjoyed it!

I would normally have the same concerns re: scariness, but I took my sister's advice that her boys would be fine. If they were my kids, they would not have gone, 'cause I'm overprotective about scariness.



answers from Missoula on

Hi! I just watched it last night and I loved it! It is alot like the other Harry Potters on the dark scale... I cant remember any swearing or anything other than the darkness of the movie. I wouldn't hesitate letting kids of that age watch it. That is my opinion though.



answers from Salt Lake City on

Saw it last week and it was fine. Not nearly as scary as the last one.

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches