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"HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS"
(2002) (Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson) (PG)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
None Moderate Extreme *Extreme Mild
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Mild Mild Extreme None Minor
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
None None Minor Moderate Heavy


QUICK TAKE:
Adventure: Young wizard Harry Potter and his friends try to uncover the mystery of the Chamber of Secrets while attending their second year at Hogwarts.
PLOT:
It's been a year since Harry Potter (DANIEL RADCLIFFE) attended Hogwarts, a school for wizards and witches run by Professors Dumbledore (RICHARD HARRIS) and McGonagall (MAGGIE SMITH). Once again living with his aunt and uncle, Vernon (RICHARD GRIFFITHS) and Petunia Dursley (FIONA SHAW), and their spoiled son, Dudley (HARRY MELLING), Harry wonders why he hasn't heard from his close friends and fellow students, Ron Weasley (RUPERT GRINT) and Hermione Granger (EMMA WATSON).

He soon learns that a house elf, Dobby (voice of TOBY JONES), has hidden their letters and is now trying to convince Harry not to return to the school for fear of something bad happening to him. Harry isn't sure what to make of that, but does make his way back to the school where he runs into the friendly groundskeeper, Rubeus Hagrid (ROBBIE COLTRANE) as well as rival student Draco Malfoy (TOM FELTON) and his equally mean and condescending father, Lucius Malfoy (JASON ISAACS).

He also meets Gilderoy Lockhart (KENNETH BRANAGH), the egocentric Professor of the Defense Against the Dark Arts who naturally clashes with the more stern and somber Professor Snape (ALAN RICKMAN) who's in control of the rival house to Harry's.

Things become more mysterious when Harry starts hearing odd voices and various people end up "petrified" in frozen stances. While others believe Harry to be responsible for that, Dumbledore and the others realize something far more menacing and familiar is at hand.

While they try to protect the students and decide whether or not to close the school, Harry, Ron and Hermione set out to figure out what's going on. In doing so, they encounter the spirits of former students Moaning Myrtle (SHIRLEY HENDERSON) and Tom Riddle (CHRISTIAN COULSON) and hear of the legend of the Chamber of Secrets. As they get closer to the truth, they find themselves in grave danger as they try to solve the mystery of what's occurring.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Considering the massive success of the first "Potter" film, the answer is a resounding yes.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: PG
For scary moments, some creature violence and mild language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
  • DANIEL RADCLIFFE plays a 12-year-old wizard who returns to his wizards school and must then try to solve a mystery and avoid being killed while showing bravery and smarts as he saves the day.
  • RUPERT GRINT plays his good friend and fellow wizard who uses some brief and minor profanity.
  • EMMA WATSON plays their other friend who assists them in their quest to solve the mystery of the chamber of secrets.
  • TOM FELTON plays their snide, elitist and condescending rival.
  • JASON ISAACS plays his father who's a grown-up version of him who has a racist-type attitude toward Hermione.
  • RICHARD HARRIS plays the head wizard at Hogwarts.
  • MAGGIE SMITH plays the stern headmistress and professor at the school.
  • ROBBIE COLTRANE plays the school's groundskeeper who finds himself under suspicion regarding the chamber of secrets.
  • KENNETH BRANAGH plays an egotistical professor who's completely full of himself, but turns out to be a coward.
  • ALAN RICKMAN plays another professor and head of a rival house at Hogwarts who seems to be in a perpetually bad mood.
  • TOBY JONES voices the house elf Dobby who repeatedly tries to prevent Harry from returning to the school.
  • CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

    HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


    Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
    Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


    (Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


    OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
    Here's a quick look at the content found in this PG-rated adventure film. Various scenes - often accompanied by ominous or suspenseful music - might be unsettling, suspenseful or downright frightening to kids.

    That all depends, however, on any given child's age, level of maturity and tolerance for such material that includes characters seeing and interacting with various menacing looking monsters (huge spiders, a gargantuan snake and an angry tree), close calls with objects or characters, supernatural events and various locales that appear foreboding, dangerous or simply scary.

    Violence includes a character "exploding" (without gore), various characters using magic or blasts of energy to knock others around, others hitting or striking others, and a character battling and then killing a gargantuan snake (with a bit of bloody results) that tries to kill him. Some gross-out material is present (huge, slimy slugs coming from a boy's mouth), while various characters have varying degrees of bad attitudes.

    Beyond that, a few minor expletives and colorful phrases are present, as are some brief tense family scenes. Should you still be concerned about the film's appropriateness for yourself or anyone else in your home, you may want to look more closely at our detailed listings for more specific information regarding the film's content.



    ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • None.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see what look like shrunken heads on display and in jars in a room.
  • Nearly Headless Nick tilts his nearly severed (but still ghostly) head to the side and we briefly see the large (but ghostly) cut in his neck.
  • After Ron's intended spell for Draco backfires on him, Ron starts spitting out large and slimy slugs from his mouth (this goes on for a while and is likely to gross out some viewers).
  • We see several messages on a wall that are reportedly written in blood.
  • Lockhart uses a spell to mend Harry's broken arm, but instead it turns his arm all rubbery (as if no bones are inside it - and the sight of that might be unsettling/disturbing to younger viewers).
  • We see some blood on the end of a sword that's just been used to kill a gargantuan snake that has blood from its mouth.
  • We see some blood on Harry's hand and there's some on an enormous snake's tooth.
  • Blood or ink flows from a diary that's repeatedly impaled by that tooth and we late see a lot of blood or ink around that diary on the ground.
  • We see some blood on a person's arm that then heals via magic.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Viewers who don't approve of the notion/practice of magic may find many of the characters and most of the movie as having both types of attitudes.
  • Harry's uncle, aunt and cousin are all mean and disrespectful toward him, and the uncle even eventually locks Harry inside his room, saying he'll never see his friends or attend Hogwarts again.
  • The Malfoys - father Lucius and son Draco - have condescending and bad attitudes toward Harry and others. Hermione reports that Lucius made racist-style comments about her since her parents are Muggles (humans) and that she and others like her aren't pure-blood types.
  • Harry and his friends break some house rules from time to time (but end up saving the day by doing so).
  • After being instructed to help out and find the chamber of secrets, Lockhart is found frantically packing his belongings and planning to flee.
  • The villain behind all of the evil plans obviously has an extremely bad attitude.
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • The following scenes/sequences (especially when accompanied by suspenseful music) and others listed under "Violence" may or may not be unsettling, suspenseful and/or scary to some kids, all depending on their age, level of maturity and tolerance for such material. That said, there's little doubt that some/much of the following may affect some kids and could be the stuff of which nightmares are formed.
  • As Harry tries to escape through his upper bedroom window into a flying car floating outside it, his uncle grabs his foot and holds on (the uncle is eventually pulled out, but lands on some bushes below).
  • After magically being transported to the wrong place, Harry finds himself in room filled with what look like shrunken heads on display and in jars. A large, clawed hand (mounted by itself), suddenly grabs Harry's wrist and he has to pry its fingers off of him to escape. He also runs into various creepy looking characters on the street.
  • Harry and Ron take their flying car down to the top of a railroad track. A locomotive is then suddenly behind them and they just manage to get out of the way, but during their aerial maneuvers, Harry's door opens, he falls out, and barely grabs onto the door. He then hangs on as Ron tries to reach down to him and grab his hand as Harry dangles high above the ground.
  • Harry and Ron end up crashing their flying car into a massive tree at night. The car slips down through part of it and we then hear a monstrous sound. The tree then comes to life and proceeds to smash the car (still up in the tree) with its huge limbs and blasts one limb through the window (the boys are frightened). It eventually knocks the car down to the ground and they manage to drive away just as the tree slams a huge limb down near them.
  • Some younger kids might find a scene where plants are uprooted to reveal baby-like creatures as the root systems of those plants as unsettling (or at least very weird).
  • At various points in the film, Harry hears ghostly voices that no one else hears and that say "Kill" and other such things.
  • For those who don't like spiders, there are various scenes featuring many of them crawling across the floor, as well as another one (see below) where Harry and Ron encounter gargantuan ones.
  • During a Quidditch match (somewhat like rugby on flying broomstick like things), various participants (including Draco) purposefully bump and smash into others at high speed. A cannonball-sized ball also chases after Harry and smashes through walls and support beams as it tries to hit him all while he tries to avoid it. Draco eventually crashes onto the ground, the ball smashes Harry on the arm (reportedly breaking it) and Harry crashes into some sand where that ball repeatedly tries to smash into him (Hermione eventually uses a spell to destroy it).
  • For those who don't like snakes, one scene features a menacing cobra that rears up and faces various student wizards, while Harry has an encounter (see below) with a monstrous-sized snake that tries to kill him.
  • The sight of what looks like a dead cat hanging by its tail might be unsettling/disturbing for some viewers (but we hear that it's just "petrified" but still alive).
  • Some younger kids might be disturbed or scared by a scene where Harry drinks a magic potion that then causes him to "morph" into another student. During that, we see his skin and face undulating and bubbling and he looks scared as this happens.
  • Harry visits a scene from the past where a student's body is being taken off on a stretcher and we see a limp arm and hand hanging down from it.
  • Harry and Ron (who's scared of spiders) follow a line of small spiders into the dark forest at night (where we hear monster-like sounds). There, they encounter many more smaller spiders and a gargantuan one that talks to them in a cave. During this, Ron notices many large ones gathering around them and the parent spider then says that it won't protect the boys from its offspring. Those massive spiders then close in on the boys (we see their point of view looking up and seeing many descending toward them on strings of web), but a magical car arrives and the boys race into it (just missing the spiders getting them). They then try to drive off, but the huge spiders (a third to half the size of the car), then jump on the car and one grabs Ron through the open window (Harry zaps it with his wand and sends it flying through the air). As they drive off, more enormous spiders race after them until they eventually escape by flying away.
  • We hear that Ron's sister has been abducted by a monster and taken into the chamber of secrets. A message reads that her skeleton will lie there forever.
  • Harry, Ron and Lockhart slowly make their way through some underground lair, looking for Ron's sister and the yet to be seen monster that abducted her. Along the way, they find massive amounts of snake skin that's been shed by what must be a huge snake. Harry and Ron are then separated and Harry proceeds on his own (as suspenseful music plays).
  • Harry spots a young girl lying on the floor unconscious.
  • An incredibly huge and long snake (at least 50 feet long and quite thick) comes out and chases after Harry. A large bird then attacks the snake and renders it blind, but the snake can still hear him. Harry then runs off and the snake chases after and bites at him. It eventually corners Harry in a tunnel and its massive head (T-Rex size) comes quite close to Harry who tries to remain still and quiet.
  • The massive snake then suddenly rears up out of a body of water and Harry tries to hit the snake with a sword. The snake repeatedly strikes at him on a rocky wall from which Harry barely hangs on. Harry then gets on top, swings at the blind snake and it knocks him down. The snake then strikes at him again and Harry drives his sword into its mouth and up through the top of its head. The blow eventually kills it, but not before it strikes his arm, leaving a huge tooth and venom in it.
  • Harry appears to be dying from that venom (but obviously lives).
  • A character reacts in pain and begins to disintegrate when the source of his power is repeatedly impaled. He eventually explodes (but without gore).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Crossbow: Held by Hagrid on those who knock at his door.
  • Sword: Used by Harry to fight a monstrous snake.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Bloody" (adjective), "Freaky," "What the devil are you doing up here?" "Wicked," "Blimey" and "Bloody hell."
  • It's possible some kids could be enticed to imitate casting spells, etc.
  • Hermione reports that Lucius made racist-style comments about her since her parents are Muggles (humans) and that she and others like her aren't pure-blood types.
  • JUMP SCENES
  • A large, clawed hand (mounted by itself), suddenly grabs Harry's wrist and he has to pry its fingers off of him to escape.
  • A massive snake suddenly rears up out of a body of water.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • An extreme amount of suspenseful, ominous and dramatically adventurous music plays during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 3 hells and 1 use of "Good Lord" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • None.
  • SMOKING
  • None.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Harry doesn't like living with his mean and unkind relatives.
  • Ron worries about his sister after a monster has abducted her.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • The use of magic/sorcery in the film.
  • Lucius makes racist-style comments about Hermione since her parents are Muggles (humans) and that she and others like her aren't pure-blood types.
  • How the kids break some rules, but don't give up in their quest to solve the mystery and defeat the villain and his monster.
  • VIOLENCE
  • Harry's cousin purposefully runs into Harry with his shoulder.
  • Dobby purposefully and repeatedly bashes his head against a dresser, and then repeatedly slams a lamp base onto his head as well (he later repeatedly hits his head with a bottle).
  • A flying car rips a metal, bar-based window grate from a window.
  • Some slapstick style material involves an owl crashing into a window and then later crashing onto a table; Harry and Ron crashing into a column at a train station and falling down (thinking they were going to run and disappear into it like others before them); and Ron tries to put a spell onto Draco, but is knocked backwards from it.
  • Harry and Ron end up crashing their flying car into a massive tree at night. The car slips down through part of it and we then hear a monstrous sound. The tree then comes to life and proceeds to smash the car (still up in the tree) with its huge limbs and blasts one limb through the window (the boys are frightened). It eventually knocks the car down to the ground and they manage to drive away just as the tree slams a huge limb down near them. The car then tosses them out and onto the ground.
  • Some small Cornish pixies fly about a room after Lockhart unleashes them. They cause general mischief (flying a boy up into the air by his ears and then hoisting him onto a chandelier, throwing books around, etc.). Harry whacks one of them across the room with a book and other ones cause a large skeleton to crash onto the floor.
  • During a Quidditch match (somewhat like rugby on flying broomstick like things), various participants (including Draco) purposefully bump and smash into others at high speed. A cannonball-sized ball also chases after Harry and smashes through walls and support beams as it tries to hit him all while he tries to avoid it. Draco eventually crashes onto the ground, the ball smashes Harry on the arm (reportedly breaking it) and Harry crashes into some sand where that ball repeatedly tries to smash into him (Hermione eventually uses a spell to destroy it).
  • During a demonstration, Snape fires a blast of energy at Lockhart that knocks the latter backwards. Moments later, Harry and Draco are called upon for the demo and each knocks the other down with similar blasts of energy. Snape then causes a cobra to dissolve.
  • We see several characters who've been "petrified" (frozen still, but still alive).
  • A large bird catches on fire, quickly disintegrates, and is then born again from its ashes (a Phoenix).
  • Harry, Ron and Hermione drop glasses from which they were drinking and that shatter upon impact with the floor.
  • We see that Harry's room has been ransacked.
  • Huge spiders try to attack Harry, Ron and the car they're in. One grabs Ron through an open window, but Harry zaps it with his wand (that sends it flying through the air). They then drive into many spiders as they escape.
  • Lockhart falls down a long and dark tunnel (but is okay).
  • Lockhart tries to cast a spell, but is knocked backward into a rock wall where he's knocked silly. Ron then picks up a rock and hits Lockhart on the head with it, knocking him out.
  • An incredibly huge and long snake (at least 50 feet long and quite thick) comes out and chases after Harry. A large bird then attacks the snake and renders it blind, but the snake can still hear him. Harry then runs off and the snake chases after and bites at him. It eventually corners Harry in a tunnel and its massive head (T-Rex size) comes quite close to Harry who tries to remain still and quiet.
  • The massive snake then suddenly rears up out of a body of water and Harry tries to hit the snake with a sword. The snake repeatedly strikes at him on a rocky wall from which Harry barely hangs on. Harry then gets on top, swings at the blind snake and it knocks him down. The snake then strikes at him again and Harry drives his sword into its mouth and up through the top of its head. The blow eventually kills it, but not before it strikes his arm, leaving a huge tooth and venom in it.
  • A character reacts in pain and begins to disintegrate when the source of his power is repeatedly impaled. He eventually explodes (but without gore).
  • Lucius purposefully kicks Dobby several feet away from him and then hits him with a cane or wand.
  • Dobby uses magic to blast Lucius backwards through the air.



  • Reviewed November 8, 2002 / Posted November 15, 2002

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