Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

Rated 4.0

Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry frustrated that no one seems to believe his warnings about the Dark Lord, and bedeviled by a new teacher (Imelda Staunton), who seems determined to oust Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) and run the school herself. The fifth installment of the series has a new director (David Yates) and writer (Michael Goldenberg), who go at it with nimble vigor. Goldenberg trims the story down to its essentials (sorry, gang, no Quidditch this trip), and—probably wisely—makes Harry less ill-tempered than in the book, without sacrificing the growing menace of J.K. Rowling’s saga or the magical atmosphere that makes the books such a self-contained world. Yates paces the film at a clip that makes this, the shortest in the series so far, seem even shorter.