Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
The world’s favorite wizard-in-training (Daniel Radcliffe) learns that a dangerous convict (Gary Oldman) has escaped from Azkaban Prison. And worse, the escapee once betrayed Harry’s parents and may be out to kill Harry himself. It’s taken three tries—and getting rid of director Chris Columbus—but everything finally goes marvelously right with the Harry Potter franchise. Director Alfonso Cuarón gives Harry’s enchanted world a less candy-coated, more lived-in look; the darkness is truly dark, making the flashes of magic all the more wonderful by comparison. Cuarón also understands the adolescent turmoil of the characters and draws strong performances from the young stars (Rupert Grint, Emma Watson and especially Radcliffe) to complement the artfully grand acting of the eccentric supporting characters.