More than any of the other HARRY POTTER films, this one got the emotional core of the story perfect. This edition in the series is less spectacle and more dramatic. It puts Harry's emotional struggle — fighting his inner anger with the world — front and center. The characterization of the new characters is perfect. Director David Yates (THE GIRL IN THE CAFE) and writer Michael Goldenberg (2003's PETER PAN), who are both new to the series, take the biggest of the novels and pare it down to its essence. Remarkably, the HARRY POTTER films just keep getting better.
Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) feels isolated back home with his non-magical Muggle family. After he is forced to use magic outside of school to save himself and his cousin Dudley (Harry Melling), he is expelled from Hogwarts, but then is taken from his aunt and uncle's home to the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix, which includes his godfather Sirius Black (Gary Oldman, THE PROFESSIONAL), former teachers Alastor "Mad-Eye" Moody (Brendan Gleeson, GANGS OF NEW YORK) and werewolf Remus Lupin (David Thewlis, KINGDOM OF HEAVEN), veteran wizards Kingsley Shacklebolt (George Harris, LAYER CAKE) and Nymphadora Tonks (Natalia Tena, ABOUT A BOY) and Ron's parents Mr. and Mrs. Weasley (Mark Williams, SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE & Julie Walters, BILLY ELLIOT). The minister of magic Cornelius Fudge (Robert Hardy, AN IDEAL HUSBAND) is denying the return of the dark lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes, THE ENGLISH PATIENT), putting sugary sweet dictator Dolores Umbridge (Imelda Staunton, VERA DRAKE) in the role of Defense Against The Dark Arts teacher at Hogwarts, where she refuses to teach real magic that could save the teens and rules over the student body with decrees controlling all forms of behavior and thought.