(Photo by WB/ courtesy Everett Collection)

How to Watch Harry Potter Movies In Order

Everyone came into the Wizarding World through the Harry Potter books and movies, which introduced us to a gifted 11-year-old, his friends Ron and Hermione, and their hallowed school of magic, Hogwarts. Watching the Harry Potter movies in order, seeing the story unfold chronologically in-universe, used to be as easy as finding the one where Daniel Radcliffe looks youngest and starting from there.

But the series has expanded now with the Fantastic Beasts movies, set some 70 years before The Sorcerer’s Stone. So to watch the Harry Potter movies in order, your journey now begins with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, set in 1926 and starring Eddie Redmayne as Newt Scarmander. Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is set in 1927. The third Fantastic Beasts intends to release July 2022, with two more movies to close out the Scarmander and Grindelwald saga.

Then the story of Harry himself begins, starting with Sorcerer’s Stone and concluding in the second-part of The Deathly Hallows, for eight Certified Fresh movies in a row. There’s also a Harry Potter series early in development for HBO Max. For now, see our guide below on how to watch all Harry Potter movies in order.

Adjusted Score: 87.573%
Critics Consensus: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them draws on Harry Potter's rich mythology to deliver a spinoff that dazzles with franchise-building magic all its own.
Synopsis: This spin-off of the Harry Potter franchise jumps back in time to explore the wizarding world of 1926 New York,... [More]

Adjusted Score: 50.103%
Critics Consensus: Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has glimmers of the magic familiar to Harry Potter fans, but the story's spell isn't as strong as earlier installments.
Synopsis: At the end of the first film, the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald (Depp) was captured by MACUSA (Magical Congress... [More]
Directed By: David Yates (II)

Adjusted Score: 87.708%
Critics Consensus: Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone adapts its source material faithfully while condensing the novel's overstuffed narrative into an involving -- and often downright exciting -- big-screen magical caper.
Synopsis: The best-selling novel by J.K. Rowling (titled Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone in England, as was this film adaptation)... [More]
Directed By: Chris Columbus

Adjusted Score: 88.943%
Critics Consensus: Though perhaps more enchanting for younger audiences, Chamber of Secrets is nevertheless both darker and livelier than its predecessor, expanding and improving upon the first film's universe.
Synopsis: Youthful wizard Harry Potter returns to the screen in this, the second film adaptation of J.K. Rowling's wildly popular series... [More]
Directed By: Chris Columbus

Adjusted Score: 97.56%
Critics Consensus: Under the assured direction of Alfonso Cuaron, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban triumphantly strikes a delicate balance between technical wizardry and complex storytelling.
Synopsis: After directing the first two movies in the Harry Potter franchise, Chris Columbus opted to serve as producer for Harry... [More]
Directed By: Alfonso Cuarón

Adjusted Score: 96.831%
Critics Consensus: The main characters are maturing, and the filmmakers are likewise improving on their craft; vibrant special effects and assured performances add up to what is the most complex yet of the Harry Potter films.
Synopsis: Directed by Mike Newell, the fourth installment to the Harry Potter series finds Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) wondering why his legendary... [More]
Directed By: Mike Newell

Adjusted Score: 85.841%
Critics Consensus: It's not easy to take the longest Harry Potter book and streamline it into the shortest HP movie, but director David Yates does a bang up job of it, creating an Order of the Phoenix that's entertaining and action-packed.
Synopsis: Young wizard-in-training Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) returns to Hogwarts for his fifth year of studies, only to find that the... [More]
Directed By: David Yates (II)

Adjusted Score: 93.3%
Critics Consensus: Dark, thrilling, and occasionally quite funny, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is also visually stunning and emotionally satisfying.
Synopsis: Adolescent wizard-in-training Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts for another year of schooling and learns more about the dark past of... [More]
Directed By: David Yates (II)

Adjusted Score: 85.925%
Critics Consensus: It can't help but feel like the prelude it is, but Deathly Hallows: Part I is a beautifully filmed, emotionally satisfying penultimate installment for the Harry Potter series.
Synopsis: The first installment of the two-film adaptation of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows follows Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert... [More]
Directed By: David Yates (II)

Adjusted Score: 106.854%
Critics Consensus: Thrilling, powerfully acted, and visually dazzling, Deathly Hallows Part II brings the Harry Potter franchise to a satisfying -- and suitably magical -- conclusion.
Synopsis: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2, is the final adventure in the Harry Potter film series. The... [More]
Directed By: David Yates (II)

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