Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Entertainment: +4
Acceptability: -4

Based on the best-selling novels by J. K. Rowling, the highly anticipated film version of Harry Potter is a visual extravaganza. As an infant, orphaned Harry is left on the doorstep of his aunt and uncle. In Cinderella like fashion, they make Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) sleep in the closet under the stairs, while doting on their spoiled brat of a son. But on his eleventh birthday, Harry receives a real surprise. Hagrid (Robbie Coltrane), the giant groundskeeper at Hogwarts School of Magic, visits to tell Harry hes a wizard and take him off to the boarding school for witchcraft. Hes befriended by fellow students Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermoine Granger (Emma Watson). Together, they learn the art of magic and share adventures as they discover the secret of the Socerers Stone hidden in the school. But they also learn that the stone is sought by the evil wizard who killed Harrys parents and gave him the lightning scar on his forehead. The young actors are delightful and the story moves briskly. The special effects, especially for the soccer on broomsticks game of Quidditch, dazzle. Although some scenes may be too scary for the under-10 group, audiences will definitely be wild about this HARRY.

For the secular world, Harry has many good messages about bravery, courage and friendship. It even comments about the power of sacrificial love. And with its young cast, the film is virtually free of sexual material and bad language. Some mild and moderate violence occurs, such as sports roughness and property destruction. A troll gets knocked out and the body of a dead unicorn is shown. In one scene a wizard is turned to burned ash. But Christians are called to take a different view from the world. We are told to be in the world, but not of the world; not to be conformed to the thinking of the world, but transformed by the renewing of our thought process in Christ. It will be difficult in most families, Christian and secular alike, to deny their children's desire to see the film. But along with the learning of incantations, potions, wand waving and broomstick riding, HARRY includes other elements which the Bible also takes a negative view of. The Hogwarts students converse with ghosts, one who shows off his partially severed head. More disturbing is the concept of an evil wizard's spirit co-habiting another's body. We should also consider that witchcraft, conversing with the dead, and possession should be maturely discussed with young viewers. It would be unrealistic to claim that Harry Potter will lead children to occultism and demon possession, but it could open the door, and we aren't supposed to lead them into temptation either. Despite its positive messages and honorable characters, we cannot in good Spirit endorse HARRY POTTER as recommendable.

Preview Reviewer: Paul Bicking
Distributor: Warner Bros., 4000 Warner Blvd., Burbank, CA 91522

Crude Language: Few (3) times Mild 2, moderate 1
Obscene Language: None
Profanity: Once Regular (for G sake)
Violence: Several times Mild and moderate (Shoving, fall from height, hits with club, stick stuck up nose, sports bumps/ hits/ kicks, minor cuts/ scrapes with blood, chess pieces smash each other, man turns to burned ash)
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: None
Other: Witchcraft/ sorcery used throughout as positive feature, fantasy figures trolls/ goblins/ centaurs/ unicorn, talk to ghosts, reference to wizards turned bad, positive messages about not dwelling on impossible/ courage, bravery and cool head/ power of love, evil spirit co-habits man's body
Running Time: 152 minutes
Intended Audience: Ages 10 and up

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