The events in the sixth film in the series, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, help Harry, Ron, and Hermione learn to better trust each other. Draco is given a secret mission by Lord Voldemort, but only Harry seems to believe it. Harry also finds an old potions book that helps him become a whiz at potions, much to the frustration of Ron and Hermione.
Ron the snogger makes his appearance as he goes out with Lavender Brown. Rupert Grint did a great job emulating the Ron in the book, complete with general cluelessness. He has a really great “What?” face, and he uses it a lot in this film. Emma Watson also hit the mark with her “I’m so frustrated at Ron I could spit nails” look.
Tom Felton finally hit his stride as Malfoy, and much of it he did without saying a word. It really takes a lot of work to convey so much in silence, and he did an excellent job. Snape, played by the late Alan Rickman, only had a couple real scenes in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which was too bad since he plays such an important role. He did a great job confusing Harry, though.
The general look of the film was much darker, with many scenes done in muted colors. I think the director was trying to show how much effect Voldemort was having in the wizarding world, and it worked. While the first couple films had a lot of really warm tones to them, this one only had that a couple times. The impact of this on the mood of the film was perfect.
The music by Nicholas Hooper really helped set the tone for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. It felt seamless with his work on the previous film, too, helping to carry through the mood of impending doom. I really liked how themes from several of the previous films were reworked and incorporated in this score. This soundtrack didn’t have as much impact as previous ones, but it worked very well with the film.
This was one of the strongest films, and I enjoyed Dumbledore and Harry working so closely throughout the film. You could tell that Dumbledore had a lot of concern for Harry, and wanted to help him as much as possible. I credit Michael Gambon and Daniel Radcliffe with that sense of camaraderie. The scenes at the end were handled expertly, setting well the stage for the final two films. I highly recommend Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
Release Date: July 15, 2009 (UK/US)
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Alcohol/Drugs: 1 (some smoking, some drinking of hallucinatory substances)
Language: 1 (mild)
Sexuality: 1 (mild snogging)
Violence: 2 (some torture, wizarding violence, death)