Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016) Poster

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I liked it
hcarljohan16 November 2016
I really want to draw attention to the title of the review above. I'm sure many die-hard potterheads would want every review on this site to score this movie 10/10 and say it is a masterpiece. Well I can't do that, since that isn't my honest opinion. What I can say though is that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a thoroughly entertaining affair that is well worth a watch, especially if you're a fan of J.K. Rowling's magical world.

For starters the cast was great. Eddie Redmayne feels perfectly cast in main role as Newt Scamander. A very awkward and introverted person who prefers the company of animals rather than humans. He has the quirkyness down to a tee. I also really liked the muggle (or no-maj as the Americans call him) played by Dan Fogler. How he reacts to the whole wizarding world and the events that happen around him is actually really funny. I also thought Katherine Waterstone and Alison Sodul did great playing two sisters who wind up roped in to the whole adventure.

The creatures are the best part of the entire movie by far. They CGI on them looks kind of fake, but it's more than made up for by the concepts alone. Almost all of them have some clever twerk that keep them from feeling generic and they're all filled with personality. The sequences when they're catching these creatures are all really fun to watch.

However there are some problems with this movie. For one it has way too many side characters. A lot of them feel completely underdeveloped and add basically nothing to the overall story (*cough* Jon Voight *cough*). There's also a magical threat that becomes more central towards the end but it honestly kind of left me scratching my head. I just wasn't that engaged in that part of the story to be honest.

Still these problems are not enough to ruin the movie by any means. It's filled with wonder and creativity and being back in the world of witchcraft and wizardry is worth the price of admission alone. I enjoyed the characters, the humour and the creatures a whole lot. I also want to give J.K. Rowling huge credit for not just rehashing the Harry Potter story again. This is fresh and new and while it isn't flawless by any means it's certainly entertaining!
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What a letdown
heatsink9818 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
It's a letdown. The fun and charming bits of Harry Potter were left out of this film. I like J.K. Rowling's work immensely, so that's hard to say.

Plot-wise, things are a mess. Newt and his luggage full of magical creatures are a side plot to the important things going on. The real story is that an auror in New York is searching for a powerful and dangerous magical force that manifests within a teenager. His plan: turn the destructive energy the teenager carries into a weapon, I assume. Enter Newt Scamander, who is trying to transport a thunderbird(?) to Arizona for release back into the wild. Some of Newt's other creatures escape in New York, and he has to round them up, all while becoming entangled with the auror and his teenage target.

The plot sounds sort of okay, but it's not well integrated. The characters don't add up to much of anything, either. The sidekick baker is fairly likable, though, along with his brewing romance with Queenie. Newt's a bit thin as a character. Eddie Redmayne's dialog also tended to come out mumbled, which made him hard to understand at times. Throw in a few acronyms and oddball words like MACUSA, and that makes for more confusion.

Altogether, the film needed more work to tighten the story lines and make Fantastic Beasts a story focused on Newt and his menagerie, instead of what we ended up with.
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SFX pretty good, characters & pacing lacking.
beany_kelly19 December 2016
It's OK, I suppose.

Good parts: Period costumes & sets were beautiful. Special effects were (mostly) very good, and the Fantastic Beasts were individually great fun.

So-so parts: The acting was only OK. Newt (Eddie Redmayne) in particular left me dissatisfied. Yes he's playing an introverted character, but I saw no reason for the bond he seemed to build with Tina. The MACUSA wizards & witches were extremely underdeveloped, including the President. Their hot-and-cold treatment of Tina for her interruptions made no sense to me either.

Poor: The editing seemed off to me, in a way I haven't noticed since The Chamber of Secrets. --- awkward pauses littered the film, robbing it of its momentum. Newt's interaction with some of the larger beasts didn't look realistic (e.g. his stroking the Thunderbird's neck). And I personally dislike FX-heavy movies where the Big Bad is some amorphous cloud (not as bad as Green Lantern, but pretty bad).

Final thought: why do so many large beasts have bird's heads? This seems to be a thing with Rowling ...
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viktorys14 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Fantastic beasts and where you find them. Well… Not somewhere interesting. In fact, some place that is pretty scattered and incoherent, and very much boring.

What is this film actually about: a. A story of a muggle who happens to get a glimpse of a magic world? b. Of a journalist who tries to preserve the variety of magic animals? c. An auror, who lost her job and tries to claw her way back? d. An unhappy kid who possesses the most destructive powers? e. "The bad guy" with a very sinister, however just as much unclear agenda, in the face of Johnny Depp who makes a 30 second jaw-dropping appearance as a blond?

This film has no story, no core. You know, where you can trace a dramatic structure: some kind of problem, rise, climax and ultimately some kind of solution.

I, as HUGE fan of JK Rowling, am very disappointed to have witnessed this cinematographic cacophony. Not even Eddy Redmayne or IMAX experience could save it for me.
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Newt's Ark
alvmanalm27 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
David Yates has done it again - what a terrible movie. Boring from beginning to end. J.K. Rowling just wasn't able to write a script that could live up to the Harry Potter books and universe. Fantastic? Not so much. Beasts? Sure, lots of them, but uninteresting. Where to find them? All inside a magical bag. There's absolutely no character development: we get to know very little about Newt Scamander, his personal quest, his thoughts or what drives him; Tina is just bland; and Kowalski is a comic relief that just wasn't necessary. Throughout the movie, you never understand why Newt has a "Noah complex" or why he was driven to build his own Ark of magical creatures; there's no tension, no drama involved - muggles don't know about those creatures, so they can't hate them or understand how dangerous they might be, and wizards just don't seem to care enough about them. Why exactly was Newt expelled from Hogwarts? What exactly was his relation to Leta Lestrange? We just don't know. Graves was an interesting character, but very poorly developed. Sure, he is revealed to be something more and we couldn't know too much, but we never get to understand the context in which he professes his ideology. For a movie that revolves around magic, there's actually not that much magic being used during the movie. Maybe next time they should try a movie with less special effects and a little bit more acting. The Harry Potter books were always about the narrative - well written, enticing, thrilling, focused on big existential issues, such as death, the quest for immortality, friendship. This movie was about the visual power of cinema, and that just isn't enough. Besides, a whole generation grew up with Harry Potter, a generation that actually "grew up", so a PG movie won't work.
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Charming and endearing!
Aris2518 November 2016
I admit walking into the theater, I was very excited but also a little apprehensive. I should not have worried at all though, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them was incredibly enjoyable! Rowling's magical world is as alluring and fun as ever! For me, the best thing about this movie is exactly that. Exploring this world.

In the Harry Potter saga, with the exception of Deathly Hallows, most of the action was confined in Hogwarts. When we were taken out of the school, the main characters, being underage, were not allowed to do magic. The novelty in this movie is that we get to follow a fully fledged adult wizard in an entirely new environment and observe the dynamics and workings of the magical society.

Said wizard is Newt Scamander, a magical zoologist that traveled the world in order to find and document rare creatures, which he carries in his magical suitcase. When this suitcase gets mixed up with one that belongs to muggle Jacob, some of Newt's creatures escape and cause problems in New York.

Eddie Redmayne shines in this movie. He plays a very clearly British, endearing and slightly awkward Newt, but the character's kindness is obvious by the loving and friendly way that he treats his magical creatures. Dan Fogler does a great job as Jacob Kowalski, the muggle who is suddenly thrown into a world of wonder that existed beside him all along. He is the one the audience can best relate to, since he mirrors our sense of marvel. Katherine Waterstone and Alison Sudol also do a good job as the two vastly different magical sisters, who aid Newt in his adventure. If I had a small gripe, it would be that the excellent Colin Farell was in my opinion under used.

All in all, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a solid and visually stunning movie that manages to achieve three things.

First, although it takes place in the Harry Potter universe, it stands apart and has its very own story, which can be enjoyed separately from that of the famous young wizard. Second, it drops quite a few hints and names, which not only tie in nicely with the stories that we know, but also serve to set up the next installments, which are rumored to document Dumbledore's past and connection with Grindelwald. Finally, the movie features a bustling 1926 New York, which coupled with the intriguing character dynamics, offers a brand new insight into Rowling magical world and leaves us poor muggles asking for more.

After following Harry's adventures, many of us were left wanting to see much more of the story and luckily for us, it seems Rowling has that much more to offer. Personally, I can't wait for the next movie, great job!
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Do not believe the hype
samueljohncrawford19 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I was excited to take another plunge into the wizarding world of J.K. Rowling. I greatly enjoyed the Harry Potter (HP) books and, despite some flaws, the HP movies.

Prior to viewing, I looked at the other pre-release reviews to determine a critic consensus and despite some minor negative feedback, the majority seemed to love this movie. I am very disappointed. This movie was terrible. Analysing any aspect of each scene reveals just too many errors in transition or logic for me to truly enjoy this film. Sadly, I felt so disconnected by its lack of realistic behaviour and logic I spent much of my time discovering more faults, such is the nature when you do not enjoy a movie.

The core story-line falls flat when compared to any HP book or movie. It lacks character and often does not make sense. Some characters are posted as the self redemption seekers and yet continually choose, knowing well the consequences, morally evil decisions. Other central characters can't seem to make any decision themselves, paralyzed by lack of reasoning. I get it, these people are witches and wizards and thus eccentric takes on non-magics. This idea was taken a step too far in this movie. America felt like it was being run by about 20 buffoons while the main characters waltz around fragrantly discharging their own laws.

Do not expect to see any magnificent, fantastical creatures here either. In every case the extent of the imagination was to take 2-4 animals in our world, smash them together and voila. Even with such a simple formula, you can count the number of creatures you see on both hands. To top that off, the CGI was bested by the first Harry Potter, again it seemed to be rushed to final production without a true critical eye.

I was sorely disappointed with this film. If not for the HP stamp I feel it would barely review as a B-grade movie, charging blockbuster prices. That HP stamp though will likely bump it higher, but please keep your critique realistic lest we cop the same treatment in the probable sequel.
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Messy movie with some fun moments
bag-bosch30 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This movie is clearly written by someone who is not used to writing movies. Which, of course, is disastrous when making a fantasy flick. Nothing serves a creative, fantasy story better than a tight, well-executed plot. I mean, look at Star Wars!

What am I talking about? Let me illustrate my opinion with some points:

  • The "mystery villain" (the one that destroys everything) clearly doesn't work if the audience has no clue what it could possibly be. During the entire first act we progress no further than it's some vague threat. Therefore, there is no tension in that regard at all, which makes the film un-engaging.

  • Both the beasts and the magic are rushed in rather quickly, at which point there is nothing left to wonder at. World-building is normally done more slowly, allow you to ease into into the fantasy setting. Again, this will prevent people from being engaged in what's happening.

  • An entire subplot about some newspaper owner and his two sons goes absolutely nowhere and serves no purpose.

  • Then there's another "mystery villain", a white-haired guy whose name is Grindelwald. A villain whose plan and purpose is only revealed at the end of the movie. Again, not very interesting to watch a movie where the evil forces are completely obscure and seem to have no impact on the plot until the very end. I don't even understand what his plan was. He keeps transforming into Collin Ferell (using polyjuice potion). In order to do what? Talk to Credence (the other mystery villain)? It seems any form would suffice for that, why use the one of some senior guy at the magic ministry? All he really did was monitor the kids he thought would form an obscurial (bad black cloud that destroys everything) so he could harness its power I guess. Then when Credence gets destroyed in the end he gives some weird, lamenting speech and start fighting everyone. Why not use that Collin Ferell disguise for once?

  • Our protagonist is pretty bland and most of the times has no clear motivation. He comes to the US to release his bird (even that is set up as a mystery, dear lord...), but he keeps getting sidetracked by all the things happening around him. This is important because there's no sense of a mission or task to complete. Hence, it's not very likely people will be, here it comes again, engaged.

  • The first 2 acts revolve around 4 people who sort of band together. However, what seems such an essential story element, has very little to do with the final confrontation. It's pretty much Newt alone getting involved.

  • Some steep tonal shifts. The movie is pretty lighthearted but quickly turns very dark a couple of times (wizard executions, a kid being beaten by his foster mom ... a kid killing his foster mom ... kid getting killed by wizard firing squad*).

Conclusion: the stakes are low, there's little to no tension and the world building is mediocre. At least it's lighthearted and imaginative enough to prevent people from leaving the theater in a bad mood. Also, the muggle main character works pretty well and was a nice addition to the Harry Potter universe that normally revolves mainly around wizards.

*well OK, I guess it was self-defense. Sort of. I mean, it didn't look like they "had no choice". They all just started machine-gunning him down at one point.
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Do you like going to the zoo? That is the question ...
hburchfield318 November 2016
Although I was a fan of the Harry Potter series, I had no preconceived notions or requirements for this stand-alone movie, other than an expectation that J.K. Rowling would not disappoint.

Nonetheless, I was disappointed. The first half of the movie is basically an overlong visit to a CGI-created zoo. We watch as the protagonist hunts down a half dozen or so "fantastic beasts", mostly one at a time and in extended chase sequences. If you do not enjoy visiting zoos or watching car chases (which have the same dynamic as animal chases, no matter how exotic the species), you may be bored. I certainly was.

The second half of the movie is more engaging, as loose strands from the first are finally woven into a conventional good vs. evil morality play. But even here, virtually every turn in the plot is easily predictable, as Rowling uses the same pro- Muggle/anti-Muggle dynamic employed in the Potter series to define her characters, plus an ironically preachy lesson in the harmful nature of organised religion. Fortunately, the actors, particularly the good guys and gals, are able to overcome the limitations of the script so that I couldn't help but like them and cheer them on. The cinematic recreation of early 20th century New York is also well done.

However, on the whole, I think Rowling is capable of better work than this. For movie-goers content to be dazzled by special effects, this film may do the trick. For those who want more than a formulaic "Hagrid saves the world" knock-off, the film will probably seem much longer than its two hour running time.
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No story & too much CGI
antoniokowatsch22 November 2016
I have to say that I am really disappointed of the movie as a whole. The Harry Potter movies are easily one of the best and most rewatchable movie franchises so far. And this movie is sadly nothing like the original HP movies. The only thing that is has in common are the special effects (for the apparitions). There was no real dialogue between the characters. Just silly one-liners and the occasional humorous remark. I am also very angered by the fact that they just introduced a new concept (obscurials) to the HP franchise that would literally change everything (if obscurials exist why hasn't Harry Potter become one? After all he fits the criteria).

There was also way too much CGI in the movie. It became a real nuisance after a while. Especially because it wasn't even "up to today's standards".

My final critique concerns the overall flair of the movie. It just didn't feel like it belongs to the magnum opus that is the HP movie franchise. And righteously so; why did they film it in NYC? The HP franchise is the most British thing since James Bond and Doctor Who. I never really realized it before but now that I watched this movie it became very clear to me. You can't just change the location like this and expect the audience to embrace it. Sorry. What's next? Fantastic Beasts in Japan? No thanks. We already have that, it's called Kaiju.
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Absolute Rubbish, no story, no characters, just special effects
georgechristophert25 November 2016
It is unbelievable that JK Rowling's name is even attached to this film.

The discipline and thought that went into the Harry Potter characters and story certainly wasn't applied to this catastrophe, which, like the Hobbit and so many other Hollywood regurgitation(s), merely seeks massive profits by piggybacking on a successful franchise while being utterly devoid of substance.

It isn't even worth going into detail. There is only one truly likable character, though you can't relate to ANY character as we know absolutely nothing about them, nor do they have any developed relationships with each other.

The entire script is built around the magical creatures doing damage to NYC, again, a ridiculous premise, as the damage is massive and there is no backlash. The complicated boundaries between the magical and non-magical worlds and people, so well laid out in HP, are completely absent. The most ridiculous example of idiotic, careless detail is that for most of the scenes on the streets of NYC, it is practically a ghost town, whereas in reality, NYC in the 1920s was nearly as densely populated as it is now. Perhaps more so, not worth it to fact check this.

And Eddie Redmayne as the lead was totally inaccessible, not engaging and half of his speech literally unintelligible. Fully one third into the movie it is finally established that he, the lead character, is closer to magical creatures than humans, but by then, not only do we not care about him or like him, but really the script gives him not ONE real relationship wherein to show forth his character. Who is he? Where does he come from? We don't know. Anyway, a horrible choice for a lead character, someone who has no emotional connection to any characters. Even his relations to the animals is explored surface level, there is no one relationship with anyone or anything that develops throughout the story and makes the audience care about the character. Only superficial plot-related details are given and there is no emotional or human life at all.

This is the same way all the characters, every single one, is treated. They are merely 2 dimensional props, there to perpetuate a plot that is mostly centered around special effects and hubris action, magical creatures rampaging here and there, and, as I said, unrealistically, going on undetected.

Literally, not one shining point to this film. Another disgrace to storytelling, devoid of all substance and creativity, pumped out of the Warner Bros fecal-making factory. Utterly disappointed.
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Magical, Mischievous and Wicked
Harun_Karali15 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Perhaps the biggest dilemma you will have before going into this, is whether or not it will live up to the legend of Harry Potter. As someone who loved the series and was skeptical about Yates undertaking this endeavor, I am pleased to say that I'm relieved, As Yates delivers a refreshing and whimsical film. Sure, it doesn't have the characters we've come to love, but with the creatures you encounter and with the added humor of J.K Rowling, you will come to grip with the fact that this movie will leave an impression.

Newt is a scientist who has an uncanny resemblance to Doctor Who, as his strange and cunning outlook bares the trademarks of the epic character. Newt is searching for unorthodox creatures. As he stuffs them into his suitcase which is an accident waiting to happen. The suitcase seems to be unhinged and dire need of a proper lock. As he arrives in New York he mixes his bag with Jacob Kowalski, who lets loose beasts that start to run rampant in the streets. J.K. Rowling's first outing as a screenwriter is a wild success, with her keen eye for detail and whimsical taste. "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" becomes a fine addition to her epic saga. I'm glad that there are four more awaiting us because if Rowling proved anything, it's that she has a lot more to offer.
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Are you kidding me?
hptmbedra17 December 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Since when movies like this one took over? No plot, no characters development, no substance, cheap jokes here and there and CGI filling up space. Just another film that tries to squeeze bucks out of franchise without genuine effort.

Nothing happens throughout the whole movie, literally. For the most of it, Eddie Redmayne searches for his beasts and tries to imprison them in his suitcase. We are supposed to be amazed by them, but we have seen alike a long time ago in previous HP, Avatar or even LOTR movies, so they alone simply don't cut it. Then there is a brief fight with "the bad slash confused guys" and that's it.

I had a hard time to find out who is the main villain almost the entire movie, and I definitely didn't discover his motives. The revelation of the villain was stupid and embarrassing and everybody except for hardcore HP fans doesn't have a chance to know what the hell is going on with him. Showing this dark matter damaging streets like each 15 minutes didn't help and got quickly boring, because it didn't pose any actual threat to our heroes, and its only purpose was to fill the holes with CGI and banging sound anyway (I guess).

I felt no connection to any of the characters whatsoever. Redmayne acts like a crazy nerdo who has feelings only for his monsters, Katherine Waterston is uninteresting bureaucratic mouse and her sister behaves like a slut. The baker was OK, but each one of them was acting unnaturally. This is completely different from HP, where I could feel for Harry (or others for that matter) struggling with his substitute family, adaptation to a foreign environment, love, hate and at last burden of great responsibility, and even though Daniel Radcliffe hasn't shown that great performance at least in the first movies, I could relate to him and understand him.

Fantastic Beasts has not brought anything new, we have seen all the wizard stuff before - all the "automated" tools working by themselves, habitable suitcase instead of a tent, creation of this defensive bubble etc. New York didn't help either, gone is the magical atmosphere from UK and Hogwarts. The magic as such is treated just too casually here.

I hadn't expected much, but still was disappointed. The thing is, that this movie isn't nowadays an exception any more, and it strongly reminds me of the last Star Wars movies, whose sole purpose is to grab your money and let you wait for next one in a trilogy to at least get an explanation and some satisfaction. Can't we produce solid standalone movies anymore? What a letdown !
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Harry Potter's Universe Without Potter is Just as Good
regula117 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The magical community in Britain has been fleshed out rather well through the seven Harry Potter books and the eight films that followed, but America's magic users have been pretty much overlooked.

Until now.

The year is 1926. In the midst of the dark wizard Grindelwald wreaking havoc in Europe, an unassuming man travels to New York City with a case full of, well, fantastic beasts ( a case which goes full TARDIS, as well).

There's also an unknown magical threat tearing up streets and striking fear in the hearts of the nomaj (non-magical, US term for muggle) community. The Magical Congress of the United States is searching for the culprit, and who do they blame? The unassuming man, Newt Scamander, a role that Eddie Redmayne fits into perfectly.

With the help of Tina Goldstein, a disgraced Auror, and Jacob Kowalski, a nomaj who gets caught up in Scamander's creature exploits, they must clear Scamander's name and find out who is behind the attacks in New York and stop them.

This film has a lot going for it, but it really holds up as an installment of the Harry Potter franchise in the way that it showcases the allure of the universe without the old story of The Boy Who Lived. It is also buoyed by great visual effects and witty banter throughout.

This will prove to be just the first of possibly many films in the Harry Potter universe (and yes, Johnny Depp does show up as Grindelwald), and if this film is any indicator of the wonder this universe instills, I can't wait for more.
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Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is FANTASTIC
tellakemppinen15 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Amazing movie, they've done it again! The cast was amazing (though Johnny Depp as Grindewald takes time to get used to),visual effects stunning and the movie is everything you can except it to be. The movie has so many great moments, it's happy and funny yet serious enough and has AMAZING humour, I laughed a lot while watching it and so did everyone else :) LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS MOVIE and can't wait to see more!!! I also love the fact that they didn't try to continue the Potter series but instead made a ''stand alone'' movie franchise which has so many connections to the Harry Potter books/movies, it really made me feel like they're not trying to ''milk us'' but just want to provide us more amazing movies from the world we all love so much :)
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Fantastic Yawns and Where to Find Them
seven-estates27 November 2016
Spoiler Free

J.K. Rowling should stick to writing novels. This whole affair is nothing but a huge money grab. This latest entry is a hollow shell devoid of any spirit and magic of the Potter world. In short, one fantastic yawn fest.

WB and co., you must be laughing all the way to the bank. This film is just one long 2 hour trailer. Personally, I found watching the trailer more interesting and best of all, it was free .

What made the Potter films endearing was the character development with the magic and CG as the supporting cast. You cared about the characters and were eager yet anxious about their journey in a magical world. It's the other way around in Beasts. After the first half, I couldn't wait to get away. I just hate it when I feel there was no sincere effort put forth. Yes, the wrapping looked nice but when I opened the box, I felt duped. As if on some amusement ride, the whole film was on rails and along the way, there would be occasional things that would pop up.

Don't be fooled by the current IMDb rating and glowing reviews both which are no doubt artificially inflated by the legions of Potter fans around the world. If you are a true fan then you should demand more than an illusion of what could have been. What a complete waste of the excellent cast who you could tell were just going through the motions but I blame it on the poor writing. Rowling must have written the whole thing during her 15 minute coffee break.

You know there's something amiss when some of the minor characters steal most of the spotlight or garner the most laughs- think Ice Age and that squirrel or Despicable Me and those minions. I wonder how this series can possibly be extended to 5 parts. The main problem is the film is now stuck with an unlikable cast moving forward.

WB and Rowling must take the fans to be fools or worse, they cast some dark magic that blinds them to donate money to this sorry excuse for a film. If you notice all the reviews on here, you can tell the film is quite polarizing. Most are either 10's or 1's. The fans vs everyone else not possessed by magic.

Resist the dark magic. Times are tough and your hard earned cash better spent elsewhere that is more deserving. Take it from me, a duped Star Wars fan- all the red flags are there. This film, this road. I know where it leads. And it's not to the promised land. If fantastic beasts is what you seek then this film is not where to find them.
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One of the worst movies
inkeri-orvokki20 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I love Harry Potter and I enjoyed to watch every movie about this beautiful universe. But after watching this film, I felt violated. The only connection with the original HP was the opening title with the famous HP melody. The rest of the movie was a complete incomprehensible mess. Not only the plot was bad, but the whole acting of this amazing cast looked fake and unprofessional. I couldn't stand seeing frozen face of Eddie Redmayne for two hours, who never looked in the eyes of his companions during the talk and was always smiling. His crash, Katherine Waterston was a gray mice, can't remember much of her. Her sister (Alison Sudol) was beyond fake. Thanks god there was a funny muggle Dan Fogler who saved me from falling asleep. The appearance of Jonny Depp was quite ridiculous. Dude, go retire, please.

This movie contains too much of special effects, that was absolutely unnecessary and it didn't help at all. I can not understand why it has such a high rating and why there are so many people who loved it. Then again, Brexit and Donald Trump, what do you want from the mass...

I do not recommend it even for a home screening. Peace and love.
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As enchanting as the best 'Harry Potter' films, this beginning of a new chapter in J.K. Rowling's wizarding world is fun, edgy and ceaselessly fascinating
moviexclusive17 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
How do you make a 'Harry Potter' movie without Harry Potter? Before the last of the eight films of J.K. Rowling's staggeringly popular universe five years ago, that must have been the conundrum facing Warner Brothers executives as they stared at the end of the line of their most lucrative franchise. And yet thanks to Rowling herself as well as series stalwart David Yates, there is once again new life to be found in the world of witchcraft and wizardry that she had dreamt up in the seven books of the boy wonder. The inspiration is one of Harry's textbooks at Hogwarts, an essential text which served as a guide to magical animals written by one Newt Scamander. Rowling had written it into a companion piece in 2001, but as those who had read the 128- page book will tell you, there is a lot more that Rowling must have had to add to her first movie script even as an adaptation of that earlier book.

That explains why the film's narrative feels like two parallel story lines, both of which are set in the 1920s in New York City. The first (and the one more obviously drawn from her text) concerns the magizoologist and former Hogwarts student's (Eddie Redmayne) arrival with a suitcase of magical creatures in tow. He's here to do field work for the titular book that he's writing, but no thanks to a mix- up involving a klutzy working-class 'no-maj' (meaning 'muggle' or ordinary, non-magical human) named Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), some of the beasts Newt keeps hidden in his suitcase – which is really a magical device enclosing a massive nature preserve – have escaped. Together with two comely female wizards, the struggling investigator Porpentina Goldstein (Katherine Waterson) and her mind-reading sister Queenie (Alison Sudol), Newt and Jacob set out to chase down these creatures before they wreak more havoc on the city.

And yet their blithe adventure could not have taken place in a more complicated time – not only has the Magical Congress of the United States (or MACUSA in short) set out strict rules against the revelation of the existence of wizards and/or the wizarding world, its meticulously cautious Madam President (Carmen Ejojo) has outlawed the possession of all beasts. There is perhaps good reason though – the city is torn by a mysterious force purportedly to be that of an Obscurus, a dark and uncontrollable power manifested by wizards who have repressed (rather than being taught to control) their innate powers. Rounding out the second, and much darker, story is a missing dark wizard called Gellert Grindelward (Johnny Depp), which the opening prologue via numerous newspaper reels informs us has gone underground since his dark doings in Europe. It's no secret that Grindelward and by extension, Depp, whom we see only briefly at the end of the movie, will take up much of the acreage of the four other 'Fantastic Beasts' films that Yates and Rowling have planned.

Given how this needs to set the stage for the beginning of a new franchise, there is understandably yards of exposition and a lot of introductions to do within the just-over two hours it has. It also means that, aside from its city-shaking cataclysm of a climax, this is pretty much like an origin story, such that like the first 'Harry Potter' movie, one gets the distinct sense that it is holding back for bigger and hopefully even more intriguing things down the road.

Not to say that this first of a quintet isn't charming in and of itself; oh no, in fact, we are confident that Potter fans and newcomers alike will find much to love and beguile of the rich and fascinating fictional world that Rowling has created. Indeed, there is sheer delight in discovering the menagerie of creatures that Newt has hidden in his briefcase – among them a scene-stealing platypus with a penchant for stealing shiny things, a majestic avian which changes shape and size to fill any available space, and a tiny stick-like green insect that can pick locks. Before things get serious, the early scenes with Newt and his unlikely companions pop with escapist fun, not least when he and Jacob get caught in incriminating situations by law enforcement while pursuing their small, furry and oh-so-cute kleptomaniac around bank vaults and jewelry stores. It is also here that we get to savour more fully the effortlessly endearing Redmayne and Fogler, one quirkily adorable as the shy and slightly awkward boy-man and the other an unassuming bumbler whose wide-eyed wonder upon the world previously hidden from his eyes channels our very own.

Like how she did with Harry, Ron and Hermoine, Rowling gets a strong character dynamic going around the four cohorts, including a budding attraction between Newt and his Auror-turned-ally Tina as well as a gentle romance between Jacob and Queenie. It is these characters that anchor the busy plotting in the second hour with heartfelt emotion.

Even so, the beautifully ornate production design shines through every frame, whether a seedy underground jazz club with all manner of peculiar (if slightly grotesque) creatures to Manhattan's old City Hall subway station where the climax unfolds. The special effects are equally stellar, particularly the transition from our world to that inside the suitcase and a breathtaking scene where the Obscurus wrecks destruction across several of New York's skyscrapers before plunging into the City Hall station. And of course, the close-ups of the various beasts are just as visually stunning, some scary, some cuddly, some ethereal and some just downright goofy. Even without the appeal of adorable young children, 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' is pure enchantment, perfectly setting the stage for a whole new chapter of the wizarding world we've come to embrace through the 'Harry Potter' films. To call it fantastic may be slightly hyperbolic, but you'll be glad to know it doesn't fall too far short.
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What a waste
michaellalles6 May 2017
I am unhappy that I wasted 6 bucks to rent this. I did not even make it half way and was fighting to stay awake. I love the Happy Potter series - read all the books and say all the movies in theaters. I still rematch the movies when they are on TV. This is beyond disappointing. It has absolutely no redeeming factors - except perhaps that I did not waste even more money at the theater. I will never read or watch anything again by this author. This is trash.
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2 hours of waiting for something to happen
jebuconniii24 November 2016
I admit, I am not one of those folks who call themselves Harry Potter Fans. However thought I would give this one a try. thought it would be a perfect way for me and my family to spend a cold afternoon...

I felt this was was 2 hours of waiting for something to happen. I get there are usually slow starts with most trilogies as the characters and story line are provided to the audience. However for me felt the movie was extremely slow and sorry, seeing new magical beasts is not very exciting. They did that with avatar a decade ago. My boys ages 8 and 10 had trouble as well engaging in the movie. Both gave it a thumbs down when we were leaving.
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Ignore the positive reviews....this movie sucks....hard
Vinegaroon319 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
I will keep this brief....

No significant story to speak of...the film just drones on and on with the "gotta catch the creatures that escaped from the suitcase" crap. That is basically it.

Poor/inadequate character development. There are just "characters" in the movie....we know little to nothing about them or their motivations....and care little to nothing about what happens to any of them.

The essence of the film is "look at the weird and charming CGI creatures we created". I cannot believe that after all the years of CGI...the producers of this movie still believed that effects alone can make a movie....but apparently they do. The CGI is not new or refreshing in any way that I could see...just CGI.

I am sure this movie will get some audience in the first few days, just by tapping into the "Harry Potter" world. But it won't last. Word will get out, and the (currently ridiculously inflated) IMDb ratings will drop like a stone.

Take my word on this. This is a boring and bland failure of a movie. I slept through about a third of it, and those moments of unconsciousness were the best part.
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Don't fall for this trap!! It is nothing like the past Harry Potter movies and has a terrible terrible plot which is already shown in the trailer...
glangford-3484322 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
This is a straight-up trap and waste of special effects.

JK Rowing must be too lazy to think up a new good story so she just slapped the Harry Potter theme in a Harry Potter universe and filled it with special effects and no real story.

I'm serious a 10 year old could have written this story.

The only thing that sells the movie is JK Rowing and a huge special effects budget.

You will be disappointing if your movie maturity is older than 15 years old or you have a working thinking brain.

I'm a die hard fan of Harry Potter but this was just boring and crap.
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Charming and entertaining
bmehta0618 November 2016
JK Rowling will forever be known as one of the most genius humans to ever live. The fact that she can pen such a detailed and perfect magical world without Harry Potter and the beloved characters we have grown to love, it makes you feel like this world is actually real! This movie is very entertaining and and heartwarming. It's no longer a dark saga of an evil dark wizard trying to kill a young boy, it is an insight into a magical world that is so grand and amazing!

Despite taking place way before our known HP time, there are enough quick and witty references to our known HP world throughout the movie to make Potterheads smile. I went in with less than no expectations, and I was pleasantly surprised. And LOVED IT. And the best part of it all- I've always somewhat disliked the HP movies, because I'm a die-hard fan of the books. The movies never lived up to the books. For Fantastic Beasts, there are no books to compare it to, so there's no room to dislike! Can't wait for the next movies!
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Oops! What can I say?
somersetboy24 November 2016
I kept waiting to engage with either the characters or with one of the beasts. Such an engagement was not forthcoming. I like Eddie Redmayne, so it is nothing to do with him. So much emphasis on creating this alternate world that the basics of filmmaking appear to have been sacrificed. Never does anyone look into you, the screen, and speak. There is never any eye contact. You do not feel attached to Eddie's character. Even my children were squirming in the seats and looking around bored. They wanted food and said they were hungry. The movie therefore appears to fail both children and adults like me. My 12yo son who is a mega Harry Potter fan could not engage with the movie. "I like reading J K Rowling's books but I am not sure about this one" is what he said. What he means is that, after having watched the movie, it has put him off the book as well.

I got up to get food for the kids, they followed me and were more keen on ice creams and sweets rather than getting back to the screen to what happened next. So much for fantastic pointless beasts. If you liked Harry Potter then that is not a guarantee that you will like this one. That is for sure. If you liked The Lord of Rings and sat through the trilogy, then you may have what it takes to sit through this one. Perhaps looking at this as a movie nothing to do with Harry Potter might help. If your children do not get attached to the movie then don't be surprised.
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