By Jonathan Decker (Family therapist, film critic)
Harry, Ron, and Hermoine go on the run from Voldemort’s forces as they fight to make the Dark Lord mortal again so he can be defeated. If the night is darkest just before the dawn, then this film respresents that moment. Significantly scarier and mature than any film that preceded it, Deathly Hallows Part One is permeated by despair and punctuated by terror, but sustained by moments of loyalty, courage, and love between friends. Every single performance is excellent, and though the film glosses over a couple of important plot points and thus may lose audience members on some minor details, the overall objective is clear. The most visually creative Potter film since Prisoner of Azkaban. GRADE: A-
CONTENT OVERVIEW: Hermoine is threatened and tortured; we don’t see what happens to her, but we hear her screaming as “mudblood” is carved into her arm. Ron suffers an somewhat bloody injury on his arm and chest. A supporting character dies after he’s struck in the chest with a knife. An evil, ghostly vision seeks to inspire jealousy by showing two uninvolved characters kissing (it didn’t actually happen) with implied, but not shown, nudity.
MESSAGES TO DISCUSS: We must remain steadfast even in moments of greatest opposition. Forgiveness keeps friendships alive. We can face even death with peace of mind if we've lived well and have loved others.
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Jonathan Decker is the clinical director of Your Family Expert. He is a licensed marriage and family therapist, husband, and father of five. Jonathan earned a masters degree in family therapy from Auburn University as well as a bachelor's degree in clinical psychology from Brigham Young University. He is an actor, author, and television personality.