Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts Movie Review: Apparently, A Trip Back To Hogwarts Was Just What I Needed

Return to Hogwarts Stars Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint

Review: As far as reunion specials go, Return to Hogwarts is a fun and insightful trip for longtime fans of the film series. It’s a robust journey through each movie and the crew that went into making each one.

Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts 2022 Anniversary movie review
Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts Anniversary on Max

These TV show and movie reunions are kind of hard to judge solely on quality and execution. They’re the most obvious form of fan service and nostalgia and they’re the lowest hanging fruit for studios to draw eyes to their platforms, so when I saw the announcement for a Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts reunion show, I wouldn’t say I was angry, but I wasn’t expecting it to be a series-altering event either.

What the production team did admirably with Return to Hogwarts is find a soft middle ground between hanging out with the cast and actually learning about behind the scenes information. Most of the main cast is here, so seeing each one of them get their own sections to detail what it was like living inside this world was insightful and interesting to longtime fans of the franchise.

Perhaps the most successful part about this reunion is the connection between Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and Rupert Grint. What started as strangers meeting during casting calls turned out to be friendships that will never miss a beat. It’s actually pretty refreshing to see these three as themselves interacting with each other instead of Harry, Hermione and Ron. Rupert Grint is particularly a standout in the reunion as he delves into embodying Ron Weasley and how that completely changed his acting career and his life in general – how the pressure mounted for each movie to deliver on their source material.

New Movie Reviews from Cinephile Corner

At times, the reunion could’ve done even more digging into the lives of those involved with the series. When it works best, the reunion is dropping small tidbits about the “friendship” between Emma Watson and Tom Felton, how the cast dealt with their ever-growing fame, that dance scene between Ron and Professor McGonagall, etc. It really shines in the small moments that fans weren’t aware of during the making of the show. Tom Felton (Draco Malfoy) is a particular standout here. Every moment he has is gold.

Unfortunately, the other noteworthy flaw is that Return to Hogwarts vastly overstays its welcome. As feature-length films trend further and further into the two-hour realm, reunion specials should try to stick as close to the one hour mark as possible. It felt like much of the same after that point.

Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts was a surprisingly delightful version of a type of content I don’t necessarily find appealing. It was heartfelt, funny, insightful and real. It had its flaws, but it largely overcomes them and works.

Rating

Genre: Documentary

Watch Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts on Max

Join our newsletter

Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts (2022) Film Cast and Credits

Harry Potter Anniversary HBO Max Movie Poster Review Reunion

Cast

Daniel Radcliffe as Self

Rupert Grint as Self

Emma Watson as Self

Bonnie Wright as Self

Tom Felton as Self

Ralph Fiennes as Self

Robbie Coltrane as Self

Crew

Directors: Eran Creevy, Giorgio Testi, Joe Pearlman, Casey Patterson

Composer: Charlie Mole

Reviews for Movies like Harry Potter: Return to Hogwarts (2022)