This production is also especially good at expertly building tension around situations (like the long-awaited Potter-Voldemort showdown) that anyone who knows the books knows the outcome of. Another satisfaction, and the key to creating emotion, is the kind of strong acting that the end of a story often calls forth. Though many do well (including an especially effective John Hurt as wand maker Ollivander), it is Alan Rickman as the elusive Severus Snape who, as always, makes the most lasting impression.
Yet when Dumbledore (Michael Gambon) speaks from beyond the grave near the film's end and says "words are our most inexhaustible source of magic," it is Potter creator J.K. Rowling who comes immediately to mind. First and foremost, it is her we have to be grateful to for all these pleasures, and finally, satisfyingly, we most definitely are.
'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2'
MPAA rating: PG-13 for some sequences of intense action violence and frightening images
Running time: 2 hours, 5 minutes
Playing: In general release