Take 2: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Things are better now, in the hands of a director with a little more vision. This film is as long as the others, but every scene drives the narrative forwards, so it never gets tiresome.
The actual dialogue is flimsy but Cuarón works with what he’s got and makes something that takes you on a real journey. It’s not afraid to get scary, but he never loses sight of the Hogwarts magic.
Harry Potter is the dullest protagonist ever to spawn a franchise, but at least the films do what they can to distract you from this. A worthy effort that gives me hope for the next one.