Fan-favorite Harry Potter film celebrates 15th anniversary

“Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire” transports its audience through an emotional and morally challenging adventure, receiving much praise from the saga’s fans ever since its release. According to a poll of students’ favorite Harry Potter movies, “Goblet of Fire” was the most selected answer. But why? What makes it stand out above the other installments in this fantastical franchise? 


On November 8, 2005, “Goblet of Fire” was released in theaters. The only Harry Potter movie directed by Mike Newell, “Goblet of Fire” follows Harry Potter—played by the multiskilled actor Daniel Radcliffe—back to Hogwarts, where Professor Dumbledore, the headmaster, introduces the Triwizard Tournament. Three magical schools choose three champions to compete against each other in three dangerous tasks, and once they are selected, another name appears out of the Goblet: Harry’s. Harry is forced to compete in this deadly tournament, facing dragons, battling mermaids underwater, and perhaps his most daunting challenge yet—finding a date to the school dance—all with the help of his eccentric new professor, Mad-Eye Moody, hilariously played by Brendan Gleeson. During this adventure, Harry’s friendships, adaptability, and perseverance are tested, carrying him through to the climax of the film—when he faces Lord Voldemort, the dark wizard who killed his parents, brilliantly played by Ralph Fiennes.


Using a much different tone than the cheerful and uplifting previous three installments, “Goblet of Fire” cleverly explores a much more grim style as Harry grows older, dealing with death, dark wizards, and emotional trauma. Though it was arguably the darkest of the Harry Potter films at the time, the comedic and heart-warming scenes between Harry, Ron, and their close friend Hermione Granger double as an emphasis to the audience that “happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times.” Between the dangerous tasks, one of the most memorable scenes in the film is when Harry must find a date to the Yule Ball. Though many viewers might dismiss it as an attempt at comedy, it really serves as a reminder that Harry is a teenage boy and only wants to live a normal life in the Wizarding World. “Goblet of Fire” earned the BAFTA Award for Best Production Design in 2006, displaying magical sets and completely immersing its audience into this magical world.

“Goblet of Fire” brilliantly brings the magic to the big screen, keeping its audience at the edge of their seats every step of the way. With fantastical sets, comedic one-liners, adventurous atmospheres, and action-packed fight scenes, “Goblet of Fire” does not disappoint and deserves a spot at the top of every Harry Potter fan’s list!