Just got back from an early afternoon viewing of the third Harry Potter film and find myself agreeing with the critics that it is a much better film than the first two, which felt more like cliff note versions of the books with more emphasis on recreating events than taking care to show the relationships between the characters. The second movie in particular always seemed off to me in that it was about a boy learning to use magic in a film that really seemed to contain little magic of its own.
I do want to mention that I liked the fact that the actor playing Nevil Longbottom has lost most of his weight and has become something of a tall, lanky teenager, which has the unintended effect of making him better suited for the more pro-active role his character will take in later books.
I also am thankful for the deemphasis on Quidditch, Harrys involvement in by the third book had worn thin on me.
The very subtle hints to the growing relationship between Hermione and Ron, which went beyond the obvious hand grabbing scene to the way they stood around each other in other scenes was also welcome, as it puts more character development and relationship into the series.
Overall, definitely worth the admission price.