Movie Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (***SPOILERS***)

by - December 04, 2016

Here's my review of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them in a nutshell: if you are a fan of Harry Potter, you need to see this movie. If you haven't seen it yet but plan on it, read no further than this paragraph or risk having the movie spoiled for you. You have been warned.

Here's the general plot line -- Newt Skamander (Eddie Redmayne) travels to the US from England to release a griffin back into the wilds of Arizona. He's traveling with a magical suitcase filled with magical creatures including a niffler. Some of those creatures escape in New York when Newt accidentally swaps suitcases with a muggle, or no-maj as Americans refer to non-magical people, aspiring baker Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler). Newt and Jacob, along with disgraced auror Tina (Katherine Waterston) and her sister Queenie (Alison Sudol) then find themselves in an adventure that's much bigger than recovering escaped magical creatures and keeping the magical world hidden.

The crux of the movie revolves around an American auror named Graves (Colin Farrell) and his secret search for an obscurus, a child that has suppressed his/her magical powers so that they manifest in an uncontrollable form. Graves has enlisted the help of a young man named Credence to help him find this obscurus, wrongly believing it to be one of Credence's adopted sisters. When Credence fails to deliver, Graves essentially tells the boy he's useless, prompting Credence to reveal that he is the obscurus and in the process expose magic to the entire city.

In the end, aurors destroy Credence, and Graves' true identity is revealed - Grindelwald, the evil wizard (Johnny Depp) - setting the scene for a sequel, which will be released in 2018.

Fantastic Beasts is the best movie I've seen all year, and, in my opinion at least, it was better than the Harry Potter movies, and I don't say that lightly but rather as an adult who now has a grown-up version of the magical world that's been a beloved part of my formative years. And just in case you weren't sure, I can't wait for Fantastic Beasts 2.

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