Story

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 begins where Part 1 ended. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) are searching for the remaining three Horcruxes (objects that contain a part of Voldemort’s soul). With the help of the goblin Griphook (Warwick Davis), the friends enter Gringotts Bank, where they steal a cup that originally belonged to Helga Hufflepuff, one of Hogwarts’ founders. Harry also learns that a tiara belonging to Rowena Ravenclaw and Voldemort’s pet snake, Nagini, are the remaining two Horcruxes.

At Hogsmeade, Harry is befriended by Dumbledore’s brother, Aberforth (Ciaran Hinds), who helps the friends get into Hogwarts Castle. After a confrontation with Professor Snape (Alan Rickman), Harry starts searching the castle for Ravenclaw’s tiara, assisted by the students of Hogwarts. But Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) gives the students and teachers of Hogwarts an ultimatum – give up Harry or suffer the consequences. He gives them one hour to hand over Harry, which also leaves Harry only one hour to find and destroy the tiara. At the same time, Professor McGonagall (Maggie Smith) and the remaining Hogwarts teachers create magic barriers around the castle to fend off Voldemort’s army of Death Eaters.

Eventually the barriers fail, and the Death Eaters attack the castle. But Ron and Hermione destroy Hufflepuff’s cup and then locate Ravenclaw’s tiara. Despite being attacked by Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton), they destroy it. The search for the final Horcrux leads to a showdown with Voldemort and some important discoveries for Harry.

The Australian Classification Board has issued a media release highlighting the M classification of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2.

Themes

The supernatural; self-sacrifice; death; loss of a loved one; immortality

Violence

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 contains intense action violence, battle scenes, killing, death and dead bodies, blood and gore, and emotional trauma. For example:

  • Throughout the movie, there are images of Hogwarts students with bruised and swollen faces. These are the result of punishments inflicted by Hogwarts teachers.
  • A dragon causes chaos when it escapes from a dungeon, destroying buildings and setting fires. Fire from the dragon’s mouth engulfs a goblin.
  • A brief image of the foyer of Gringotts Bank shows many dead, blood-smeared goblins.
  • Harry and another wizard discuss the death of Dumbledore’s sister, accusing Dumbledore of being responsible for her death.
  • Snape threatens students in a sinister way, saying that they will be ‘severely punished’ if they’re found helping Harry.
  • Harry tells a hall full of Hogwarts students and teachers that he saw Professor Snape murder Dumbledore. Snape fires a bolt of energy at Harry but it’s deflected by a second teacher who stands in front of Harry to protect him.
  • Students hold their hands over their ears in horror and distress as they hear Voldemort’s voice inside their heads. The voice demands that they hand over Harry Potter. If they don’t, Voldemort will kill them.
  • An army of Death Eaters stands on a cliff overlooking Hogwarts Castle. They scream wildly and charge at the Castle. When they reach a certain point, they start to disintegrate and vanish. The Death Eaters fire bolts of energy at a protective energy dome covering sections of the Castle. They set it on fire, and large pieces of stone also start falling to the ground.
  • Giants attack Hogwarts Castle with spiked maces. They use the maces to smash stone statues.
  • Some older Hogwarts students run away from a magical firestorm and climb up a series of high bookcases. Fire licks at their heels. One student falls to his death into the fire.
  • After one of Voldemort’s Horcruxes is destroyed, Voldemort clutches at his chest as though in pain. When one of his followers shows concern, Voldemort kills the man with a curse.
  • The final epic battle between Hogwarts students and teachers and Voldemort’s Death Eaters shows the Castle on fire and in ruins. There’s a battle between giants and other magical creatures, bolts of lighting are fired in all directions, and giant spiders and vampires attack the Castle.
  • A man with blood on his mouth leans over the body of a young girl with blood on her neck.
  • After the battle, the grounds of Hogwarts Castle look like a battlefield. Rubble is scattered all over the ground, which is also covered with patches of blood and bloody bodies. People splattered and smeared with blood are having their wounds bandaged. People kneel over the dead bodies, crying and distressed. Two uncovered dead bodies lie on stretchers.
  • Flashback scenes show Voldemort killing Harry’s mother. The scenes also show a small baby distressed and crying.
  • Professor Dumbledore tells Professor Snape that Harry must die and that Voldemort must be the one to kill him.
  • A flashback image shows a distraught Professor Snape crying as he holds Lily Potter’s dead body in his arms.
  • Hagrid is held back by ropes binding his chest and arms.
  • Voldemort faces off with Harry. Voldemort wildly shouts a death curse, and a beam of green energy shoots towards Harry. A subsequent scene shows Harry lying motionless on the ground and a woman saying that he’s dead.
  • Voldemort fires a bolt of energy from his wand at a Hogwarts student. The student is flung backwards and knocked unconscious to the ground.
  • During a wand fight, two women fire bolts of energy towards each other. Eventually one of the women is hit. She takes on a petrified appearance and then turns to ash.
  • A giant snake leaps at a young man. The man cuts off the snake’s head with a sword, and the snake’s body disintegrates.
  • In the final fight between Voldemort and Harry, Voldemort’s face and body slowly disintegrate. His face and eyes turn to stone, and his flesh turns to ash and lifts from his body in flakes. Harry’s face is blackened, covered in ash and smeared with blood.

Content that might disturb children

Under 8

In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under eight. For example:

  • Floating ghost-like figures called Dementors float through the air dressed in long, swirling, black robes.
  • The goblins are small with long pointy noises and ears and sharp teeth.
  • An albino dragon is chained up. The chains have left bloody cuts around its neck.
  • Voldemort is a menacing character with pale skin, a bald head with vein-like marks running across it, and a face that looks like a snake. He has no nose and black eyes.
  • Voldemort’s companion is a scary snake with a mouth full of sharp fangs.
  • Giant stone statues that look like armoured medieval knights come to life.
  • When Hermione and Ron destroy one of Voldemort’s Horcruxes, a large pool of water rises up. It turns into Voldemort’s face and chases them.
  • The Death Eaters are swirling black vapours.
  • The giants are brutish creatures with bones sticking through their lips and faces.
  • There are small flying creatures that look like evil fairies with scary faces.
  • Vampires and giant spiders attack Hogwarts.
  • There’s an image of Voldemort as a blood-covered foetal form with evil adult characteristics. This figure lies under a table. We hear that this figure is dying and that nothing can be done for it.
  • While in a treasure vault, Harry, Ron and Hermione are nearly buried alive when the treasure in the vault begins to multiply and fill the vault.

From 8-13

Children in this age group are also likely to be disturbed by some of the scenes mentioned above.

Over 13

Some younger children in this age group might also be disturbed by some of the scenes mentioned above.

Sexual references

None of concern

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

This movie has some use of substances. For example, Harry, Ron and Hermione drink butter beer.

Nudity and sexual activity

This movie has some sexual activity, including a brief but passionate kiss between Ron and Hermione.

Product placement

None of concern

Coarse language

This movie has some coarse language and put-downs.

Ideas to discuss with your children

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 is a fantasy adventure suited to an adolescent audience. You should note that this movie is very dark. A feeling of menace runs right through it, and it has many images that could scare or disturb younger children. The movie is also long, and its plot is rather confusing.

You should note that the Australian Classification Board has issued a media release highlighting the M classification of this movie. The media release reminds consumers that movies classified M aren’t recommended for people under 15 years of age although there are no legal restrictions on access.

The main message from this movie is that you must fight against evil, regardless of the personal cost or sacrifice.

Values in this movie that you might want to reinforce with your children include the following:

  • Selflessness and self-sacrifice: many of the movie’s main characters are willing to sacrifice body and soul to protect others and fight against evil.
  • Courage: Harry and many of his friends repeatedly show courage by standing up against evil and refusing to give in to Voldemort’s demands.

You could also talk about the way that Harry and his friends fight against prejudice and discrimination. You could discuss how the issues of prejudice in the Harry Potter movies and books are like situations in the real world.

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