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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets | 2002 | PG | - 1.4.3

The second installment in the Harry Potter saga finds the young wizard (Daniel Radcliffe) and his friends Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) facing new challenges during their second year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Their greatest challenge comes when they discover a dark force that is terrorizing the school. Also with Kenneth Branagh, Richard Harris, Robbie Coltrane, Alan Rickman, Fiona Shaw, Maggie Smith, John Cleese and Rupert Grint. [2:41]

SEX/NUDITY 1 - A boy and girl hug. Women and girls swoon over a famous man in a few scenes.


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VIOLENCE/GORE 4 - A boy fights a huge snake with a sword: he slashes at the snake and stabs it through the mouth and the head (we see the bloody sword), and the snake bites the boy's arm (we see the boy pull out a bloody tooth) and the snake collapses to the ground. A huge snake slithers out of the mouth of a large stone bust and chases a boy, the boy trips, the snake attempts to snap at him but it is attacked by a bird who pokes its eyes out (we see the bloody sockets), yet it continues to chase the boy by following his sounds and it comes very close to him -- we see the snake's large pointed teeth, and slime in its mouth. Two boys follow a procession of spiders into a dark forest (as they follow more spiders join them). An enormous talking spider threatens two boys and orders swarms of spiders of various sizes to go after them. We see several messages written in blood on walls, and there are conversations about death and doom: We hear that a girl has been taken into a chamber with a creature (a "baselisk") and read in a message written in blood that "her skeleton will lie in the chamber forever"; a girl lies unconscious in a room filled with large stone statues and we are told that she is in a trance and dying; a man says of boys that they will die from the anguish of the "sight of her mangled body" and threatens them with a wand; and, a cat hangs from a wall and we hear that it is not dead, but petrified. We hear an eerie voice calling to a boy and saying something like "I smell blood...Let me kill you." A boy is attacked by a spider as he and another boy try to escape in an enchanted car (a spell knocks the spider off the boy), and the spiders continue to jump on the car and try to get at the boys as they speed away. A boy finds a ghost hanging by the neck, and a ghost tips his head and we see it separate from his neck and hear a squishing sound. A ghosts wails, cries and moans, we hear how she died and she flies into a toilet sending water spraying out. Several children are found petrified after a spell, a student is petrified and lying on the floor, a boy finds another student petrified and is shown yet another one lying on a bed. A Quidditch match has people flying fast and recklessly on broom sticks: one boy is chased by a bludger (a large ball) through the air and the bleachers and the ball crashes and splinters beams, nearly hits two boys and hits one boy's arm, breaking it. Two boys race to catch the winged ball in a Quidditch match, and one boy punches and shoves the other boy a few times. One boy loses control of his broom and crashes to the ground, another boy crashes to the ground and a large ball comes down fast at him twice, nearly hitting him. A rock wall collapses endangering two boys and a boy hits a man on the head with a stone knocking him out. Two boys and a girl drink a potion that will make them look like someone else: one boy and the girl run to a bathroom to vomit, and the other boy watches in a mirror as his skin bubbles up and he is transformed (we later see that the other boy was transformed too, but the girl was turned into a cat with a fuzzy face and yellow eyes). A boy finds himself in a room with grisly items: creatures in liquid in jars, skeletons, skulls, and a dismembered, decaying hand that grabs his hand when he touches it. We see a body covered with a sheet being carried on a stretcher (an arm dangles out from under the sheet). A boy rushes into an alley where he is surrounded by menacing-looking people. Little blue pixies are loosed from a cage and wreak havoc on a room full of students: one is lifted into the air by the ears and hung by the collar from a chandelier and a large dinosaur skeleton is dropped to the floor. Two boys duel with their wands: one boy is thrown back through the air, twirls and lands hard on the ground, then the other is thrown back, then a snake is materialized and slithers toward one boy, then it turns toward a boy in the audience. Two men also duel with their wands: one man is thrown through the air and lands hard on the ground. A wand backfires causing a man to be thrown into a rock wall and the spell erases his memory. Two boys threaten a man with their wands as he threatens them. A man threatens another man and does a spell causing a large spider to come out of a box. Two boys go through a chute that dumps them on bone and skeleton-covered ground. A man kicks an elf down stairs and hits him with a stick. A man threatens to kill a boy and accuses him of killing his cat. A boy tries to do a spell ("eat slugs") on another boy but it backfires and he ends up spitting out many slimy slugs one-by-one and looking quite ill. An elf abuses himself by knocking his head on a dresser repeatedly, hitting himself on the head with a lamp, ironing his hands (we see the bloody hands covered with bandages). Relatives speak abusively to a boy and treat him abusively: his uncle attaches metal bars to his bedroom window and threatens him. Children rush with carts full of luggage toward a brick column and disappear through it, but two boys try to do the same and they crash into the wall and fall to the ground. An elf zaps a man with a bolt of energy and the man is thrown through the air landing hard on the floor. A snake is hit with a spell and it disintegrates, and a bird bursts into flames and turns to dust and a few minutes later a baby bird rises from the dust (he's a phoenix). Children pull plants out of pots, we see the roots that look like tiny old men and hear the creatures screaming (it has been discussed that these screams can kill people), a boy puts his finger in the mouth of his plant and it bites him, and another boy faints. A man talks about collecting flesh-eating grubs. People go one by one into a fireplace where they throw down some dust that transports them to another location instantly: when the dust hits the ground it bursts into green flames and engulfs the traveler. Two boys in an enchanted car lose control and crash into a tree that becomes animated and begins to pound on the car with its very large limbs, the car falls to a lower part of the tree and is pounded on some more, then the car falls to the ground and the tree pounds hard on the ground just missing the car and the boys. An enchanted car with two boys inside flies onto railroad tracks, a train barrels down on them, they fly off, and one boy falls out of his door and dangles until the other boy pulls him back in. An enchanted car piloted by a boy flies up to a window, pulls the bars off and a boy jumps out the window and into the car; a man from inside the house grabs the boy's foot, dangles and falls down into shrubbery below. In a few scenes, spiders crawl in a line through rooms, and out windows. An enormous shed snake skin is discovered in an underground cave. A man opens his door holding a loaded crossbow. A man tries to fix a boy's broken arm, but instead his arm turns to rubber (no bones); the arm sloshes and wiggles around and we hear that the boy will have to undergo treatment to re-grow the bones and that it will be painful. An owl crashes on a table (it is unharmed). A boy tries to turn his rat into a water goblet but he ends up with a furry goblet with a tail. Two boys eat cupcakes that contain a sleeping draft and they fall asleep landing on the floor. An elf makes a cake levitate over a woman's head and then drops it on her. We see staircases that shift, portraits that hang on the walls are animated, and ghosts fly through the rooms and communicate with people. A man two boys and a girl are flown out of a cave by a large bird. Tear drops fall onto a bloody wound on a boy's arm and it heals instantly, a boy stabs a book with a sword and ink oozes from its pages, a man disintegrates and bursts into tiny particles, and a boy speaks in "snake tongue" with hisses and low tones.


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LANGUAGE 3 - 8 mild obscenities, and insults.


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DISCUSSION TOPICS - Racism (wizards vs. "Muggles"), wizardry, fear, celebrity, fame vs. ability, wealth vs. merit, hidden chambers, monsters, enslavement, loyalty.

MESSAGE - The difficult choices we make show who we really are.

CAVEATS

Be aware that while we do our best to avoid spoilers it is impossible to disguise all details and some may reveal crucial plot elements.

We've gone through several editorial changes since we started covering films in 1992 and older reviews are not as complete & accurate as recent ones; we plan to revisit and correct older reviews as resources and time permits.

Our ratings and reviews are based on the theatrically-released versions of films; on video there are often Unrated, Special, Director's Cut or Extended versions, (usually accurately labelled but sometimes mislabeled) released that contain additional content, which we did not review.


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