I Was a Teenage Wizard

The dark, deft new Harry Potter film proves that even a save-the-world hero has growing pains

Warner Bros.

Child no more: Harry (Radcliffe) girds for his greatest challenge.

Like a fraternal twin on a planet with a slightly slower orbit, the fifth Harry Potter film arrives in theaters July 11, 10 days before J.K. Rowling's seventh and final Potter novel hits the bookstores. Readers will soon discover their young hero's destiny, but for now, in movies, Harry is still trying to figure out the scheme the evil Lord Voldemort has hatched and wondering if a teenage boy is up to thwarting it.

Another mystery--whether a new director (David Yates) and scriptwriter (Michael Goldenberg) can build on the intelligent urgency of the past two Potter films--is cleared up in the...