Some came in costume for the final Harry Potter movie; many left in tears. Photo by Jessica Baum

The finale of the 10-year journey with Harry Potter went out with a bang at Century Theaters. At midnight on July 15, all 18 theaters were in use and filled with fans ready to see the end of the series that had caught the hearts of millions. Some patrons had even dressed up in costumes and had been waiting in line since 7:30 p.m. Everyone came to see what trailers had pronounced the “epic finale,” and this film did not disappoint.

The eighth Harry Potter film, based on the second half of the seventh book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,” follows Harry and his two best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, as they hunt for the last of the horcruxes. Lord Voldemort, the series antagonist, has embedded pieces of his soul into these objects. The trio seeks to destroy these objects so Harry can have a fighting chance of defeating Voldemort and saving the Wizarding World once and for all. Their hunt takes them to Hogwarts, the Wizarding School where most of the series takes place. It is there the final battle, between Harry, with his supporters, and Voldemort, with his minions, takes place.

 Book junkies be warned, this movie does not follow the book exactly. Some changes have been made, including a longer battle scene, but this only adds to the excitement of the film. Everywhere Harry and his friends turn, witches, wizards, and magical creatures fight in ways only made possible by enchanting special effects. Also, as is the case with previous Harry Potter films directed by David Yates (films 5, 6, 7), moments of humor break the tension as the series climax approaches.

 Though this film had few flaws, one scene definitely did not work. *SPOILER ALERT* Toward the end of the film, as in the book, Harry ends up in a sort of limbo between life and death, where he has a conversation with his dead mentor, Dumbledore. This scene is filled with awkward and disjointed dialogue and did not translate well to the screen. The glowing white background only makes the scene seem all the more disjointed but it is a small disappointment in an otherwise wholly satisfying film. *END SPOILER*

 Though there were many standouts in this movie, Alan Rickman, who plays Harry’s nemesis and teacher Severus Snape, displays his superb acting abilities in ways he did not have the opportunity to in previous movies. Mr. Rickman’s character is given the chance to shine, and the results are stunning.

 This movie is a finale that will not fail to satisfy. The few missteps are few and far between. The movie is fast-paced, and the viewer will laugh and cry and laugh again in a matter of two short hours.

 After the midnight showing ended, hundreds of people poured out of Century Theaters, many in tears. The Harry Potter era is now over, a better ending could not be imagined.