For 10 years and eight films we've gotten to watch these young actors grow as people, as performers and as characters. It has been a true coming-of-age saga, in the fullest and most moving sense of the term.
The grand finish, if not always inspired, feels necessary. In a sustained, imaginative way, this is the best of any movie series.
Fiennes and Rickman get the actorly moments they've been building toward for so long, and the film is most fun when it sticks to mechanics: roller coaster rides, battle scenes, close calls.
In the 10 years since Harry's first big- screen close-up, the spell has never been broken. And we Muggles have been made better for the magic.
It's a pleasant irony that, just as the first installments of Rowling's oeuvre were better suited to page than screen, the final installments have reversed the relationship.
When the movie was over, a young boy sitting behind me said, "That was great!" He was satisfied, and rightly so.
This is the way The Harry Potter saga was meant to end.
Fasten your seat belts. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2is an emotional roller-coaster ride.
The best possible end for the series that began a decade ago.