At least as good as Azkaban, perhaps better depending on what you like. Me, I like dark wizardry and Tom Riddle, walking the line with Snape, and Dumbledore Gandalfing it up. This one was finally restrained in all the right ways; for once the music was minimal enough that I could hear sound from adjacent theaters, and the frenetic “action” actually stopped for, you know, scenes. Where people act.
Jim Broadbent acts the SHIT out of this movie and is the unsung backbone of the whole thing. Dan Radcliffe’s come a long way, too, and in the sequence where he’s high on Felix he’s actually FUN for a while instead of being a dour little messiah. Sorry to say Emma Watson’s still a weak link; better, but never quite properly cast to my mind.
A lot was still glossed over from the book, but here the movie hung together instead of seeming like a hasty montage. One scene sticks out like a sore thumb and I hear it was added; bad move. The climax of the most harrowing scene also proves once again that CGI zombies don’t cut it.