In Half-Blood Prince, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) are best pals. Harry's biggest challenge in the school is a secret assignment by Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore (Michael Gambon). Harry suspects that new dangers may lie within the castle, but Dumbledore is more intent upon preparing him for the final battle with Lord Voldemort (who surprisingly doesn't appear in the entire movie). Dumbledore needs Harry to help him uncover a vital key to unlocking Voldemort's defences critical information known only to Hogwarts' former Potions Professor, Horace Slughorn (Jim Broadbent).
With that in mind, Dumbledore manipulates his old colleague Professor Slughorn into returning to his previous post with promises of more money and the chance to teach Harry. Meanwhile, the students are under attack from a very different adversary as adolescent hormones rage across the ramparts. Harry's long friendship with Ginny Weasley (Bonnie Wright) is growing into something deeper, but standing in the way is Ginny's boyfriend and her big brother Ron.
But Ron's has his won romantic entanglements with Lavender Brown (Jessie Cave) lavishing her affections on him. This leaves leaving Hermione simmering with jealousy yet determined not to show her feelings. And then a box of love potion-laced chocolates ends up in the wrong hands and changes everything. As romance blossoms, one student remains aloof with far more important matters on his mind. He is determined to make his mark, albeit a dark one. Love is in the air, but tragedy lies ahead and Hogwarts may never be the same again.
The movie acts as a great platform for the Radcliffe, Watson and Grint to display their maturing acting skills and they do not disappoint the audience. Whether their acting careers flourish after "Harry Potter" or not, they will leave behind one of the most successful series of films man has ever seen. Michael Gambon Jim Broadben and Bonnie Wright play their roles well in the movie.
The movie drags a bit toward the end but screenwriter Steve Kloves generally keeps the plot rolling. He also adds a new scenes such as the opening attack on London's Millennium Bridge. At 153 minutes the movie seems a shade longer perhaps a 10 minute editing would have made it look better. Harry Potter has always set high standards when it has come visual-effects and Half Blood Price in no exception in this regard.
David Yates who took over the job of helming with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix directs Half Blood Prince in his deepening confidence and comfort. He has lived up to the high standards set by Chris Columbus, Alfonso Cuaron and Mike Newell in the first four movies. Yates remarkable controls the action sequences well and gives his stars much needed breathing space between the action sequences.
In Half-Blood Prince Yates stays true to the JK Rowling's although he infuses a certain amount of freshness and energy that makes it seem like a new stuff rather than the screen adoption of a novel. Yates will also helm the the two-part adaptation of the seventh and final book Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows but with Half Blood Prince he has set a grand finale. It is a must watch for all the Harry Potter fans and even for those who have missed the previous five editions.