The Sorting Hat in 'Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'
Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

How many ‘Harry Potter’ movies are there?

Enter a world of witchcraft and wizardry.

From an overabundance of magical creatures, to dialogical spells and trances, to our most beloved childhood characters, the ever-expansive Harry Potter narrative is as acclaimed and praised as one franchise can possibly get — and rightfully so. 

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Without a doubt, both the Potter movies and the novels are delightfully magical, and for many of us, remind us of our childhood nostalgia on a daily basis — or whenever we decide to embark on a necessary rewatch, or a local network is showcasing an all-day marathon. Either way, partaking in a joyous rewatch certainly isn’t too difficult of an obstacle to overcome. Of course, the only true trick in the matter of it all is that there are a plethora of films involved in the widespread franchise, so it can be a bit troublesome at times to make sure you’re watching the series in the correct order, and that you’re watching all the movies without missing out on a single one.

So, before the fresh-faced Potter series arrives on Max in the near future and completely reinvigorates the franchise, let’s dive in and explore how many movies are in the Harry Potter lore, and in what order you should watch them.

All the Harry Potter movies, in order

As it stands, there are 8 movies in the main Harry Potter timeline of movies, with several Fantastic Beasts movies contributing to the lore.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them takes place far before the events of Harry Potter, and showcases the wizarding world in a very different light before the emergence of Voldemort. The film follows Newt Scamander as he tracks down magical creatures that have escaped from his collection.

Given its place in the grander Harry Potter timeline, Fantastic Beasts is the place that you’ll want to start when you’re experiencing the epic story in its entirety once again.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

In the second film of this prequel series, we’re introduced to a young Albus Dumbledore and the notorious evil sorcerer Gellert Grindelwald as he plans to raise an army of wizards to rule over non-wizarding folk around the world.

This movie sets the stage for a third film in this prequel series, as battle lines are drawn within the wizarding world, with our hero Newt stuck in the middle of it all.

Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

The newest addition to this watch order and the latest chapter in the Fantastic Beasts prequel story, The Secrets of Dumbledore not only continues to tell the story of Newt and his friends, but also reveals further insight into one of Harry Potter’s most important figures, Dumbledore.

Right now, it appears there are plans to follow this movie — however, at this stage, nothing has been announced. The good news is that The Secrets of Dumbledore isn’t a bad jumping-off point in your watch-through to enter the mainline Harry Potter films.

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Taking place many years after the prequels, The Sorcerer’s Stone is the first time we are introduced to a young Harry Potter as he comes of age to pursue a life of spell-casting at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

The unforgettable film perfectly kickstarted the world on the silver screen, and provided Potterheads with an exclusive glimpse into how the massive Wizarding World would unfold before our very eyes.

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

After settling in at Hogwarts, Harry starts to unearth some of the secrets of its past as he continues to deal with the threat of Voldemort, the wizard who killed both of his parents and left him with his iconic scar.

Considering the success of the first movie, it hardly comes as a surprise that by the time the second venture released, the franchise had already built an unwavering fanbase.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

The Prisoner of Azkaban gives viewers a look into some of Harry’s family’s long-time friends — and also exposes the followers of Voldemort, who have continued to follow Harry to this day.

A fair degree of Potterheads consider this one of the best films in the entire series, so if there were any movie not to skip, it’s definitely this third film in the series.

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

In the Goblet of Fire, Harry is forced into participating in a tournament of wizards despite being too young to do so. Following the events of this tournament, the dark lord himself comes to rise once again—all in line with the plans of his followers, who have been manipulating the events at Hogwarts.

Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix

As the dark lord has risen again, Harry looks to put together a team of wizards that can defend themselves against the evil threats rising in the wizarding world. This film gives audiences their best look at the politics and diplomacy among wizards and witches.

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

After coming face-to-face with Voldermort himself, both Harry Potter and Albus Dumbledore look to prepare for the war that is on the horizon. In this film, we get a better look into the past of Harry’s parents as sacrifices must be made.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

The first part of the final act. In this film, war breaks out between factions of the Wizarding World. The film continues to serve as the penultimate battle between Harry Potter and Voldemort, with a variety of other characters caught in the middle, all of whom were desperate to either defend Hogwarts, or to destroy it.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2

The final installment to date in the Harry Potter series, The Deathly Hallows part 2 concludes the battle between the Wizarding World, and the long-running rivalry between Harry and Voldemort. 


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Taylor Mansfield
Fascinated by the art of journalism, Taylor Mansfield has been writing for over 10 years. In the present day, she lends her expertise as a Staff Writer / Editor for WGTC, tackling a broad range of topics such as movies, television, celebrity news, and of course… *anything* horror! Because wherever there is horror — Taylor isn't far behind. She has previously contributed to entertainment sites such as GamersDecide, MovieWeb, and The Nerd Stash.
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Assigning Editor for We Got This Covered, avid moviegoer and Marvel enjoyer.