I'm not the best at reviewing movies, and this one is particularly difficult to review, but I'm going to give it my best shot anyway.
To state the obvious, I loved it. It is one of the best movies I've seen, and among the top 5 best book adaptations (right up there with all the Lord of the Rings movies). The acting, the effects, the... everything! It was an amazing movie! I can't wait until I have a chance to see it again.
It was exciting! I was on the edge of my seat almost the whole time (actually, the seats at my theater are too close together to ever sit of the edge, at least if you have legs, so I was really more sitting up really straight and trying not to blink so I wouldn't miss anything). The action was very satisfying and abundant, something I like in both movies and books.
It's been a long time since I've read the book (fun fact: I read the first half of Deathly Hallows the night I got it, which was the midnight release, but didn't read the other half until about 6 months later, so my book and movie experiences were very similar), so obviously I forgot some of the stuff that happened. But my sister just re-read it, and we both agreed that it was very accurate to the book. There were a few small changes, but I think overall that they were for the best. Everything came together really well on screen.
I'm not really one to usually notice things like cinematography, but I really wanted to review this, so I tried to pay attention to it this time around (and all for my readers. Don't you feel special?). It was excellent. One of my favorite shots was (**I don't think this is a real spoiler, as long as you've read the book**) when they jumped off the dragon into the lake. I just loved that shot! It looked really cool! Another thing I really liked (and this is also a comment on the Half-Blood Prince... or was it Order of the Phoenix?) was the inky effect they used with the pensieve. It was so cool looking!
This was a slightly stressful movie. There were a lot of times where I knew what would happen, knew it was going to be dangerous for the characters, and I kind of held my breath through the scene. When they got past whatever obstacle they were facing, I'd relax a little and think 'okay, that's done', then go back to being all tense while they faced the next obstacle.
With that in mind, I'm really glad they included a little humor in the movie. It was a welcome relief with all the danger and people dying and seemingly impossible tasks. It lightened the mood a bit, but never too much. The tone was always appropriate for what was going on.
I can't review this movie without talking about the actors. They did a fantastic job! Definitely the best performance, on all parts, and they gave some pretty good performances in previous movies. But it wasn't just the actors that made this a spectacular film. The entire cast and crew contributed to the awesomeness of the movie, and they definitely earned the applause at the end (even if they weren't there to hear it).
Favorite Scenes (might contain spoilers, but if you've read the book you already know what will happen, and I'm not going to give any details anyway. I wouldn't want to ruin the movie for you.)
Molly Weasley vs. Bellatrix Lestrange (I cheered, along with everyone else in the theater).
The battle of Hogwarts.
Breaking into (and out of) the Lestrange vault.
Fiendfyre in the Room of Requirement.
And... I can't think of any others at the moment, though that's probably for the best since I might be on the verge of spoiling something.
The... Okay, there's no bad, but this bothered me slightly, though it doesn't really have anything to do with the quality of the movie, it's just me.
I wasn't as broken up as I thought I would be, which really disappointed me. I mean, it's the End of an Era, the very last in a series unlike any other. It's the only series all my sisters like, it's a series I read and watched all through my teen years. And yet, I didn't cry. I was fully expecting to, I even brought a pack of tissues for the should-have-been-inevitable water works. But they never came.
Yeah, I teared up a bit when some of the characters died, and that alone is rare for me. But I didn't actually cry. I cried when Avatar: The Last Airbender ended, but for some reason the end of Harry Potter didn't have the same effect. It's baffling.
Did this ruin the movie for me? Not by a long shot. It's just disappointing, but I'll live, and I will see the movie again... and again, and again. It was an amazing movie that did an excellent job of portraying an amazing book.
If you haven't read or watched Harry Potter, or are a fan of the books but avoided the movies out of fear that they wouldn't live up to the books, I suggest you go watch the whole series, just so you can see this fantastic finale. You won't regret it.