We got hold of the DVD a year or two ago, and it's been watched by some friends, but it's only recently that we decided to watch the entire series - gradually - at home. We actually took two evenings over this one, separated by nearly a week; it's a long film (two and a half hours) and despite being a children's book for which I knew the plot well, I found it a bit tense in places.
The plot of this first Harry Potter story is well-known. Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), adopted as a baby by his rather unpleasant aunt and uncle, is treated like a servant by them, and bullied by his ghastly cousin Dudley. They do all they can to make him 'normal', but genetics win out.. and on Harry's 11th birthday he is collected by the friendly - and enormous - Hagrid, and taken to Hogwarts School for trainee wizards.
Harry quickly becomes friends with the impoverished Ron (Rupert Grint) and the brainy Hermione (Emma Watson), while becoming less popular with some of the other students. Despite his unpleasant upbringing, and total lack of knowledge about anything magical, he displays an unusual talent for the school game of Quidditch (played on broomsticks) and also an amazing integrity and loyalty, and a willingness to defeat evil.
There are some scary moments towards the end, and a little minor bad language, so the rating for this film is PG in both the US and UK. For some reason the book (and film) were re-titled as 'Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone' in the US.
Highly recommended. (Note that, while it is widely available, both new and second-hand, the best value DVDs tend to be in box sets with some of the others in the Harry Potter series.)
Review copyright Sue's DVD Reviews