At 2 hours and 33 minutes, I want a movie to be worth my time, not just my money (both for the ticket AND the sitter). Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince was entertaining, but not quite entertaining enough.
There was much in its favor. It was nice to see the familiar actors again, and they all did very well. The visuals were great, and there was even a quidditch match this time. The best part, though, was the banter and interplay among the students as their hormones surged. This had many funny moments and exchanges.
What didn’t work was how tedious the plot became. The film seemed to treat plot as a burden, lavishing time on the scenes with students, then rushing through key points from the book, like the reveal of the half-blood prince. During the penultimate scene, in which Harry and Dumbledore go off alone to battle something serious, I thought, “This is boring. I wish I were napping instead.”
That boredom took some of the power out of the final scene and the death of a major character.
Most critics seem to like it more than I did. I recommend it, but with reservations. Don’t pay full price, though it is worth seeing in theaters for the stunning visuals.