10 Must-Watch Movies Starring The Cast Of Harry Potter

The Harry Potter series is obviously enormous. The books were unimaginably popular, and the movies, while often criticized for being rather poor adaptations of the source material, were nevertheless incredibly popular and often ranked as some of the highest-grossing movies of their respective years.

They worked on numerous aspects; there’s the amazing filmmaking, which helped bring the magical world—and the magic itself—to life, but what arguably worked the best was the incredible cast. Never before has a popular book series been so impeccably casted, full of wondrous up-and-coming child actors and seasoned veterans alike.

10 Daniel Radcliffe: Swiss Army Man (2016)

It proved fascinating to watch how the child actors diverged in their post-Harry Potter careers. Emma Watson went to school and eventually took on another mega-blockbuster. Rupert Grint disappeared off the face of the Earth, seemingly content with living his life in peace and privacy, and Daniel Radcliffe diverged from mainstream Hollywood to take on more independent and creatively experimental works. Perhaps his best is Swiss Army Man, an excellent little movie in which Radcliffe plays a corpse opposite Paul Dano.

9 Emma Watson: Little Women (2019)

Everyone knows Emma Watson from Beauty and the Beast, as just about everyone in the world seems to have seen it. But, that’s not her best role or her best movie. That is arguably Greta Gerwig’s Little Women. Gerwig’s adaptation of Louisa May Alcott’s timeless and iconic novel starred a wonderful cast including Watson, Saoirse Ronan, Florence Pugh, Meryl Streep, and Timothée Chalamet. Watson plays Meg March, Jo’s older and married sister.


8 Richard Harris: This Sporting Life (1963)

Richard Harris earned widespread praise for his brilliant depiction of Albus Dumbledore. Contrasting with Michael Gambon’s future depiction, Harris imbued Dumbledore with a far sweeter and more comforting presence, not to mention that whispery voice.

Harris enjoyed a very long and very respected career, but perhaps his greatest work can be found in 1963’s This Sporting Life. Following a rugby player and his failed romantic life, Harris won the Cannes Film Award for Best Actor and was nominated for both a BAFTA and an Oscar.

7 Alan Rickman: Robin Hood: Prince Of Thieves (1991)

Even if Harry Potter is adapted a thousand times over in the future, no one will ever make for a more perfect portrayal of Severus Snape.

Rickman was another seasoned veteran of the screen, and, while everyone loves Die Hard, his performance as the Sheriff of Nottingham in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves proves equally slimy and villainous. The movie earned widely mixed reviews. Kevin Costner’s performance was lambasted and earned him the Razzie, whereas Rickman was widely praised and won the BAFTA for Best Actor in a Supporting Role.

6 Maggie Smith: The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie (1969)

Maggie Smith is a legend, there’s nothing really more to say. Her career began in the 1950s and has included countless iconic roles, including the titular Jean Brodie in the 1969 drama The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie.

Smith plays a girls’ school teacher and earned widespread praise for her leading work. She was a heavy favorite at that year’s awards season, taking home both the BAFTA and the Academy Award for Best Actress. It would prove her only Oscar win for Actress, but she would later win Best Supporting Actress for her work in the 1978 comedy California Suite.

5 Julie Walters: Educating Rita (1983)

Julie Walters was another brilliant bit of casting, as she wonderfully imbued the warm matronly essence of Mrs. Weasley. Walters is an experienced stage actress, having won the Laurence Olivier Award for a play called All My Sons.

Perhaps her most acclaimed film is the 1983 comedy-drama Educating Rita, which itself was adapted from a stage play in which Walters starred. She reprised her role for the movie adaptation and won both the Golden Globe and BAFTA for Best Actress. She was nominated for the Academy Award but lost to Shirley MacLaine in Terms of Endearment.

4 Tom Felton: Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes (2011)

Goofy title aside, Rise of the Planet of the Apes earned strong praise for its foundational story and mesmerizing visual effects. Tom Felton was lucky enough to be part of it, having played one of the apes’ primary antagonists, Dodge Landon.

He also proved lucky enough to be given the famous “get your stinking paw off me, you damn dirty ape!” line. It must have been an honor to be trusted with one of the most iconic lines in movie history!

3 Harry Melling: The Ballad Of Buster Scruggs (2018)

Harry Melling didn’t have much to do as Dudley. His biggest roles can be found in The Philosopher’s Stone and The Order of the Phoenix, but, even then, he’s only in the movies for about five minutes. Nevertheless, he made for a spectacular Dudley.

Like his fictional cousin, Melling has avoided big blockbusters. Perhaps his greatest post-Harry Potter work can be found in the Coen brothers’ The Ballad of Buster Scruggs. Melling is simply magnetic as an armless and legless sideshow act who is eventually replaced with a performing chicken.

2 Kenneth Branagh: Hamlet (1996)

While Kenneth Branagh made everyone laugh as Gilderoy Lockhart, he is actually quite a serious and committed Shakespearean actor. Branagh has directed and starred in numerous Shakespeare adaptations, including the 1996 epic Hamlet.

The movie is completely unabridged, adapting every single line of Shakespeare’s masterpiece and running just over four hours. Branagh earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Adapted Screenplay.

1 Gary Oldman: Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (2011)

Gary Oldman is widely seen as an acting chameleon, as he can embody any role and physical appearance with skill and dexterity. Despite this, he has only received two Academy Award nominations. The first was for the espionage thriller Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, andhe would later win for Darkest Hour.

Unfortunately, Oldman ended up losing to Jean Dujardin and his work in The Artist. It was one of the finest spy thrillers of the decade, earning widespread praise for its acting, screenplay, and deft directing.

NextHarry Potter: The 10 Best Duelists In The Series, According To Reddit

About The Author

Nathan Sharp (852 Articles Published)

Nathan Sharp is a writer from outside Toronto, Ontario. He has a love of movies and television, having enjoyed them for more than twenty years. His preferences include drama, action, and horror, with the former being a particular point of interest and fascination.

He also has a love of video games, particularly those of Rockstar.

Whether it be about film, television, or video games, Nathan loves a good discussion and has written hundreds of articles for Screen Rant.

More From Nathan Sharp

Related Posts

Pokémon: Ranking Each Horse-Like Pokémon By Strength

When on the quest to catch all the Pokémon, it's important to know which are the strongest versus the weakest. Here's how horse-like Pokémon compare.

Critical Role’s Caleb Widogast Gets New Origin Story in Original Graphic Novel

The latest graphic novel in the Mighty Nein Origins series is now available, featuring Caleb Widogast and his tragic past, courtesy of Dark Horse.

Fantastic Four Just Made the Perfect Change to the Thing’s Origin

As far as superhero names go, the Thing isn't exactly complimentary, but Marvel just gave the moniker a much more appropriate origin.

Sons Of Anarchy: 10 Ways Juice Got Worse & Worse

Plenty of the characters in Sons of Anarchy did bad things, and here is how Juice's behavior in particular got worse and worse.

Doctor Who: 10 Unpopular Opinions About The Thirteenth Doctor (According To Reddit)

Doctor Who fans have their unpopular opinions about Jodie Whittaker's Thirteenth Doctor, and Reddit is a great place to find these opinions.

Grey’s Anatomy: 9 Plot Twists That Everyone Saw Coming

While Grey's Anatomy is full of drama and engaging storylines, sometimes, there are plot twists that everyone can see coming or are very predictable.

10 Best Hollywood Movies With Predictions Of Future Earth & Society, Ranked By Believability

Sci-fi movies are known to showcase a possible future for the planet. Some films deliver more believable takes on that concept than others though.

1000-Lb. Sisters: What We Know About Amy & Tammy’s Mom Darlene

Amy and Tammy Slaton have a complicated relationship with their mother Darlene Rednour on 1000-lb Sisters. Here's everything to know about Darlene.