It’s fair to say the anticipation levels for Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore are fairly low right now. The third entry in the Harry Potter prequel series is paying for the sins of its poorly-received predecessor, and the increasingly controversial comments from Wizarding World creator J.K. Rowling aren’t exactly helping matters.
The Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore trailers have teased at an ambitious attempt to bring back the magic of the beloved Harry Potter series. However, there are understandable concerns from fans about all the baggage the poorly-plotted Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald has left this movie to carry.
Perhaps these fears have been a little overstated as the film had its premier this week and various critics in attendance have been permitted to share their first reaction, and in a shocking twist, they’re mostly positive.
In fact, The Secrets of Dumbledore is being lauded as the best Fantastic Beasts movie so far. Arguably not the highest bar to clear, but welcome news all the same.
What critics are saying about Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore
Ian Sandwell of Digital Spy called the third entry in the Fantastic Beasts series an “improvement” on its predecessor, and also notes that Mads Mikkelsen, who is taking over the role of Grindelwald from Johnny Depp, is “a huge upgrade.” Although, it’s not an entirely positive reaction as he does note it’s “overstuffed” and “unsure if it’s a Beasts film or a Harry Potter film.”
#FantasticBeastsTheSecretsOfDumbledore is an improvement on the sequel, even if it only fleetingly recaptures the magic. Mads Mikkelsen is a huge upgrade, but the MVP is Jessica Williams's Lally. It's just overstuffed and unsure if it's a Beasts film or a Harry Potter film. pic.twitter.com/65HeyIgeXbMarch 29, 2022
Perri Nemiroff of Collider calls The Secrets of Dumbledore a “big bounce back” for the series and reports it’s “far more engaging” than the previous film. Nemiroff also notes that the adorable Niffler steals the show once again.
#SecretsOfDumbledore is a big bounce back for the #FantasticBeasts series for me! Back to enjoying the group dynamic & caring about the main mission. A lil thin here & there but a FAR more engaging ride than the last. Dan Fogler continues to be a favorite … and the Niffler. pic.twitter.com/QBkyMOq4UTMarch 29, 2022
YouTuber and podcaster David Lee ranks the latest Wizarding World adventure as “leagues above the previous and probably the best Fantastic Beasts so far.” The comment about some “amazing duels” in particular has us very excited.
The #SecretsOfDumbledore is an exciting and enjoyable Wizarding World adventure. Thankfully, leagues above the previous, it’s probably the best Fantastic Beasts so far. Great character work, fun adventure, and amazing duels. Fans should really enjoy this one! pic.twitter.com/M56qR8L0KCMarch 29, 2022
Anyone worried that the film would be negatively impacted by the half-baked plot points set up in The Crimes of Grindelwald can rest easy. According to Xandra Harbet of Looper, the film “rectifies the fans’ biggest qualms with FB2,” and also offers “answers, ground breaking moments and epic battles.”
#SecretsOfDumbledore is a magical menagerie of homages to the Potter films, boasting a new slate of wondrous creatures and mythos.@FantasticBeasts 3 rectifies fans' biggest qualms with FB2, offering answers, groundbreaking moments, & epic battles in this love letter to misfits. pic.twitter.com/VlZlQDgCj5March 29, 2022
Finally, Griffin Schiller of FilmSpeak salutes screenwriter Steve Kloves as he “miraculously salvages a sinking ship.” The first two Fantastic Beasts movies were solely penned by J.K. Rowling, but Kloves came on board as a co-writer for The Secrets of Dumbledore after adapting all by one of the Harry Potter books for the screen.
Steve Kloves miraculously salvages a sinking ship w/#FantasticBeasts3 but it doesn’t fully fix the larger issues w/the series. Still, by far the best of the 3. The series feels FUN again. The layers of ##Dumbledore are peeled back & explored in interesting ways. Had a good time! pic.twitter.com/ZAvIfNHzEEMarch 29, 2022
Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore is currently scheduled to hit theatres on April 15 (A week earlier in the U.K. on April 8). It will see Eddie Redmayne return as magical zoologist Newt Scamander with Jude Law’s younger Albus Dumbledore also having a larger part to play. Other returning faces include Ezra Miller, Dan Fogler, Alison Sudol, Callum Turner, Jessica Williams and Katherine Waterston.