Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore — the first reactions are in

Fantastic Beasts 3 movie with Eddie Redmayne and Jude Law
(Image credit: Warner Bros.)

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.”

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.  

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.  

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.”  

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. 

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.  

Rory Mellon
Entertainment Editor (UK)

Rory is an Entertainment Editor at Tom’s Guide based in the UK. He covers a wide range of topics but with a particular focus on gaming and streaming. When he’s not reviewing the latest games, searching for hidden gems on Netflix, or writing hot takes on new gaming hardware, TV shows and movies, he can be found attending music festivals and getting far too emotionally invested in his favorite football team.