The first installment of this two-part finale has met with mixed reviews so far. Todd McCarthy at THR sums it up as a "somber rendering" that "opens the door to two years of the box office gold":
"To cram the essentials covered in Part 1 and to do justice to the climaxes that await would represent a very tall order for a single conventional-length film. So it seems reasonable enough to say why not do it all, shoot the works, show every scene millions of readers want to see, give every character his or her proper curtain call, be expansive rather than constrained? In this case, probably better a bit too much -- even a dull scene here and there -- than not enough… anointed series finisher David Yates certainly knows what's called for at this point but still doesn't betray a special knack for inspired screen fantasy."
More reviews and the trailer are after the jump.
Variety's Justin Chang says director Yates "spins the series' most expansive, structurally free-form chapter yet...spelling phenomenal returns and raising expectations for a truly spectacular finish":
"Yates' film at times seems to falter under the weight of its exposition...the central trio must track elusive leads, decode arcane symbols and research unfamiliar names in the wizarding world, all rattled off so quickly at times that even those familiar with the text may be in need of a flow chart. Still, the filmmakers are to be applauded for not pandering to the few Potter virgins who may be in the audience, and for pushing the series ahead into unapologetically darker realms."
The Telegraph's Anita Singh says "this is the scariest Potter film so far" and also "takes us deepest into the emotions of the central trio":
"…the shots of Harry looking pensive against a variety of admittedly stunning backdrops look more like a Visit Britain advert than the adventures of the world's most famous wizard…Even at a running time of just under two-and-a-half hours, it feels as if Yates is cramming in as much as he possibly can. Can Part II be better than this? You'll have to wait until July to find out. But it'll be no mean feat.
And the UK's Guardian critic Xan Brooks finds "[It's simply] hard to mourn the demise of a franchise that was never more than half-alive to begin with":
"It's not so much that Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows feels at times largely indistinguishable from the six outings preceding it, nor even that part one offers so little in the way of resolution...There's no doubt the Potter spin-offs have been a reliable cash dispenser for Warner Bros, and no denying that they are deeply loved by the legions of fans that flock to see them. What remains to be seen is how they fare once the final credits roll; how they will stand up 10, 20 or 30 years down the line. Try as I might, I can't shake the suspicion that these films are too obviously built for purpose and too lacking in wit, warmth and humanity to survive much beyond the moment."