An epic finale: As the trio returns to Hogwarts only a quarter of the way in the film already has a climactic feel, sustained by a series of cinematically stunning action sequences, with Desplat’s mournful strings adding a tragic beauty to the chaotic proceedings. More notable though, is the series’ emotional apex–the perfectly edited Snape-memory sequence and its devastating aftermath. It raises a few plot-questions but the way it ties the whole saga together is unquestionably affecting.
A finally tempered pace produces superb results: The middle act with the main three in the forest is by far the most mature of the series, with its slow-burning character tension and nuanced feelings of frustration and hopelessness in a gorgeous natural setting. Aside from even more fresh material (see the handheld-shot chase scene, fantastic animation sequence) is great action (see the Ministry break-in) and a more-compelling-than-ever wizarding world, with its chilling new Nazi-like regime.