Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016)

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The adventures of writer Newt Scamander in New York’s secret community of witches and wizards seventy years before Harry Potter reads his book in school. (IMDb)
Lots to like here, with a few concessions, in the characters (the meek and kind-hearted Newt and the fun Kowalski with a nice character arc are great, but Grindewald’s motivations needed more fleshing out); the plot (a nuanced take on good vs. evil–every party has both–is hindered by too many loose threads and a dragged-out ending); the themes (those on politics and environmental care are intriguing but surface-y); and the directing (the music and sets are excellent but the CGI is a bit much).
7/10 (Good)