Movie Review: "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them"

The real stars of "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" are the back story and Ezra Miller and Colin Farell's character developments. Moral commentary comes into play when prejudice and hate are addressed through literal witch hunts led by a Puritan-type group known as the New Salem Philanthropic Society. The fantastic beasts in the movie are the least interesting part as they're used as mcguffins for Eddie Redmayne's character to run around New York City and capture. They help fight the evil at times and save the day, but end up being nothing more than a distraction (literally). When the credits roll, it feels like we've watched an Americanized version of a "Harry Potter" movie with very little of the endearing qualities or magic that made them work so well for seven installments.

The year is 1926, and Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures in "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them." Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident, were it not for a No-Maj (American for Muggle) named Jacob (Dan Fogler), a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt's fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.

"Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" is rated PG-13. It contains violence, profanity, and frightening and intense sequences. There are a few scenes that would be considered mildly adult-themed featuring some kissing and such.

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