RATED PG-13 (some fantasy action violence)
RUNNING TIME: 133 minutes
DIRECTOR: David Yates
Eddie Redmayne - Newt Scamander
Ezra Miller - Credence
Colin Farrell - Percival Graves
Katherine Waterston - Porpentina Goldstein
Alison Sudol - Queenie Goldstein
Dan Fogler - Jacob Kowalski
Ron Perlman - Gnarlack
Samantha Morton - Mary Lou
Jon Voight - Henry Shaw, Sr.
In 1926, Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. 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, 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. - Warner Bros.
ROG'S VIEWPOINT: 4 CAMS
The wizarding world before Harry Potter is fancifully brought to life in a wildly entertaining effects extravaganza. Director David Yates, who helmed 4 Potter films starting with "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix", makes movie magic once again with a little help from J.K. Rowling, who wrote the screenplay based on her book. While spectacular visuals enhance the engaging story, star Eddie Redmayne is the driving force as the fearless hero Newt Scamander - another memorable portrayal in his growing list of big screen roles. Leaving the plot and character details for the audience to discover, let's just say that this dark-edged origins tale is not without a touch of humor. Comic relief comes in the form of Dan Fogler as a would-be No-Maj baker who gets caught up in the quest for escaped beasts after mistakenly switching suitcases with Newt. The Niffler, a furry little duck-billed marsupial with a penchant for collecting treasures, also provides some needed laughs. Clearly designed for fans of the Harry Potter series, there are references that will be easily recognized. But newcomers and those who only casually followed the previous films shouldn't find much confusion in this cinematic jewel. Another plus is James Newton Howard's musical score, which magically weaves in John Williams' iconic theme. Briskly-paced, the whimsical and thrilling "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" is bewitching.