Monthly Archives: November 2018

We Review, #FantasticBeasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald “4.5 stars and Highly Recommended” – MR

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald

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Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
Fantastic Beasts - The Crimes of Grindelwald Poster.png

Theatrical release poster
Directed by David Yates
Produced by
Written by J. K. Rowling
Based on Characters
by J. K. Rowling
Music by James Newton Howard
Cinematography Philippe Rousselot
Edited by Mark Day
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • 8 November 2018 (Paris)
  • 16 November 2018 (United Kingdom and United States)
Running time
134 minutes[1]
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
Language English
Budget $200 million[2]
Box office $31 million[1]

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is a 2018 fantasy film directed by David Yates and written by J. K. Rowling. A joint British and American production, it is the sequel to Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them(2016). It is the second installment in the Fantastic Beasts film series, and the tenth overall in the Wizarding World franchise, which began with the Harry Potter film series. The film features an ensemble cast that includes Eddie RedmayneKatherine WaterstonDan FoglerAlison SudolEzra MillerZoë KravitzCallum TurnerClaudia Kim, William Nadylam, Kevin GuthrieJude Law, and Johnny Depp. The plot follows Newt Scamanderand Albus Dumbledore as they attempt to take down the dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, while facing new threats in a more divided wizarding world.

A second Fantastic Beasts film was announced in October 2014, and in July 2016 Rowling confirmed she had completed the script. Depp was cast in November 2016, causing some controversy due to domestic violence allegations recently made against him, and Law signed on in April 2017. Principal photography on the film began at Warner Bros. Studios in Leavesden in July 2017. Filming also took place in England, including London, Switzerland, and Paris, and ended in December 2017.

Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald premiered in Paris on 8 November 2018 and was released worldwide on 16 November 2018, in Real D 3DDolby CinemaIMAX and ScreenX[3], by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised its entertainment and production value, and the performances (particularly from Law and Depp), but criticized the “needlessly complicated, low-stakes plot” while feeling that it was “overburdened” with details setting up future sequels.[4]


In 1927, the powerful dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald is being held prisoner by the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MACUSA). When departing New York for transfer back to London, he is freed by follower and MACUSA employee, Abernathy. Grindelwald kills his guards and escapes.

Three months later, Newt Scamander is appealing to the British Ministry of Magic to restore his right to travel, after losing it during his visit to New York City. He meets with Leta Lestrange, an old friend from Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, who is engaged to his brother Theseus. During his appeal, Newt is offered his travel rights returned if he agrees to work for the Ministry of Magic, alongside his brother, in locating the Obscurial Credence Barebone, who has resurfaced in Paris; Credence is believed by many to be the last survivor of a long pure-blood line of wizards, and by Grindelwald to be the only person who can kill his only living equal, Hogwarts Professor Albus Dumbledore. Newt rejects the offer, and the Auror Grimmson is dispatched in his place. After leaving the Ministry, Newt is summoned to meet with Dumbledore, who also asks him to travel to Paris to find Credence.

Newt returns home to find American friends Queenie Goldstein and Jacob Kowalski, who have followed Queenie’s sister Tina to Europe. After a fight concerning the ban on marriage between wizards and Muggles, Queenie leaves alone to find Tina. Newt and Jacob follow both to Paris.

In Paris, Tina attends a freak show at the Circus Arcanus in Paris, searching for Credence. Credence and circus attraction Nagini escape during the show, releasing many of the animals. Credence and Nagini, searching for Credence’s birth mother, find the nurse who put him up for adoption, but Grimmson arrives and kills her, working under Grindelwald’s orders. Meanwhile, Tina meets Yusuf, yet another interested party looking for Credence. Newt and Jacob follow Yusuf to Tina, and Yusuf explains that he has sworn to kill Credence, believed to be his half-brother and a member of the Lestrange family.

Newt and Tina infiltrate the French Ministry of Magic for documents to confirm Credence’s identity and are discovered by Leta and Theseus. Their search leads from the Ministry to the Lestrange family tomb, where Yusuf and Leta explain their relation and Leta reveals her brother died as an infant, and thus cannot be Credence. The trail seems to have been fabricated to lead Credence to the tomb, where Grindelwald is holding a rally for his followers, with Queenie in attendance and Jacob in search of her.

At the rally, Grindelwald preaches “freedom” for wizards from the rules that require them to remain hidden from Muggles, using future images of World War II to call for the supremacy of wizards.

Our Thoughts

While I didn’t like the idea of bringing back all of the players from the first film, it turned out pretty well. Johny Depp is always fun to watch, and the rest of the cast play their parts well. The creatures are fantastic, and the special effects were superb, but the story line is conveluted, in that there is just too time much wasted on irrelevant wizarding fancy, and prequelitis. Despite that, in the end, I found myself gripping my seat. I highly recommend this film. Great fun for the whole family, 4.5 stars and Highly Recommended” – MR

Find Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald and see the new trailer here.