The biggest movie franchise of all time has nearly come to an end, and the children who grew up reading the Harry Potter books are now in their twenties.

By Emma Kelly

But this hasn't damaged the series' loyal fanbase, as in its opening weekend, the first half of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows took in $125.1m in American cinemas. And it deserves whatever accolades it gets, because this installment has upped its game. 

Part one of the Deathly Hallows shows Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his best friends Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) as they go on the run from Lord Voldemort (a terrifying nose-less Ralph Fiennes) and his band of Snatchers. The tone of this film is considerably darker than the six previous films, with death, isolation and teenage angst not leaving much room for humour. The movie opens with a heartbreaking montage of our magical heroes leaving their families, with Hermione putting a spell on her parents to make them forget she ever existed. The film ends in a similar fashion, with a scene that will break the stoniest of hearts.

However, there are some glimmers of hope scattered throughout, with Ron and Hermione's attraction to each other growing stronger, and a particularly cute scene where Harry dances- or at least tries to dance- with Hermione. 

If there would be any criticism of the film, it would be that it'd be pretty hard to follow if you haven't already read the book, and some of the British talent - particularly Alan Rickman and Imelda Staunton - are criminally underused. However, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part One was one of the best films of 2010, and everybody should rush to watch this DVD before the end of the saga arrives in July.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 will be released in Irish cinemas July 15.

Director: David Yates

Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, Rupert Grint

Certificate: 12A

Run Time: 145 mins