21 best movies like Harry Potter to add some magic to your life

21 best movies like Harry Potter to add some magic to your life

Harry Potter is among the most iconic fantasy films in history. It revolves around the lives of three witches, Harry Potter, Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, as students at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The eight-part adaptation is based on J. K. Rowling’s fantasy novels of the same name and achieved enormous success globally. Discover movies like Harry Potter worth watching if you need to add magic to your life.

movies like harry potter
A poster is displayed during an exhibition on the literary characters and themes of the Harry Potter at the Cite Du Cinema on April 2, 2015, in Saint-Denis, France. Photo: Chesnot (modified by author)
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Harry Potter is a series of seven fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. The Harry Potter franchise still maintains a massive fandom, more than a decade after the final film was released. Below is a list of the best movies like Harry Potter you can find on Netflix, Prime Video, Disney+, and more.

List of the best movies like Harry Potter

The Harry Potter movies are perhaps the greatest sorcery-based film series of all time that viewers of all ages have come to love. Here are the top best movies similar to Harry Potter.

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1. Upside-Down Magic

Upside-Down Magic is a Disney Channel Original Movie and adaptation of the eponymous fantasy book series by Sarah Mlynowski, Lauren Myracle, and Emily Jenkins. The film stars Izabela Rose and Siena Agudong.

The movie follows the story of two friends, Elinor "Nory" Boxwood-Horace and Reina Carvajal, who discovers they have magic powers. Reina holds the power of controlling fire, while Elinor holds the power of transforming into an animal. Their abilities allow them to enrol at Sage Academy, a fancy magic school.

2. Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Bedknobs and Broomsticks is a 1971 musical fantasy film directed by Robert Stevenson and produced by Bill Walsh for Walt Disney Productions. The film tells the story of an apprentice witch, three kids and a cynical magician conman who embark on a magical adventure to search for the missing component of a magic spell to be used in defence of Britain in World War II.

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3. Matilda

Matilda is the award-winning 1996 American fantasy-comedy film directed and co-produced by Danny DeVito. The film is based on the 1988 novel Matilda by Roald Dahl. It stars Danny DeVito, Rhea Perlman, Embeth Davidtz, Pam Ferris and Mara Wilson.

The film follows the extraordinary story of Matilda Wormwood, a gifted young girl who uses her keen intellect and psychic powers to deal with her disreputable, distant family and free her kind teacher from their sadistic headmistress.

4. Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium is a children's fantasy comedy film written and directed by Zach Helm. The movie was released on 6 November 2007 by 20th Century Fox, and it stars Dustin Hoffman, Natalie Portman and Jason Bateman.

The movie revolves around a sentient supernatural toy shop that is filled with various antique-looking toys from the wizarding world.

5. Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

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Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events is a 2004 American fantasy-adventure film directed by Brad Silberling. The movie is based on the first three novels of the book series A Series of Unfortunate Events: The Bad Beginning (1999), The Reptile Room (1999), and The Wide Window (2000). Some of the film’s stars are Jim Carrey, Liam Aiken, Emily Browning and Timothy Spall.

It follows the story of three unlucky orphans who, after losing their parents in a mysterious fire, encounter trials and tribulations attempting to uncover dark family secrets.

6. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children is a fantasy film directed by Tim Burton and written by Jane Goldman. The film is based on the 2011 novel of the same name by Ransom Riggs. The movie follows Jake, a young boy who discovers a hidden refuge for children with extraordinary powers, led by the enigmatic Miss Peregrine.

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7. Stardust

Stardust is a romantic fantasy adventure film co-written by Vaughn and Jane Goldman and directed by Matthew Vaughn. The film was originally released on 29 July 2007 and is based on Neil Gaiman and Charles Vess's 1999 novel of the same name.

The movie centres around a young man called Tristan, from the fictional town of Wall in England, which borders the magical kingdom Stormhold. He ventures into a magical realm called Stormhold to retrieve a fallen star for the girl he loves.

8. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

The Lord of the Rings trilogy is also one of the greatest movies, similar to Harry Potter, that keeps you hooked to the screen till the very end. The epic fantasy adventure film was directed by Peter Jackson and is based on the novel The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien.

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The plot follows hobbit Frodo Baggins as he and the Fellowship embark on a quest to destroy One Ring to ensure the destruction of its maker, the Dark Lord Sauron. This trilogy entails three movies which will keep you hooked till the very end with the adventures of Frodo Baggins.

9. Fantastic Beasts Films

The Fantastic Beasts film series is one of the best movies to watch if you like Harry Potter, which serves as a spin-off sequel to the Harry Potter novel and film series. The series was produced by David Heyman, directed by David Yates.

It consists of three fantasy films as of 2022, beginning with Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them (2016), Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald (2018) and Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore (2022). The films follow the adventures of Newt Scamander, a magizoologist, as he travels across different continents in the 1920s, documenting and rescuing magical creatures.

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10. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

The musical fantasy film was written by John August and directed by Tim Burton. The movie was initially released on 10 July 200 and is based on the 1964 British novel of the same name by Roald Dahl. The story revolves around a young boy named Charlie Bucket, who wins a golden ticket to tour the mysterious and magical chocolate factory led by the world's most unusual candy maker.

11. The Percy Jackson Movies

Percy Jackson & the Olympians, also known as Percy Jackson, consists of two movies, Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010) and its sequel Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013. The two-film series is based on the novel series of the same name by the author Rick Riordan.

Percy Jackson & the Olympians are among the movie series like Harry Potter. The movie series revolves around the story of a teenage boy named Percy Jackson, who discovers he's the descendant of a Greek god and sets out on an adventure to settle an ongoing battle between the gods.

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12. The Golden Compass

The Golden Compass is a fantasy adventure film written and directed by Chris Weitz. The movie was released on 27 November 2007 and is based on the 1995 novel Northern Lights by Philip Pullman.

The Golden Compass follows a young girl named Lyra Belacqua, who embarks on a journey to the far North to save her best friend and other kidnapped children from terrible experiments by a mysterious organization.

13. The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride is an American fantasy adventure comedy film directed and co-produced by Rob Reiner. It was released on 25 September 1987 and stars Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Chris Sarandon, Christopher Guest and others.

The Princess Bride centres around the beautiful Buttercup and her true love, Westley, as they navigate a series of obstacles and adventures to be reunited.

14. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

The adventure fantasy film was produced by Jerry Bruckheimer, directed by Jon Turteltaub, and released by Walt Disney Pictures on 8 July 2010. The film stars Nicolas Cage, Jay Baruchel, Alfred Molina, Teresa Palmer and Monica Bellucci.

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The story follows Balthazar Blake, an apprentice of the legendary magician Merlin, who trains a young physics student named Dave Stutler in the art of sorcery to prevent the return of Morgana le Fay.

15. Doctor Strange

Doctor Strange is a 2016 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Some of the film’s lead characters include Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams and Benedict Wong.

It revolves around Dr. Stephen Strange, a brilliant but arrogant neurosurgeon who embarks on a journey to spiritual and physical healing after a tragic car accident and loses the use of his hands. He discovers the world of magic and mystique.

16. The Craft

The 1996 American supernatural horror film was directed by Andrew Fleming and produced by Douglas Wick. The Craft is also one of the great similar movies to Harry Potter, which depicts the story of a newcomer to a Catholic prep high school and three outcast teenage girls who practice witchcraft for their own gain and eventually experience negative repercussions.

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17. Seventh Son

Seventh Son is an American fantasy film directed by Sergei Bodrov. The film was initially released on 17 December 2014 and is based on the 2004 novel The Spook's Apprentice by Joseph Delaney.

The story revolves around Thomas Ward (Ben Barnes), a teen born with special powers due to being the seventh son of a seventh son and his adventures as the apprentice of the Spook.

18. The Chronicles of Narnia Trilogy

The Chronicles of Narnia is a British-American film series and media franchise adapted from the 1950s C.S. Lewis fantasy novel, The Chronicles of Narnia. The series follows the adventures of four British Pevensie siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, led by Aslan, the Great Lion and true king of the world of Narnia, as they face off against wicked rulers in this mystical land.

19. The Kid Who Would Be King

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The fantasy action-adventure film was written and directed by Joe Cornish. The film was originally released on 25 January 2019 and stars Louis Ashbourne Serkis, Tom Taylor, Dean Chaumoo, Rhianna Doris, Angus Imrie, Rebecca Ferguson, and Patrick Stewart.

The movie tells the story of Alex, a 12-year-old boy, and his friends who discover King Arthur's legendary sword Excalibur and use it to fight an evil sorceress to stop the plans of an ancient enchantress to enslave the whole world.

20. Alice in Wonderland

The 2010 American period adventure fantasy film was directed by Tim Burton and produced by Walt Disney Pictures. The movie is about Alice, a young girl named Alice who returns to the magical world from her childhood adventure after spotting an unusual rabbit in her backyard.

She realizes her true destiny, to stop the Red Queen’s reign of terror as she meets again with her old friends. However, Alice and her friends are ambushed by the Red Queen’s knights.

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21. Bridge to Terabithia (2007)

Bridge to Terabithia is an American fantasy drama film directed by Gábor Csupó and stars Josh Hutcherson, AnnaSophia Robb, Bailee Madison, Zooey Deschanel, and Robert Patrick.

In the film, friends Jesse and Leslie create an imaginary world of magical creatures called "Terabithia," which they use to cope with their troubled reality and spend their free time together. But soon, tragedy strikes and the mystical land becomes a source of comfort and hope.

If you are missing the sorcery and wizardly world of Hogwarts, the above-mentioned best movies, like Harry Potter, will give you a sneak peek into the wizarding world and keep you hooked to the screen.

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