J.K. Rowling is a writer for her times. With her brilliant imagination, quick wit and off-the-beaten-path personality, she has captured the literary world with her series about a young boy from the normal "Muggle" Brit society into the special "Hogwarts" world of wizardry, where he and his neophyte wand wavers grow up battling evil with ever growing powers - and demands.
As she nears the end of her series, she gives us this less frivolous, darker situation - again pitting Harry and his friends against evil of a stronger, more devious sort - in an installment that suggests we are nearing a prodigious culmination.
Hogwarts is no longer a safe place of learning; even with the return of an old friend, Professor Slughorn, the evil Voldemort with evil recruits called Death Eaters take their turn to ugly antics, concluding with an unexpectedly shocking tragedy.
Meanwhile, as our young students grow into adolescents, they face the complications of attraction to the opposite sex ("She's got nice skin, as skin goes.") - complications which threaten to change their friendships and intrude on their battles with Voldemort et al.
As usual, Rowling's tale is beautifully amplified by production values. The magic world has been set in place by now, so we simply accept all the sights and sounds now taken for granted as "normal" - thanks to the wizardry of about 300 credited people working artistically, technically and electronically with animatronics, miniature models, CG modeling, digital artistry, and more.
Peter Yates once again directs with a wry mix of deadly seriousness & occasional humor. The script by Steve Kloves is intricately woven into the dual plots of conflict and romance, abetted by the more than adequate cast from Daniel Radcliffe's Harry and Michael Gambon's Dumbledore to a pleasant portrayal of the returning professor by Jim Broadbent. Nicholas Hooper's rich orchestral background coming from all directions is a plus, as is superior camera work from Bruno D.
What more can be added? A bit more wizardry and perhaps some more interesting creatures from the adjoining forest would provide wanted magical surprises & lessen the depressing tension; this is to date the most complex of the series, with not much more storyline to follow, yet with plenty to be accomplished before the series ends.