If you love Harry Potter and are missing the mystique and magic of the movies, you’re probably looking for something to fill that void. The bad news is that there are no movies like Harry Potter, at least not exactly. Those movies are absolutely stunning in a way that’s rarely matched in mainstream cinema.
Oftentimes, when a movie or television show is made from a series of books, critics and fans alike rip it apart because it doesn’t live up to the source material. That wasn’t the case with Harry Potter.
The movies feature three entirely lovable, relatable main characters, were filmed by an absolutely brilliant director, Chris Columbus, and stay fairly true to the source material in all the ways that matter. The massive budget behind them for special effects and CGI also didn’t hurt.
Because of all that, there’s no movie out there that can exactly encapsulate the beauty, wonder and magic of Harry Potter and the Wizarding World.
The good news, though, is that there are a whole lot of movies and television shows that come close in different ways, so while some of them may not be as good, they’re still pretty great and can help fill the void left by the Potterverse.
What Makes a Movie Like Harry Potter?
The first thing people associate with the Harry Potter franchise is, of course, magic. Magic, though, isn’t the only thing that can make a movie feel very Harry Potter-esque. Watching a “downtrodden” or “misfit” kid discover that life held more in store for him than he ever could have imagined is a huge part of the franchise, and a movie with a similar plot can give off a lot of Harry Potter vibes.
A group of kids/teens forming strong bonds of friendship in the face of adversity, the overwhelming power of good against evil, enduring friendships that stand fast through hardship and hard feelings, an “underdog” rising to the top and defeating a much more powerful adversary: These are all things that can make a movie similar to Harry Potter and also just make it a great flick to watch.
Now let’s take a look at some of the options out there, ranked in order from most like Harry Potter to least like Harry Potter.
40 Best Magical Mystical Movies Like Harry Potter
The Fantastic Beasts Movies (2016-2018)
When it comes to finding movies like Harry Potter, there’s no better way to do that than by watching a movie set in the same universe. The first Fantastic Beasts movie is based on Rowling’s “Hogwarts Library Book” that talks about all kinds of different magical creatures. The movie features a whole new cast of characters, although you may hear some familiar names thrown around. Despite the new characters, though, the whole movie is very much in the vein of Harry Potter.
The second movie is even more similar to the Harry Potter flicks and features younger versions of some well-known characters like Albus Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall. Dumbledore relies on a young, slightly nerdy, inexperienced man named Newt Scarmander to help him in a great battle against the evil Grindelwald, a man who gives even Voldemort a run for his money in the powerful bad guy department.
If you haven’t seen these yet or if you purposely passed them up because you thought they couldn’t possibly compare to the original eight films, go watch them. You’re sure to love them.
The Percy Jackson & the Olympians Movies (2010-2013)
If you read the Percy Jackson books, these movies might not be entertaining for you; most fans of the books weren’t fans of the movies. If you’ve never read the books, though, and are just looking for Harry Potter like movies that you might enjoy, give these a shot.
The first movie, in particular, is very reminiscent of the Potterverse because it’s all about a young boy who lives in a bad home – his mom is great, but his stepdad is horrible and abusive – and is an outcast at school. He soon finds out that he’s actually the son of a Greek god and has the powers of a demigod.
The movie becomes even more Harry Potter-like when Percy starts hanging out with two best friends – one male, one female – and together they all go on a quest to stop a huge, evil force from rising into the world. If all of that doesn’t scream Harry Potter, then you must have watched something different.
There’s also a lot of magic in the movie, although it comes from their god-given powers as opposed to wands and spells.
The Chronicles of Narnia Trilogy (2005-2010)
This is a gorgeous movie that features four young children stumbling into a wardrobe and finding themselves in a magical world full of animals that can talk, creatures from fairy tales and mythology and an evil White Witch who wants to destroy everything beautiful in the land. As the movies progress, the children grow older and more powerful, but so do the foes they face.
Based on the first three books of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series, of which there are seven books in total, these perhaps feel the most like Harry Potter. Much like Harry, the Pevensie siblings are fleeing a horrible life, only theirs is due to war instead of an abusive family.
They also have to learn to trust each other, overcome their differences and work together as family, much as Harry, Ron and Hermione must do in order to defeat their foes.
The Lord of the Rings (2001-2003) & The Hobbit (2012-2014) Movies
These movies have just about everything that fans love about the Wizarding World. There are plenty of magical creatures both good and evil, strong, enduring bonds of friendship, a storyline that features small, powerless creatures pitted against the most powerful evil imaginable and a heroic quest thrown in for good measure. There are even actual wizards in both series in the characters of Galdalf, Radagast and Saruman.
More than all that, though, there’s just an incredibly magical, overwhelming feeling you get when you watch these movies that’s exactly the same as when you watch Harry Potter. Both franchises take you completely into these vast, beautiful worlds that you’re almost saddened to know you’ll never truly get to visit.
The Hunger Games Movies (2012-2015)
Although there’s no magic, The Hunger Games movies have more in common with Harry Potter than you might think, mostly because of the plot. The movie features a brave young woman, Katniss, doing everything she can to defy a system of government that’s been corrupted beyond redemption.
Any true Potterhead can relate to that story. The movies are also similar in that they build over time. The “big bad” gets bigger, badder and harder to defeat with each movie. Trust me, if you dig Harry Potter, you’ll love The Hunger Games.
The Divergent Franchise (2014-2016)
This is another movie without magic in it, and yet somehow, it’s still incredibly reminiscent of J.K. Rowling’s magical world. Set in a future, dystopian society, children “coming of age” are “sorted” into different factions (bringing up some serious sorting hat and Hogwarts’ houses vibes) which they then leave their families for and devote themselves to entirely.
Also based on a very popular, best-selling young adult series by Veronica Roth, these movies feature a powerless young girl, Beatrice, who pledges into one of the most violent, physically demanding factions, to the surprise of her family and all who know her. While there, though, she discovers there’s something darker and more dangerous happening that no one else knows about, and no one else is stopping.
If you’re looking for another movie that allows you to experience the thrill of a seemingly innocent, powerless young person taking down something so much larger than herself, give it a try.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children (2016)
Fans of the Miss Peregrine’s series weren’t thrilled with the film adaptation of the first book, but if you haven’t read the books, these are a great follow-up to Harry Potter.
I don’t want to give too much of the plot away because not knowing is half the fun of this film, but suffice it to say it’s about a group of “young” children – or are they? – who have nearly unbelievable supernatural powers and are living separate from the real world.
If you’re looking for something full of magic, great effects and a decent story, this is the movie for you.
The Golden Compass (2007)
Based on the first book of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials series, this movie fell a little flat when it was released.
If you’re craving a story about a young child from less-than-ideal circumstances standing up to and defeating a great evil, though, this is a great one.
Lyra, an orphan, finds herself in over her head when she tries to figure out who an evil group of people known as the Gobblers are and why they’re kidnapping poor, orphaned children.
There’s a little magic, a lot of magical creatures and a strong, young female determined to triumph over evil. Any Potterhead should enjoy this flick.
At first glimpse, this one doesn’t seem like it would be too much like Harry Potter, but dig a little beneath the surface and you’ll see they have a lot in common.
Stardust features adults rather than children, but when it throws an unexpected young man, Tristan, into a world of magic he never knew existed, you’ll quickly pick up on some Harry Potter-like feels.
Based on a very popular book by Neil Gaiman, this movie features witches, magic, a fallen star who’s actually a gorgeous young woman, a flying sky pilot and more. It also has the same sweet, innocent feel to it for which Harry Potter is so well-known.
The original Charmed is about three perfectly ordinary sisters who’ve lived their entire lives without knowing they’re witches.
After their grandmother dies and they all come together, suddenly their powers are awakened, and their lives are turned upside down forever.
Despite suddenly finding out they’re witches and having to deal with their budding powers, there isn’t much about the plot that makes this show like Harry Potter.
However, the feel of the show and the 100% reliance on magic as a driving factor behind it make it very Potter-like. The sisters also have an ultimate big bad they must face called “The Source,” as in the source of all evil. He’s very Voldemort-like.
The way the sisters use and bungle their spells also makes me think endearingly of Ron. Just trust me on this one, if you love the magic of the Potterverse, you’ll love the Halliwell Sisters just as much.
The plot and the characters of Inkheart are vastly different from Harry Potter. They’re so different, in fact, that I can’t really explain to you why I put this movie so high up on the list. I think it’s just the feeling you get when you watch it.
Remember the first time you watched Harry Potter? Remember how totally engrossed and enraptured you were by the movie, which was like nothing you’d ever quite seen? Remember how lighthearted and young you felt after it was over?
That’s how I feel when I watch Inkheart. It features a young man (Mo) with the magical ability to bring literary characters out of their books into the real world.
Everything is great until he brings a really, really bad character to life. There’s something about the camaraderie between Mo and his friends that’s just so Potter-like. Just give it a shot; you won’t be disappointed.
If, like Hagrid, you have a serious fascination with the dragons in the Wizarding World, you don’t want to miss out on Eragon. The underlying themes of both movies are very similar. They both feature a young, innocent and slightly naive boy as a very unlikely hero.
These seemingly ordinary boys both have unimaginable destinies, and both movies feature prophecies about the boys that shape the course of the movies.
There’s also the adventurous journey both boys must take, and of course, there’s that big fight between good and evil. Also, did I mention the dragons?
Once Upon a Time (2011-2018)
Once Upon a Time is entirely about magic. The whole town the show is centered around literally runs off magic. If you’re looking for a magical show to rival the wonder of the Wizarding World, this is it.
Although it’s a great show for adults to watch, the fact that the entire show is based on popular children’s fairy tales makes it perfect for older kids as well. There’s much about this show that’s so similar to Harry Potter.
The young boy, Henry, has a very Harry-like charm about him that makes you want to bring him home and hug him. The fact that he was abandoned by his birth mother and adopted by the Evil Queen also seems a bit like Harry’s kind of luck. There are witches and magic galore, and like every fairy tale, good always conquers evil.
This show got me through so many nights of missing Harry Potter and wanting to escape from my own, boring reality, although I did have issues with the final season. If you somehow missed it while it was airing new episodes, you simply must watch it now.
Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
This movie, too, has the Potter-like backstory of a child living in a bad home (sadistic stepfather) and escaping into a world of magic and delight. However, what really makes this movie just scream Harry Potter to me is the labyrinth itself.
The young girl, Ofelia, finds herself in a slightly creepy but entirely magical world where she’s given three tasks to complete within a magical labyrinth.
Inside the labyrinth, there are all kinds of mythical monsters and creatures to both help and hinder her along the way.
Anyone who’s ever watched Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire will instantly see the connection between Ofelia’s tasks in the labyrinth and Harry completing the hedge maze in order to secure the goblet of fire.
If your favorite Potter flick was Goblet of Fire, you’ll love this movie.
The Neverending Story (1984)
This movie is a little old but not dated. It’s still just as relevant today as it was when it premiered in 1984. The main character, Bastian, will remind you a lot of Harry.
He’s adorable, entirely relatable and has recently lost his mother and is going through life in a haze of school bullies, loneliness and despair.
One day, Bastian visits a local bookstore where he finds a very special book that takes him into another world, Fantasia. There he’s recruited by another young boy to help battle a horrible plague called the Nothing.
In addition to Bastian and Harry’s backstories being quite similar, the two movies are also alike in other ways. There’s a heavy premium put on friendship and doing the right thing; Bastian and Harry both have to be clever and use their wits to get them out of tough situations, and of course, there’s the magical element to both.
Oddly enough, and I’m not sure why, but something about Hagrid has always reminded me of Falkor the Luck Dragon as well. Perhaps it’s because they’re both huge and cuddly.
Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events (2017-2019)
Three siblings are orphaned and are then adopted by an evil man who wants to kill them so he can inherit their fortune. On the surface, it doesn’t seem very Potter-like, but it absolutely is.
Despite the loss of their parents and their horrible home life, the siblings are like Harry and his friends in one other important way: They’re constantly placed into horrible, dangerous situations that require each of them to use his or her own particular gifts and skills to get out safely.
There’s no magic, but you’ll see so much of Ron, Harry and Hermione in the Baudelaire siblings that you’ll instantly understand why this series is so high up on the list of movies like Harry Potter, and although he doesn’t have magic powers, Count Olaf is easily as evil and dark-natured as Lord Voldemort.
Another movie based on a very popular book, Matilda has a lot in common with our favorite magical series. In fact, some people have wondered if J.K. Rowling didn’t borrow some of her ideas from Roald Dahl.
The titular character, Matilda, has a horrible home life, much like Harry, and both children see going to school as a way to escape the misery they experience at home.
Harry’s life changes when he finds out he’s a wizard, and Matilda’s changes when she realizes she can move things with her mind.
There’s even a huge similarity between two of the most evil characters in both movies, Professor Umbridge and Mrs. Trunchbull, who are both somehow okay with pretty much torturing young children.
Don’t worry, though, much like Harry Potter, Matilda ultimately has a happy ending.
The Spiderwick Chronicles (2008)
This is yet another movie featuring three young children thrown into a magical world they never knew existed and forced to face danger they aren’t quite ready to face.
It’s not one of my favorite movies on the list, but it is undeniably Potter-like. The dynamic between the three siblings will put you in mind of Harry, Ron and Hermione, and the magic and special effects in both movies are done in a similar style. Also, both movies feature a lot of goblins.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003)
If you’ve never watched this late-90’s TV show, you need to run to the nearest TV and watch it now. It’s one of the best TV series, period, no qualifiers needed.
If you’re a Potterhead, though, you’ll be especially fond of it. Buffy, a regular teenage girl, suddenly finds out she’s “the chosen one,” the one girl in all the world who can fight the forces of darkness.
In the same way that Harry finds out he’s a wizard and then finds out he’s destined to fight the greatest dark wizard who ever lived shortly after, Buffy, too, is suddenly given a lot of life-altering information in a very short period of time.
Beyond that, though, there are other similarities. Buffy soon creates a close-knit group of friends who not only stick by her through everything, but without whom, she couldn’t have defeated some of the things she had to face.
If you’re into Harry Potter for the magic, Buffy has you covered there too. In addition to all the magical creatures – vampires, demons, etc. – that are constantly popping up, in season two, Buffy’s best friend, Willow, begins to practice witchcraft.
Although she never flies on a broom or uses a wand, she does learn, use and sometimes really mess up spells, and as the seasons progress, a whole world of magic – pure, witchcraft-type magic – opens up in the show.
Bridge to Terabithia (2007)
It seems like all the best movies were books initially, and that’s certainly true of Bridge to Terabithia, which is based on the 1977 book of the same name by Katherine Paterson.
Although there’s no true magic in the book, the two main characters, Leslie and Jess, use their vast imaginations to create an entirely new, magical world they call Terabithia, where they explore, play and rule as king and queen to escape their real lives, which while not terrible, aren’t exactly great either.
Additionally, there’s a pervasive theme of the importance of friendship and loyalty between friends throughout the whole movie.
Jess’ initial hesitancy to befriend the strange girl, Leslie, is also very reminiscent of Harry and Ron’s uncertainty about bringing Hermione into their friendship circle in the first movie.
Growing up and coming of age are also important themes in this movie. If you’ve somehow managed to miss it all these years, be aware you might need an entire box of tissues before the end.
A Wrinkle in Time (2018)
This is another one of those ‘feel good’ movies based on an insanely popular book from most people’s childhoods.
In it, three children (two siblings and a friend) are on a quest to find the father of the two siblings. They meet three very powerful women, who are actually former stars – the celestial kind, not the Hollywood kind – to help them along their way.
Although they’re stars, Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which and Mrs. Whatsit give off some seriously witchy vibes, and they can throw some serious magic.
Beyond that, though, the unbreakable friendship of the three main characters, Meg, Calvin and Charles, and their unceasing quest to do what’s right, even when it gets hard, makes this one of the best movies like Harry Potter there is.
X-Men: First Class (2011)
The plots aren’t at all similar, but if you’re missing the mystical elements of Harry Potter and just want to see some young people with amazing abilities kicking butt, start streaming this right away.
In fact, in a 2009 interview with the movie’s producer, she actually said that the paths Professor Xavier’s team of young X-men take was modeled after the example set by the Harry Potter movies.
Where the movies are similar, aside from the magical powers, is in all the trouble the youngsters seem to get into despite Professor Xavier’s best efforts.
There’s definitely some Potter/Weasley/Granger mischief going on in this X-Men flick.
The Umbrella Academy (2019-Present)
This is a show that’s probably more suited to older teens and adults, but if you fit into one of those categories and also happen to be a Potterhead, you’ll really enjoy Netflix’s relatively new series The Umbrella Academy.
Seven children, born under extremely strange circumstances and gifted with extraordinary abilities, are adopted by an eccentric, wealthy man and trained mercilessly to become a crime-fighting team of superheroes.
The bulk of the story, though, takes place after the kids have already grown up and moved out to have lives of their own. In addition to the “magical” powers the main characters have, the overall light and mischievous tone of the show is something Potter fans will love.
The fact that they always seem to be racing against time to stop something so much bigger and more powerful than themselves is also quite Potter-esque.
Alice in Wonderland (2010)
Based on the beloved children’s book by Lewis Carroll, which happens to be my very favorite book in all the world if you wanted to know, this adaptation of Alice in Wonderland by Tim Burton isn’t one of my favorites.
It is, however, the one that puts people most in mind of the Harry Potter movies. Both movies are full of a magical sense of whimsy that’s hard to find these days.
Additionally, the magical creatures in Alice are so similar to creatures you’d find in Harry Potter, I’m surprised they didn’t do some sneaky, Easter egg crossovers.
Harry Potter does arguably have a more linear, cohesive plot than Burton’s film, but both feature a magical world full of wonder and mayhem, and the appearance of Helena Bonham Carter as a completely insane character in both is absolutely spectacular.
Jack the Giant Slayer (2013)
I guess it’s probably because Harry Potter has become so popular and mainstream, but I always think of it almost like a fairy tale now.
For that reason, most movies based on fairy tales remind me in some strong way of Harry Potter. This is true of Jack the Giant Slayer. There are some very strong Potter-like elements to this movie.
Jack, a young, naive boy much like Harry, accidentally opens a portal from the real world into a magical world full of unfriendly giants. Then, of course, it’s Jack’s duty to try to close the portal, rid the world of giants and get things back to normal.
The war against the giants is so much like the war against the death eaters and Lord Voldemort, and Jack’s resourcefulness and cunning gives Harry a run for his money as well.
Stranger Things (2016-Present)
Some people may disagree with me, but I happen to think that anyone who loves Harry Potter will love Stranger Things even more, especially if that person is an adult.
Don’t get me wrong; kid fans of the Potterverse will also enjoy Stranger Things, but that sense of nostalgia we adults get when we rewatch Harry and his friends defeating Voldemort is the same sense of nostalgia we get from the entire Stranger Things series!
Mike, Lucas, Dustin, Will and Eleven (and later Max) will give you some serious Ron, Harry and Hermione vibes. Both sets of kids are put in extremely dangerous situations to which the adults, with very few exceptions in both cases, are completely oblivious and unhelpful.
Both groups of kids also keep finding themselves in all kinds of mischievous and troublesome circumstances on the smaller scale (school, parents, etc.) as well.
While Stranger Things doesn’t feature magic, per se, Eleven’s totally bad-butt powers make up for the otherwise complete lack of magic. Also, they’ve both produced huge, sweeping fandoms that will probably never go away.
The Worst Witch (2017-2019)
This entire show, which is a more intricate and involved version of the late-80’s movie, is about young witches training at a school for magic.
There’s no way you can’t see the similarities to Harry Potter in that plot description. If that’s not enough to peak your interest, though, the show also stars young actresses primarily from the U.K., just as Harry Potter did.
Plus, it stars Bella Ramsey, and after her portrayal of Lyanna Mormont in Game of Thrones, I would literally watch her in anything.
Avatar: The Last Airbender (2010)
It’s true that there are some big differences in Harry Potter and Avatar. The Potterverse is set in the real world, only there’s a whole hidden world we everyday muggles don’t see.
Avatar, on the other hand, is set in an entirely fictional universe. The magical styles of both are also different. Magic in Avatar is rigid and structured and definitely has its limits, whereas characters like Dumbledore and Voldemort seem to be able to do anything with their magical abilities.
At their cores, though, the movies are incredibly similar. Both stories revolve around a young boy with a huge destiny. The character progression in both is also quite similar, as is the main theme of underdog good defeating all-powerful evil.
Finally, although they’re both full of magic, they’re also entirely relatable.
The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)
If you’re looking for a movie that’s like Harry Potter, why not check out the movie based on the book that started as Harry Potter fan-fiction? I know; that’s a mouthful, but it’s also true.
Cassandra Clare’s The Mortal Instruments series started out as a Potter fan-fic called The Draco Trilogy. In fact, the male lead, Jace, is based entirely on a broody, trying-to-be-good-but-always-falling-short Draco.
There’s a lot of magic, tons of magical monsters, and of course, there’s a group of teens who are somehow responsible for saving the world. You’ll definitely be feeling the Potter vibes with this one.
A Monster Calls (2016)
I love this movie. I love the book it’s based on, and I love what the director and actors did with the film. It’s absolutely fantastic, and I’d recommend it to literally anyone.
That being said, it also has some very Potter-like characteristics that can’t be ignored. The movie follows the story of a young boy named Conor.
Although he isn’t yet an orphan, you’ll see a lot of Harry in Conor, who’s ostracized from the kids at school and living in an unhappy home with his super strict grandmother. His mother is dying of cancer, and his father moved away to America with his new family.
It isn’t until Conor discovers – you guessed it – magic that his life finally starts to turn around. His magic comes in the form of a massive, monstrous, magical tree that he uses to destroy things in order to lessen his own pain and helplessness.
It’s a beautiful, somewhat heart-wrenching, story of a child forced to deal with things he’s too young to understand and unable to express himself in a healthy way.
The Maze Runner (2014)
This is another movie to watch if Goblet of Fire was your favorite Harry Potter movie. (For some reason, I automatically associate anything with a huge maze to Harry Potter. I can’t help myself!)
There’s no real magic in this movie. Instead, there’s a sort of colony made up of teens. Once a teen wakes up, he has no idea where he is, how he got there or anything about his past.
I don’t want to give too much else away because the less you know about this movie going into it, the more exciting and intriguing it is. The bonds of friendship formed in this movie and the quest to find answers and some semblance of safety are very Potter-like qualities.
There’s also a struggle between two of the most powerful boys, which will put you in mind of the rivalry between Harry and Draco. It’s a pretty good film that can help ease the ache of running out of Potter movies.
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice (2010)
Okay, I don’t really like this movie, most likely because I’m anti-Nicholas Cage. (He just kind of gives me the creeps.)
There’s no denying its similarity to the Wizarding World though. Jay Baruchel’s portrayal of Dave is so much like Daniel Radcliffe’s Harry that it’s uncanny.
It doesn’t hurt that he was also pulled out of relative obscurity to become a powerful sorcerer’s apprentice. And of course, there’s a lot of magic. It’s a pretty decent family movie in the vein of Harry Potter.
Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)
If you haven’t heard of this stop-motion, animated feature, don’t worry; you’re not alone. Most people missed it when it premiered in 2016.
If you love Harry Potter, though, you might want to search it out and give it a shot. The plot of the movie is pretty wacky; a young boy (Kubo) accidentally summons an ancient evil, and with the help of his protectors, a beetle and a monkey, he has to destroy it.
In addition to featuring the voice of Voldemort, himself, Ralph Fiennes, this movie has other Potter-like characteristics.
There’s a huge premium put on friendship and sticking together through everything; plus, there’s the little boy who’s somehow expected to defeat a huge and powerful foe. Give it a watch. You’ll quickly see more similarities than you’d think.
The Witcher (2019-Present)
First and foremost, The Witcher is a show for adults who love the Potterverse, not kids. Based on the popular book series by Andrzej Sapkowski and the even more popular video game franchise of the same name, this show stars Henry Cavill as Geralt, a super-powered mutant known as a witcher.
This movie features a ton of magic, and although they’re called ‘sorcerers’ rather than ‘witches’ and ‘wizards,’ the show is also full of powerful magic users who kick so much butt. The first time you watch the Battle of Sodden Hill, you’ll lose your mind.
It’s a gorgeous show with plenty of magical creatures and special effects so good, you’ll swear they’re real. If you were a child/teen who loved Harry Potter when it first premiered, you’ll definitely be an adult who adores The Witcher.
Pirates of the Caribbean Franchise (2003-2017)
At first glimpse, these movies appear to have very little in common with the Harry Potter series. However, there’s an overwhelming sense of whimsy, excitement and just pure, innocent, childlike fun to both sets of movies that makes them more alike than they first appear. Although the main characters in Pirates are adults, there’s something in Will Turner (played by Orlando Bloom) that’s just so relatable and actually reminds you a little of Harry.
Additionally, Johnny Depp’s Captain Jack Sparrow would fit in quite easily with some of the ghosts and spirits at Hogwarts. In fact, I can almost picture him passed out in the corner of the Great Hall, bottle of rum in hand. Perhaps more importantly, there’s a little bit of magic in the Pirates movies too.
The Magicians (2015-2020)
If the reason you love Harry and his group of friends is solely because of the magic, then you should also love Syfy’s The Magicians.
Although in plot this show is nothing like Harry Potter, the spells, magic and cool special effects are quite Potter-esque. Unlike the magical world of the Potterverse, though, this show is not for children.
There are some very adult themes in The Magicians, as well as a lot of other stuff that simply isn’t suitable for kids. In addition to alcohol and drug use, there’s a lot of “non-nude” sex as well.
It’s also darker in nature and tone than the Potter flicks, but it has a lot more silliness in it too, which makes it a really fun watch for adults and older teens.
Warcraft: The Beginning (2016)
Because it was first a series of popular books, Harry Potter had its own pre-made fan base when the first movie premiered.
Similarly, Warcraft, based on the popular MMORPG World of Warcraft, had its own huge group of fans just waiting for the movie to premiere.
The New Mutants (2020)
Although this 2020 movie is much darker and not really suitable for children, The New Mutants is about a bunch of teens who suddenly learn they have special powers and abilities and are sent to a “school” to explore those abilities and how they work. That, however, is about where the similarities to Harry Potter end.
This movie is more of a horror story than a sweet, coming-of-age, good versus evil type of film. Still, if you’re missing the magic, powerful abilities and amazing special effects of the Wizarding World, you’ll probably enjoy The New Mutants.
The Twilight Movies (2008-2012)
Although the Twilight movies aren’t really that much like Harry Potter, it seems like the same people who love watching one also love the other set as well. Perhaps this is because both series are based on very popular young adult book series, or perhaps it’s because of the magical elements in both.
There are no witches and wizards in Twilight, but there are vampires and werewolves, and many of the vampires have extra-special powers, such as the ability to read minds, see the future and cause pain with nothing but a look. Either way, these are good flicks to watch if you’re craving a little young adult magic.
Vampire Academy (2014)
This is another movie that isn’t really all that much like Harry Potter, but it came out during that same time period where young adult books being turned into movies was all the rage, so most Potterheads actually enjoy this flick.
It’s a decent enough film about a group of Moroi (vampires) and Dhampirs (half-human/half-vampires) who live at a school built specifically for them.
The Moroi actually do have magic, so there’s that, but all-in-all, this is one you’ll only enjoy if you’re just jonesing for another fun, young adult, fantasy movie.
Bonus: The Harry Potter Movies (2001-2011)
If you’re looking for a movie series like Harry Potter and just aren’t having any luck filling up that Hogwarts-shaped hole in your heart, don’t try!
Just sit down and rewatch all the Harry Potter movies from beginning to end. That’s the beauty of having streaming services and Blu-ray players at the tips of your fingers.
You can watch whatever you want, whenever you want to watch it. There’s no shame in rewatching movies you love. If you have a desire and/or a need to watch Harry Potter, then go watch Harry Potter!
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (2001)
- Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002)
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004)
- Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
- Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (2007)
- Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (2009)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1 (2010)
- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2 (2011)