I've never read a Harry Potter book, but I've seen all the movies except Prisoner of Askaban (never saw it in a theater, saw a few snippets of it on TV once, enough to know the general plot, but not all the finer details, character interactions, etc.).
So, today I went to see the latest Potter movie, Order of the Phoenix.
The Potter series, more than any other series of movies, I think, requires that you see them in order, because otherwise you simply will not know what's going on. The cast of characters is so huge and only a few scenes are devoted to each one, and there's several references to prior events. (For example, the death of Digory - mentioned quite a bit in this movie but if you haven't seen Goblet of Fire, you won't know who they're talking about).
One thing also you'll see in these movies is that they are peopled with British stars who are not given a lot to do. They are in essence, cameos. [I soooo wanted to see much more of Jason Isaacs and Alan Rickman!) This is somethign you will never see in American movies.
The movie is very dark - there is very little comedy relief. Harry Potter continues to be treated poorly by his family, and because of rumors put about by Cornelius Fudge of the Ministry of Magic, most of the students of Hogwarts also look on him with distrust. Harry is angry... all the time... and initially spurns the help of friends Ron and Hermione, before realizing that everyone has to wokr together to defeat Voldemort.
One of the things I've always disliked in the Potter movies is that it is always the kids who save the day. The teachers - whether Maggie Smith or whoever - rarely contribute anything helpful to the problem, and usually dismiss it, so that the kids have had to band together in each movie to accomplish things *despite* the adults.
And that is the "indoctrination" that I think is bad, not the complaints of religious types that they're urging children to get involved in magic.
Frankly, I found the movie boring. But then, I'm not a young girl with a crush on Radcliffe, or a young boy wiht a crush on Hermione.
There's some interesting scenes for an Alan Rickman fan...although not nearly enough, and Jason Isaacs is sooo devastatingly ice-cold handsome...but again, not enough scenes!
And, I can't give away the end, but it's good. I bet the actors we're laughing as they were filming it as it looks silly without the special effects, but with the special effects.... looks good.