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Starring Eddie Redmayne

Rated – PG-13

Four out of five stars

Here’s the part where I give you my bona fides as a “Harry Potter” fan: I have none.

Ok, maybe a few. I read the first three books and have seen all of the movies at least twice but, alas, I know that doesn’t make me an expert. So if you’re looking for an in-depth Potterphile analysis of J.K. Rowling’s extension of the “Harry Potter” universe, this isn’t going to be that.

Instead, I’ll get straight to the point: “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” could only be more, um, fantastic if it were called “Fantastic Beasts of the Southern Wild and Where to Find Them,” and Hushpuppy showed up as Newt Scamander’s assistant.

As the wizard and “magizoologist” Newt Scamander, Eddie Redmayne is in his element. His ability to contort his face and just be, well, super British, has rarely served him better. He has an incredible sense of whimsy and curiosity, perfect for this man who has taken a trip to the United States to set one of his fantastic beasts free.

“Fantastic Beasts” takes place in 1920s New York City. Magic is treated differently in the U.S. than in England. In America, wizards and witches are governed not by the Ministry of Magic, but by the Magical Congress, which works in secret and strictly segregates the magic population from Muggles – known in America as “No-Maj.” The parallels with today’s political environment, not just here but abroad, are quite obvious and…



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