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Variety Film Review: ‘Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’

Variety

Just when you thought the world of Harry Potter couldn’t get any darker, along comes a bleak-as-soot spin-off that makes the earlier series look like kids’ stuff. Borrowing its title from one of the textbooks Potter studied at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” marks the first screenplay written by J.K. Rowling herself. Though the world-renowned novelist had always kept a tight rein on how those adapting her Potter stories went about their task, this assignment gives her the unprecedented ability to address her massive global fanbase directly, while current events have given her something more substantive to say.

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