Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince shows us a much more grown-up Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint) and Hermione Granger (Emma Watson). The gang is starting their sixth year at Hogwarts School, and the battle between good and evil is alive and well.
The movie begins with Harry flirting with a waitress when he is pulled away for an urgent matter by Professor Dumbledore (Michael Gambon). Dumbledore wants Harry to entice Professor Slughorn (Jim Broadbent) to come back to teach potions at Hogwarts.
Meanwhile, Draco Malfoy (Tom Felton) has been chosen by the dark side. His mother is worried about him, so Bellatrix Lestrange (the always creepy Helena Bonham Carter) makes the unbreakable promise with the evil Professor Snape (the fabulous Alan Rickman) that he will protect Draco and carry out any deeds that he is unwilling to fulfill.
There is also love brewing in the air. Ron gets an overbearing girlfriend named Lavender. Hermione is jealous since she likes Ron. Harry is also jealous that his crush Ginny Weasley (Bonnie Wright) has a boyfriend. Dumbledore sums up love the best when he says, "Oh to be young and to feel love's keen sting."
Harry ends up with a book in potions class that belonged to the Half-Blood Prince, who is a mystery at this point. The book has notes in it that help Harry become the star of the class. Dumbledore has tasked Harry to find out what Professor Slughorn told the young Voldemort when he was in his class, known then as Tom Riddle.
Slughorn aggrees to let Harry have his memory. Once he and Dumbledore discover the secret, that he told him how to split his soul so that he could never die, they must find where Voldemort has hidden his souls. This is where the tragedy strikes. We also learn who the Half-Blood Prince is.
The special effects are amazing without being overwhelming. The Quidditch games are especially cool. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part I is set to be released next year and Part II in 2011.