Overall, I really loved the movie. The look of it was great as was the casting of Trelawney, Sirius, and especially Lupin. I particularly liked the scene where Lupin and Harry talk on the bridge and Lupin tells Harry how close he was to Lily and James. I know it's not in the book, but it is so much what I wanted Lupin to do. That was always my biggest frustration with POA book--that Lupin spent all that time with Harry and never really told him how close they had all been.
I did keep wanting them to go into detail about who the map makers were--I felt that it left some important questions unanswered--not for me, but for people who haven't read the books. As my hubby and I walked out, I felt that there were things I needed to explain because they had been left out or changed. His reaction was that the movie was ok--I guess that's what he gets for refusing to read the books. My two daughters and their SO's liked it. Sarah thought it was a little slow, but today admitted that by the time we got in the theater she was annoyed because of being pushed and run over by the crowd (the theater did a rotten job with lining us up and letting people enter from two different lines and two different doors. We all got separated and didn't sit together--it was more trouble than it was worth to change rows.) Laura loved it.
I wondered why they had Hermione reacting the way she did during the time turner sequence--in the book she kept cautioning Harry to remain hidden and not do anything to change what happened. But in the movie she threw rocks to get them to leave Hagrid's, howled to draw Lupin away from Sirius--why? That part, while visually impressive, went completely against the reason they became animagi--that they could then spend time with Lupin as animals when he transformed. But in the movie he nearly kills Sirius.
I like the addition of all the clocks. Time has always been prevalent in the books, though I've never been sure where she is going with it. There is Dumbledore's unusual watch, the Weasley's grandfather clock, Harry's watch that quits working, Ron has a watch, and then the Time Turner and the room with Time in OOTP. There's also the comment that Snape makes to Harry about Occlumency--time and space matter in magic. And besides, I love clocks of all kinds. Maybe it's one more way of showing how the magic world is different than the muggle world, as all these clocks are analog while so many of ours are now digital. I'm still thinking about that one.
And personally, I was happy with less quidditch. What can I say--I'm not much of a sports person. I've always seen that part of the books as fluff unless it has something like the dementors showing up or the Death Eaters at the World Cup, etc.
The patronus practices with Lupin were very good and at the end by the lake with Sirius, but it would have made more sense why he thought it was his father if they had explaine that his father turned into a stag.
Emma Thompson as Trelawney was perfect and I can't wait to see her get sacked in the 5th book--well, and even dealing with Umbridge will be a treat. LOL In fact, all of Divination was just as I had always imagined it.
Gary Oldman was good as Sirius, but it was David Thewlis who was incredible as Lupin. Just the right amount of sadness, mixed with kindness and caring, subtle humor, inner strength even though he seems weakened by being a werewolf. And Rickman was great, as usual. I love the way he plays Snape--particularly in the scene where he subs for Lupin and in the corridor where he catches Harry with the map.
Some people have said they didn't like the scene where Harry cries after finding out about his parents and Sirius, while others really like it. I was kind of in the middle. It was ok, but it was just odd the way the kids weren't allowed in the Three Broomsticks when that's where they always go. And I read somewhere that Harry never cries--well, not in that scene. But he does have tears on his face or a burning lump in his throat in other places. But he always covers it up and hides it from his friends. I think the way they did it in the movie is very true to what Harry was feeling--and then having that sadness turn to anger was appropriate.
Other things I really liked--the music (hats off to John Williams), the choir, the naturalness of their clothes (even though I thought I'd hate it), the hugs between the trio and the side glances between Ron and Hermione, the talking portraits throughout, and the Headless Hunt. That really surprised me, and I loved the way they just put it in and didn't explain it. The Fat Lady was great, but I would like to have seen more of that. Oh, and I loved the addition of the boys sitting in the dorm eating sweets and being goofy. Perfect. They could have cut down the Knight Bus scene and even some of the Buckbeak/Harry flying, though I like the way it looked (still not sure I like the King of the World thing, but...) If they had cut those down a bit, they could have put in the missing part about who wrote the map and also the part where they explain to Harry why the others became animagi and why Snape hated them so much. Ah, well. I think I'll go see it on Monday morning. The changes probably won't bother me so much the second time, though I did want to yell at Harry to ask Lupin how he knew how to work the map!