Chris Columbus, who directed the first two Harry Potter movies, has passed the wand to Alfonso Cuaron (Y Tu Mama Tambien), and in contrast to Columbus’s bloated theme-park rides, this third installment (2004) more closely approximates the character-driven storytelling of J.K. Rowling’s beloved children’s books. The young wizard (Daniel Radcliffe) returns to the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft for his third year, but his studies are overshadowed by the escape of convicted murderer Sirius Black (Gary Oldman), an acolyte of the evil Lord Voldemort (whom Harry defeated in the previous film). Like the first two movies, this is loaded with computer-generated imagery, but for the first time there’s a sense of dramatic proportion balancing the spectacle and the story line.