Upon returning to Hogwarts for his fifth year, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) is met with backlash from friends, faculty and other members of the Wizarding World, who don't believe him when he says The Dark Lord, Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes) has returned. The Order of the Phoenix appoints professor Umbridge (Imelda Staunton) as new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher, to keep the kids of Hogwarts, especially Harry, in check and to keep him from spreading the rumor of Voldemort. Eager to stand up and let the truth be known, Harry forms a rebellion alongside Hermione (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint), not only to stand against the new school rules put in place by Umbridge, but to fight off Voldemort's army, who Harry believes is coming.
The film faults the most for me in two aspects, pacing and length. Now, this is the second shortest Harry Potter film, so I'm not here to complain that it's too long. Surprisingly enough, I wish this film had an extra fifteen minutes or so. A lot of plot points are either brushed over in a montage or come to what feels like a full stop, only to be picked back up later. The film's plot doesn't come together as seamlessly as it did in previous films, which is funny, because so far, this is probably the most straight forward of the Harry Potter films. This also leads to pacing issues, the first and second act being far too slow. The film opens with a short action set piece, and there's not a single action scene I remember until the finale. I'm not saying all movies need action in order for them to be enjoyable, I'm just saying the lack of excitement was more noticeable due to the pacing issues.
Unlike the other films, The Order of the Phoenix has a much more consistent tone. It's mostly a serious, dark film with little humour but it's a welcome change, allowing us to see these characters at their darkest moments. Dumbledore is a much more rounded and realised character here, and we get to see him be a badass for the first time, and it's very satisfying and definitely a highlight of the film. Harry is seen here like never before. He feels like he's grown up at a lightning fast rate, with students looking up to him as a teacher in his own rights. Harry discovers new secrets about himself in this film, some alarming and some genuinely heartwarming. I got emotional twice by short monologues Harry had, he is easily becoming one of my favorite movie heroes.