Wow. Just fucking wow.
I was 5 when I read the first book, and 14 when I read the last. I am now 18, and just left secondary education for good. Seeing this I would say was officially the end of my childhood. I honestly felt like a little part of me died when the credits started to roll. I never ever cry at films, but I definitely felt tears in the scene where he brings his parents back with the stone. Excuse all of the sentimentality in this post, but it really was an emotional experience.
I went to the cinema with about 8 or 9 of my friends, all of whom the same age as me. Every single one of them was crying their eyes out when they left the cinema. It was also one of the most surreal cinema experiences I have ever had too. Normally, people sit down and watch the film intently, while laughing at the jokes and stuff sometimes. Not this time. There was a huge amount of audience participation, cheers at parts in the film (Molly Weasley's attack on Bellatrix Lestrange), at some points even football style chants during the battle of Hogwarts. Also, all of us (me & friends) at the end of the film as the credits came on all simultaneously shouted "Mischief Managed" to cheers from the rest of the audience. I will be very very surprised if I ever watch a film like that again in my life.
Anyway, on to the actual film itself. While some critics found part 1 dragged on a bit (mainly those who never read the book), this film pretty much justifies that. It is packed from start to front with suspense, drama, action, comedy, and hugely emotional moments that grab you by the neck during the first sequence and never let you go. The Gringotts break in was perfectly realised down to a T, and the battle of Hogwarts was awe-inspiring. Each scene lent itself as much to comedy as it did to suspense, horror or tragedy, creating what I feel is the perfect balance. The acting was wonderful I thought, Daniel Radcliffe was better than he has ever been before (accusations of wooden-ness seem far fetched here), even Fred and George had an immensely touching scene where they simply asked each other if they were alright. The unintentional hilarity of some moments (particularly with Ralph Fiennes' brilliantly over the top Voldemort) actually added to the film rather than detracting from it too, a rare thing, certainly in films that are as good as this. The effects were brilliant too, I watched the 3D version, and found it rather than intrusive like so many other 3D films, quite subtly and elegantly done, which really added to it I thought.
One slight thing I found was a bit of a shame was the lack of attention to Fred Weasley's death as well as that of Remus Lupin and Nymphadora Tonks. That could have added a little extra something to what I believe was near to perfection anyway.
So basically, I just came in here to say just how incredible the experience was for me. Probably just a film to most of you, but to all of us lifelong Harry Potter fanboys (and fangirls), it really meant something. Not all of you have enjoyed the books/films, but you cannot deny, as i have seen tonight, it has had a massive effect on so many peoples lives. So goodbye Potter, the world will miss you!
(I know I will get called "wet" and "CG" for this post, as I often do on this site, but haters gonna hate.)