The New York Times calls it "the film equivalent of books on tape". Roger Ebert says it "is an enchanting classic that does full justice to a story that was a daunting challenge." Moria concludes
In the end Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone is better than one expected it to be, yet not all it could have been. It feels like a film that has been spun out of a multi-media franchise rather than its own entity. The question that should be asked is this – were Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone a film standing on its own and not spun out of a remarkably popular series of books, would it be having the same success?
Variety opens with this:
To the extent that what's onscreen represents an uncannily accurate reflection of what's on the printed page, the long-awaited film version of "Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone" is a near-perfect commercial and cultural commodity.