It’s safe to say most Potterheads would agree—whether they prefer the movies or the books—that when it comes to fantasy literature and film, nothing comes quite as close to perfection as Harry Potter. The mystical, incredibly detailed world comes to life so beautifully on screen that fans are still waiting for their Hogwarts letters to this very day.
But while it’s hard—and perhaps a bit unfair—to compare any story to the tale of The Boy Who Lived, there are still plenty of narratives out there to give you a similar sense of escape if you’ve already binged the movies and studied the spells. We’ve gathered 18 movies like Harry Potter (many of which were also adapted from books) that you can stream right now on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and beyond. Each one will deliver exactly the right dose of magic, fantasy, and odds-defying protagonists.
Alice in Wonderland
A darker Tim Burton take on a classic story, a girl named Alice follows a peculiar white rabbit—only to return to the magical world of Underland, reuniting with the Mad Hatter and the Cheshire Cat to end the reign of the evil Red Queen.
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
Adapted from the legendary J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy novel, fans frequently compare this series to Harry Potter, which was published decades later. The Lord of the Rings is based in the fictional world of Middle-earth in which a hobbit named Frodo Baggins (along with a noble Fellowship) fights to destroy the sinister “One Ring” and its creator, the Dark Lord Sauron.
Teenage half-vampire, half-human Rose Hathaway attends St. Vladamir’s Academy with her best friend Lissa Dragomir, princess of the Moroi vampire. Rose trains to be her guardian, but must make a sacrifice along the way,
Bridge to Terabithia
Friends Jesse and Leslie create an imaginary world full of magical creatures called “Terabithia,” in which they rule as queen and king respectively. But soon, tragedy strikes, and the mystical land becomes a source of comfort and hope.
A Wrinkle in Time
Directed by Ava DuVernay and starring our very own Oprah, this film based on the ’60s sci-fi novel of the same name follows Meg, her brother Charles Wallace, and their friend Calvin as they adventure through space and time to find Meg’s scientist father.
Fantastic Beasts films
Straight from the mind of Rowling herself, the Fantastic Beasts films are a spinoff of the Harry Potter series, following the story of Newt Scamander, a quirky “magizoologist.” But while taking in Scamander’s adventures, fans are also treated to the little-known origin story of a young Albus Dumbledore. (As in, Harry’s mentor and one of the greatest wizards in wizarding world history.) The third film is set to premiere in 2021.
The Golden Compass
Starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig, The Golden Compass, based off the classic fantasy novels, tells the story of Lyra Belacqua, a young girl who lives in a parallel world where human souls take form as animal companions called daemons. But she soon discovers that the children of her world—and her best friend—are disappearing, and she sets out on a dangerous journey to save them. The books will also soon be adapted into an HBO series.
Based on another Roald Dahl-penned story, Matilda tells the story of a genius young girl under the watchful eye of a cruel principal and neglectful parents. When she discovers she has telekinetic powers, she uses them to fight back against her adversaries. (Reminds us of a certain young man with a lighting scar…)
A young man named Tristan ventures into the land of the faeries to retrieve a fallen star to impress his love, but he soons finds himself protecting a magical young woman from an evil watch and a king.
Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children
A teen named Jacob discovers a magical school called “Miss Peregrine’s School for Peculiar Children” where he meets an array of children with special powers and abilities. But he soon becomes embroiled in dangerous mystery that crosses various worlds and times.
The Chronicles of Narnia Trilogy
Adapted from the 1950s C.S. Lewis fantasy novels, The Chronicles of Narnia follows the four British Pevensie siblings as they discover an unassuming wardrobe that leads them to the magical world of Narnia—complete with evil witches, friendly fauns, a noble talking lion, and a handsome prince.
The Hunger Games series
Just like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games (based on a book trilogy) follows teens fighting for their lives in order to right the wrongs of the adults that came before them. The protagonist, Katniss Everdeen, competes in the nation of Panem’s “Hunger Games,” a nationally televised event that sees her pitted against children of the nation as they fight to the death to be the games’ sole survivor.
Percy Jackson & the Olympians Series
Though the devoted fans of this book series were less than happy with the film adaptation, like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson follows a young man with extraordinary power (he’s the son of Poseidon) as he sets out on an adventure with friends to prevent a great war on Earth.
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
Orphaned—just like Harry Potter—the three wealthy Baudelaire siblings are bounced from one eccentric caretaker to another as they consistently try to evade the evil clutches of distant relative Count Olaf (Jim Carrey) who is after their enormous fortune. Based on a series of 13 books, Neil Patrick Harris currently stars in the Netflix series.
This original screenplay written and directed by The Shape of Water’s Guillermo del Toro is a foreign language film based five years after the Spanish Civil War in 1944. A young girl named Ofelia meets a mythical faun who tells her she’s to become the princess of the underworld—as long as she fulfills three deadly tasks.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
This classic Roald Dahl tale came to the big screen for the second time with a Tim Burton directed film. Starring Johnny Depp, an impoverished young British boy named Charlie is one of five children chosen to experience a rare, fantastical visit to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate factory after finding a golden ticket in one of the quirky chocolatier’s candy bars.
The Spiderwick Chronicles
After moving to a relative’s aging estate, a mischievous boy named Simon discovers a book that serves as a field guide to some of the world’s most fantastical creatures.
Harry Potter fans know that Robert Pattinson traded in his Hufflepuff robes as Cedric Diggory for his now-iconic role as vampire Edward Cullen in the cult classic Twilight saga. Edward and Bella’s forbidden love has been enrapturing passionate Twihards since the first book was released in 2005.