Loved it. That was the general view. Harry Potter 7 part 1 is a big hit, at least with the Quinns, who have read, listened to and seen all the other flicks countless times. (My son, Sam, has been doing HP trivia quizzes daily for the past month as this film approached).
Yes there are disappointments. The subtleties of the book - yes really - are lost. Some of the twists and turns in the logic. Some of the careful set ups. But as a film it works very well.
When it was first mooted that it was going to be two films we discussed where they might split the story. I argued for Dobby's death all along, even though it is a downer. The film makes it clear just how appropriate that moment is. Deathly Hallows 1 starts and ends with Malfoy Manor. It concludes with the end of the wandering in the forest sequence - which I have to say came across better on screen than it did in the book. Time Mag complained it was too much forest angst. I disagree, I think they got it right.
Some things were left a bit too vague for me. Bathilda turning into a snake? And there was no sense of Voldemort breathing down their necks as JK managed to do in the book. But these are quibbles.
The actors did extremely well. The direction was slick. The editing couldn't be argued with. It was a pacy, entertaining 2 hours 40 minutes that felt like a lot less.
Of course the book is better. Books are always better. But this film: perhaps the most satisfying adaptation yet.