I really love how the Harry Potter movies get not only darker, but grittier with each installment. Despite the fantasy trappings, Prisoner of Azkaban and now Goblet of Fire have a delicious aura of casual realness about them. For instance, the Quidditch World Cup at the beginning of the movie crackles with the raw energy of a live sporting event. As for the first two movies, I don't know whether their Chris Columbus sheen is a missed opportunity or a fittingly innocent contrast to the later films. On one hand, I like how the feel of the movies palpably changes as they progress. On the other, while the first two are integral chapters in the overall story, I have no interest in watching either one ever again.
As for Goblet of Fire, I thought the story flowed pretty well. A couple of scenes do feel a bit truncated--like when the kids are in the woods with Hagrid, presumably for some kind of campfire, and they find the dead guy, and then we're out. But aside from the surprisingly well-paced Prison of Azkaban, all the Harry Potter movies tend to have an overstuffed feel, and I'd rather it feel rushed than bloated.
Ron's pouty falling-out with Harry feels rather forced. The acting is fine, but the fact remains there is no reason for him not to believe Harry's denials of submitting his own name.
I didn't have a problem with Hermione's eyebrow-acting. She did move them a lot, but I'm not sure I would have noticed if I hadn't read complaints about it beforehand.
I liked the sequence about trying to find a date for the ball. But why did all the girls suddenly turn away from Harry, when he was super-popular moments before? I do wish that just once, a movie/TV show would show the awkwardness of asking for a date the way it really is, where you pop the question in one smooth, phonily casual breath, then don't breathe again until you get the answer. Because you don't want to sound awkward--you pretend you're not, but you do anyway. All the stammering and stuttering movie guys always use to convey awkwardness really set a bad example for me back when I was a teenager and trying to learn how to ask girls out.
It was funny how bored and annoyed the Indian girls were when they were with Harry and Ron. The one girl's reaction to Ron's awful suit was great. I don't understand why Harry sat out the dance and made his own date miserable, though. I get that Ron was jealous about Hermione. Was Harry pining for Cho? Or was he sulking just to keep Ron company? It seemed not very considerate of his own date.
The Mad magazine satire pointed out that tricking Harry by making the Tri-Wizard Cup the portal-thing is an awful lot of trouble, since you could theoretically make anything a portal and put it someplace where Harry would touch it without having to win Fear Factor: Hogwarts Edition. But, eh. Plotting climaxes has never been J.K. Rowling's strong suit.