Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 40
  2. Negative: 2 out of 40
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Dec 14, 2012
    58
    My first thought in watching The Hobbit was: Do we really need this movie? It was my last thought, too.
  2. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Dec 13, 2012
    50
    Tolkien's inventive, episodic tale of a modest homebody on a dangerous journey has been turned into an overscale and plodding spectacle.
  3. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Dec 13, 2012
    50
    This is not about a reluctant hero drawing courage from some deep personal well. It's not about dread and danger. It's about visual effects.
  4. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Dec 13, 2012
    50
    I'm afraid that whoever it was in the New York Film Critics Circle who voted for The Hobbit as best animated film had a point. And so did the people who suspected that this whole thing was a bad idea.
  5. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Dec 13, 2012
    60
    An Unexpected Journey also proves that it is, indeed, possible to get too much of a good thing.
  6. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Dec 13, 2012
    50
    To sum it up, there is little that is unexpected in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Rather than an epic continuation of Jackson's Middle-earth obsession, the film seems more like the work of a man driving around a multilevel parking garage without being able to find the exit.
  7. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Dec 12, 2012
    60
    It's one thing to sit on your couch watching football in HD. It's another to view one of literature's most enduring fantasies in the same manner. The experience that felt so breathtakingly cinematic in Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" series now seems frustratingly fake.
  8. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Dec 12, 2012
    50
    The result is a film that is solid and acceptable instead of soaring and exceptional, one unnecessarily hampered in its quest to reach the magical heights of the trilogy.
  9. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Dec 12, 2012
    50
    You shouldn't be able to read a book faster than you can see it play out on-screen.
  10. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Dec 11, 2012
    60
    After 170 minutes I felt that I had had enough of a pretty good thing. The trilogy will test the stamina of the non-believers, and many might feel, in their secret heart of hearts, that the traditional filmic look of Lord of the Rings was better.
  11. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Dec 10, 2012
    60
    "All good stories deserve embellishment," Gandalf says to Bilbo before they set off, and one has to ask whether the weight of embellishment, on this occasion, makes the journey drag, and why it leaves us more astounded than moved. And yet, on balance, honor has been done to Tolkien, not least in the famous riddle game between Bilbo and Gollum.
  12. 50
    The grandeur of the Lord of the Rings trilogy [has] been replaced by something that resembles tatty summer-stock theater.
  13. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Dec 10, 2012
    40
    More time in Middle Earth is exactly what The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey provides - so much more that the movie starts to feel like some Buddhist exercise in deliberately inflicted tedium.
  14. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Dec 7, 2012
    50
    At any speed, the movie only springs to full life late in the day, during the first meeting of Bilbo and the tragic creature who will come to be known as Gollum (once again played by the sublime Andy Serkis).
  15. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Dec 6, 2012
    50
    The movie lacks majesty. Grand in parts, the movie is too often grandiose or grandiloquent; and the running time is indefensible.
  16. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Dec 3, 2012
    60
    A purist's delight, something the millions of die-hard fans of his Lord of the Rings trilogy will gorge upon. In pure movie terms, however, it's also a bit of a slog, with an inordinate amount of exposition and lack of strong forward movement...There are elements in this new film that are as spectacular as much of the Rings trilogy was, but there is much that is flat-footed and tedious as well, especially in the early going.
  17. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Dec 3, 2012
    60
    Jackson and his team seem compelled to flesh out the world of their earlier trilogy in scenes that would be better left to extended-edition DVDs (or omitted entirely), all but failing to set up a compelling reason for fans to return for the second installment.
  18. Reviewed by: James Rocchi
    Dec 3, 2012
    40
    The Hobbit is just good enough to make you aware of how it could have been much, much better. If you take your kids-while shielding them from various nonhuman bad guys getting decapitated both repeatedly and, worse, bloodlessly-they'll have a good time. Bilbo Baggins' quest for adventure and Warner Bros' quest for cash will take him through three films. But your quest for epic, truly entertaining filmmaking will be more successful if you just stay home.
User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 2531 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 71 out of 717
  1. Dec 14, 2012
    10
    "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is a great movie. The modern 3D - technology let us enter the world of Tolkien in a new dimension. Peter"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is a great movie. The modern 3D - technology let us enter the world of Tolkien in a new dimension. Peter Jackson made a movie, which shows once again that the small ones are able to be great heroes. The soundtrack fits perfectly to the movie. I recommend you to watch this masterpiece.
    I also will watch it at least once again.

    P.S.: Please excuse my bad english, i'm from Germany ;)
    Full Review »
  2. Dec 14, 2012
    10
    People need to stop thinking about The Lord of the Rings when they go to watch this film. The Hobbit wasn't even written the same way as LotRPeople need to stop thinking about The Lord of the Rings when they go to watch this film. The Hobbit wasn't even written the same way as LotR by Tolkien. It's not a dark, epic drama that portends the end of an age, ultimate evil, and the tragedy of life lost: not just in battle, but of those who's souls are never the same after the grand journey (Frodo).

    It's a fun adventure featuring the races and monsters that birthed contemporary fantasy. If you go in expecting that, you will be MORE than satisfied by this film. It gets better as it goes along. It was accurate to the book, and gave us just enough of a LotR tie-in without overshadowing the main quest of The Hobbit.
    Full Review »
  3. Dec 14, 2012
    10
    It has angered me critics are disgusted at the films drawn out length in terms of being a part of the lord of the rings franchise. But at theIt has angered me critics are disgusted at the films drawn out length in terms of being a part of the lord of the rings franchise. But at the end of the day the story telling ability in this film and the beauty you find in the scenes makes it a fantastic film which definitely deserves a 10. This is a film review not a business case review! Full Review »