Warner Bros. Pictures | Release Date: December 14, 2012
8.0
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Generally favorable reviews based on 2714 Ratings
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6
beingryanjudeSep 1, 2014
It is clear that Peter Jackson should not stretch the children's book into three Lord of the Rings-length feature films. Nevertheless, Jackson brings an insightful look into Middle Earth once again. An Unexpected Journey is by no means aIt is clear that Peter Jackson should not stretch the children's book into three Lord of the Rings-length feature films. Nevertheless, Jackson brings an insightful look into Middle Earth once again. An Unexpected Journey is by no means a repeat of the previous trilogy--it's fresh and exciting. Expand
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6
GodotIsW8ing4UJan 30, 2013
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a movie best described as "unexpected". A decade ago, nobody expected that Peter Jackson would come around and even make The Hobbit. A year ago, nobody expected that Peter Jackson would split it acrossThe Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a movie best described as "unexpected". A decade ago, nobody expected that Peter Jackson would come around and even make The Hobbit. A year ago, nobody expected that Peter Jackson would split it across three movies. A month or two ago, nobody expected that HFR would bring with it a huge dinner party of new problems for visual effects staff. And going into the theater, despite all of the warnings I'd received, I still didn't really expect what I got.

It's not that I didn't LIKE The Hobbit -- I very much did, though many of my friends didn't -- the problem is that strictly speaking, it's not a good movie. It would, however, make a very good TV mini-series.

A movie brings with it certain demands of pacing and condensation; you've got your audience for a set length of time with no intermissions or breaks, and you've got to hold their attention and entertain them for that entire time, which means that the longer your movie runs, the less added fluff you can afford to have in your movie (conversely, shorter movies can afford a lot more fluff, simply because the audience won't get tired of a 90 minute movie unless the whole thing is just unspeakably dull). With a mini-series, on the other hand, you can break the story up into 1-hour chunks, show one a week, move the story along at whatever pace you damn well like and as long as you don't turn into The Walking Dead Season Two you can flesh out the world as much as you want.

Peter Jackson's heart is in the right place with this movie: he wants to show Middle-Earth in all its glory. He wants to show not only what you read in the book The Hobbit, but also everything important that was happening at the same time anywhere in the world, as well as give some of the otherwise-flat dwarves arcs. All of this would be completely forgiven on TV, and it would be hailed as one of the best shows on the airwaves for its dedication to bringing its setting to full, vibrant life. However, doing this in cinema just means that people are going to get cramps in their asses from sitting in the theater seats for three hours straight once a year three years in a row.

The problem with the movie isn't with the dialogue, the acting, the visual effects (though I will be discussing the unexpected technical issues later; I just consider them petty quibbles rather than major problems), the cinematography, the sound, or any of that; the problem is pretty much just the decision to make the movie as incredibly long as it is. All the scenes themselves are individually very nice, and are at the very least atmospheric if not essential to the plot, but at a running time like this, anything unessential to the plot feels like it's wasting the viewers' time and padding the movie rather than actually giving you anything good, which is a real pity because this movie clearly put a great deal of love and work into everything in it. The good news is that the movie's pace ramps up constantly, until it's moving at full steam by the end, and it never slows down once it's gained speed.

If I had to change one thing about the movie to make it better, there's one thing I would do: cut the entire chase scene that leads into Rivendell. Have Gandalf simply browbeat Thorin into going to Rivendell in a three or four minute conversation, cut to Rivendell, and have Gandalf meet Radagast there before the whole wizard council, moving Radagast's conversation with Gandalf to that meeting. It cuts out a huge padded chase scene that isn't nice to watch (it breaks the "only provide the illusion of depth; never pop out of the screen" rule that all 3D movies should follow), adds nothing to the story, dilutes Radagast's character, and introduces the Azog subplot much too early. In fact, Azog and his orcs shouldn't have come into the movie at all until Thorin gets a chance to finally see them at the end; this way, the audience feels his same surprise and the scene has that much more emotional impact. It also shortens the movie, which is one of the things that needs to be done with this movie. Moving Radagast to the Council also allows him to play off the other wizards, giving Sylvester McCoy much-deserved screentime to be entertaining while also giving him a chance to show that his character isn't just an insane stoner in the woods. It's shorter and has a better overall effect.

On the technical side of the movie, HFR is a technology that shows promise, but still has a few kinks to work out. It makes the entire movie look too smoothly animated, like a Final Fantasy XIII cinematic, until you adjust to it, which takes about the first half hour. Once you acclimate, it looks gorgeous, but another problem arises: the greater detail means that costumes (and most noticeably, beards) look less realistic, which means that HFR won't develop further until costuming gets MUCH better. A lower framerate, something like 30, might be easier to work with.

Hoping the sequel will be better.
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6
ConnKonFeb 13, 2013
Oh dear. This is the biggest disappointment in a movie I've ever had. I'm a HUGE Lord of the Rings fan (like a lot of people claim they are), the Lord of the Rings truly changed my childhood. Now more than 10 years later The Hobbit isOh dear. This is the biggest disappointment in a movie I've ever had. I'm a HUGE Lord of the Rings fan (like a lot of people claim they are), the Lord of the Rings truly changed my childhood. Now more than 10 years later The Hobbit is released. This has been my most anticipated movie since heard it was going to be made in 2008. I couldn't believe I was going on another Middle Earth adventure! And after finally watching The Hobbit I was really let down. So what was wrong with The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey? It's hard to place, but it wasn't intriguing at all. The story felt really flat, the characters didn't develop well, it was too childish and it was trying too hard to be something it's not. At least don't make the goblins damn CGI! The Goblin King was a joke, the viewer can't connect to the dwarfs all, there wasn't a sense of real danger. Even the script was pretty bad! The movie started off pretty good, you felt like you were back in Middle Earth after 10 years but then it turns into a silly Narnia adventure. 6/10 Expand
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6
TubeyDec 22, 2015
In parts it nails Middle Earth, and when the score starts to soar in the background and the pacing kicks up a gear then it feels a worthy successor (or predecessor, I dunno...) to the LOTR movies.

But then it'll drop back into a movie
In parts it nails Middle Earth, and when the score starts to soar in the background and the pacing kicks up a gear then it feels a worthy successor (or predecessor, I dunno...) to the LOTR movies.

But then it'll drop back into a movie version of painting by numbers, moving from one dreary scene to the next with little continuity, which is a result of what it is - unnecessary padding of the source material to stretch the project into three movies.

This lack of coherent pacing, haphazard character development, combined with a massive over-usage of CGI, all combine to make a movie far longer than it has any right to be and is difficult to watch to the conclusion.
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6
MonsieurEamesJan 21, 2013
Not horrible, but rather disappointing. Jackson captures the visual appeal of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy but the story feels much too bloated. The ending was satisfying, though.
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6
moonman1994Jan 28, 2013
All the major critics of this film relate this film to Lord of the Rings and say how it was not near as epic as Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy. Let me first say that no it isn't but The Hobbit is no epic and so you shouldn't expect it toAll the major critics of this film relate this film to Lord of the Rings and say how it was not near as epic as Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy. Let me first say that no it isn't but The Hobbit is no epic and so you shouldn't expect it to be. The Hobbit is a short, goofy heart-warming prequel to an epic. Sure, it has it's epic moments but out rightly comparing this movie to Lord of the Rings is unfair. So, if that's not my complaint why did I give this movie a 6? The problem is that the Hobbit is a short book and it's ending up being stretched into 3 LONG movies. Since the Hobbit book is even shorter than a single Lord of the Rings book this is a problem and this lead to Jackson looking to the appendices to put more content into the film. This leads to a drawn out film that doesn't seem to want to end. There are definitely scenes that should have been saved for the extended addition and other parts that should have plainly been cut. Anther problem is that the film seems to want to spend more times making ties to Lord of the Rings than developing it's own characters (all of which did great jobs in there respective roles.) This leads to cameos by characters not previously in the Hobbit which while cool is something that makes the movie even more long. If Jackson trims the fat of the movie down just a bit more in the next two films the could be great but he has to learn that he must do that first. If you're a big LOTR fan you will love this movie but if you're indifferent to the series you'll find it to be mediocre. Yeah I enjoyed it and yeah I'm extremely excited for the next two movies. I just hope it's an improvement to this film. Expand
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6
SpangleMar 6, 2016
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a visually striking film from director Peter Jackson that rises to the cinematic levels of the Lord of the Rings trilogy in that area. The dialogue and direction are very good, but it just felt like theThe Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a visually striking film from director Peter Jackson that rises to the cinematic levels of the Lord of the Rings trilogy in that area. The dialogue and direction are very good, but it just felt like the narrative elements of this film were lacking. The story is not overly complex, but it just feels like it had no need to be this long, as they keep running into characters from the Lord of the Rings that feel as though they are there solely for nostalgia purposes. I have never read The Hobbit, so I have no idea what is added, but there are just so many tiebacks to the original trilogy that this one feels as though it is trying to ride on the coattails of that series rather than on its own strengths, which bothered me. That said, Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Hugo Weaving, Richard Armitage, and Cate Blanchett, are all very good here and this is a film that does a great job setting up its succeeding sequels. Cannot wait to check those out. Expand
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6
BshopAug 16, 2014
A bit longer than it needed to be, but I guess when you break up a single book into two movies some parts are going to be longer than required. Ending was great, finally Bilbo has a self-fulfilling act! I about cheered when he and Thorin madeA bit longer than it needed to be, but I guess when you break up a single book into two movies some parts are going to be longer than required. Ending was great, finally Bilbo has a self-fulfilling act! I about cheered when he and Thorin made up.
In summary, see it if you liked the LOTR series. Or if you like New Zealand scenery. Or if you like epics. Just go in with the notion it may last longer than needed. I bought it but rent if you're a not a Peter Jackson/Tolkien fan.
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6
DamnedThingDec 29, 2012
Looks fab - in 2D, none of yer 3D muck, please. Lighter in touch than the darker LOTR trilogy, which is as it should be. The characters are as they should be, and although there are a large(ish) number of similar looking Dwarves you do get toLooks fab - in 2D, none of yer 3D muck, please. Lighter in touch than the darker LOTR trilogy, which is as it should be. The characters are as they should be, and although there are a large(ish) number of similar looking Dwarves you do get to know their individual traits. Still, there are problems, mainly the length of time it takes to get going. And when it does get going it seems to do so in a mad rush to fit things in - and yet doesn't feel like much has happened. There are big splendid CGI sets, cities in mountains and goblin lairs and Rivendell and it looks sumptuous and particularly glittery. There are chases and fighting but it never feels like anyone is in danger, which dulls the sense of adventure considerably; there's lots of talk about danger and not enough of it. The trouble with The Hobbit is it's all surface shine and little depth, or, as Smaug would probably agree: all that glistens is not gold. Expand
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6
sanyrubFeb 3, 2013
A film with such a big budget and all kinds of spectacular special effects and with a running time of 3 hours on purpose should not feel so long and boring at parts. Maybe it is affected by the previous trilogy, but it feels like we have seenA film with such a big budget and all kinds of spectacular special effects and with a running time of 3 hours on purpose should not feel so long and boring at parts. Maybe it is affected by the previous trilogy, but it feels like we have seen it before. It is still great but without that surprising point it becomes tedious when the film is 1 hour and a half in. It feels like a contrived journey. But it becomes interesting in the last hour again once the most loved creature by the public finally appears and steals the show for a long while.
Many other films with long running-times released in 2012 are way more interesting, impacting, emotive and feel shorter than what they are: Django, Les Miserables, Skyfall, Dark Knight Rises and more.
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5
FiddleFeb 7, 2013
Bilbo's story, though not without thrill, is much more lighthearted then "The Lord of The Rings" so don't expect to see a lot of doom and gloom or giant armies slugging it out. Unfortunately the Peter Jackson doesn't strays from the novel aBilbo's story, though not without thrill, is much more lighthearted then "The Lord of The Rings" so don't expect to see a lot of doom and gloom or giant armies slugging it out. Unfortunately the Peter Jackson doesn't strays from the novel a lot in this film which, in my opinion, ruined the story a little. Expand
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5
spollardFeb 25, 2014
These are just not my type of movies. I did enjoy some parts of the Lord of Rings and this one just is not as good. Characters are not as memorable and the journey is not as good as the Lord of the Rings, but maybe this will change in theThese are just not my type of movies. I did enjoy some parts of the Lord of Rings and this one just is not as good. Characters are not as memorable and the journey is not as good as the Lord of the Rings, but maybe this will change in the next two. Something else that annoyed me is that just when we think one or some of them are going to die, they are saved by something ridiculous and makes you wonder why doesn't the wizard just use his powers all the time to protect them? Just a thought. In the end I would have rated this movie lower but due to the incredible special effects I gave it 54.5/100. Expand
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4
JmsbppJul 22, 2013
Bilbo definitibamente es poco entretenido y algo estupido a una excepcion la pelicula guarda exclentes efectos y la originalidad al 100 sin embargo solo BLA BLA BLA Y ganas de ZZZzzzzz
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6
TiTaToverteefJan 5, 2014
I can't rate this any higher than a 6. The film is deviating from the book just a bit too much for me to enjoy it. For those of you that enjoy a good action movie set in Middle Earth, this is for you. If you care about the lore and anyI can't rate this any higher than a 6. The film is deviating from the book just a bit too much for me to enjoy it. For those of you that enjoy a good action movie set in Middle Earth, this is for you. If you care about the lore and any backstory whatsoever, don't watch it as it has too many details that aren't supposed to be there. Expand
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5
FilmVirtueFeb 14, 2014
Peter Jackson's new take on the Lord of the Rings like always contains vivid scenes of animation but fails to make the film anymore than a simple adventure story.
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6
CherryxldDec 14, 2014
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey es una película de aventuras que nos cuenta la historia detrás de las trilogía de "The Lorg of the Ring", y que resulta bien ambientada pero un poco pesada.

Esta película nos ofrece un espectáculo visual
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey es una película de aventuras que nos cuenta la historia detrás de las trilogía de "The Lorg of the Ring", y que resulta bien ambientada pero un poco pesada.

Esta película nos ofrece un espectáculo visual que, digamos, cumple con las expectativas (debido a que las 3 películas de "The Lorg of the Ring" ganaron el Oscar en la categoría de "Mejores Efectos Visuales), y que le dan una caracterización bien ilustrada a la tierra media, sin embargo, la película tiene un fallo, y es que sus largos 169 minutos de duración (o 2 horas con 39 minutos, que en general son casi 3 horas de metraje) resultan un tanto pesada o fastidiosa (aunque no todo el tiempo), por lo tanto algunas personas quizá puede resultar un poco, digamos, lenta (aunque no en todo los términos), pero, esa larga duración no hace que la película caiga, así que, logra mantenerse firme durante todo su trayecto y terminando con un espectáculo lleno de buenos efectos visuales, buena ambientación y con un comienzo respetable de esta nueva trilogía de la edad media.
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6
thomasljoguesNov 13, 2014
Though the first piece of Jackson's Hobbit Trilogy by no means lives up to the expectations set by the LOTR trilogy, it is worth seeing, as it often times lives up to the book's well-earned famed. A bit sloggish at times and cartoony inThough the first piece of Jackson's Hobbit Trilogy by no means lives up to the expectations set by the LOTR trilogy, it is worth seeing, as it often times lives up to the book's well-earned famed. A bit sloggish at times and cartoony in physics (the main characters go through the ridiculous unscathed) it is a decent film for those not expecting a masterpiece. Expand
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6
night4Apr 28, 2016
The interpretation of the books was best in this first movie, the others got really, really bad.

My biggest issue is that Martin Freeman was miscast. He's an incredible actor, just not a good Bilbo.
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