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Universal acclaim- based on 2368 Ratings

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  1. Dec 15, 2012
    great movie, those reviewers are like the users in video games. Great special effects, while lighter in humor and not as dark as lord of the rings, its still one amazing achievement. Another by peter jackson who just shows that he knows this very well. Incredible movie. Martin Freeman is amazing and so is everyone else. To no like this and to like LOTR is to be a hypocrite. While maybe not as good it certainly still is an amazing experience. Expand
  2. Dec 15, 2012
    A great movie all around. I actually enjoyed the light hearted opening to the film contrary to most reviewers. Acting, story and effects/action were very well done. It is a long movie but my only complaint about that was my theater has terrible seats :)
  3. Dec 15, 2012
    A prime example of when the general consensus of critics get it wrong. Amazing film and beginning to another epic trilogy. 48fps 3D was gorgeous and another evolution of modern cinema.
  4. Dec 15, 2012
    Cannot understand the critics. Yes, it is a bit more childish than Lord of the rings, but the book is a bit more childish. On the other hand, The Hobbit has the unique LotR feel to it, beautiful to look at, and engaging from beginning to end. I am a 100% satisfied and believe Jackson made another superb movie!
  5. Apr 23, 2013
    Imagine taking a fairly good, fairly beloved book of normal size and shape. Then taking 1/3 of the book, making a movie and still finding you don't have enough material... Then just filling in the blanks.

    Now, in all fairness, I wasn't the biggest LOTR fan. But I did enjoy the movies. This was painful to watch. For a child, I'd recommend it. It's got silly bits and funny bits that
    I would have loved as a child. But I'm old, and crotchety.... And was expecting/hoping for a neat story in the line of LOTR. Instead I got slapstick humor with filler. Lots and lots of filler.

    Is it a 0/10? No. It's okay. Perhaps it was simply not for me. But at 1 hour, I checked the time and was astounded to find that I had not been watching for 2 hours, and that I had 1 hour and 45 minutes left to go. I groaned and turned it off.
  6. Jan 1, 2013
    The Hobbit is a great book. The movie has great special effects. I knew I would like the movie and I did. I'm not sure I would have chosen all of the scenes that the movie makers did. Some of them were welcome and interesting, some of them were not. My biggest disappointment was that it was somewhat mainstreamed, and it includes some of the canned humor that generic "family" movies often have. Most of it was not particularly funny and only took away from the mood. There was only one line out of probably twenty that I found funny. Think the dwarf scenes in LotR. Think the C3PO scenes on the conveyor belt from Star Wars. The delivery was not perfect by the main character, which may have caused problems. Still, it's the Hobbit, it had great special effects, and there are some very well done scenes. There are parts that are definitely worth watching. You definitely ought to see the movie, but it was no masterpiece. Expand
  7. Dec 16, 2012
    It's damn good. Let's be honest and give it the respect it deserves without unfairly judging it against it's award-winning predecessors. It's biggest culprit is the length. It's like so many other films these's just a hair too long. Regardless, I found The Hobbit superbly entertaining, beautifully filmed, and thrillingly action-packed. As an avid Tolkien reader, this is a very fine representation of the book thus far. I can't wait to see what is yet to come. Expand
  8. Dec 16, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This movie has given me a feeling of epic-ness I have not felt since I watched the Lord of the Rings. As always, you will have the butthurt fools who will give actors death threats and complain endlessly due to the most minute changes from the book, as well as the critics who only give good reviews when bribed, or are zealots and like I said earlier, will whine endlessly of the smallest of changes. The movies animation was near-prefect, and the acting was phenomenal, especially during the prologue in Erebor and the White Council. While Radagast's acting was a bit silly, it was still very good in itself. Anyone who does not see this is missing out on so much, I would almost call them foolish. Expand
  9. Jan 22, 2013
    The Hobbit was a fantastic movie that hit all the right notes, while perhaps hitting a couple of bum ones. First things first, the majority of critics did not know what they were on about: the only reason it got as bad reviews as it did was because of the reason that it's a prequel (although the book actually came a long while before) that is split into three parts. I must admit, I was very dubious of this film, I was when I heard it was going to be two parts all those moons ago, even more so when I heard it would be three; the film exceeded my expectations by quite a margin. Let's get this out of the way straight away, the acting is great from all involved, with Martin Freeman making quite the splash as Bilbo. At times I felt the film strayed a little too much from the source material, but not enough to not love every second of the (around) three hours of run time, but this was necessary (and interesting enough) to spread the relatively small book over three long films. If you are expecting a very dark tone like the Lord of the Rings trilogy, be warned, this is a lot more light-hearted, Peter Jackson has done a great job at making the Hobbit feel unique at the same time as definitely a part of the Lord of the Rings series. The film is very special effects heavy, perhaps too special effects heavy for some (it was at times), but not to the point of being overly distracting or unnecessary. The film felt nostalgic, new, and magical all at the same time, helped overwhelmingly by the soundtrack, cinematography and acting. It was fantastic to see Middle-Earh again on the big screen, putting a smile on my face for pretty much the whole film. The negatives though, characters returning from the Lord of the Rings trilogy did feel a little forced and unnecessary, as all of their respective scenes lasted too long, old Bilbo and Frodo were there for too long! But, no way near long enough to ruin the film on any level, overall, I'm very pleased the film turned out as well as it did and am very much looking forward to parts two and three. Wonderful: 94/100. Expand
  10. Jan 20, 2013
    Summary: Half this movie is a pretty good prequel to LoTR. The other half is like watching someone else play a video game. The Good: It's nice to see the old LoTR characters and settings again, and the actor playing Thorin does an excellent job. Andy Serkis does an amazing job as Gollum in his big scene. All the production values are excellent, as you would expect. The LoTR screenwriters expanded Tolkien's novel into a Japanese-style tale of warrior honor and revenge. They introduced some new major characters, and they plan to expand on events that the novel only hinted at. And that all would have worked fine, because it would have been difficult to make a movie based on the novel's themes of hunger and fatigue. The Bad: What should be a 90-minute movie is bloated with an hour of meaningless action sequences. The dwarfs fight. The dwarfs run. The dwarfs cling helplessly to a large moving object that threatens to plunge them to their doom (three times!). None of it advances the plot. With LoTR, I looked forward to and enjoyed the extended edition. With this first Hobbit movie, I'll only watch it again if they release a shortened version. I won't sit through those tedious pointless action sequences a second time. Expand
  11. Dec 21, 2012
    If you liked The Lord of the Rings movies than you'll like this film. The visuals are absolutely incredible and it has that familiar LOTR feel that we all know and love. I couldn't quite give it a 10/10 for a few reasons. For one, there are so many characters that most of them have absolutely zero development whatsoever. Frodo gets more screen time than some of the dwarves and that's really unfortunate. Bilbo, Gandalf, and Thorin are the focus of the film, as they should be, but the rest of the dwarves are essentially filler in the movie. I don't know how Peter Jackson could've done this differently without making the movie even longer (and it's already about 3 hours) so it's really just the nature of the content that has trouble transitioning to film. Secondly, the feel, while similar to LOTR, doesn't seem as epic. When watching Lord of the Rings, even after already having watched it before, there's a sense of awe that this film doesn't quite capture to the same degree. Regardless, the movie is outstanding and I have a feeling that if watching all three films back-to-back-to-back (when they're released that is), it will come off much better. I can't wait for the second installment. Expand
  12. Mar 22, 2013
    Rewritten review. After watching the video. I have to say this movie is just plain fun. The over the top action sequences are short and even though when I saw the movie in the theatre the late movie action seemed like the Bridge at Khazad Dum scene repeated, after watching the video they are not out of place. Just a little indulgent. Some parts deserve a ten but overall a 9.
  13. Dec 14, 2012
    When I think "the Hobbit" I think of a little hobbit who is pulled like a child by a fatherly figure to explore the big world. 7/10 when I think of the Hobbit as introduced I think "In a hole in the ground there lived..." 3/10 When I think of Gandalf in the Hobbit I think wise old wizard with a weather beaten pointy hat and a long pipe. 9/10 When I think of the dwarves I think of dwarves in cloaks almost comical characters but serious in wilder ways with a funny disposition toward loving gold (2/10). When I think of mystery and discovery in the Hobbit I think of an imaginative scenery based vision with some encounters along the way (2/10). When I think of the Hobbit in it's emphasis I think about a children's book where the exploration of ideas provoke thoughtful meaningful contemplative and illustrative consideration (1/10).
    When I think of the philosophy of "the Hobbit" I think about the underlying currents and the hidden truths (1/10). When I think of the character interaction I think "Fairies and goblins" (2/10). When I think about "the Hobbit" as a contrast to his later work in LOTR I consider the fact he atempted to remake the hobbit after the 8th chapter and realized it wasn't a good idea to continue. When I think about the religion of the Hobbit" I think meaning exists in the world people have a place and there is a reason to believe but in this interpretation it's all boils down to simple-minded post post modern humanist action flick where the ends justify the bast.ardization of the former. If you look real hard you can see JRR tolkiens classic here, but you will strain your heart and mind to do so.
  14. Jan 12, 2013
    Let me get things straight first. I enjoyed
  15. Jan 3, 2013
    This movie seems more like a children's movie than a LOTR movie. Little Dwarves who sing and drink. The action scenes and characters seem cheesy, and mainly, this should NOT be 3 movies. The next movie better be good.
  16. Jan 8, 2013
    This movie seems to depart from the previous LOTR franchise movies in that it is not always all that serious. It is awash with comic relief, and by the end of the movie, in the midst of the battles, you know all the good guys will make it through, somehow. How could you know ? Because such moments as rife within it, such as when Gandalf magically teleports in the midst of a battle or when oversized eagles save the day and carry all of them for a while. Not to mention when Bilbo saves the dwarf king, in what is yet one of those moments again. Why did they have to walk for three hours (of movie time) only to have Gandalf call the birds in the end? Could they not have used the birds in the beginning? But that is besides the point. And there was this other wizard, I honestly do not even know what to think. That bad. The scene where Bilbo finds the ring is overly long and boring, and for some reason he has to engage in a riddle game with that stupid "my precious" guy. Probably one of the most useless moments in a film I have seen to date. One last cry I have about the movie, apart from the strange cgi characters, is that the dwarfs seem somewhat tall.There is this inconsistency, in some shots they seem taller then in others, and a few of them look, well, human. In conclusion, the Hobbit part1 has plenty of nice moments, but in a complex device, such as a movie, everything has to be done right, not just some of the things. Expand
  17. Dec 16, 2012
    Ann Hornaday you are an incredibly bad critic, find a new job. This movie turned out to be quite delightful, I was skeptical hence all of the negative reviews. but now i see that the user score speaks a whole lot more than the critic score. GO SEE THIS MOVIE, if you are a fan of lotro, or fantasy in general.
  18. Dec 19, 2012
    So my way of rating a movie: Is it worth the ticket price? In this case, yes, but barely. Sure it's an entertaining movie, but it is NOT "The Hobbit" so if you're a fan of the book, don't show up expecting it.

    The book is pastoral, insightful, thoughtful with shots of excitement and suspense. The movie is none of these things. It has gratuitous violence and formulaic action
    sequences. I was shocked by how much yelling, screaming and sword fighting and biting there was, since the book has so little of it. Now, I like a violent movie as much as the next guy, and I really enjoyed LOTR, but the Hobbit is different. Unfortunately, Peter Jackson made an LOTR version of the Hobbit. Mostly, I'm disappointed by him and his dumbing-down of the subtleties of the novel.
    The 3d IMAX experience was awesome, but sometimes the characters were CLEARLY plastic (CG). The action sequences also felt very "harry potter-ish" - Incredible, over the top, unsurvivable scenes and characters walk with nary a scratch. I can practically see the roller coaster name branding spilling out of a couple scenes.
  19. Dec 27, 2012
    Though it packs visual grandeur beyond our greatest imaginations, it is a film whose pace is deathly slow and indolent - it slogs on painfully, resulting in the bloated, overlong film that it is. 'The Hobbit' has its resplendent moments which remind you that Peter Jackson is the director, but these moments are too seldom found in the film. Furthermore, the conflicting forces of a demeanor of innocence (which is derived from the fact the book was written for children) and the epic tone that is attempted to be carried on from the Lord of the Rings trilogy results in an overall effect of inconsistency and general lack of acuity in the tone of the film. "The Hobbit" is satisfying because of the power of the on-screen spectacles and the near-hymnic power of the sound track, despite its obvious inability to even loiter in the same league as the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Expand
  20. Dec 14, 2012
    The movie is worse than the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.The 48 FPS I didn't note it.The actors are great.Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen are great acting.The director didn't do it like Lord of the Rings.
  21. Dec 25, 2012
    The high frame rate moves too fast and it hurts your eyes. After about 40 minutes into the movie I had to take off the 3D glasses and blink away the problems. The CGI is too clean and crisp looking and it detracts from the movie. When you look at the LOTR the CGI blended in into the background and fit with the movie. Here where you watch everything the actors just seem to be on a stage and do not blend into the movie.

    It is a three hour movie where nothing happens at all in it. This is partly due to the material of the Hobbit being only one book and they are trying to milk it into a 9-hr movie. You never really get to understand who the characters are in the movie. It is always person X son of person Y keeper of Z. Who cares. It is very weak character development for sure in this movie. I couldn't tell you who the main character was in this movie.

    In fact it is like the Phantom Menace in that there is little to story to the movie but instead we are told to watch more special effects and to enjoy it. I'm not going to see the other two movies in this "trilogy" as its just not worth the time or my money.
  22. Dec 15, 2012
    I didn't expect the movie to be this good. Seeing Gandalf, Bilbo, and Smeagol/Gollum really bring back old memories from the Lord of the Rings series. The dwarves were awesome too, each dwarves has different personality and characteristics, some were cool and funny. I don't know why but I was more excited about the story in this one than the Lord of the Rings series. The story cover up so much details, some references from LOTR which was cool. Visually, the best looking film I seen so far..breathtaking visuals and effects. Settings were amazing, from pretty looking grasslands to the breathtaking mountain tops and caves. Scenery was just amazing. My only problem with the film was that there were some scene that felt unnecessary, like your wondering why that scene even existed? just a minor complaint. Overall, a great film and for those that are fans of Lord of the Rings, you will love this film. Three words describing this film, EPIC, BREATHTAKING, AND EXCITING. Expand
  23. Dec 17, 2012
    This absolutely pains me to do this, as I am such a huge LoTR fan and Return of the King is quite possibly my favourite film of all time. This movie is, plainly put, not great. Its overtly cheesy and hammy, half of the story elements and dialogue is quite literally copy and pasted straight from the LoTR films and the film lacks any real cohesion. I was literally cringing at some of the one liners and the CGI (particularly in HFR) is quite frankly shambolic when compared even to the 11 year old Fellowship of the Ring! The CGI characters, namely Orcs, seem to float when they are travelling, swords do not meet bodies meaning it simply looks like the human characters (dwarves etc) are just swiping at thin air. The music score is largely, again, taken or remixed versions of the LoTR soundtrack and some scenes are pretty much identical to a Lord of the Rings scene. It amazes me how some people on here are claiming that critics and naysayers should not be comparing this to a LoTR film.. This is simply ludicrous. First and foremost this is done by Peter Jackson so of course his influence from the LoTR films are going to pass over to The Hobbit. Secondly, the soundtrack and certain scenes are pretty much taken straight from the LoTR cutting room. And thirdly this is set in the same freaking universe and is treading over old ground so of course comparisons will be made (that's like saying you shouldn't compare Star Wars Ep 1,2,3 to 4,5,6). Don't get me wrong I didn't hate this film, there was elements to like, in particular the scene with Bilbo and Gollum and I think Martin Freeman played a wonderful Bilbo Baggins. I just can't help but feel this film was a missed opportunity, I had such HIGH expectations and these expectations were not met. Stretching the 1 book over 3 films is nothing but a money grab and is simply using the previous success of the original film trilogy to 'cash in' if you will. The film, as a result, suffers and doesn't have that same aura and immersive sentiment of the LoTR trilogy. Needless to say after middling reviews and some fan backlash (and surprisingly the box office returns haven't even been that impressive this weekend) I really hope with baited breath, Peter Jackson comes back into form for the sequel and provides us with what he and everyone else knows he can do. On a final note, DO NOT watch this in HFR. That is all. Expand
  24. Dec 14, 2012
    This movie was great representation of the book. II found myself worried going to see it with all the bad press, but now I can't wait for the next installments. After reading the story countless times I could have gone without the extra character building in the beginning, but didn't find it unnecessary with people new to the story. If you like the book this is a must see, at least once. If you haven't read the book... well that is just sad, it is only 250 pages, go read it :) Expand
  25. Dec 15, 2012
    Whilst a lot lighter in tone this is still a worthy entry into the Lord of the Rings franchise. I saw the movie in old school 24fps 2D and enjoyed it a lot. Ignore the critics, go see it, and make up your own mind.
  26. May 4, 2013
    Why make a story, that could be perfectly told in 90min last twice the time for part 1? I loved the book but the movie felt like a waste of time. Too much stretching, too much nonsense beside the main plot. I'll pass on the next movies. The only real bright spot: Gollum what an awesome performance!
  27. Dec 14, 2012
    "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" have respected my expectations, it's an amazing movie, that respects the original Tolkien's work, and it is linked with the LOTR trilogy thanks to elements picked up by the Silmarillion and LOTR Appendices cleverly inserted by Peter Jackson!!
    Costumes, soundtrack, and interpretations were perfect, i loved Armitage as Thorin and Freeman as Bilbo!
    watched the movie in HFR 3D, and I fully refute the criticism towards this new technology, it was amazing! It takes 10 minutes to get used to the eye, but the result was incredible! An image sharpness never seen before! Good job PJ, 9/10 Expand
  28. Dec 14, 2012
    Peter Jackson's latest foray into Middle Earth is far and away different from the original "Lord of the Rings" trilogy he started over a decade ago. The pacing in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is far closer to the pacing that Tolkien was so fond of, which unfortunately for the unweathered, can appear cumbersome at first. In general, the film is much closer to the tone and detailing of the original work than the Lord of the Rings trilogy was. Thorin and Bilbo's actor's do a phenomenal job in my humble opinion, as do McKellen and the rest of the original trilogy's cast that make an appearance(though who honestly expected otherwise from such illustrious names?).

    On the downside, the CGI is quite heavy and is highly distracting in some scenes. I was somewhat disappointed to learn that the orcs were no longer going to be live actors anymore, as I feel that is what made them feel so perfect in the Lord of the Rings films. However, after the initial portion of the film, and excluding a few other portions, the CGI lightens up a bit and isn't as distracting(this is largely due to the Del Toro -- Jackson shift if you ask me).

    Overall, the movie is fantastic. It's very close, especially in tone, to the book, despite having some extra things added (some from Tolkien's own lore, a bit made up for the movie). I feel that Jackson is only beginning to tap into the film set, and I'm very optimistic about the future films.
  29. Dec 14, 2012
    And epic adventure of 13 unlikely heroes, The Hobbit is a great movie worthy of Tolkien's work, and one of Jackson's best movies to date. Watching in awe as the camera flies through the majestic mountain kingdom of Erebor was enough for me to be satisfied with the film... and that was only the first scene!
  30. Dec 14, 2012
    I loved it! It's pace is rather relaxed when compared to the previous movies, but I was more than happy to sit back and absorb the scenery and atmosphere. I liked the dwarves and I sympathize with their lost patrimony. The movie did everything it needed to do, plus some appreciated extras. This will not be my last time seeing this movie. Can't wait to see Smaug!
  31. Dec 14, 2012
    Couldn't have hoped for a better movie to begin a new trilogy in the Lotr universe. The graphics were incredible (I'm currently studying in the 3D industry, and I honestly don't understand those who said that the CGI was bad), the story had a lot of depth, the characters were incredibly well played and the music honored the lotr trilogy while having its own spirit.

    There will always be
    haters. But if you're a true fan of the 1st trilogy, then this movie is for you. The user score don't lie; 8.4 for a movie is quite rare. Congratulation again on the new beginning! Expand
  32. Dec 14, 2012
    Alright, all these negative critics' reviews of The Hobbit have gotten my jimmies in a rustle, so I've prepared a cup of "Too Long; Didn't Read" to start your morning off the right way.

    "It's not as good as the LotR Trilogy." : This is an adaptation of a bedtime story for children. This isn't supposed to be a complex Drama-Epic for adults. It's a wondrous fantasy spectacle for young'ns,
    so Tolkien hadn't Expand
  33. Dec 15, 2012
    As other reviewers have mentioned, I too wonder whether or not the critics are watching the same movies as we do. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is astounding film; the acting is phenomenal, the cinematography is splendid and akin to that of LotR, the soundtrack is jaw-dropping, and as for the reviews of the visual effects - how they aren't that remarkable -; these are complete misconceptions. The movie is well worth your time, and more than deserves a 10 out of 10 rating. Expand
  34. Dec 14, 2012
    An excellent addition to Jackson's collection of Tolkien adaptations. Word of advice, don't go into watching this film wanting a film exactly like Fellowship of the Ring. It's not, it has a different feel, and different tone, but you will still know you are being absorbed into Middle Earth while watching AUJ. The acting is superb - Freeman and Armitage ARE Bilbo and Thorin, and of course McKellen and Serkis reprise their roles with perfection.

    An Unexpected Journey is an adaptation of The Hobbit - not LOTR. It has a different tone and critics going into this film expecting the same emotional ups and downs as LOTR will be disappointed. Not to say there isn't any in AUJ - there are plenty.
  35. Dec 14, 2012
    Beautifully made, whimsical, and thoroughly entertaining. Much more lighthearted than I thought, Martin Freeman is great! Definitely recommend, want to see it again in the 48 frames!
  36. Dec 14, 2012
    Well, I officially no longer trust the review of "critics." How this movie has such an average score with critics is jaw-dropping. While it's not an AMAZING movie, it is no doubt a very very GOOD movie. While it isn't on par with the Lord of the Rings films, it certainly does the franchise justice. And it CERTAINLY does not warrant the bashing is has received from "official" critics. Thankfully the user score comes to the rescue once more!

    I wish I could have scored this movie an 8.5. It isn't quite an 8 but neither is it a 9. It is a movie that is just short of greatness, but easily worth your money and time.

    The start to the film will bore some people, but it will enthrall others. If you enjoy a bit of comedy and lots of character development, you'll like the first third. If you came to the movie theaters in hope of constant action, well... you might be yawning for the first hour.

    But action fans will get their money's worth towards the end of the movie. It is a treat to see the wild escapes and fights that form the action packed climax of the film. Some of the coolest looking, and just plain FUN action scenes I've seen in a while.

    The pacing is a bit weird, but those who want story will get it. Those who want action will get it. Those who want both will be VERY happy when all is said and done.

    The acting is fantastic. Bilbo's and Thorin's actors nail it. I was expecting good things out of those two, but "good" just doesn't do them justice. Bilbo is a clumsy, nervous, and unconfident hero who you laugh at, laugh with, and constantly cheer for. Thorin walks that fine line between jerk and tragic hero... he is a dark character who will anger you and pull at your heart strings all at the same time. Both Bilbo and Thorin feel REAL, at least as real as a Hobbit and fantasy Dwarf can.

    This movie is not a 10/10 for a reason though. It certainly has it's flaws. For one, it relies too heavily upon CGI. A good movie will find a balance between real and animated. Unfortunately An Unexpected Journey did not find this balance. While the CGI is great, it's over-usage is a major distraction at points. A second major flaw is that it feels a bit to drawn out. Jackson could have cut out an action scene here or there, or, could have shortened some of the heavy narration and introductions during the beginning of the film.

    Still the flaws do not bog down this excellent movie. I say it is a must see! Just don't go into it expecting the grand scale found in Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit is a much smaller story. There is no END OF THE WORLD scenario. It is the tale of a group of Dwarves trying to reclaim their home, and a simple Hobbit who finds the courage to join them on their adventure. PROS:
    A strong story and heavy character development for Thorin, Bilbo, and Gandalf. Great action scenes
    Great visuals (even if a bit to CGI heavy)
    Great use of 3D (note I DID NOT SEE THE HIGH DEFINITION VERSION, so I cannot comment on that)
    Amazing costumes
    A surprising amount of funny scenes

    Overused CGI
    The story feels a bit thinly stretched throughout the middle of the film
    Odd pacing here and there
    I have to wait a year to see the next film... NNNNOOOOOOO!
  37. Dec 15, 2012
    As a massive fan of the book I was desperate for all the magic I remembered to be present, I couldn't be happier with how it turned out. An absolute marvel from start to finish, the performances were stunning, the music beautiful and entrancing, the depth and detail of the environments pulled you in and the script was utterly charming. Although some aspects were tweaked they were few and far between and any change made felt right. I didn't notice the length at all, I was so engrossed it just flew by. With any luck I'll be seeing it again...and again. Expand
  38. Dec 15, 2012
    This movie is a masterpiece of fantasy adventure filmmaking. I especially recommend the high frame rate (HFR) IMAX 3D presentation--it's worth every penny. I did have some nits to pick regarding how Radagast was brought to the screen, but that aside, it's a wondrous film.
  39. Dec 15, 2012
    Without any kind of doubts, is the best fantasy movie I have ever seen.
    If you like fantasy, it's an essential movie to watch.
    A new magic world awaits you!
  40. Dec 15, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Honestly, a really good film. However, if you're looking for the power and intensity of LOTR, it's just not there. It's almost as if they made this one intentionally for little kids, like a Pixar film. WAY too humorous when it shouldn't have been, up to and including, funny one-liners from goblins as they were dying??!!?? Disappointing. Expand
  41. Dec 15, 2012
    Perfect film... Amazing 3D... it's slow but I say this as a positive point, savoring the details. The scene with Gollum is superb. The worst thing for me is the soundtrack. I don´t remember any melody and it's very typical, but the film is perfect. I feel sadness about critics who never do nothing but speaks a lot... bla bla bla
  42. Dec 15, 2012
    An undoubtedly well-made movie that is characterized by its immersive and enchanting effects. Not only that, the movie is very fast-paced and really gives an enjoyable time. Although there are a few problems in this movie, for instance, the length of the movie can really distinguish itself from other cinematics, due to its enormous length keeping you from going on the toilet - mainly because you are too immovable during the movie. I may not be the only one that finds it disturbing not being able to go on the toilet because of the abovementioned. Anyway, Peter Jackson did a great job on the movie, the 48 frames per second is just remarkable, and not to talk about the 3D, which gave an actual feeling of being in the movie. Since I have not read the book, I have nothing to compare with, except its previous movies (The Lord Of The Rings trilogy). Expand
  43. Dec 15, 2012
    Don't let the mixed reviews and preconceived notions of critics and purists deter you from one of the top films of the year: "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is an incredibly fun fantasy adventure that is filled with humor and charm. The first of the three prequels to Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy, this film focuses on the beginning of Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) in his adventure with the dwarven company of Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage). There are several returning cast members from Jackson's prior Lord of the Rings films, but Sir Ian McKellan is front and center as Gandalf the Gray, and Andy Serkis easily makes Gollum one of the film's most enjoyable characters despite the limited screentime. Some of the dwarves outshine the others, but with a total of thirteen dwarves it's understandably difficult to let them shine as individuals. Remember, in "The Fellowship of the Ring," many of the characters were established by the film's midway point, which let the trilogy's other characters develop naturally. I've seen the film twice now, and not once did I find myself wishing that any particular dwarf had more spoken dialogue. The story unfolding on the screen kept my focus on what was occuring, not what could've been.

    The high frame rate (HFR) worked well for me, but it's definately not for everyone. My HDTV is capable of replicating HFR due to its ability to refresh its screenrates at 120 MHz per second, which equals to about 60 HFR. This film was shot at a rate of 48 frames per second (standard cinema is 24 frames per second), which means that each frame has more information encoded. Being a pioneer in this bold venture does mean that there will be issues, as evidenced by a sensation that the film is moving too fast near the beginning prologue. However, I grew used to it pretty quickly, and never really noticed any other issues throughout the film. I don't see how anyone in their right mind can equate the HFR look to a soap opera, as there wasn't a single moment that "soap opera" or anything similar flashed across my mind as I watched the film. Again, it boils down to personal taste, but it's highly recommended if you plan to see the film multiple times to at least try the HFR once. I can only view the HFR in 3D, as there are no HFR 2D showings around me (I live in Columbus, Ohio), so I can't tell you how much of a difference there is between those versions. I did see it in standard 2D and didn't really notice the film looking much better in that version. The 3D is just OK, nothing mind-blowing like "Avatar," but I can say it's the best live action 3D movie I've personally seen since "Avatar," although that's not a tough achievement since the film was shot with 3D cameras. The HFR does add a nice element to the 3D, but it's more about depth perception that stuff popping out at you. Finally, let's get to the plot and storyline itself: if you're a fan of the book, or if you're a fan of "The Lord of the Rings" books and/or films, or if you just happen to like good ol' fantasy adventure films like "Willow," than you' shouldn't have any worries about not enjoying this film. It's a great adventure flick that really encompasses a "journey" quite well. Freeman is absolutely perfect in his role, and the addition of all the new characters really makes this feel less like a nostalgic follow-up to the "Lord of the Rings" than what it really is: a brand new fantasy adventure that proves that faith in Peter Jackson and his team is well-placed. Go see "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey." See it twice even. The early comparisons to "Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace" are utterly ridiculous with no real basis. People are also complaining about the addition of a 3rd movie, and how it affects the film's pacing. Unlike the "Lord of the Ring" films, there is no dire sense of urgency in the overall plotline, so there's no need to rush what is meant to be more of a lighthearted adventure (despite the admittedly gory fight scenes). There isn't many "prequel" films to beloved franchises that are good, but this film is beyond the exception. Ignore the hate, this film lives up to the hype in terms of acting, story, and fun. If there's one negative thing to consider, it's the fact that December 2013 feels that much further away.
  44. Dec 15, 2012
    Spectacular! Incredible performances by Martin Freeman, Andy Serkis and, of course, Sir Ian McKellen. Critics say it is too long? I completely disagree, time flew by! Yes, Jackson added/expanded some things, but he did an excellent job. What is the most important thing - he stayed true to the book and its atmosphere. "Every good story needs embellishment" says Gandalf in the first quarter of the movie. All in all - a masterpiece worth watching. Expand
  45. Dec 15, 2012
    Amazing! Don't believe the negative reviews from the critics. If you loved the first trilogy or are a fan of the books, you're going to love, love, love this movie. I saw it in regular 2-D, so I can't speak to the frame rate issues, but if it worries you, just skip it. THE HOBBIT RULED!
  46. Dec 16, 2012
    As a huge fan of the LotR trilogy my wife and I set out on our own unexpected journey to see The Hobbit, in spite of the myriad of very average reviews. Truth is most of the critics have some valid concerns, pacing is a bit slow at first, CGI seems to be a slight mixed bag. However in the net they dont seem to matter much to me. I had read The Hobbit as a young boy my wife had not and we both came away with a great appreciation with the time spent to develop characters and story in the first part of the movie. The acting is across the board great.

    The movie is by no means without flaws but I think most reviewers are using a filter of perfect or mediocre. The original LotR wasnt perfect either but the sum of all three movies was so great it immediatley lent a free pass to the flaws it did have. I firmly believe that by the end of this new trilogy we will be thinking and viewing The Hobbit in the same way. Its absolutley worth watching, Never before has returning to a fantasy world felt so good and natural. Its like being wrapped in a wamr fuxxy blanket where you know what to expect but its still great all the same.
  47. Dec 16, 2012
    The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey is a brilliant movie to start off what will be an amazing trilogy.Now the Director Peter Jackson has not lost his style from The lord of the Rings movies because middle earth still looks excitingly dangerous. Bilbo Baggins played by Martin Freeman from Sherlock owns it as playing Bilbo. He is a brave little Hobbit that goes on a journey with Gandalf and the dwarves to try and reclaim there homeland which was destroyed by the evil Dragon Smaug. When your watching this film you are routing for Bilbo all the time because he is the underdog because the drwarve leader Thorin thinks he has not got what it takes to go on the journey. Also we get to see Gollum again played by Andy Serkis is still a creepy mysterious devil like he was in the Lord of the Rings and that was fantastic to see. I think everybody is going to enjoy this movie and I did not want this film to end. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a great way to end the year. Expand
  48. Dec 16, 2012
    If anyone on this earth remembers when talking pictures came out there were aot of people that said it was no good and when color film came out there were alot of people that did not like that either. when flat screen tvs come out I met a lot of old folks that did not like them either. Open you mind. 48fps is an innovation, dont let your old minds be stuck in the past..... Anyway it was a great movie that looked fantastic. Expand
  49. Dec 20, 2012
    As a LOTR mega fan, I have to say that "The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey" was utterly, and absolutely a complete disaster. First of all, I would have to say, go see it, but only if you are a fan, and don't watch the 3D version. The 3D version gives the whole movie a strange dynamic that makes EVERYTHING seem as if were totally and completely filmed in a studio. The opening scene shows both Bilbo, and Frodo at a point in time that is supposed to be right before the opening scene in LOTR, The Fellowship of The Ring. The actors, are visibly aged, and not only are they older, but is is apparent to me that the wigs that were used for both of these characters were not even close to the originals. The hair style is not even quite the same. The hair styles aren't even the worst part. It seems to me that they completely strayed from the original conception of the Orc. Not only was the conceptual trashed, but the incredible make-up, masks, and costumes were also scrapped. Most, if not all of the Orcs and Goblins are C.G. The Orcs are greyish, almost white. Some may argue that these were not Orcs, but rather Goblins. I tried to take that into consideration, but in the movie, they are most definitely referred to as Orcs. The beautiful New Zealand scenery is almost entirely non existent. I understand that the production was plagued with financial problems, and countless other issues, but it is an utter disappointment. So many other times in history, movies, their budgets, and other things have almost cost the movie, but after the release, the movie becomes a phenomenal cult hit, ie. Jaws. Unfortunately, The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey, will not be one of those cult hits. The final thing that really bothered me about this is that instead of just taking the complete budget, and creating one last epic movie "The Hobbit", they blew the budget on three separate installments of the film: The Hobbit, An Unexpected Journey, Smaug, and finally, There and Back Again. It was totally unnecessary to create three different movies. They took quite a bit of creative license and wrote more into the story to extend this one book into 3 more movies, which makes the movie drag out more than necessary. In the LOTR, I found myself wanting more, and shocked when the movie ended where it had. I was sitting on pins and needles waiting for the next installment to come out. Not so much with this one. I was actually quite irritated that I now have to wait another two years to see the final installment of The Hobbit. I'm not looking forward to seeing the disaster that awaits, but hopefully, the story will get better, even if the scenery, costumes, and make-up do not. Expand
  50. Dec 21, 2012
    A very long movie in which not much happens. Unfortunately the PTB of the Hobbit movie seem to be milking the book for all it's worth. They seem to have forgotten that a satisfying story must have exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, resolution. Instead, in almost 3 hours we get a very tedious exposition and rising action. In order to get 3 movies out of this book, they're stretching it out way too much. Most of the movie was boring, and the few intersting/exciting parts weren't enough to save it. Expand
  51. Dec 21, 2012
    Thorin Oakenshield: So this is the Hobbit.

    "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is a great movie. It boasts top-notch acting, (as to be expected), spectacular scenery, an amazing soundtrack, and a solid plot, as well as memorable characters.

    Martin Freeman as Bilbo is a highlight. The guy knows how to act, (as one can see in the TV show, "Sherlock", where he plays alongside Benedict
    Cumberbatch who plays Smaug here), and he packs wit and charm into the film. As much as I like Frodo and co. from Lord of the Rings, Bilbo is much, much easier to like and root for.

    Sir Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf, and boy is he a badass. In fact, I won't spoil anything, but know that he has some great moments here.

    Finally Thorin, played by a certain "Richard Armitage" is the leader of the party, the Dwarf King. He doesn't like Bilbo much, but for all the right reasons. He also has probably the most awesome moment in the whole film, music loud, and all aflame, it was a sight to behold. Nevertheless, the best scene of the film is, hands down, "A Game of Riddles", where Andy Serkis returns one final time as Gollum.

    Talking about sights, this film looks simply marvelous. The environments are so well realized and filmed, I was hypnotized into the mythical world that is Middle-Earth. The soundtrack helps that immersion, as its excellent.

    The action sequences happen throughout the whole movie, and they are terrific. Very beautiful all over, especially on the large IMAX screen.

    The main complaint most people have with this film is pacing, but if you can accept the fact that it'll take a while to get going, and be patient through the first hour or so, you will be keenly rewarded, as was I. Just let it pick its own time.

    If I'd have to recommend it, see it in IMAX. The reception of 48 fps. is all over the place, but one thing's for sure - don't watch it in that format the first time. As a rule, I hate 3D, but Hobbit's one of the few films where it works. I suppose if you don't mind the glasses, it's definitely worth checking out, or just for the immersion. Just know that it's definitely not a minus.

    Finally, don't expect Lord of the Rings again. This is not it, this is a story on its own. Sure, the Hobbit is set in the same universe, Middle-Earth, but so is Spider-Man and the Punisher, yet no one goes into these films and comics expecting something similar.

    Overall, the Hobbit delivers. It's beautiful, it's fun, it's entertaining, it's a great film, and if you can forgive some pacing issues and accept the fact that it's a new series of films, you'll love it, that's for sure. And the more of Tolkien's books you've read, the more you'll like this, as the details are everywhere. Enjoy!

    4.5 / 5 = A fantastic effort, one that everyone must see. One of my all-time favorites.
  52. Dec 21, 2012
    The hobbit had some big shoes to fill.Not just normal sized shoes, giant, hobbit sized shoes(this is just a metaphor,I know hobbits don't wear shoes).There were some very high expectations from most people when they went to see the hobbit part 1.People wanted it to feel like a lord of the rings movie, they expected great visuals, grade A story telling, great acting, and for it to have a satisfying conclusion(like the other lord of the rings movies)but to still feel like it was going to lead to something more in later films since it is, after all, the begining of a trilogy. Peter Jackson succeeded on most of these fronts except for a few.Namely it feeling like a lord of the ring movie and he somewhat botched the satisfying conclusion.The main reason this movie doesn't feel like a lord of the rings movie is the visuals(everything visual,the special effects,scenery,and costumes don't give off a very "lord of the ringish" vibe).But don't take this to mean I thought it had a bad look though,the hobbit is the most visually beautiful movie I've ever seen.The scenery and special effects are so gorgeous that they just don't seem like they could be real.This is a good and a bad thing.It all looks beautiful, but some of it was just too extreme to fit in with the previous lord of the rings trilogy.In the other trilogy, special effects were more 'gritty".It all looked fantastic but it all looked like it could've existed at some point in the real world.The hobbit,on the other hand, looks like it belongs in a strictly "fantasy only" world.The ending was descent, but not very satisfying.The movie speeds up very fast for the last 40 minutes or so but then comes to a jarring stop in about the last 2 minutes and so,consequently, the whole final scene just seems out of place.But it does kind of still get you excited for the next installmet, it was probably just the adrenaline still in my system from the epicness that had just occurred in the last 40-60 minutes of the movie but I still wanted to see more when the credits rolled(not in a "this only feels like half a movie" kind of way but in more of a "I'm going to see the next one when it gets to theaters"kind of way).Despite these complaints, the movie was very good.The acting from Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, and Andy Serkis is incredible(especially Andy Serkis's acting, he only had one scene as Gollum but it was amazing).The story was good, it was a little slow the first hour or so of the movie but quickly picked up once they set out on the journey.Many people were worried about this being the phantom menace of lord of the rings movies.Have no fear, it's not.This movie is very good,not as good as the previous trilogy, but much better than the phantom menace,which was garbage.This movie isn't without its issues, but overall it is a very good and very unique movie. Expand
  53. Dec 22, 2012
    I loved this movie. I read to escape. The Hobbit took me on that journey. The movie takes you on well, re-created journey through middle-earth and the first 3rd of the Hobbit with a sprinkling of the Silmarillon. If you walk into this movie expecting more intense or natural pacing as would be delivered in a complete pre-ordained book then you won't be happy. The LOTR trilogy had more material Jackson could pick and choose from, it was more unique and it was truly best in class when thinking of Fantasy material. When relating the movies comparatively, the critics won't be happy. The LOTR trilogy really had some power-house characters (think Aragorn, Frodo, Sam, The king of Rohan). The Hobbit has Thorin, Bilbo and Gandalf. Comparatively, from a dramatic effect, it will suffer. This movie is not a metacritic 58. When viewed as complete Trilogy people will have a much more positive interpretation. I eagerly look forward to the next installment Expand
  54. Jan 10, 2013
    Honestly, nowhere near as good as the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Often boring and lagging on, losing interest is obvious. However, the beauty of the scenery and the cinematography as well as the score and brief exciting moments, excite the mood. Albeit temporarily.
  55. Jan 7, 2013
    Tolkien fans will know the story well. Many years before Frodo travels to Mordor in Lord of the Rings, Bilbo Baggins embarks on an adventure of his own. Hired as a
  56. Jan 23, 2013
    The hobbit an unexpected journey is the start of a new take on The Lord of the rings. It offers sadly so much less than the other films with scenes that just give the film a very child like look on it. It is said that the hobbit was created as a more child like book. But after showing The Lord of the rings trilogy first, no one would ever want to see it become that way on film. Despite the negative comments, the film does show signs of greatness, but they are usually overcome with incredibly cheesy scenes and characters ( radagast) which takes away any seriousness. I have been a huge fan of The Lord of the rings. Trilogy and I was deeply saddened when I saw this movie. The only thing to be said about it is, hold on to the great scenes and try to endure the more child like ones Expand
  57. Feb 24, 2013
    David Tolkien fan. Wow, what a disappointment of a movie interpretation by Peter Jackson. He replaced thoughtful plot development and dedication to character development with the easy, cost effective-way out the egregious use of violence. I have read the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit several times each. I loved the Lord of the Rings movies Mr. Jackson produced and expected this to be just as good. It was a terrible interpretation. The dwarves are silly in the movie they are not in the book. There is much more violence in the movie than in the book. And, the violence is largely gratuitous with boring, drawn out scenes that are well over the top. No doubt video-gamers will like it, but this is a movie not a videogame The other Wizard, living in the forest as its caretaker, is made to look a fool in the book he is not. The escape scenes are also much drawn out and absolutely unbelievable as in so completely unbelievable that I thought I was watching a Saturday morning cartoon. Visually the movie looks attractive, but since the plot is so wretchedly twisted the almost three-hours for me was tortuous the last 60 minutes I was twitching so much in my seat that I no doubt bothered my niegbors in the theater. Mr. Jackson did not need to add in the new characters and plot twists. Tolkien's work has very elaborate text and explanations that could easily have been incorporated to make a three-part series without the "new" material. He could have used much more character and plot development, increased the suspense and reduced the violence. I will see the next two chapters in the cinema, but not with nearly as much anticipation as I had for this first chapter and for the three Lord of the Rings movie. Expand
  58. Sep 14, 2013
    i don't know about the Hobbit... i'm really mixed on it i know its not like the books but i don't care about that really, it was really an Unexpected Journey and i'm not saying that to try to be funny i don't know i just didn't find it that great of a movie shore it has nice 3D effects what show off the team but its like avatar they have a load of fancy effects on it but the story is a load of rubbish, the annoying thing about this film is that they constantly trying to remind us that this story happens in the same world of lord of the rings, one of the scenes i can't stand in the film is the moving rocks when the dwarfs get crushed but there perfectly fine no cuts boozes or broken bones and before some one says "but its not in the book" i don't bloody care it doesn't make sense and it looks stupid i just saw them get crushed I JUST SAW IT! but so i don't complain about a lot of things i have a problem with in this film i'm going to stop here and just say the ending... was rubbish i know its showing there's more to come but its just stupid looking its like ending a episode of eastenders Expand
  59. Jan 16, 2013
    Hmm. The Hobbit. I find it somewhat ironic that the little Hobbits and Dwarfs got their film dwarfed by the Lord of the Rings. There we go - enough of silly jokes. But indeed, The Hobbit is just not as good as the Lord of the Rings. Whether we should be making those comparisons or not is irrelevant, they happen either way. And how could they not? There is so much overlap with characters and places, but also costumes, musical score, cinematography, art direction, you just name it. And while the film holds "universal acclaim" with the general audience of metacritic, I'd highly disagree with this. Yes, the acting is rather solid. Technically the film is good too. However, it gives us nothing new. It does not provide any new, deeper connection with these characters, especially not Gandalf, who is surprisingly weakly portrayed by McKellen after his excellent turn in the Lord of the Rings. Honestly, the story of The Hobbit is not as interesting as the one of the Lord of the Rings, for one. That would do the trick on its own, let alone having high expectations and a million comparisons with one of the best trilogies of all time. Overall, The Hobbit is not a bad film at all. But it is just yet another big-budget blockbuster with great technical aspects, but not quite as much substance as its predecessor had. Maybe the second one will be better? 6/10 Expand
  60. Jan 5, 2013
    First of all, I think if you are not a fan of Tolkien or fantasy in general, you won't like this movie. That being said, I thought the Hobbit was great, better than the first movie of LOTR in my opinion. I really don't think this needed to be 3 movies but more is always good and I think Jackson did in fact make this for fans and had fun doing it. I don't think he intended this for the average movie-goer who eats up the "Saw" franchise or anything with Adam Sandler or Will Farrel in it. Movie snobs will hate this movie too... bottom line is if you are a fan of Tolkien, go in with an open mind and just enjoy it because there was a lot of attention to detail and faithfulness to the book. Expand
  61. Dec 17, 2012
    Idiot critics that give high rates to movies like Twilight cannot be taken serious. The Hobbit is amazing, spectacular, EPIC!!! it has heart, it has splendor, it has visuals, it has character, everything you love about movies is here. By the time I was done watching it I had no idea it had already been close to 3 hrs, it went by so quick, and I wanted to watch more! I cant wait for part 2 and 3. Peter J is a movie maker master Expand
  62. Dec 31, 2012
    Here's my main issue w/ the film. Jackson tried to make it too much like LOTR when The Hobbit as a book has quite a different tone and story. It didn't need to be so long, it didn't need to have winking references to LOTR and it didn't need to recycle LOTR's musical themes. It should have been kept at two films max. The production design and camera work are tops of course but that doesn't make it a good movie. There are other positives and negatives of course. If The Hobbit had been the first Tolkien book that Jackson adapted we'd probably all be amazed and astounded, but it's not. To follow his own LOTR adaptation I'm afraid The Hobbit is trapped in that grey area between mediocrity and greatness. Let me sum it up this way - I watch LOTR once a year or so and love revisiting those worlds. I don't have a strong desire to revisit this one. Expand
  63. Dec 18, 2012
    I saw the 2D version--which I highly recommend to do. There is no good reason that this movie is getting such low reviews. Is it as good as The Return of the King? No. As my opinion goes, there are between 5 and 10 other movies including the first two LOTR, The Avengers, Iron Man, and SW: RotS and SW: RotJ that are THAT good, perfect 10/10. Is it as good The Hobbit as written in the novel exactly word for word? No. The added one armed orc is forced and his dialogue is bad and unoriginal ("get the dwarven scum") and the whole orc chase scene after them mines is total overkill (as is them surviving a fall on the timber bridge--there is much more suspension of disbelief required in this film). But my goodness people, the other two hours are really, really great. People complained of there being no great characters to identify with. This film has THEMES. An unexpected journey. Stepping out your front door and out of your comfort zone. HELPING homeless people regain a HOME. This is 10/10 stuff. The only reason I give it a 9 is because of the little campy stuff that was added in. I would watch this movie again in a second, and I just might. Expand
  64. Dec 21, 2012
    Take away the Lord of the Rings trilogy comparisons, the length in correlation with the original book and the unfortunate overuse of CGI and look at the bare elements of the film for a second and it's very good. I found the dwarf banter light-hearted and entertaining, the Middle Earth feeling natural and the scenes well structured. The last scene in the mountain was brilliant and capped if off very well! My criticisms come from the fact Bilbo doesn't get too involved in the story for large parts in the middle but from the scene with Gollum, the CGI is definitely overdone in parts and it's probably too long (though this can be forgiven, the time does fly by and the additional elements that have been added do work very well)

    So while it's a tiny bit long for what it's supposed to be covering in the book, it makes up for it with an entertaining film. A good watch, not exceptional but I have few complaints!
  65. Jan 1, 2013
    Is visually beautiful, strong and powerful, returning us to the Middle Ages so high, reigniting the flame of adventure as only Peter Jackson knows how to do, in the sense weak argument because I miss the thrill of a well-made ​​plot and only be a traveling group of dwarfs to return to rule their land.
  66. Dec 16, 2012
    Great characterizations. The dovetailing with the events from the Lord of the Rings movies is artfully done as well. Mr. Freeman's Bilbo is great. We get a chance to see a different aspect of Smeagol/Gollum as well.

    However, there are a lot of non-canon scenes and sub-plots that have been injected to a) stretch the plot material to last for three movies and b) show off the 3D
    technology. There are many action scenes that are frenetic and pointless.

    It's all well -done and I can't think of anyone who could have done a better job with the story than Mr. Jackson.

    In hindsight though, I think making only 2 movies and sticking more closely to the book would have been best.
  67. Dec 15, 2012
    Screw the haters, this movie was amazing. The scenery was extraordinary, and it never felt campy at any portion of the film. Some pieces are different from the book and some pieces are a bit drawn out etc. but it's great stuff overall and I enjoyed every minute of the film.
  68. Jan 15, 2014
    One of the uglier and more bewildering films of our time. I actually laughed when I realized Bilbo's ring-vision actually looks more real than the phoney, almost fully C.G. 'regular' world. Martin Freeman looks visibly uneasy to be in the film during every single, cartoonish scene of this calamity. Peter Jackson should have been put in charge of the J.R.R. Tolkien Theme Park, not the films.
  69. Dec 28, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Saw it first time in 2D and enjoyed it, although I kept throwing myself out of the experience by picking out the differences between the film and the book. DO NOT RE-READ THE BOOK BEFORE SEEING THIS MOVIE. It will ruin your experience. The second time I went to see it in 3D HFR and it was awesome. Without the constant inner dialogue of "that's different oh God!" I could actually enjoy the film a lot more. 48fps was a level of immersion I had not experienced before and I loved it. When the next film comes out, I will just see it in 3D HFR instead of 2D first. Can't wait. (It will most certainly not just be walking through the forest in "true tolkien fashion". There's Beorn, spiders, elves, a barrel ride, and if I don't miss my mark, the second film will have the dwarves in Esgaroth and a little taste of Smaug, plus Gandalf in Dol Guldur.) Expand
  70. Mar 22, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Monotonous, dry, bland, unimaginative story telling, as much fun as a trip to the dentist, please deliver us from Peter Jackson. The visuals have been overplayed in the Lord of the Rings and the screen play lands flat and robotic. None of the characters resonate and Richard Armitage looks and acts more like a poor copy of Viggo Mortensen's Aragon than a dwarf royal or not. Huge waste of time and money, this telling lends nothing to Tolkien and appears lifeless even next to the cheesy 1977 animated Hobbit. Jackson only has 2 tools in his tool box, endless sweeps across the landscape of New Zealand and excessive CGI. Both are used to great effect to kill pacing, distract from the story and swallow the characters, not that another whiny hobbit or a band of forgettable dwarves that cannot sing would be missed. The ending is also disappointing, not that I expected any kind of resolution in a film from Jackson, but I really wanted to see Smaug kill off the cast, turn on Jackson and leave us to all live happily ever after in a world free of crappy directors and pretentious film making. Expand
  71. Dec 16, 2012
    I must admit that at first I was skeptical about the claims from movie critics who disliked the high frame rate. However, after watching the 48 frames per second version of the hobbit, I now realize that the critics were correct. Something about the high frame rate is off. It feels like you were watching a soap opera, like you are seeing people dressed up as dwarves reading their lines in front of the camera. It really does hurt the feelings of immersion. However, the 3-D animation, the parts of the movie where incredible beasts or goblins or orca were rendered, those look really nice in the high frame rate. As to the plot and content of the movie, it was mediocre. If you like the Lord of the rings, then you will probably like this movie. It feels fairly familiar and there are not really any surprises, overall it was a decent movie, but it really doesn't match up to the previous works. Expand
  72. Dec 18, 2012
    I read 7 reviews and they were all negative. Because ofthem, I held off and didn't go on Friday or Saturday to see it - crass mistake. On Sunday I decided to take a chance and went with very low expectations. The movie is great. If you loved the LR you are going to like this one. It's very long so don't drink a lot or you'll have to visit the restromm in the middle of the show.
  73. Dec 19, 2012
    This movie is simply amazing in every way. Its absolutely perfect. There is no part of this movie that I don't like. I've been a bit fan of the IP/mythos since I was a child. I've read all the books and other source material.

    I've even seen the movie in both classic and HFR (48fps).

    Frankly I'm shocked at all of the poor critic reviews. Its as if they wanted to watch LOTRs instead of
    The Hobbit. Make no mistake, its not a childrens movie. There is a lot of death in this movie, but surprisingly, very little actual blood or gore. Mostly just stabbings and beheadings without meandering on the wounds or casualties. Expand
  74. Dec 16, 2012
    I like this kind of movie/book, but I actually didn't care for the Lord of the Rings trilogy or this book, when I read it back in my teens. That said, I thought this film was excellent! They changed a lot from the book, which normally would drive me nuts, but it was well needed here and well done. The settings and special effects were first rate, and I really enjoyed escaping our world for this one. Critics say that it was really slow and dragged in the beginning, and I agree, but it was worth the build up, in my opinion. Peter Jackson's best so far! Expand
  75. Dec 15, 2012
    I went in expecting disappointment. One third of a book stretched into a whole movie didn't seem possible. It turns out I was wrong. The first movie turned about to be pretty good. The first forty five minutes dragged a little, but then the movie kept up a pretty good pace. The performances were strong and Peter Jackson's Middle Earth is as beautiful as ever. The only complaint I have is that the 48 fps makes everything seem cgi. Even the practical effects come off as looking fake for some reason. It may take some getting used to. Overall though, The Hobbit is a pleasant surprise. Expand
  76. Dec 23, 2012
    How wrong the critics were. This is great. I can't remember 3 hours going so quickly. Perhaps, in some ways it is lacking the sheer volume of material in Fellowship but, equally, it covers a lot of ground and was perhaps a little more satisfying.
  77. Dec 24, 2012
    I just loved the movie from start to finish. Of course I loved the original Lord of The Rings trilogy as well. The action sequences are tight and entertaining, the characters are well defined and the loved the light humour here and there. I would recommend this movie to anyone who loved the fantasy or fiction genre. It has superb production value. And amazing scenery.
  78. Dec 21, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. An absolutely stunning fantasy adventure. I was enthralled from start to finish. Does it help to know the book, and the mythical background? Maybe, but I can't unknow it, whereas those ignorant of the story of how (and why) a wizard calls in on a homely hobbit to persuade him to go on a quest, have a choice.

    Great though the Lord of the Rings movies were, Jackson and his team have created a more complete fantasy world than was possible 10 years ago, and populated it with humour and humanity. As was the case with the last trilogy, the actors make a great ensemble, with enough strong performances to carry the story without any of them overwhelming. Where previously the studios were wary of making audiences sit through long movies, Jackson can here take his time, not just in expanding (not padding) the original tale with additional material that helps stitch the entire of Middle Earth into existence, but in allowing critical scenes time to unfold and draw you in.

    The action sequences are just mesmerising. Knowing that they are created with 'special effects' does not matter if you allow yourself the pleasure of wallowing in the details and being carried breathlessly through the backstory of the loss of the dwarves' home of Erebor, and the fights with trolls, wargs and goblins.

    But the two most telling moments - proof that within this oft derided genre are the essentials of what story is about - are the most quiet. The scene where Bilbo and Gollum meet under the mountain for the first time climaxes with the critical moment for the whole of Middle Earth where the hobbit, hiding from Gollum, who is in turn hiding from the dwarves, has the chance to kill the pathetic creature from whom he has obtained the ring. He changes his mind.

    But for me, the most affecting moment came after the rumbustious goings-on when the dwarves first arrive, and Bilbo wakes to find they have tidied up and gone, leaving him to his ordinary life. The silence ringing round Bag End is terrifying, and it is this realisation that he has lost his chance to live a real life that compels Bilbo to change his mind once more, and propel him out of the door.

    Now, to find a cinema where I can watch it again, this time in 48fps and 3D!
  79. Jan 1, 2013
    I must say that if you must not go in the theater to watch this film with Lord of The Rings in your mind. This film is absolutely different from the previous three films in LOTR trilogy. This film is not based on the victory over evil but it is a film that tells us about the lives of different races in Middle Earth. So,I must surely say that this film is a must-watch for you.
  80. Dec 20, 2012
    Not close to as well made as the LOTR's trilogy but entertaining. I have to knock it for adding in places that really did not need it. Also, there was no content and there's no reason for this to be a trilogy.
  81. Jan 10, 2013
    I saw The Hobbit after having reread the book and found the movie visually spectacular but otherwise somewhat disappointing. Tolkien
  82. Dec 18, 2012
    "The Hobbit" brought me back to a feeling I've only had once before, in 2001, after watching "The Fellowship of the Ring". I looked forward to December 2002 due to that film, and now I look forward to December 2013 due to "The Hobbit".

    I have read the book several times, and I did enjoy Jackson's take on it. When the credits rolled, I was left wishing for more. "The Hobbit" takes its
    time. We don't leave Bilbo's house until 40 minutes have passed. But I had the same experience when reading the novel. It starts awfully slow and then picks up and gives you the wildest adventures imaginable. It is actually refreshing to have a movie that takes its time to develop and move forward. It even takes some pauses from the forward moving action, and gives the audience some time to breath, and enjoy the world of Tolkien and Jackson without worrying about plot details the whole time.

    The professional level of the movie is the same as with "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. It's all superb. The 3D experience is the first "clear" and fresh 3D experience I've had. It probably has something to do with the 48 frames per second.

    Peter Jackson has done it again. Even though this adventure may have smaller stakes than "LOTR", the stakes are high enough, with villains sinister enough and heroes humble enough to make a great adventure. I'm not the least worried about "The Hobbit" being three movies, since I felt the novel was too short anyway, especially descriptions of the war of 5 armies.
  83. Dec 17, 2012
    The Hobbit was a very good movie! It could have been perfect, but I thought they used way too much CGI for characters, when they did such a good on costumes and makeup in the Lord of the Rings. Also, I really didn't like the Brown Wizard at all. All his scenes were horribly out of place. They rest of the movie was great! I loved all the dwarf characters and the in depth back story of their race. Gandalf, Bilbo, and Golem were really good. If they went back to costumes and makeup and edited out the Brown Wizard entirely, my score would of been a perfect 10. Expand
  84. Jan 3, 2013
    The critics are smoking their socks! I loved this movie, as I did the Trilogy. It obviously has a completely different feel to the LOTR trilogy in the sense that the general atmosphere isn't all doom and gloom. The emphasis is on adventure, and an adventure is exactly what the film delivers. The fact that the book has been split into three films means that the movies are more detailed than ever. How any of these critics can say that the movie is drawn out I have no idea, I felt the film was well paced and as a result it completely draws you in. Disregard the critics score on this one and substitute it with the user score, simple as that. Expand
  85. Dec 16, 2012
    This film's biggest flaw is only that it was put together AFTER the LOTR series. With that series ahead of it, people have preconceived expectations about what to expect. This is NOT LOTR, the Hobbit is a different kind of story. Yes, same world, and a few of the same characters, but this is an adventure story, not a ongoing war epic. It can also be said the movie is not wholly true to the book, but it is to the source material it was drawn from (much from the appendices through the middle earth tales). Note I did not see this in 3D, and that seems to be the biggest difference in how this is being reviewed. Expand
  86. Mar 27, 2013
    I love LOTR and the movies, and I understand that different mediums cannot translate to one another perfectly, but many of my issues arise from the technical and storytelling elements. The CG in the film ranges from beautiful to just silly, every single ork and goblin are CG, while most of the time this is not too big of a deal, in combat it is clear that the actors are not swinging at or connecting with a real being. The entire portion with the trolls is difficult to watch, with odd CG, poor "combat", the dialogue can be forgiven (i.e. gross jokes), and a set that clearly looks like a set. Peter Jackson added portions of other Tolkien books and expanded certain sections not covered in The Hobbit, but almost all of them are in odd places, and do not really fit with the story (this could just be bad editing), this is especially so concerning everything revolving around Radagast the Brown. Pacing is very slow, which does not always equal bad, but it takes roughly 45mins for anything to happen in the film. Shooting in 3D was a big mistake, mostly because the lighting has to be so bright that many of the scenes looked odd, especially in Golem's cave, many scenes that should have been dark were oddly bright. I saw both the regular and 3D,48 fps. I did not enjoy the 3D, 48fps version of the film, it made the movie look like one of those 3D films at a theme park, i.e. somewhat cheesy. While there are many continuity issues many viewers will only catch a few. It seems that many of the qualities that Peter Jackson brought to LOTR (which made them great) disappeared in the hobbit. Many other issues include the pointless cameos from old Bilbo and Frodo (who has a 5 o'clock shadow), the long beginning narrative, cliched lines/characters, and odd makeup and props. I hope the next two films are better, but The Hobbit could have been better if Peter Jackson had gone simpler, in the scope and special effects of the movie. Expand
  87. Mar 10, 2013
    Like so many other people I can't believe the critic's score.

    I watched this in iMax with my 10 year old son and both of us were utterly enthralled from start to finish. Yes, the HFR cinematography takes a little getting used to, but once you are acclimatised then you find yourself sucked into the Middle Earth universe hook, line and sinker.

    So lush are the visuals, the storytelling
    and the attention to detail that you can't help but devour every second. Despite the length of the movie I was left begging for more when it ended.

    Roll on December 2013!
  88. Jan 24, 2013
    A great way to spend an evening! There was a nostalgic feel to the movie since we get to revisit some old locations from LOTR. And see some old friends. If you haven't seen it yet go!

    I did see it in 3d and thought it didn't add much to the experience.
  89. Jan 2, 2013
    It was unexpected when they decided to make this film into a 3 part series, but so far they did justice with the first part. I just hope the the next two parts live up to the book and animated film before it. This movie is worth spending some extra $$ to see it in movie theaters.
  90. Apr 2, 2013
    Many things fall flat in this film. The story is thin, the film is too long, but Martin Freeman brings Bilbo to life more than the novel is itself. Sure other performamces from that of McKellan are grand but none compare to his. The visual effects are incredible except for the orks, the sets, costumes, and make-up are astounding. The Hobbit takes a different tone from the of the Rings trilogy which is smart considering the novel is a children's book. It works out by providing humor, emotional depth, and intelligence with ease. Many things should be fixed for the sequels to come to keep my interest, but this is a somewhat solid start to a new trilogy. I give this film 78%. Expand
  91. Jun 7, 2013
    It's alright. Just alright. It's a spectacle for sure, complete with the great music and atmosphere. It's a big adventure that would be great to watch with a date or your family... it's kind of a movie for everyone in that sense. I found myself entertained, but once it ended, I realized it was lacking what I cherished about Jackson's LOTR movies: a lasting impression. There are so many scenes and themes explored in his vision of the trilogy that I will never forget, sadly, The Hobbit failed to make that kind of impression on me. It's not a bad movie, it's just not very substantial past it being a suitable adventure film for the entire family. Read the book instead. Expand
  92. Dec 29, 2012
    PJ struck again in the adaptation of a book by Tolkien, he also managed to make a good connection with "The Lord of the Rings." PJ corrected a flaw in what I believe happened with LOTR actors however were good and he had managed to stay forever in our minds as their characters do not believe that there were great performances (except for Ian and Serkis) as in "The Hobbit "Apart from having back Serkis and Ian now have 13 major actors playing the dwarves (Richard Armitage Highlight as Thorin) and an Oscar-worthy performance by Martin Freeman. For most, I think PJ got something I was too afraid to go wrong and end turned six chapters of the book in two hours and forty minutes of one of the best films of that year. Expand
  93. Oct 14, 2013
    All the parts that were supposed to be adventurous were rushed. All the parts that were supposed to be thrilling were bombastic, exposed action. The dark and intimate parts were made grand and epic. Who's to blame? Probably the financial ties behind the production. I fear Hollywood has a manipulative motivation for making another huge "good guys go out and fight bad guys in another country", because watching the movie it just felt like a propagandistic lesson in patriotism and violence. All the grace of Tolkien's writing is gone. Expand
  94. Mar 9, 2013
    The Hobbit is a dazzling film, with almost every other frame gleaming with extravagant special effects. But its deliberately tedious pacing makes it little more than a curtain raiser for the future films in the franchise to follow.
  95. Dec 19, 2012
    Bilbo is simply the most likeable Hobbit! HFR is gorgeous! Gollum is real! My expectations for 3D-movies have definitly changed with this movie! First thought after seeing it: "I got to see it again!"
  96. Dec 16, 2013
    Nothing at all like the book. All the action scenes go on for too long and have no element of danger to them. Shame really. However, the saving point of this movie is that (1) it's more Peter Jackson Middle Earth, which means that if you watch all 3 of the extended edition of The Hobbit and all 3 extended Lord Of The Rings then you're getting a huge detailed world, which is cool. (2) The specific characters here (Bilbo+Dwarves), regardless of the rest of the setting or not, are pretty cool. They're not all used, some are just background, but the ones that are have good personality to them. Expand
  97. Mar 26, 2013
    Great movie all around! I have no idea why the critic score is so low but this movie is fantastic! This is just as good to me as tlotr. I cant wait to see the other two that Jackson puts out. If you can watch the movie in 3d its some of the best 3d that you will see in movies!
  98. Dec 22, 2012
    Only goes to show just how pointless being a movie reviewer is. Movie reviews are very subjective. The critics that bashes this movie, comparing it to the milestone that was LOTR, should go find a real job.

    Its an excellent movie, by all standards. Only minus is the overuse of CG, wich im not that much of a fan of, but it was still well done.
  99. Mar 2, 2013
    this movie is fun, FUN. way, way better than LOTR. Actors are natural, music is strong, with nice memorable dwarf-theme overall feeling of the movie is just right simply amazing! I do not mind CGI at all. At least when they walk they are really belong to the landscape, in opposite to LOTR where you get feeling that actors were filmed inside studio and then were placed digitally over images of raging snow or some other backgrounds.

    Anyway, this movie is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
  100. Jan 2, 2013
    After almost a decade since the last adventure in Middle Earth, Peter Jackson shows us that he's still got it with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. While I do not consider this to be as good as the almighty Lord Of The Rings trilogy, it's not trying to be, it's not trying to be another Lord Of The Rings film. The Hobbit is essentially a children's book that is more focused on fun and humour than the LOTR, and Jackson has translated that brilliantly into this film by staying incredibly faithful to the source material (even down to the songs the dwarves sing) and with a very strong script that has many laughs and sustains more of a lighter tone for the most part. Make no mistake though, this is definitely an epic fantasy film full of intense action, brilliant set pieces and great characters. The Hobbit himself : Bilbo Baggins is definitely the stand out due mainly to Martin Freeman's fantastic performance as the character, he completely nails Bilbo by brilliantly portraying the character's journey from the "playing it safe and avoiding trouble" attitude to the determined and adventure craving Bilbo we see in TLOTR, and I looking forward to see this continue in the next two films. The rest of the cast are also very impressive with Sir Ian Mckellan giving a brilliant performance once again as Gandalf the Grey and ofcourse there are the 13 dwarves who are all played well, look great and are great fun to watch on screen. The presentation of this film is incredible, I watched this in 2d and with the normal frame rate and I thought the film looked gorgeous, the direction, the cinematography and the special effects all came together to make this film beautiful and the soundtrack is also fantastic. However while watching it, I did feel that too much CGI was used at some points, I understand that they are not trying to make this film as gritty as TLOTR but there were times when I thought that practical effects would have looked better on screen, nonetheless the film looks incredible. The main problem with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey for me is it's length. 2 hours and 45 minutes is a hell of a long time to show just one third of the story in the book and while I understand that Peter Jackson is using more source material than just The Hobbit book but I just felt that there could be half an hour in this film that could be cut for time. The beginning is where the film is at it's slowest, and while it delivers it's exposition very well, and the main characters are introduced in great fashion, by about half an hour into the film I felt like we've been spending a little too much time in the shire and it was time to get on with the adventure. There is also a seen featuring Ian Holm and Elijha Wood as older Bilbo and Frodo, while it was great to see Frodo again, there was no point to that scene and it just made the beginning of the film feel to drawn out. There are other scenes throughout the film that feel like they could have been cut and these scenes make this seem almost like a directors cut rather than the theatrical version of The Hobbit, and I think it's a case of Peter Jackson over indulging in this world. Once the film gets going, it reaches brilliance, the scenes involving Bilbo meeting Gollum were absolutely incredible and it's just things like that that made me feel like I am experiencing entertainment of the highest class. It has it's issues that are hard to overlook but overall, this is an excellent film that I highly recommend. Expand

Mixed or average reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 40
  2. Negative: 2 out of 40
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Dec 14, 2012
    My first thought in watching The Hobbit was: Do we really need this movie? It was my last thought, too.
  2. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Dec 14, 2012
    In this fitfully engaging, but often patience-straining preamble to Hobbit adventures to come, there is one transporting 10 minutes of screen time. It happens when Bilbo meets the freakish, ring-obsessed creature Gollum.
  3. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Dec 13, 2012
    It's a bloated, shockingly tedious trudge that manages to look both overproduced and unforgivably cheesy.