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Universal acclaim- based on 2391 Ratings

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  1. Dec 16, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Hi, I watched the movie today and I have to say it really is the movie I wanted to see! Both, 3D and HFR were great after 5 or 10 minutes, which it took to get used to the higher frame rate. 3D was cool, because there were many scenes you noticed it but it never was the scene highlight, so the film just got better with the 3D-effect and wasn't only good because of 3D. Jackson didn't really cut the books story and nearly everything mentioned in the book is in the film. Some scenes are a little bit different from the book without changing he story, for example in the troll scene, which happens a little different in the book and is just different in the film to make it easier for the viewer, who maybe not know the book, to understand whats going on. That very exact reproduktion of the book's story leads to a little slower speed of story telling, what you have to like if u want to enjoy the first hour of the movie, otherwise you wil be a little bit bored in the beginning. But once Rivendell is reached and the Shire is left behind the Action starts and you can enjoy great effects, pictures and scenes. The "new Orc-look", which is a little different from the LotR-movies, is a little polarising so again not everyone will like it.
    All in all i conclude that "The Hobbit - An unexpected journey" is a great movie, but different from LotR so if u loved the LotR movies but never really liked the books (and the hobbit novel) u may be disappointed. But if you know the novel and like Tolkien's books this is your film. You will also notice that there are some things not mentioned in the hobbit but in other of Tolkien's texts and books, which are in the movie, what makes it easier to integrate the movie in the whole middleearth history.
    You may have noticed that i am using the word "different" very often. That may show you, that this movie isn't really a prequel to LotR, what would mean it has the same style and epic battles, but the story happening BEFORE LotR, what means it takes place in the same world and is important for the things happening years later and explains why the movie contains more funny and less dark or intimidating moments than LotR.
    I love the film as I love the books and LotR-movies and can't wait to see the second part next year and I am pretty sure I will watch this one once again in the cinema, can't wait to see the movie again till its out on blu-ray.
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. Dec 16, 2012
    Beautifully done movie that was filled with goodies from the book, and goodies from dear ol' Peter Jackson. Many people complain that it is not as dark as LOTR and that is true, because the book isn't either. The humor was a nice change of pace for Middle Earth and I couldn't stop laughing during some parts. I loved the scene with the trolls by the camp fire as it was my favorite scene in the whole movie. I also loved the intelligent goblin king who was designed quite well, but his voice and personality felt more like a Harry Potter character than an LOTR one. The music, once again, sweeps you away like it did before almost 10yrs ago; I do believe is was the same composer so expect excellence. Others complain about the use of CGI... well how else do you get hundreds of trolls, orcs, dwarves into the same scene or get a man into a giant troll costume? LOTR had hundreds of animations and it was great! and so was this movie. Expand
  7. Dec 16, 2012
    As a book stickler, i have to drop the score to a 9 out of 10. As a movie lover, this film was an entertaining and visually a treat for the eyes. I would highly recommend it and have even higher hopes for the next two hobbit movies.
  8. Dec 16, 2012
    I have read a fair amount of other's reviews on this movie before writing my own. Most of them were negative reviews because I wanted to see why their opinions differed so much from my own. It seems to me that those writing the more negative reviews tend to analyze things on a far deeper level than I ever do. Some talk about how they notice prosthetics on actors, painted scenes, or even even how they thought someone hanging onto the edge of a cliff about ready to fall before being pulled back up was dumb because too many other movies use that. I'm bringing this up because I usually never even notice such things while I am watching movies and I want to set up my perspective. I thought the movie was exciting and humorous. I loved seeing the dwarves story and their history that led to the point of the movie as well as Thorin's personal history. The humor that the dwarves had constantly brought a smile to my face while watching the movie. I also loved seeing Bilbo's own struggle to find his place within the company throughout the movie as he was mostly looked on as a burden by the others. I also saw the movie in the new 48fps HFR format, which many of the preliminary reviews were negative. Almost all of the negativity, that read at least, on this was that the picture looked either too good or weird. I completely don't understand the looking too good part of those reviews so I'm not going into that. As for the weird part I can understand somewhat. For the first 15-20 minutes of the film it almost looked like everyone was moving at a slightly faster speed than normal, such as 1.1x or 1.2x the normal speed reminded me of the creepy jerking motion that is used in scary movies. I think my eyes just had to adjust to it, however, because after that 15-20 minute time frame I didn't notice it anymore and the picture seemed normal to me. Expand
  9. Dec 16, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. From the moment the Hobbit started my jaw was on the floor till the end, the whole exsperience, the HFR, 3D still hate it, would prefer just HFR to the amazing scenary, special effects, story obviously is amazing but fleshed out and thank (Tolkein) Jackson chose to do it. this film would have awful plot holes if he didnt. My only quarrel was it was 20 minutes too short, 3 hrs was what I was expecting and that is expected from a Lotrs related movie. They are for people who want to see a long film, in no way what so every did this feel long and over stretch like some early reviews have said, I have come to realise the early reviews are always the one sided ones because a bad review will always stand out over a good one, reading reviews before a movie can actually make alot of people dislike the movie because they believe the review. The Hobbit is an exception, it is already a classic and 11 years from now I can hear people saying The Hobbit trilogy was great than the LOTRs trilogy, we just need the next 2 movies to prove it because The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey beats all three Ring Movies as the best adaptation of Tolkiens work. Expand
  10. Dec 16, 2012
    I watched this movie without looking at any reviews before hand, but afterwards I was shocked at how low they were. The movie wasn't perfect but I would say it is just as good as the fellowship, if not better. If you liked the Lord of the Rings, then this is a must see. You won't be disappointed unless you are expecting an exact replica of the Lord of the Rings Trilogy.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. Dec 16, 2012
    As a long time Lord of the Rings fan, this movie was absolutely perfect. They spent so much time explaining the bits and pieces of where things came from. The acting was extraordinary, and I am so glad this time around, villains and heros are not dead within a matter of minutes, instead they explain the background behind everyone. The Witch King and the Mouth of Sauron for instance in the other movies were completely rushed, and died with feeling of little importance. Don't expect that in this movie. To compare this movie to any others of the series, it is much alike the Fellowship. The armies are not as big, and it is not fight after fight the entire time. It is about the story, and the politics of Middle Earth. I was honestly scared to see this movie because I thought they would mess up the series, and goodness was I pleasantly surprised! Please do not make the next movie biased on the fact that critics are naysaying this one. It was so well done. Expand
  14. Dec 16, 2012
    "The Hobbit" was a children's book that has served as a key cornerstone in the fantasy genre and a story held close to many reader's hearts. I felt that Peter Jackson's interpretation of the book has been an extraordinary cinematic experience that reminds me of the magic found in those books of old. The tone of the original novel was translated brilliantly onto the big screen, while some may find this 'journey' to be slightly trivial or child-like to the grand battle scenes of LOTR, I enjoyed the translation regardless. Technically, I enjoyed the new technology a lot (having watched it in 48 frames and 3D) while it does require a slight getting used to, the 48 frames helped create a magnificent 3D viewing that would put other epic films to shame. Another thing that should be pointed out is that the relation to LOTR was immaculately added into the plot, there are plenty nostalgic moments that will fuel the delights of old fans but is computed on a level that will not likely to isolate new ones. There are a couple stranger moments here and there, but overall I feel confident that such a magical story is in the the tender hands of such gifted film makers. I for one, is eagerly waiting for the next segment to Bilbo's tale. (I don't know if this consists of a 'spoiler') Expand
  15. Dec 16, 2012
    It was 1987 when I first read the Hobbit... Most of you were not even born at the time. Bilbo was my favorite character of all times and I always wanted to live a life similar to my little hobbit's one. Having said that, I admit that over the years technology and fantasy worlds have been developed, setting expectations high to what is delivered by the genre (i.e. Game of Thrones). LotR was a groundbreaking effort that appealed to the "masses" and not just the hard core fans of Tolkien. And a little more than a decade after the film of LotR came Hobbit. For me every little second of the film was a revival of the book, giving picture, sound and life to the fantastic characters of the book. It couldn't have been done in a better way. If you did not like it, you wouldn't probably like the book. There are moments that your backbone shivers by the thrilling scenes, mainly during the singing and fighting of the dwarven company. To wrap it up, Bilbo was the best Bilbo I would expect to see and I wouldn't change a second of the little character's performance in a bit. Really looking forward to the next part(s)! Expand
  16. 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!
  17. Dec 15, 2012
    Purists to the original Hobbit will hate this. Fans of the Lord of the Rings will love this. The Hobbit story is there but is little more than 15% of the movie. Peter Jackson (et al.) have successfully expanded the original book by weaving it through a far larger, more epic story that warrants being a trilogy. Good new characters + good action + laced with humor = a thoroughly enjoyable film!
  18. 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
  19. 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 :)
  20. 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
  21. Dec 15, 2012
    People will always be buthurt about things, that is beyond doubt. Sometimes the buthurt has a good reason to be there like the prequels to starwars or all of mass effect 3 but in the case of the Hobbit the buthurt has credible stance to take in the bashing of this glorious film. The Hobbit is made from an earlier book of Tolkien's, a lighthearted approach to Lotr, it is not a carbon copy of the original trilogy nor is it a movie made for children. The film has more concentration over visuals then the previous films yet it does not sacrifice the plot in any way, the actors blend in with the CGI very organically. The film may drag on for a bit but so did the fellowship, two towers and return of the king. The 40 fps looks good and the criticism for it seems a bit unfounded.

    I don't want to sound like I am praising this film too much because it had some minor issues of pacing at the start and the ending made me wish that I would not have to wait a year to get to part 2 of the trilogy.

    Over all its a great film, I think peter Jackson just forgot to bribe the reviewers, To put it into some context the "critic" score for this film is only 2 points higher then that of the first twilight which is very very strange to me.
  22. 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.
  23. 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
  24. 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.
  25. Dec 15, 2012
    Amazing movie! It perfectly sets the pace for the next two movies and ties it with The Lord of the Rings Trilogy. Great sets, beautiful soundtrack and spot on script. Peter Jackson brings us back to Middle Earth! Technically is even better than the LOTR.
  26. 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
  27. 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.
  28. 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!
  29. 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
  30. Dec 15, 2012
    This is a fantastic adaptation of one of my favorite books. I often found myself simply smiling in the theater, overtaken by the same magic that I first found as a child. While not as serious as the Lord of the Rings trilogy (The Hobbit was a Children's book followed 15+ Years later by the more mature Lord of the Rings trilogy) it has it's fantastic fight scenes and dramatic moments that leave you breathless and wanting more. This movie is not perfect and one scene in particular irked me considerably for a while but aside from that, this movie is near perfect. 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.