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8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 2545 Ratings

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  1. Jun 28, 2013
    8
    The prequel story to the fantastic Lord of the Rings is here, and it is a great one. It has a different tone than the Lord of the Rings movies, featuring more humor and crazier over the top action. Awesome characters new and old mixed with fantastic writing helped pull me in. It's a enjoyable return trip to Middle Earth, and seeing the events that lead up to The Lord of the Rings is a lotThe prequel story to the fantastic Lord of the Rings is here, and it is a great one. It has a different tone than the Lord of the Rings movies, featuring more humor and crazier over the top action. Awesome characters new and old mixed with fantastic writing helped pull me in. It's a enjoyable return trip to Middle Earth, and seeing the events that lead up to The Lord of the Rings is a lot of fun. The action scenes are more absurd than you would expect, featuring impossible odds and goofy set pieces, and the humor is shocking at first, but the fact that this movie has a more light-hearted tone helps it feel more like an adventure. Honestly the movie is awesome and it's the little things that help make it enjoyable. All in all I really enjoyed this movie and I fell that all fans of Tolkien's world of Middle Earth will as well. Expand
  2. Aug 27, 2015
    8
    "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" has the look and feel of Peter Jackson's imagination as it did with the Lord Of The Rings trilogy; strap yourselves to relive the magic of the old once again with the new.
  3. Dec 23, 2012
    8
    Although the film's first act may seem a bit sluggish to some, in my opinion "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" powers through it with plenty of humor, surprisingly well-developed characters, and an always-stellar amount of visual magnificence.
  4. Nov 17, 2013
    7
    Going into The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, I knew that it was a tale originally written for children, but the Lord of The Rings trilogy was so well done, that I fully expected the first Hobbit movie to be just as masterful. It was a pretty good film, however it didn't have the luster that Lord of The Rings had. The trilogy was magical, it's the reason people go to the movies, but theGoing into The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, I knew that it was a tale originally written for children, but the Lord of The Rings trilogy was so well done, that I fully expected the first Hobbit movie to be just as masterful. It was a pretty good film, however it didn't have the luster that Lord of The Rings had. The trilogy was magical, it's the reason people go to the movies, but the Hobbit, seemed to be playing off the fame of the Lord of The Rings and at times was directionless. For those who don't know the story, it starts to tell the tale of Bilbo Baggins and his original journey with Gandalf. In the Lord of The Rings, they go on this impossible journey in order to save Middle Earth, but here, the journey is about saving the dwarfs gold from a dragon. It really doesn't have the intensity or the urgency require to make a film like this work. Nothing had changed for over two hundred years, but all of a sudden, now is the time to stop the dragon, why? The film was not bad, but it doesn't come off as this great adventure and that could have something to do with the childish elements. This is a PG-13 film with fighting and beheadings, yet it's also a film with singing dwarfs, drunk gnomes, and a wizard with Alzheimer who is covered in bird I feel these things really hurt the film. Ian McKellen returns as Gandalf and finally seemed to be showing his age. McKellen is tired and slow in this film, Gandalf is not the same great warrior. Finally, this film is different because we know it's a prequel. Even if you didn't read the book, you know who lives and who dies, taking a major play away from the screenwriters. Overall the Hobbit is somewhat entertaining, but it's not The Lord of The Rings. It's directionless at times, lacks the urgency needed for an epic, and has a cast that really doesn't excite. I was hoping for a lot, but all I got was a little. The only thing I can do now is try and forget about it as I wait for the next film with anticipation. Expand
  5. Apr 29, 2013
    7
    Not as good as any of The Lord of the Rings movies but still a lot of fun. If you go in comparing this film to The Lord of the Rings films it's about a 6 but as a stand alone it deserves an 8.
  6. Apr 17, 2013
    8
    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is another great entry into the Lord of the Rings series. It's lighter than the previous trilogy, but that lightness brings with it a sense of fun and adventure. This is a very promising start to a new trilogy and it sits right alongside Fellowship and Two Towers in the quality department... And several rungs above Return of the King, obviously.
  7. Dec 14, 2012
    7
    I had very modest expectations coming into this film. I was disappointed by the first two films in the LOTR triology and found them non-memorable and flat. An unexpected Journey is charming from the start, and even though the first half is a little bloated (my primary criticism of the film), the second half is terribly exciting, and I love the characterization of Bilbo Baggins and theI had very modest expectations coming into this film. I was disappointed by the first two films in the LOTR triology and found them non-memorable and flat. An unexpected Journey is charming from the start, and even though the first half is a little bloated (my primary criticism of the film), the second half is terribly exciting, and I love the characterization of Bilbo Baggins and the way he's ingratiated into the crew of dwarves. I find the characters in the first installment of The Hobbit to be much more relatable and sympathetic than any of them in the LOTR series. I'll take young Bilbo over young Frodo any day as a protagonist. I will say that Gollum injects a special energy into the film that crests all the way to its conclusion. So yes, the film won me over in ways I truly did not expect. Expand
  8. Apr 21, 2013
    10
    Yes, this film can be very cheesy at times, but it has some of the most honest emotion and most blatant adventuring that I have seen from a film in a LONG time.
  9. Aug 24, 2014
    8
    It felt surreal to sit and watch the titles beginning to roll, it really did. The original trilogy (especially "The Two Towers" and "The Return of the King") were the top of the hype for me.

    Perhaps that is the problem: I was waiting for another The Lord of the Rings movie. With the same makers, partially the same cast, you both hope and dread for similarities, and while there were
    It felt surreal to sit and watch the titles beginning to roll, it really did. The original trilogy (especially "The Two Towers" and "The Return of the King") were the top of the hype for me.

    Perhaps that is the problem: I was waiting for another The Lord of the Rings movie. With the same makers, partially the same cast, you both hope and dread for similarities, and while there were many, some of them didn't work in the best interest of the movie.

    For one, some of the "monsters" didn't follow the old mold - mostly being too talkative. A small detail but bugging nonetheless. At the same theme, if you're not familiar with the world of the previous/later three movies, I urge you to watch them; no time was spared to introduce old characters or the world at general, which for a newcomer might be a bit much to take in stride.

    "The Hobbit" was never my favorite book although I've read it multiple times. I have gaps in my memory and I thought this might be a good thing when going to the theater, to not give me too many pre-set ideas on how the story should run.

    How to make one book into three super-long movies? Ask PJ. I dreaded this fact but at the same time hoped they would introduce events from between "The Hobbit" and "The Lord of the Rings". That remains to be seen.

    The story took its time picking up after the introduction to the history of Erebor. It's amazing how in three hours I didn't yet learn all the names of the Dwarves OR connect names with faces. It seemed most of them didn't have any visible talents that would set them apart.

    There were scenes that could have been cut short or left out altogether. Also, Saruman doing the Morgan Freeman and explaining a discussion to us that had just taken place... not necessary. All in all the film seemed to lack a certain sense of refinement, the scenes snapping by almost too hastily and cut in a way that made the story feel hectic and restless.

    We got a few great glimpses at things that will be featured in future films, like the Mirkwood Elves (hello, Thranduil; you remind me of the Observers in TV show "Fringe" with that cocked head and empty gaze of yours, but in the best possible sense), spiders, a shadow of Smaug...

    The soundtrack was another thing that bugged me. I've been intensely listening to the LotR trilogy's soundtracks in the past and even if it was amazing to hear those same themes once again, it began to feel like there was very little original score in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" - and using old score in a new scene that didn't match the old one rubbed my mental state in all the wrong ways. (In other words: do NOT use an enemy song in a scene featuring a hero.)

    With all its small problems, I hope the first Hobbit movie will do the same as "The Fellowship of the Ring" did for me and only start the journey. The next two movies might do a lot better. I certainly hope so. The visual effects, the overall story, the air of the film... it's all there, the necessary ingredients; they just need to put it together the right way!
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  10. Apr 2, 2013
    8
    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 RingsMany 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
  11. Mar 26, 2013
    8
    A lot of fans, including myself, were taken by surprise when reviews of An Unexpected Journey were mixed to positive at best. People questioned Jackson's decision to return to Middle Earth, and even more questioned the decision to expand the film into 3 films. Now that I've seen the film multiple times, I am confident that Peter Jackson is the only person I trust that can bring MiddleA lot of fans, including myself, were taken by surprise when reviews of An Unexpected Journey were mixed to positive at best. People questioned Jackson's decision to return to Middle Earth, and even more questioned the decision to expand the film into 3 films. Now that I've seen the film multiple times, I am confident that Peter Jackson is the only person I trust that can bring Middle Earth to life on the screen. An Unexpected Journey is a highly entertaining and satisfying tale but not without a few flaws. Two of the big problems I had with the film were the slow beginning and heavy use of CGI. This film takes its time in the early moments, but the film as a whole doesn't drag. The Hobbit relies heavily on computer generated orcs/creatures unlike LotR; I personally found the CGI to be poor at times, it really takes you out of the film during certain scenes.

    Flaws aside, this is an entertaining adventure and fully satisfying return to Middle Earth. Jackson's vision remains the same, Ian McKellen, Cate Blanchett, Christopher Lee, Hugo Weaving, and Andy Serkis return, New Zealand's beauty shines, and Howard Shore's (excellent) musical score ties everything together by reminding us that we have in fact returned to ME. On top of that, Martin Freeman joins as Bilbo and we have a dozen dwarves to meet; not all of the dwarves are fully realized characters, but they're very entertaining and we have two more films to get to know them better. Freeman is the heart and soul of this film, I really could not have imagined a better fit for Bilbo.

    2 films would have sufficed to tell this story, imo. As a fan of Tolkien, I enjoyed all the additions to the film, it really makes it obvious where the trilogy is going, but this first film suffers a bit because it lacks its own real narrative, but I am beyond excited for where the next films are going to go.

    In short, The Hobbit 1 is not as good as LotR. It feels bloated at times in the beginning due to a lot of backstory/additions to the story and a strange dependence on cg effects, but it is a wonderful return to Middle Earth and will satisfy fans of the original trilogy.
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  12. Jan 3, 2013
    9
    After so many years in production hell at MGM with serious doubt over these films happening at all, The Hobbit finally hit our screens, and quite a hit it was.
    If it is at all possible NOT to see Lord of the Rings before you see the new prequel trilogy then do so, because as enjoyable and entertaining as the Hobbit was, it simply wasn't LOTR.
    We clearly see from the beginning of the
    After so many years in production hell at MGM with serious doubt over these films happening at all, The Hobbit finally hit our screens, and quite a hit it was.
    If it is at all possible NOT to see Lord of the Rings before you see the new prequel trilogy then do so, because as enjoyable and entertaining as the Hobbit was, it simply wasn't LOTR.
    We clearly see from the beginning of the "Unexpected Journey" that these are much simpler times in middle earth, set sixty years prior to LOTR, we see Bilbo almost unwittingly setting out with a set of dwarves led by their King, Thorin Oakenshield, to reclaim the Lonely Mountain, forcibly taken from them years before from the dragon, Smaug.
    An unneccesary forty minutes or so of introduction classes involving the dwarves, Bilbo and the welcome return of Ian McKellan as Gandalf the Grey did seem long-winded, but thats what happens when you split a 310 page book into three films.
    What enticed me about this film, as i was watching the LOTR trilogy a few weeks later, is how Jackson has beautifully bounced them off each other to create an almost parallel world with no stone left unturned, little things such as the orc sword given to Frodo by bilbo makes an appearance, the trolls which are briefly seen in LOTR, simple little devices like this which take us down memory lane that can be effortlessly entertaining without relying too much on the past.
    This is exactly why The Hobbit is so different, it was an attempt to rely on itself and not the massive cultural impact of the LOTR trilogy, something which Jackson succeeded greatly on. It's light-hearted, often humorous and exceptionally beautiful to watch. 48 fps took a little adjusting to, but where this HFR really shines are the action scenes in "Goblin City". A particular scene involving Bilbo and the dwarves find them trying to escape a duel between two stone giants, which is simply breathtaking to watch.
    Arguably the greatest part of the film is the brief return of Gollum, who engages in a battle of riddles with Bilbo, and without any spoilers, a predictable but smile-on-your-face discovery is made from our dear Hobbit.
    Excellent performances from Ian McKellan as Gandalf, Martin Freeman as a young bilbo, Richard Armitage as the miserable and brooding King Thorin as the the head of the dwarves, and the dwarves in general, its no secret the rigorous time in effort which goes into creating these creatures so bravo to all involved.
    With brief appearances from Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving and Christopher Lee reprising their roles of Galadriel, Elrond and Saruman the White respectively, its wonderful to see familiar faces so utilized so brilliantly, but expertly placed to set up their own stories which we see in the LOTR. I thought Elijah Wood's appearance as Frodo, while cool to see, was simply unnecessary and to simple a paycheck to earn on Wood's part.
    Light-hearted, humorous, and excellent action scenes make this a stand alone film to be reckoned with, while not as engrossing and spectacular as its predecessors, this prequel stands on its own two feet and has set up what could be a roller coaster of a trilogy on an epic scale.
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  13. Jan 2, 2013
    7
    Overall I liked the Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The scenes from the book are done really well better than in Hunger Games or the later Harry Potter films. There is some great acting, camera work, music, and sets. The scenes are really given time to flesh out. The added scenes cause the movie to drag. If some of the scenes were cut out and/or this was one or two movies I would be givingOverall I liked the Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. The scenes from the book are done really well better than in Hunger Games or the later Harry Potter films. There is some great acting, camera work, music, and sets. The scenes are really given time to flesh out. The added scenes cause the movie to drag. If some of the scenes were cut out and/or this was one or two movies I would be giving this a higher score. Unfortunately Peter Jackson tries a little to hard to incorporate Middle Earth lore that while cool often is not that interesting and slows the movie down. Its like he was trying to create his own beginning, middle, and end. Despite these flaws though I really enjoyed this movie its flaws are not because the director did not try hard to make a good story but tried too hard, which I appreciate. Maybe if I see it again knowing where its going I Expand
  14. Dec 21, 2012
    9
    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'sIf 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
  15. Jan 28, 2013
    8
    I find that allot of the criticism that this movie receives is very unjust. The Lord of the Rings trilogy set an extremely high standard that very few fantasy films could ever hope to achieve. The High Frame Rate might have been a little bit of a blunder, but the film itself is exactly what it set out to be: The story that happened before LOTR. It's not meant to be as epic or grand. TheI find that allot of the criticism that this movie receives is very unjust. The Lord of the Rings trilogy set an extremely high standard that very few fantasy films could ever hope to achieve. The High Frame Rate might have been a little bit of a blunder, but the film itself is exactly what it set out to be: The story that happened before LOTR. It's not meant to be as epic or grand. The hobbit is a fantasy adventure story and it succeeds in that completely. If I had to criticize, I would say that it might not have been a bad idea to cut a few of the Dwarves from the cast. Most of them feel like they're there just to form a crowd. Overall: I thoroughly enjoyed it and loved every minute of it. It didn't wow me the same way Fellowship of the ring did, but it kept me enthrall just the same. I can't wait to see the next movie. Expand
  16. Mar 24, 2013
    9
    The first Hobbit movie in the franchise is not only exciting, it takes you on a thrill ride with not only some new creatures, but some old memorable character such as Gollum. At times, the story is distracted some cheesy humor, mostly caused by the dwarfs. But other than that it's a great start to the Hobbit trilogy.
  17. Dec 6, 2013
    8
    Perhaps not as breathtaking as the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, but "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is still an exciting and adventurous journey that you will embark on. It's an elegantly shot film and the use of 3D is brilliant. It really makes us forget that we're watching a movie, as though we, ourselves, are part of this unexpected journey.
  18. Mar 11, 2015
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. First off, I do like the movie. Martin Freeman is excellent as Bilbo. He truly embodies the character. The dwarves are very well cast too. Unfortunately, the script makes arbitrary changes to several key scenes. I was very upset that they almost completely changed the scene with the trolls. Tolkien did it best in the book and why Mr. Jackson and troop of writers changed the scene only seems like they were arrogant enough to believe that they could do better. They didn't. The scene in the movie is crude and not funny at all. it also tries to turn the focus on Bilbo when it was originally meant to show Gandalf as a tricky and wise wizard.

    Otherwise, the visuals, the action scenes, and musical score are excellent. It's not a bad movie, just don't expect book, or you will be sorely disappointed.
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  19. Dec 31, 2013
    10
    First I like to start with that I am one hell 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy fan freak, it is EPIC to all the EPICS in human history of filmdom. I voted many movies for 10 outa 10 but by far LOTR stays in highest peak point on that list. I never compare HOBBIT to LOTR because the time and technology differentiate both the movie (trilogy) and I request you all not to do that. Another solidFirst I like to start with that I am one hell 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy fan freak, it is EPIC to all the EPICS in human history of filmdom. I voted many movies for 10 outa 10 but by far LOTR stays in highest peak point on that list. I never compare HOBBIT to LOTR because the time and technology differentiate both the movie (trilogy) and I request you all not to do that. Another solid reason is that I saw LOTR as plain live action graphic movie but saw HOBBIT a decade later in 3D with advance CGI technics in it.

    Now lets talk about 'An Unexpected Journey', The first installment of 'The Hobbit' trilogy which tells the untold adventurous story of Bilbo Baggins, the ring holder, which take place 60 years early to the actual LOTR, it also tells how Bilbo Baggins ends with the precious Ring in his pocket that everyone in the Middle Earth was looking for it over the centuries. As usual stunning visuals, Peter Jackson did hell great job by handing the massive characters/cast/role and also got what he wanted from CGI technicians, It was not gigantic cast like LOTR trilogy though. In fact I have seen only 33.333...% of the movie so far I mean I yet to see other two parts (66.666...%) which make it a trilogy so my rating for this movie is temporary till next two years.

    The movie begins with slow dramatic style, introducing all the characters one after one otherwise some could get mix up to identify all the dwarfs who look alike. And then little fun get pass through middle of the movie with small-small adventures then begins second half where most of the real adventures take place which kick starts with mountain Trolls. Extraordinary 3D effects with few great pop-ups, some action sequences were simply breathtaking especially one in underground Goblin city is treat for eyes specially if you see it in 3D version, expected ultra slow motion images Like what we see in cricket, sadly I did not get chance to see the movie in 48fps, that really scuks as being LOTR fan, great to see 500 years old freaky, an aggressive Gollum in 3D, you gonna witness the best Gollum in technically, Andy Serkis did great job in his short phase. There is a brief scene where this movie meets 'Fellowship of the Ring' where Gollum lose his Ring in a dark cave and that situation was bit strange and different than what we saw in LOTR may be because it was brief like i said before. Meet between them, Bilbo Baggins and Gollum was more like funny simultaneously frighting too, specially kids may feel that. Background score was so great throughout the movie like previous trilogy, even some songs too. When movie ended I left cinema hall like everyone else but felt I still wanted another hour of it, I was forced to leave the place How many of you will agree me, it started slowly but ended strongly, that's why all this drama of me.

    In world cinema, there will be always some characters which will remain in people's mind forever, like the Joker, Jack Sparrow, Dark Vander etc, like that Galdalf is for LOTR, of course including Gollum, Ian McKellen was so awesome in all the four movies, without him or replace of him is like a bowl of curd rice without a Piece of pickle.

    Overall an excellent standard movie, must see in big screen with 3D version specially if you are a film freak you should not miss it, some people might have not get satisfied with movie but all I can say is still another two is yet to come so it will make difference at least then. Now all we can do is wait.....
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  20. May 31, 2013
    8
    How do you portray magic in a medium that is all magic? Get a cast made up of Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Isla Fisher, Melanie Laurent, Jose Garcia and Commons and add a lot of razzle-dazzle. “Now You See Me” delivers on both counts. The ending may not quite make sense and may have to be listened to a second time or might makeHow do you portray magic in a medium that is all magic? Get a cast made up of Woody Harrelson, Mark Ruffalo, Jesse Eisenberg, Dave Franco, Michael Caine, Morgan Freeman, Isla Fisher, Melanie Laurent, Jose Garcia and Commons and add a lot of razzle-dazzle. “Now You See Me” delivers on both counts. The ending may not quite make sense and may have to be listened to a second time or might make you think of seeing the movie over again to follow if the ending is as logical as the screenwriter says it is.

    There are spectacular magic tricks, most explained, foot chases, a car chase and a couple of heists that are explained to such an extent that it adds to the puzzlement. This is not a movie to see for character development because a love story between 2 of the stars only slows everything down while another couple is handled in a sort of throwaway manner and makes more sense.

    Mark Ruffalo as an FBI agent needs a shave while his partner on loan from Interpol, Melanie Laurent, adds a foreign interest leading to a bridge in Paris with a fence filled with locks. (Always learning things from movies--didn’t know this was a widespread craze--had to google it for more information!) The team of four with Woody Harrelson as a mentalist, Jesse Eisenberg as an illusionist, Isla Fisher as an escape artist and Dave Franco as a pickpocket, who was really impressive, make their roles of magicians realistic while Michael Caine as a rich man who sponsors their act, and for some unexplained reason disappears from the movie while Morgan Freeman is a man who exposes magicians and their tricks, are always entertaining to watch.

    The screenplay by Ed Solomon, Boaz Yakin and Edward Ricourt, along with direction by Louis Leterrier, photography by Larry Fong and Mitchell Amundsen plus the eye catching production design by Peter Wenham and visual effects supervisor Nicholas Brooks make “Now You See Me” a pleasant diversion. The music by Brian Tyler is loud, as most musical soundtracks are in action films, and Ruffalo needing that shave, along with the explanation at the end having to be heard again, are minor complaints regarding a film about magic that you can just sit back and enjoy the actors, scenery and razzamatazz!
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  21. Nov 9, 2014
    8
    The first installment of the Hobbit franchise spends a lot of time laying its foundations then uses it to create an immersive experience for its audience.
  22. Nov 2, 2013
    7
    It starts out slow with some story telling, but don`t give up on it cause it picks up, and takes you into the adventure you probably expected.The thing is when I ask myself if I was really amazed, the answer is no for the most part, but it was a good watch.
  23. Jun 11, 2013
    8
    This film was epic. I liked it much more than the first Lord of the rings and Peter Jackson did a great job in this one. Great photography and make-up. Should have won that oscar. You will like it if you liked the trilogy of The Lord of the rings
  24. Dec 9, 2014
    7
    Everything is about money, including this new and unnecessary trilogy.

    This new trilogy is far away when it comes to Middle-earth magic, as we know it. The main issue is that there are three movies on one book that’s only one-third of The Lord of The Rings; this can only result in a worse trilogy than Lord of the Rings. It’s all about money. One result of this is that it took like 25
    Everything is about money, including this new and unnecessary trilogy.

    This new trilogy is far away when it comes to Middle-earth magic, as we know it. The main issue is that there are three movies on one book that’s only one-third of The Lord of The Rings; this can only result in a worse trilogy than Lord of the Rings. It’s all about money. One result of this is that it took like 25 minutes for the movie to really start; there are so much slow scenes in the beginning. There’s also much slow and silly scenes in the film, there’s no LotR-magic. But at the same time are there some highly entertaining and funny things that I totally enjoyed to see, and the action is great, but not as unique as in The Lord of the Rings. The biggest problem with the action is that there’s too much CGI, and by that I mean bad CGI. It doesn’t look real. Some of the villains that are only CGI are superb, but when it comes to other living objects like trees and fires am I not impressed. The movie is overall very entertaining because it gives us a greater backstory of Bilbo’s life, which hasn’t been fully explained before. There are lots of connections between the two trilogies, which I truly love! The extended edition is even greater, so much more material. The last aspect of the film that I really enjoyed is the soundtrack. It’s so touching. But not as epic as The Lord of the Rings.

    This movie gives the audience a greater backstory of Bilbo’s life, before everything in one of the greatest trilogies ever made. Even though Peter Jackson directed this film, it got some flaws. The silliness and a big lack of innovation and dramatic scenes don’t make this film even close to matching The Fellowship of the Ring.

    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey gets a 7.5/10.
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  25. Sep 26, 2014
    7
    I think "An Unexpected Journey" was a reasonably good start to the soon-to-be Hobbit trilogy. It's exciting, adventurous, and engaging, but it might strain your patience at a running time of nearly three hours because some scenes dragged on for a very long time. Another problem I had was that it tried to connect to The Lord of the Rings way too much such as the addition of a few charactersI think "An Unexpected Journey" was a reasonably good start to the soon-to-be Hobbit trilogy. It's exciting, adventurous, and engaging, but it might strain your patience at a running time of nearly three hours because some scenes dragged on for a very long time. Another problem I had was that it tried to connect to The Lord of the Rings way too much such as the addition of a few characters and an overly long intro scene. It's still a nice first chapter in what I think will be a great series despite those faults. Expand
  26. Dec 28, 2012
    7
    More of a new tech demo than an addition of epic saga, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey prioritizes more on the graphic until the point of unnecessity. Fortunately enough, the amazing talents and the nostalgic lore will make the journey worthwhile. The retelling of previous adventure of Bilbo Baggins has myriad of mystical elements, although with 48 fps, the visual is a departure from theMore of a new tech demo than an addition of epic saga, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey prioritizes more on the graphic until the point of unnecessity. Fortunately enough, the amazing talents and the nostalgic lore will make the journey worthwhile. The retelling of previous adventure of Bilbo Baggins has myriad of mystical elements, although with 48 fps, the visual is a departure from the earlier trilogy's cinematic feel. It's closer to a video game or documentary than a cinema flick, and it takes a while to get used to. The look definitely smoother, but somewhat too hyper realistic in tandem with 3D which makes it lost that ethereal look.
    The story goes that Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) is suddenly recruited to a party of thirteen Dwarves and one wizard to be their burglar in a quest to restore Erebor, the lost city of Dwarves that was stolen by a materialistic dragon. The invitation process is terribly awkward, and the fact that the first scenes in his house are excruciatingly long makes it even more so. Nevertheless there he is, trudging the forest and plain of Middle Earth in his spare time while the Dwarves are seriously moody about their fallen kingdom. Bilbo does a give foreign perceptive on the affair, but it feels like he's shoehorned into the party.

    Despite the initial slogging opening, Martin Freeman does a very good job on this role. He's not really valiant or witty, just enough to not be killed, and in some way he represents what Frodo did, a normal person in midst of heroes. It's a very relatable role, more pronounced by his flaws, I think audience will respond well to that. Ian McKallen reprises his role as Gandalf, it fits him like the beard and robe. Gandalf is a strong character, yet he accepts his shortcomings and his companions'.

    The Dwarves are stubbornly merry, they are more defined as a pack rather than individually. Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) stands out more than the rest, because he has a banished king appearance. His character is brave and bitter, making it the far cry of Bilbo. Andy Serkis as Gollum returns and pretty much steals the show with his unique expression and body language. He is one of the best mixtures of acting and technology to date. Christopher Lee, Cate Blanchett and Hugo Weaving return as their respective characters. Though only briefly, they maintain solid performances as if they never left the characters.
    The singular most annoying problem of this movie is the dragging pace. It's a too visible attempt to advertise the new 48fps. I seriously doubt that the audience needs to see more than half hour of Dwarves singing while washing dishes in the beginning, or the slightly troubled relative of Gandalf, Radagast The Brown, resuscitating a hedgehog many times over before he rides in his woody cart attached to bunnies. Its writing isn't at the same level as Tolkien's, sometimes it's bordering on bland and expectedly dramatic.

    For all the flaws, it's still an impressive visual. How the characters move or their heights' difference is seemingly normal, fast skirmished and action are a treat, although I'm not sure if this is the direction big budget title should go. Music is splendid, counting the nostalgic factor of the theme's soothing hum. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey will most likely entertain you, although not in the same league as its predecessors.
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  27. Apr 23, 2015
    7
    In 2001, only a few months after the fall of the World Trade Center, Peter Jackson swept us away to Middle Earth with The Fellowship of the Ring. It was a wondrous three-hour achievement: the first major attempt at serious, big budget epic fantasy. It succeeded beyond anyone's wildest imagination ("imagination" being the key term), and Fellowship, along with its follow-ups, The Two TowersIn 2001, only a few months after the fall of the World Trade Center, Peter Jackson swept us away to Middle Earth with The Fellowship of the Ring. It was a wondrous three-hour achievement: the first major attempt at serious, big budget epic fantasy. It succeeded beyond anyone's wildest imagination ("imagination" being the key term), and Fellowship, along with its follow-ups, The Two Towers and The Return of the King, convinced Hollywood that there was unexplored ore in the fantasy mine. Now, nine years after closing the book on The Lord of the Rings, Jackson has returned to the scene of his greatest success. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first installment of a three-part adaptation of Tolkien's first Middle Earth adventure, is both more and less of the same. There are numerous concrete reasons why An Unexpected Journey fails to live up to the standard set by The Lord of the Rings, but the most critical is also the most intangible: the magic is gone (or at least muted). An Unexpected Journey is a competent, entertaining effort but it neither enthralls nor amazes in the way its predecessors did. There's no question that Jackson is attempting to recapture something elusive and, although there are stretches when he comes close, he never quite attains that goal. It would be monumentally unfair to label The Hobbit as a "failure," but calling it a "disappointment" would be reasonable. Jackson established expectations with The Lord of the Rings; his inability to fulfill them is perhaps a trap of his own making.

    The Fellowship of the Ring is 400 pages; Jackson adapted it into a three-hour theatrical release. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey covers the first 100 pages of a 270-page book; the movie version runs only 10 minutes shorter than The Fellowship of the Ring. And therein lies this production's Achilles Heel: its long-windedness. An Unexpected Journey does not earn its 168-minute running time. From the beginning, there's a sense of bloating and self-indulgence. Roughly the first half requires a dose of caffeine to stay awake and focused. Things improve considerably during the second half. In fact, the final 45 minutes are tightly paced and riveting. But the strong ending cannot fully compensate for the way the movie meanders and stumbles during its first two hours. I think there's a very good, perhaps even a great, movie contained within An Unexpected Journey, but a ruthless editor was needed to unearth it. Perhaps the DVD Special Edition for this picture should feature less footage rather than more.

    In a sense, it's unfair to assign a final "grade" to The Hobbit until all three parts are available. Perhaps, when viewed as a whole, the movies will provide a smoother, more richly textured experience than what is hinted at by An Unexpected Journey. Maybe some of the secondary characters will come to life. In this first chapter, only Bilbo, Gandalf, and Thorin show sufficient personality to distinguish themselves.

    Unfortunately, there are also some unforgivably cartoonish moments. The shots of Radagast (Sylvester McCoy) being chased by goblins while riding a rabbit-pulled sleigh look like a video game excerpt. There are other isolated scenes that have a similar problem with the CGI being too apparent. The stone giant battle is impressive but it looks more like an outtake from a Transformers film than something that belongs in The Hobbit. On the other hand, there are some wonderful scenes: a council with Gandalf, Elrond, Saruman, and Galadriel; riddles in dark with the most vivid, detailed Gollum to date; and the climactic stand-off with the White Orc. Jackson does a great job crafting the goblin's underground kingdom. The troll encounter does justice to the book. Rivendell mimics what we saw in The Lord of the Rings. And the glimpses of Smaug make us want to see more.

    Visually, The Hobbit is being released in four different flavors: digital 2-D, 3-D at 24 frames-per-second (fps), 3-D at 48 fps, and 3-D IMAX. Having seen it in the 48 fps version, I have a few comments. First, neither the doubled frame rate nor the 3-D adds much to the overall experience. Both are superfluous. The 3-D does not create a richer environment, although neither does it corrupt the experience. The 48 fps is less noticeable than I expected. There are scenes when it causes the images to be crisper and brighter but, especially in instances of high CGI content, it creates a non-cinematic picture. That may be the primary reason why isolated moments feel like video game outtakes. My advice: avoid all the visual flourishes and see this in good, old-fashioned 2-D. The Lord of the Rings didn't need 48 fps or 3-D and there's no conceivable reason why The Hobbit should. It's certainly not better because of it.

    Still, for all of its faults, which are more numerous than those in any of The Lord of the Rings' chapters, Jackson successfully navigates the return to Middle Earth.
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  28. Nov 27, 2013
    9
    I kept delaying watching it for months, maybe because I was intimidated by the length. Who wouldn't be? Expanding a three hundred page book into a trilogy made me think Peter Jackson was having a hard time letting go of Middle Earth. And if all of the three movies were to be this long, he was at a risk of ridicule for over ambition. But if the first instalment is any indication, heI kept delaying watching it for months, maybe because I was intimidated by the length. Who wouldn't be? Expanding a three hundred page book into a trilogy made me think Peter Jackson was having a hard time letting go of Middle Earth. And if all of the three movies were to be this long, he was at a risk of ridicule for over ambition. But if the first instalment is any indication, he succeeded in creating a fulfilling beginning to this new adventure fairly well.

    This time we follow a group of dwarves and a young Bilbo. Gandalf is the only major character from The Lord of the Rings to feature in this movie. Thorin the dwarf king replaces Aragorn as the thick skinned leader of the group.

    The cinematography was up at the same standard as from the previous movies. It was shot with the Red One digital camera, with a frame rate per second of 48. It looked different and dare I say better than the previous trilogy.

    The pacing was controlled with ingenuity and never for a moment did the movie drag. It was a constant shuffle between action pieces, dialogue, imagery and visual back story. But between some of the major plot points, I sensed that there was a lack of direction. It was like Jackson was trying to show us how these creatures lived instead of telling us a cohesive story as he did previously.

    Martin Freeman is a much better actor than Elijah Wood and this works in favour of The Hobbit. Bilbo is much more engaging as the lead adventure seeker. Orcs and even Trolls seem to be more than just the cannon fodder as portrayed previously. They actually form some kind of societies and hold prolonged conversations, and display that they are capable of rudimentary intelligence. Thankfully Jackson dispenses with the stereotypes associated with these species to a certain degree.

    The lost kingdom of the dwarves, Rivendale and the underground Orc city were created splendidly. The camera pans though the environment and gives you a sense of the enormity and beauty of these places. The sheer scope of this CGI is mind boggling. The amount of money spent on the movie is quite palpable. The score was refreshing and kept the tone light.

    Lord of the Rings is simply a much better story than The Hobbit. The best was the Fellowship in my opinion. But The Hobbit still is better made than The Two Towers. It may be because the Fellowship was a much more interesting story to film, or because it was a realist tale, but I decided that The Hobbit lags behind the former in nearly every aspect. They are not even in the same league. But this is the mistake right here. These stories should not be compared at all, for they belong to almost different genres. LOTR was a mature tale about war and suffering it brings while The Hobbit is more of a children's adventure fairy tale with a fair amount of humour, where no one dies and everything sorts out in the end, almost Deus Ex Machina-style.
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  29. Dec 14, 2012
    8
    The things that struck me about it were one, it
  30. Jan 13, 2013
    7
    Don't believe the critics! It's strange how they seemed to point out a lot of negative things about this pic, when these weaknesses were always prevalent in all of Peter Jackson's previous efforts: slow pace, overlong set pieces, and the bladder inducing run time of 3 hours. Nevertheless, Jackson's strength as a tent pole director is without parallel: great sense sense of scope, anDon't believe the critics! It's strange how they seemed to point out a lot of negative things about this pic, when these weaknesses were always prevalent in all of Peter Jackson's previous efforts: slow pace, overlong set pieces, and the bladder inducing run time of 3 hours. Nevertheless, Jackson's strength as a tent pole director is without parallel: great sense sense of scope, an intricate sense of detail, incredible use of practical / digital effects as well as bringing the best out of his actors / actresses. It's not as good as the LOTR trilogy but that's because the material itself was lightweight in comparison. The Hobbit was meant to be a much more simpler adventure yarn. In this department, The Hobbit delivers. Expand
Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 40
  2. Negative: 2 out of 40
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Dec 14, 2012
    58
    My first thought in watching The Hobbit was: Do we really need this movie? It was my last thought, too.
  2. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Dec 14, 2012
    63
    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
    38
    It's a bloated, shockingly tedious trudge that manages to look both overproduced and unforgivably cheesy.