User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 2648 Ratings

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User Reviews

  1. 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
  2. Mar 20, 2013
    8
    This movie is really good. If you're expecting a lot of action sequences, then I recommend you stay away for now. This one is charming, looks beautiful, is well acted, and has great cinematography. I'm excited to see where they go with the next two movies (and yes, I've read the book). I think the heightened expectations because of LotR caused the critics to be against it some, so don'tThis movie is really good. If you're expecting a lot of action sequences, then I recommend you stay away for now. This one is charming, looks beautiful, is well acted, and has great cinematography. I'm excited to see where they go with the next two movies (and yes, I've read the book). I think the heightened expectations because of LotR caused the critics to be against it some, so don't let the sway you. Expand
  3. Dec 16, 2012
    10
    I couldn't agree less with the critics on this one. I'm usually on their side, with the exception of Looper (disliked it). I enjoyed absolutely every second of this film. You can almost fall in love with it.
  4. Dec 14, 2012
    10
    awsome a great prequel to lord of the ring.very funny,awsome fights,a good story,golum,and amazing 3d.so i think that a great prequel to lord of the rings and i will give it 10/10.
  5. Dec 28, 2012
    10
    I don't know what happened to the official critics to rate this movie so badly. This is one hell of a movie, entertaining, has got the "film" aspect, rouses emotions in you, a has a message. Even better the film will be if you read the book. You can't go wrong when you see how many people rated this movie X>60% (green). Reccommended!
  6. Dec 17, 2012
    10
    The acting, the action, the 3D graphics - everything was absolutely outstanding and I have NO idea why there are so many negative reviews. You guys need to open your eyes and realize what a good film this is.
  7. Dec 28, 2012
    7
    First things first: Although the 48fps improved some smaller aspects of the movie, I would recommend seeing it in plain 24fps 2D.

    I greet Peter Jackson's return to Middle Earth with open arms. The types of grand adventures that these films portray are so practically non-existant when it comes to genre and it really is a treat to see the grand scenery of a world more fantastical than our
    First things first: Although the 48fps improved some smaller aspects of the movie, I would recommend seeing it in plain 24fps 2D.

    I greet Peter Jackson's return to Middle Earth with open arms. The types of grand adventures that these films portray are so practically non-existant when it comes to genre and it really is a treat to see the grand scenery of a world more fantastical than our own.

    All the actors pulled out wonderful performances. Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, all of the dwarves, Andy Serkis, and everyone else. Not a single one of them breaks character.

    As it was apparent during the production journals, the film utilizes a lot of CG. I thought it was used appropriately for the most part, my only problems coming a handful of moments where the effects felt over-the-top or unnecessary.

    The film's story is arguably the biggest issue in-that nothing much happens. There's a lot of filler, albeit very enjoyable filler, between action sequences and exposition.

    The Hobbit is best advertised as a roller coaster, full of entertainment and well-crafted thrills, but lacking the tension that actual danger would have created.
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  8. 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
  9. Jan 5, 2013
    8
    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 theFirst 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
  10. Dec 17, 2012
    10
    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 2Idiot 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 Collapse
  11. Dec 14, 2012
    10
    I waited long and hard for this movie, and boy did they deliver! I had chills as I watched this grand adventure unfold, and this is only the beginning! They couldn't have picked a better Bilbo, very charming. The only minor things that bothered me were trying to remember the names of the dwarfs, and the fact that when ever their was a different language being spoken, they used subtitles.I waited long and hard for this movie, and boy did they deliver! I had chills as I watched this grand adventure unfold, and this is only the beginning! They couldn't have picked a better Bilbo, very charming. The only minor things that bothered me were trying to remember the names of the dwarfs, and the fact that when ever their was a different language being spoken, they used subtitles. Other than those very minor things, great movie, and i simply can't wait for the next two, and it can only get better. Expand
  12. Dec 15, 2012
    9
    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!
  13. Dec 14, 2012
    8
    The things that struck me about it were one, it
  14. Dec 18, 2012
    7
    The Hobbit is enjoyable and fun, playing more like a well-performed score with a slow rise into an epic swirl of sonic activity. By itself the movie rates as a 7 for me. No special fanfare scoring or pessimistic knocking. This film serves as a setup for two additional films to come. The biggest drawback to An Unexpected Journey is the film's struggle for meaning and identity early on.The Hobbit is enjoyable and fun, playing more like a well-performed score with a slow rise into an epic swirl of sonic activity. By itself the movie rates as a 7 for me. No special fanfare scoring or pessimistic knocking. This film serves as a setup for two additional films to come. The biggest drawback to An Unexpected Journey is the film's struggle for meaning and identity early on. There's some coolness to it, but really your first hour or so is setup. Not boring, but not totally entertaining either. However, you feel rewarded for sticking with it once the adventure begins, as the pacing and plot blossum with every moment you spend with it. As the movie closes, I felt that I saw something special growing. Peter Jackson will pull in not just The Hobbit, but The Silmarillion as well, bringing some ancient-world lore and backstory into the set peice to keep the trilogy interesting (otherwise this movie could easily be done as a two-parter). Totally worth seeing, but the score I give is for the movie by itself, which could be adjusted and improved assuming the trilogy fares well. Check it out if you enjoyed the Lord of the Rings trilogy or adventure/fantasy films in general. Expand
  15. Dec 14, 2012
    10
    First and foremost, I did not, will not and don't suggest you see this film in 3D in any form. Watch it as it was intended. That being said, this was a HELL of a kickoff for the upcoming movies and was just downright great to watch. The beginning prologue with the Fellowship tie-in was a nice addition, and the acting at all levels was superb. I will admit, there were moments where I had toFirst and foremost, I did not, will not and don't suggest you see this film in 3D in any form. Watch it as it was intended. That being said, this was a HELL of a kickoff for the upcoming movies and was just downright great to watch. The beginning prologue with the Fellowship tie-in was a nice addition, and the acting at all levels was superb. I will admit, there were moments where I had to keep myself awake (I'm not a midnight person at all), but that's to be expected in a film that is the first of multiple. It's a pity the Metascore is so low, somewhat shocking; this was a great film and any LOTR fan will recognize every single location in this movie - Jackson did an incredible job recreating Gollum's Cave, Goblin Town, Dale, Hobbiton, Rivendell, etc., etc. Expand
  16. Dec 14, 2012
    10
    I sometimes wonder whether or not the critics watch the same movies we do.

    The Hobbit is the first in a 3 part story based on the novel of the same name. For those who have read the story we know that The Hobbit is a movie of great grandeur and true to the story it retells. The acting, the script, the visuals, the music... all create a whole that is greater than the sum of their
    I sometimes wonder whether or not the critics watch the same movies we do.

    The Hobbit is the first in a 3 part story based on the novel of the same name. For those who have read the story we know that The Hobbit is a movie of great grandeur and true to the story it retells. The acting, the script, the visuals, the music... all create a whole that is greater than the sum of their parts, delivering to use a great beginning to an unfolding epic story. Don't miss the movie, you'll ask yourself "did I really just sit for nearly 3 hours? It went by so quickly!"
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  17. Jan 10, 2013
    7
    The fact that this not LOTR immediately undermines the Hobbit; a smaller children's book that lacks the serious themes of Rings but makes for it with a much lighter tone, amazing creatures and action. Whether Peter Jackson's vision for this new trilogy works and is vindicated is yet to be seen but there is plenty to look forward to with this film. Great performances if not all theThe fact that this not LOTR immediately undermines the Hobbit; a smaller children's book that lacks the serious themes of Rings but makes for it with a much lighter tone, amazing creatures and action. Whether Peter Jackson's vision for this new trilogy works and is vindicated is yet to be seen but there is plenty to look forward to with this film. Great performances if not all the characters are developed but there is an overriding sense of fun and adventure which Rings sometimes lacked. HFR isn't successful I'm afraid and some of the CG characters don't feel real but this is a well made film with stunning visuals and a final scene that makes thus first film satisfying whilst setting up a seemingly more epic second film. Expand
  18. Dec 18, 2012
    9
    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 theI 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
  19. Dec 17, 2012
    10
    Fantastic and very well done movie. The critics were/are, as usual, insignificant in their stupidity and love of Hollywoods current obsession with dark depressing ideas. Here's a movie that is beautiful to watch, well scripted, well acted, incredibly grand in scope, meaningful, family friendly yet not boring, and in truth, more exactly fitting to Tolkien's book than was Jackson's previousFantastic and very well done movie. The critics were/are, as usual, insignificant in their stupidity and love of Hollywoods current obsession with dark depressing ideas. Here's a movie that is beautiful to watch, well scripted, well acted, incredibly grand in scope, meaningful, family friendly yet not boring, and in truth, more exactly fitting to Tolkien's book than was Jackson's previous adaptation of The Lord of The Rings. Expand
  20. Dec 21, 2012
    8
    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 cappedTake 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!
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  21. Mar 21, 2013
    7
    Overlong and playing a little hard for the kids in some moments, The Hobbit is still a good picture. I understand the source material, but it seems like Jackson couldn't decide between going all for a kid-friendly feel or staying more mature in line with the Rings trilogy. The cgi isn't as effective as the makeup from the great looking orcs from the Rings either, and few scene were hardOverlong and playing a little hard for the kids in some moments, The Hobbit is still a good picture. I understand the source material, but it seems like Jackson couldn't decide between going all for a kid-friendly feel or staying more mature in line with the Rings trilogy. The cgi isn't as effective as the makeup from the great looking orcs from the Rings either, and few scene were hard to sit through for me (particularly a singing sequence) but it has some good qualities. The acting is good and it definitely stays true to the story. The film is beautiful to look at and the movie definitely has some great moments that make up for the lackluster stumbles. I still can't help but wonder if a short book will really need three movies for justice, especially if they're all this length. Expand
  22. Dec 15, 2012
    10
    Was a bit concerned after seeing the films fairly low score on here and on rotten but the film is absolutely perfect. I'm tempted to say it's even better than the previous 3 films in terms of it's scope, it's beautiful imagery and the special effects. I was enchanted for the entire duration of the movie, not a dull moment. Plenty of action too, probably more action than the other threeWas a bit concerned after seeing the films fairly low score on here and on rotten but the film is absolutely perfect. I'm tempted to say it's even better than the previous 3 films in terms of it's scope, it's beautiful imagery and the special effects. I was enchanted for the entire duration of the movie, not a dull moment. Plenty of action too, probably more action than the other three (not combined of course). Anyone who says the film is too long either doesn't like the film in general (so it seems drawn out) or just has a rubbish attention span. For me it was over in a flash. A masterpiece. Peter Jackson maintains his legendary status in my eyes. Expand
  23. Dec 14, 2012
    9
    Marked it down a point for two very ropey effects (spotted), an inappropriate Joss Whedon-esque line of dialogue courtesy of the Goblin King and a **** Wilhelm Scream.

    Otherwise pure brilliance
  24. Dec 14, 2012
    9
    Going into the theater for the midnight showing I was eager to see the film but afraid. I had been burned by Star Wars Episode 1 some 13 years ago and was worried I would once again feel the harsh sting of disappointment by high expectations. I was pleasantly surprised.

    First off, I must say that it's a miracle that this film was even made, never mind by Peter Jackson and the crew
    Going into the theater for the midnight showing I was eager to see the film but afraid. I had been burned by Star Wars Episode 1 some 13 years ago and was worried I would once again feel the harsh sting of disappointment by high expectations. I was pleasantly surprised.

    First off, I must say that it's a miracle that this film was even made, never mind by Peter Jackson and the crew responsible for the Lord of the Rings Trilogy. After being in "Production Hell" for what felt like years, word got out it was finally being made. I was excited but weary of the director who I have had the misfortune of not seeing any of his films which I hear are great. Then said director bailed on the project completely. All hope seemed lost, but like the great wizard Gandalf, Peter Jackson himself stepped in to save the day and my expectations went through the roof.

    So what happened between that, the trailers, and opening night that got me so worried? Reviews. What did I read? "The CGI makes all the creatures look fake, the cameos are pointless, the movie is too long, too childish etc. So the point being is that this movie is Episode 1 all over again, Peter Jackson has lost his edge and Middle-Earth as we know it has be scared beyond recognition. After seeing the film I can tell you that while I can see the critics points ultimately they are nitpicking an otherwise great film. Never mind unfairly comparing this lone film to an entire trilogy.

    So lets get down to the meat of this review. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a great film. It's fun, exciting, emotional, and all the things I expected from the first installment of a new trilogy set in the LOTR universe. Gandalf the Grey is the old wizard you remember from the Fellowship of the Ring and I found him to be as likable as ever, the same goes for other returning characters such as Old Bilbo, Frodo, Elrond, and even Saruman. Somehow age has not slowed these actors down a bit and aside from a few easily overlooked extra wrinkles these are the exact same characters we met in the original LOTR trilogy.

    As for the new characters, the 13 dwarfs are surprisingly fun to watch. I was so afraid we would have 13 Gimlis on screen at all times and the movie would be crippled by this but instead we get a band of likable characters reminiscent of the fellowship from the first LOTR film. A few dwarves stand out while the rest feel second-tier but that's to be expected with such a large cast and doesn't detract from the film as a whole.

    It wouldn't be Middle-Earth without a few notable bad guys to talk about and this movie has a few. From the dragon Smaug who we only get a glimpse of in the film to the lead dwarf Thorins arch nemesis Azog. This character looks the most artificial of all the CGI creatures in the movie but when I think about it I'm not sure they could convey such emotion (raw hatred) in the wretch any other way. Either way he is the main villain for the first part of this story and is as menacing as any enemy the fellowship came face to face with in LOTR. Speaking of menacing CGI villains I have to talk about Gollum. He is the same creature we all know from The Two Towers and Return of the King but this time he is better portrayed as an evil monster that we should fear rather than the menacing, sometimes comical, creature he was in LOTR. I'm trying to keep this review spoiler free so all Ill say is the movie wastes no time in reminding you that Gollum is not there for a comic relief cameo. He was part of The Hobbit to begin with and is treated as such.

    The movie is around 3 hours long and while any unengaged viewer might find that too long to sit still, any fan will tell you that the film isn't long enough. It's pacing is extremely similar to the extended version of The Fellowship of the Ring. Again, not spoiling things, but if you can sit though and enjoy that film you will have no problem with An Unexpected Journey. The adventure proper doesn't start until nearly 45 minutes into the film, leaving plenty of time to introduce you to the characters and the nature of the the main character Bilbo Baggins. Speaking a which...

    Martin Freeman plays him perfectly and not once to you feel like he is either playing a young Ian Holm, playing Bilbo or trying to make the character his own unique entity. Ultimately Freeman's Bilbo is the character we saw in LOTR, read about in the books, and is the ideal image of Bilbo Baggins. If you didn't care for him in LOTR you will develop a new appreciation for him through this new trilogy.

    The Hobbit finally has a proper representation on film and fits almost seamlessly with the LOTR Trilogy. I can easily recommend this film to any fan of the books, movies, or anyone looking for a great action adventure film. I can't wait to see the next two films and plan on seeing The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey again.
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  25. Dec 18, 2012
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Without going into the finer points or minor grumbles I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this film, so much so that even as the final scene faded to black I was still wanting to watch more .
    I wasn't convinced with the start of the film but the pace picks up soon enough and you can just sit back and soak up the story. Golum, as ever is a scene stealer!
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  26. Jan 1, 2013
    9
    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.
  27. Feb 15, 2014
    8
    I don't know why many critics gave this movie a low score. It was long, but it didn't FEEL long. I didn't have a problem with the pacing whatsoever. I wasn't bored at all.

    There's exciting action, along with some good character moments, especially the ones involving Bilbo and Gollum, as well as Bilbo and Thorin. The performances are mostly great, particularly that of Ian McKellen and
    I don't know why many critics gave this movie a low score. It was long, but it didn't FEEL long. I didn't have a problem with the pacing whatsoever. I wasn't bored at all.

    There's exciting action, along with some good character moments, especially the ones involving Bilbo and Gollum, as well as Bilbo and Thorin. The performances are mostly great, particularly that of Ian McKellen and Martin Freeman. The directing by Peter Jackson is, of course, masterful. And the environment itself is beautifully realized. Not to mention the lovely music.

    If you enjoyed The Lord of the Rings, or enjoy fantasy movies in general, this is highly recommended.
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  28. Dec 15, 2012
    9
    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.
  29. Dec 16, 2012
    9
    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.
  30. Jan 4, 2013
    9
    This is nothing short of the beginning of new Lord of the Rings trilogy, and that's basically the best fact ever, and a total reward to those who love TLOTR. It's all here: the music, the spectacle, and a few returning characters of course. My gripe is that the story isn't pushed along fast enough by the action. Meaning, after a battle not much has changed, and on to the next battle. ButThis is nothing short of the beginning of new Lord of the Rings trilogy, and that's basically the best fact ever, and a total reward to those who love TLOTR. It's all here: the music, the spectacle, and a few returning characters of course. My gripe is that the story isn't pushed along fast enough by the action. Meaning, after a battle not much has changed, and on to the next battle. But enough complaints! I'm back in the world of TLOTR! 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.