User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 2391 Ratings

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  1. Nov 13, 2014
    6
    Though the first piece of Jackson's Hobbit Trilogy by no means lives up to the expectations set by the LOTR trilogy, it is worth seeing, as it often times lives up to the book's well-earned famed. A bit sloggish at times and cartoony in physics (the main characters go through the ridiculous unscathed) it is a decent film for those not expecting a masterpiece.
  2. 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.
  3. Oct 23, 2014
    7
    An overlong charming spectacle reminding me of a past dream providing the ambiguous joy, cleverness and visual immersion only unique to middle earth. The first of three movies to The Hobbit runs a little over 20 minutes too long, however this splendid unexpected journey is definitively the enjoyable family movie of the year and with regards is more so on the level of a Narnia movie than on Peter Jackson's usual scale of storytelling quality. Expand
  4. Oct 19, 2014
    8
    The adventure follows the journey of title character Bilbo Baggins, who is swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. Approached out of the blue by the wizard Gandalf the Grey, Bilbo finds himself joining a company of thirteen dwarves led by the legendary warrior, Thorin Oakenshield. Their journey will take them into the Wild; through treacherous lands swarming with Goblins and Orcs, deadly Wargs and Sorcerers. Although their goal lies to the East and the wastelands of the Lonely Mountain, first they must escape the goblin tunnels, where Bilbo meets the creature that will change his life forever…Gollum. Here, alone with Gollum, on the shores of an underground lake, the unassuming Bilbo Baggins not only discovers depths of ingenuity and courage that surprise even him, he also gains possession of Gollum’s “precious” ring that holds unexpected and useful qualities… A simple, gold ring that is tied to the fate of all Middle-earth in ways Bilbo cannot begin to know. Expand
  5. Oct 12, 2014
    10
    I love this movie and I really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really really like this movie.
  6. Oct 8, 2014
    0
    I remember being so diappointed after watching this film in the cinema. As a Tolkien fan who knows the books,, I can say that this movie (just like every other Hobbit movie) is a horrible piece of fan fiction.
  7. Oct 7, 2014
    7
    The Hobbit isn't Peter Jackson's finest work, but it still captures the imagination with stunning scenery and suburb acting. The hobbit tends to drag on certain parts when it could have encapsulated a lot more. Azog was never in the hobbit among other characters and scenes, however, this doesn't necessarily violate Tolkien lore, it does make one wonder if this should be called something else rather than the Hobbit. Expand
  8. Sep 28, 2014
    1
    The Hobbit: An expected failure. This film is to a good film... what cold leftovers are to a gourmet meal. Even if the meal was originally good, after a few weeks it holds even more maggots than an orc. LOTR was applaused? Just make the same, and pretend it is an adaptation from The hobbit. But this film is just stupid! Nothing to do with the book! It is still better than the second film, but still an insult. Desolation of smaug is more an insult than sh!tting inside Tolkien's tomb. This one is merely as much as peeing inside. Expand
  9. 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 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
  10. Sep 1, 2014
    7
    It is clear that Peter Jackson should not stretch the children's book into three Lord of the Rings-length feature films. Nevertheless, Jackson brings an insightful look into Middle Earth once again. An Unexpected Journey is by no means a repeat of the previous trilogy--it's fresh and exciting.
  11. 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
    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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  12. Aug 16, 2014
    6
    A bit longer than it needed to be, but I guess when you break up a single book into two movies some parts are going to be longer than required. Ending was great, finally Bilbo has a self-fulfilling act! I about cheered when he and Thorin made up.
    In summary, see it if you liked the LOTR series. Or if you like New Zealand scenery. Or if you like epics. Just go in with the notion it may
    last longer than needed. I bought it but rent if you're a not a Peter Jackson/Tolkien fan. Expand
  13. Aug 14, 2014
    7
    The opening chapter of Peter Jackson's second Middle-earth trilogy is a bit of a mixed bag, but the bag itself is gorgeous. The scenery, the set design and the special effects (mostly) dazzle, and the 48fps theatrical release was, for me, a game-changer of a visual experience (YMMV). The ensemble cast (both old and new) is uniformly good, and Martin Freeman is absolutely perfect in the title role of a thoroughly domesticated hobbit pushing middle-age, who finds himself uncharacteristically swept away on an adventure. The film doesn't precisely follow the beloved children's tale it's adapting (though the first 45 minutes or so is just shy of reverential), but many of the changes are understandable, and work to make the movie more accessible. I have no idea why Jackson decided to change this from a "quest" into a "chase," but Azog makes a pretty decent bad guy.

    There are really only two issues that keep this film from getting a higher score from me, and they're both hard to ignore. First, of course, is the length. When I heard that Jackson was turning this slim novel into a trilogy, I still never imagined that each film would be pushing 3 hours long. The LOTR movies could get away with this, because they had so much story to tell, but this one feels a bit padded.

    The second problem, which runs throughout the film, at least after it leaves Bag End, is the overwhelming about of computer graphics. One reason the first trilogy was so well accepted, even by non-fantasy fans, is how grounded it felt, with lots of real locations and practical effects. This film moves away from that trend, perhaps because Jackson has a substantially larger war chest to play with. Goblin-town is particularly egregious. The Great Goblin looks fantastic, and so does Gollum, (who continues to steal all his scenes), but the rest of it just feels fake, more like a video game than a movie, especially the escape.

    Overall, this is an enjoyable adventure film, and a fun, if flawed, beginning of moviegoers new foray into Middle-earth.
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  14. Aug 7, 2014
    10
    Excellent movie Series..!! thanks a lot for making an extra ordinary movie :) you have really worked hard as well as amazing. hope to watch an unfinished tale as well.
  15. Jul 28, 2014
    5
    "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is many steps down from the Lord of the Rings. It is, of course, very different as a book, and it is not right to compare it to the previous Middle-Earth installments. The film was marketed as a prequel to Lord of the Rings, though. "The Hobbit" is a children's book and is very good at what it is. "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey", however, gets lost while trying to give the story a more "adult" tone, with more violence and more darkness (through extra material and lots of unrealistic CGI). The result is a confusing blend of humour and drama that makes the purpose of the film unclear. There are many enjoyable scenes, of course, but it lacks the quality of both the book and the LotR films.

    There is also the problem of the film being too long and having too little to say. I didn't quite understand why it had to be split in three movies, except for profit reasons. A not-so-long book cannot support three 3-hour-plus films, and it is no surprise that, with "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey", some may feel like watching a 20-minute episode on TV in slow motion.

    It is watchable, even enjoyable, but no great film.
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  16. Jul 15, 2014
    7
    Welcome back to middle earth my friends.
    The Hobbit is the long anticipated film that takes place 60 years before Lord of the Rings, the acclaimed trilogy directed by Peter Jackson.
    In The Hobbit we follow Bilbo Baggins, a Hobbit who lives in the Shire, a mystic place where people sit around smoking pipes and eating food. Bilbo is visited by Gandalf the Grey, a wizard who invites him to
    go on an adventure with 13 dwarves to kill a dragon that has destroyed their homeland.
    Now Bilbo, like many Hobbits, does not like to partake in these kind of things. The dangerous world of middle earth is no place for them. But, in a fortunate 30 minutes of screen time, they convince him and we have our journey.
    Right off the bat I just want to say that the Hobbit AUJ is a long film. Just about as long as Fellowship of the Ring. However, in fellowship, a lot more happens. I wont knock The Hobbit down any points for dragging on because, while it does do so, there is plenty of more material to see during these moments. You get to meet the dwarves, who are fun and eccentric. You also get to see Sir Ian McKellen as Gandalf again.
    Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen do great, especially Freeman. He makes Bilbo more three dimensional than before.
    And Thorin? He’s a wonderful character with a great back story who really shows leadership over the dwarves.
    Sure there are a few forgettable dwarves in the movie, but for the most part they are interesting characters with colourful personalities.
    If I were to nitpick anything (minus the argument over 40fps) is that this film has a lot more CGI. So much so that it really just takes you out of the experience. There were many scenes where I was like
    “They got over a thousand extras for Helms Deep but had to CGI those 8 guys?”
    It is kinda upsetting and really seems unnecessary at points.
    But other than that, the film is great. It was cool to see the battle at Moria, I love how it’s told, I love the build up, I REALLY love the attention to detail, and I surprisingly love Radagast the Brown.
    and the ‘Riddles in the Dark’ sequence? Yeah, talk about chilling.
    There’s really not much else to say here, if you love LotR you’ll absolutely love The Hobbit AUJ. If you love film in general you will, for the most part, enjoy The Hobbit. Although, you may be annoyed by the FPS and many of the drawn out scenes.
    If you hated LotR and everything it stood for then dude, stay as far away as possible, this will not change your mind. In fact it will most likely strengthen your hatred.
    But for me, I enjoyed it. While I believe it was not perfect, it left me in great anticipation for the sequel.
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  17. Jun 25, 2014
    10
    A great action, adventure, fantasy film. Improves on the Lord of the Rings trilogy, and is less dark, sad, and violent. It's well balanced between non-exciting moments to exciting moments. Has some good parts for comedy and laughs. Has a rat gripping storyline, jaw-dropping CGI and awesome action scenes. A great film for everyone, and an absolute must see! And must see the sequel!
  18. May 18, 2014
    9
    Some great scenes in this movie, that I will remember for a while. Not as good as the second Hobbit movie though. It started off really well by introducing all of the main characters well as the movies take place before LOTR. There are some great battle scenes in this movie, and a scenes with a song that I really loved. It was a really long movie but I think every scene was needed in it.
  19. May 10, 2014
    2
    My enjoyment of this movie was somewhat marred by the fact that that I was constantly aware that Tolkien's novel was emphatically not supposed to be a fantasy epic. It is a charming book about the development of a group of dysfunctional individuals (thrown together by the machinations of Gandalf) and especially the development of the eponymous character from a homeloving 'respectable' hobbit into a resourceful adventuring hero. The movie was a heavy-handed travesty of the story; Peter Jackson (and presumably his backers) are obviously just interested in a cynical rehashing of the Lord of The Rings trilogy. Of course, that too showed Jackson's leaden touch, especially in the last sixty minutes of The Return of The King. Minas Tirith miraculously rebuilt, instead of showing that the rebuilding was going to happen as a result of those reforged alliances and friendships between dwarves, elves and men begun in The Fellowship Of The Ring. Not quite 'Hollywood' enough, I suppose? And these long, travestic final scenes left no room for the 'Battle of the Shire' at the end of the book where four once commonplace hobbits returned home as seasoned heroes to kick Saruman and Wormtongue out of the Shire. Jackson doesn't pay much attention to character; he seems interested only in action. No doubt Jackson's new trilogy will win lots of Oscars again: money for old rope. I for one cannot, in all conscience, rate An Unexpected Journey any higher than 2 out of 10. Expand
  20. May 4, 2014
    3
    Aweful, just plain aweful. one of the most boring movies I have ever seen... and I love lord of the rings so this movie was a huge huge let down. Hobbit 2 and 3? count me out
  21. May 3, 2014
    8
    What did Peter Jackson in this film is no small thing! He was able to make epic a tale for children, and playing with the narrative by inserting the apparitions, in my opinion, very apt and not at all out of place !
    The film lasts about three hours, but not boring in the least , and also distracts from the hassles of 3D ! It 's true , the scene at Bag End is a bit long and slow , but at
    least I have followed with great pleasure , it was also a good way to learn about the dwarves , and not having a blurry image! Many complain that the dwarves are too clumsy and stupid , well Gimli in the previous trilogy did not seem much different , coincidentally the comic he was angry with Pippin and Merry ! Also, it seemed like the right choice to give the film a touch of zing , considering that the story does not have the same magnitude of the previous trilogy ! Yes, because the story is not deep and eclectic as that of the Lord of the Rings , but we say more childish and playful , it is an air of terror and fear, at least not until Bilbo finds the ring !
    The direction of Jackson 's mammoth as always , the same applies to photography and script! To define the beauty of the scenery , maybe there is not even a term that enhances 100% !
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  22. Apr 2, 2014
    0
    The Hobbit :An unexpected journey is a made for children. It has no plot, the actors are not good and the added comedy makes what might have been a okay movie even worse. I sat through the DVD hoping I would end up liking it. But was disappointed . I hated it.
  23. Mar 29, 2014
    8
    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was a great film. I enjoyed it very much. I really wish people would see what the trilogy is. I believe that Peter Jackson is making The Hobbit into a Trilogy so that it may live up to The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, not just to make extra money. So while this first movie may only take up a fraction of the small Hobbit book and add things that may seem unnecessary, AUJ was very good. Expand
  24. Mar 4, 2014
    8
    It drags quite considerably, but technically and musically, it's just great. Full to the brim with nostalgic scenes and references and an unsurprisingly great Freeman as the Hobbit. Not as grand and heartfelt overall as the LOTR series, but I felt the same with that first installment too, so here's hoping it improves!
  25. Feb 25, 2014
    5
    These are just not my type of movies. I did enjoy some parts of the Lord of Rings and this one just is not as good. Characters are not as memorable and the journey is not as good as the Lord of the Rings, but maybe this will change in the next two. Something else that annoyed me is that just when we think one or some of them are going to die, they are saved by something ridiculous and makes you wonder why doesn't the wizard just use his powers all the time to protect them? Just a thought. In the end I would have rated this movie lower but due to the incredible special effects I gave it 54.5/100. Expand
  26. 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
    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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  27. Feb 14, 2014
    5
    Peter Jackson's new take on the Lord of the Rings like always contains vivid scenes of animation but fails to make the film anymore than a simple adventure story.
  28. Jan 15, 2014
    0
    One of the uglier and more bewildering films of our time. I actually laughed when I realized Bilbo's ring-vision actually looks more real than the phoney, almost fully C.G. 'regular' world. Martin Freeman looks visibly uneasy to be in the film during every single, cartoonish scene of this calamity. Peter Jackson should have been put in charge of the J.R.R. Tolkien Theme Park, not the films.
  29. Jan 15, 2014
    0
    It's like Jackson just took a giant bucket of C.G.I., a giant bucket of terrible editing, a giant bucket of terrible dubbing and a giant bucket of incoherency and dumped them all over an awful movie.
  30. Jan 7, 2014
    7
    It's definitely not at the level of Lord of the Rings, and I"ll admit, there are some lines that I laughed at that I probably wasn't supposed to, but it was still entertaining. It was well-written, and the fact that it's more "childish" than LOTR is just because that's how the books went as well.
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.