User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 2352 Ratings

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  1. Dec 14, 2012
    10
    The Lord of the Rings is one of the best sagas in all time of movies bout the Hobbit its not Lord of the Rings you have to understand this and its different but its very good too.
  2. Dec 14, 2012
    9
    Peter Jackson's latest foray into Middle Earth is far and away different from the original "Lord of the Rings" trilogy he started over a decade ago. The pacing in "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is far closer to the pacing that Tolkien was so fond of, which unfortunately for the unweathered, can appear cumbersome at first. In general, the film is much closer to the tone and detailing of the original work than the Lord of the Rings trilogy was. Thorin and Bilbo's actor's do a phenomenal job in my humble opinion, as do McKellen and the rest of the original trilogy's cast that make an appearance(though who honestly expected otherwise from such illustrious names?).

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

    Overall, the movie is fantastic. It's very close, especially in tone, to the book, despite having some extra things added (some from Tolkien's own lore, a bit made up for the movie). I feel that Jackson is only beginning to tap into the film set, and I'm very optimistic about the future films.
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  3. Dec 14, 2012
    10
    WOW. This movie is amazing. I went into the movie theatre quite worried due to critic scores, but after seeing it myself, I really would like to know what film they watched, because it wasn't The Hobbit. I'm an avid fan of J.R.R Tolkien and have all his books, and thoroughly enjoyed Peter Jacksons LOTR Trilogy. The Hobbit is simply stunning, and will be joining my collection once it comes out on DVD.

    Now onto the movie. A lot of critics have given this low scores due to its higher framerate, or complaining about the slow start. Seriously, they have never been so wrong. Although I saw it in 3D 24fps (just to be safe) I cannot understand why people are rating the movie DOWN due to the 48fps framerate. Easy option - go see it in 24fps first. The movie is NOT slow. We spend 40 minutes or so in the shire (10 minutes of that we actually enjoy an epic prologue set in Erebor) which is no different to the first LOTR. It gives us a chance to develop some of the characters and understand their motivation. There's not one part of this film which I thought 'this is slow'. It is beautifully paced. The acting is superb, especially Martin Freeman as Bilbo. The first time you see him as Bilbo, you can understand why Peter Jackson chose him. There is so many events in this film that blew me away. The stone giants, the goblin tunnels, Rivendell, the scene with Gollum (which deserves an oscar), the Prologue in Erebor, the white council with gandalf, saruman, galadriel and elrond, dol goldur, and the EAGLES. The eagles look better than ever and really blew me away. This is a lighter and more humoured middle earth, but that's what Tolkien wrote. There is peace in middle earth, so of course the world is a happier place. Thankfully though, it's not as overdosed as I thought it would be. There are maybe 1 or 2 lines which made me cringe, but that is the only downfall to this movie. Everything else is perfect.

    All of the actors do a superb job as I said previously. Radagast the brown, a slightly deranged wizard, also worried me before seeing the film. He is brilliant. He helps move the story along and also sees something I did not expect... fans of LOTR will be happy once they understand who and what he saw. The action pieces and CGI are fantastic also. The ending couldn't have been any better, with a brilliant piece of character development between Thorin and Bilbo (both of which develop brilliantly throughout the entire film) coming to a final climax, and also... I wont spoil the last shot, just go see it yourself. I can not recommend this film enough. I am so happy to have visited middle earth again and couldn't be any happier with what I saw. Do yourself a favour, ignore the critics, and go and enjoy middle earth again, because The Hobbit is one hell of a ride.
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  4. Dec 14, 2012
    10
    The Hobbit is an amazing movie, although it isn't exactly as good as The Lord of the Rings people need to stop comparing the two because they are two different movies. The Hobbit was written for younger audiences.
  5. Dec 14, 2012
    9
    If I could give this movie an 8.8 or 8.9 even, I would. An 8 just seems too low. I saw a midnight showing of the Hobbit in HFR (high frame rate) in a cinema with active shutter glasses. While active shutter adds some intensity to the 3D, the HFR added even more. Yes folks, I felt a little bit of butterflies in my stomach and this was not a bad thing. After seeing this I'm not sure if HFR is "better" than shooting in IMAX but it defiantly is the only way to shoot a 3D movie as far as I am concerned. On to the film, this prequel to the Lord of the Rings was not as grim or serious as the first three films. It was more like a roller-coaster as one of my friends put it (the HFR helped with that). I think the Hobbit has done what the Star Wars prequels failed to do. Bring a more lighthearted, kid friendly version of the world to the screen. While this movie won't be winning any oscars for acting or best picture, it will entertain millions and be a front runner for moving the uncertain future of a digital age of film forward in the right direction. Without spoiling any of the plot points of the film, The Hobbit is both a lord of the ring prequel and an adaption of the Hobbit novel. The film captures Bilbo brilliantly. Bilbo was my favorite character growing up, and I find myself reinvigorated in the character after seeing the film in my older age. Expand
  6. Dec 14, 2012
    10
    A master piece by a master directer.
    you feel a real energy and really a master piece of work,
    perfectly the best, includes every thing that was required, no mistake or rough edge....
    LOVE IT
  7. Dec 14, 2012
    10
    Better than the book, again. While many purist fans do not agree, I must say Peter Jackson did a wonderful job. To those who say it's different from the book, well, I must say that it's the closest a movie can get to it. The main difference is that Peter Jackson tied The Hobbit well with The Lord of the Rings. It is already a challenge to transport the book to the movie but it's even harder if you want to tie something that was written for children with something darker. Why do I give it a 10? Because this time Peter Jackson explored things not even present in the book, it's a plus you get. Do yourself a favor and enjoy this movie. If you liked The Lord of The Rings trilogy, you will definitely love The Hobbit. Expand
  8. Dec 14, 2012
    10
    If you're going to put this a 0 just because this was not return of the king in epicness you will get a no this review was not helpful from me. I really enjoyed this movie I think it was my favorite movie of this year. I have seen all the big hit movies and this type of movie just spoke to me. Yes this is not LotR but this is a separate story that collides with LotR. There really was nothing I can say that was wrong with this movie. Expand
  9. Dec 14, 2012
    10
    This film has a different feel than the Lord of the Rings trilogy but you have to remember it IS a different trilogy and the source material has a different feel too. The story was fleshed out nicely with several tie-ins to the Lord of the Rings that made it truly feel like part of the same world from another time. The story is much lighter with a lot more humor and a bit less intensity/impending doom. Remember, the heroes are only trying to recover something, not save the world as in LOTR. The action sequences are mind bogglingly epic. Though I found myself enjoying the dialog more than the action. Yes the sets are computer generated instead of models but this gave the creators more freedom. I would rate the CG as the best I have seen and the way they blended it with the live actors was very atmospheric and mostly felt natural. Non-fans will have a hard time sitting through the entire movie. It IS long, but if you aren't a fan what are you doing at the movie? Really. Wait for the DVD and fast forward if it's too slow for you. Even when it comes to movies I don't enjoy I hate it when people complain about a movie being too long. I never understood that mindset. Books are never too long, neither are video games; no one is making you finish a movie you are bored of. I say create as much content as possible and let people watch if they enjoy it. Expand
  10. Dec 14, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I am a Tolkien fan since I was 9 when I read The Hobbit. After I read The Lord of the Rings couple of years later I was forever hooked to the great storytelling of Tolkien. Then came The Silmarillion and all the other books related to the lore. I couldn't get enough. I'm a Tolkien lore nut, not elvish speaking but a nut none the less. I heard complaints about the first hour of the movie, too long, unnecessary and whatnot, but for me it was grand, seeing how Thorin gets his last name, Bilbo's pantry getting ravaged and the dwarfs singing. Also the appearance of Radagast the Brown (I heard someone wrote that he's like Jar Jar Binks, I mean really?) and mention of the Blue wizards works well. Not to mention the Golum creature and the riddle game displayed in full. Peter Jackson draws from other sources not just The Hobbit but from all of the Tolkien lore and, as in the first trilogy he takes liberties to get us closer to the story and he is on the spot. If you are a fan of Tolkien you will see this movie, Jackson doesn't destroy anything of the Tolkien's vision, if I'm allowed to say (and may the Valar forgive me) he improves it in parts. Expand
  11. Dec 14, 2012
    10
    Movies are done for FANS not for critics journalists! This is a amzing movie, if you are a Lord Of Rings fan you will fall in love with this one. Peter Jackson is a great director.
  12. Dec 14, 2012
    10
    the hobbit is a great movie the story of the movie,the affects,and the 3d for me was good a great movie but i will say that movie was very long 3 hours.so i will give the hobbit an unexpected journey 9/10 and i will recommend to you to see the movie.and i forgot to remind golum(my precious). you know what i regret about the 3 hours i will give it 10/10
  13. Dec 14, 2012
    10
    It has angered me critics are disgusted at the films drawn out length in terms of being a part of the lord of the rings franchise. But at the end of the day the story telling ability in this film and the beauty you find in the scenes makes it a fantastic film which definitely deserves a 10. This is a film review not a business case review!
  14. Dec 14, 2012
    10
    People need to stop thinking about The Lord of the Rings when they go to watch this film. The Hobbit wasn't even written the same way as LotR by Tolkien. It's not a dark, epic drama that portends the end of an age, ultimate evil, and the tragedy of life lost: not just in battle, but of those who's souls are never the same after the grand journey (Frodo).

    It's a fun adventure featuring
    the races and monsters that birthed contemporary fantasy. If you go in expecting that, you will be MORE than satisfied by this film. It gets better as it goes along. It was accurate to the book, and gave us just enough of a LotR tie-in without overshadowing the main quest of The Hobbit. Expand
  15. Dec 14, 2012
    9
    Well, did it live up to the hype? In most instances, yes it did. However, there were a few things that could have been changed or made better in this first installment of The Hobbit. I happened to see it in IMAX 3D, and the IMAX part was phenomal, as it always is, but the 3D i felt like was more of a gimmick, and just wasn't really needed. It definitely looked a lot better than most 3D's have, it was shot with those 3D cameras, so I would expect that it would look better, but I could have easily watched it in 2D and had the same experience. I might go back and try out the higher framerate, although this may make it seem even more gimmicky and less immersive. The acting was mostly top-notch, with Martin Freeman as Bilbo, Ian Mckellen as Gandalf (of course), Richard Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield, and Andy Serkis as Gollum (once again, of course) really standing out. The other dwarves were very good, but almost just seemed like background characters, rather than characters you felt more emotionally attached to. (ie, the 4 hobbits in LOTR). The action sequences were wonderful, however the CGI made it feel almost fake and more like a video game than a movie. Basically anything non-human in this movie was animated, and it was evident that some of the dwarves and Bilbo were just swinging at thin-air rather than an enemy in some instances. While the animation gave the producers more freedom and creativity, it made the movie feel less real and organic, as the LOTR trilogy had because they had used live actors to portray the orcs, and some other creatures. Granted, I know the trolls and gollum, and other creatures like that have to be animated, but the orcs and goblins in this movie could have been live actors. It almost seems as if it was a bit rushed. Well, at least that aspect of it. While some complained that the beginning of the movie was too long, and took forever to work into the story, I did not feel that as I watched it. I enjoyed the fleshing out of the back story because I feel like the LOTR trilogy could have had more backstory (I know the films were very long, and this was the reason for less backstory), but I enjoyed hearing everything about The Hobbit. Overall though, this movie was outstanding. It had it's great moments, where you felt emotionally attached to a character, or that superb soundtrack kicked in at the perfect time, and how can i forget, the best part of the movie, the riddle game between Bilbo and Gollum. Also, it had quite a few more laughs than the original 3, which was very welcome. So, I say go see it! While it doesnt recapture the brilliance of the FOTR, it is still a film that is very worth your time and money. Thus, I give it a 9. Expand
  16. Dec 14, 2012
    10
    Writing this at 4 in the morning after sitting in line for 7 hours isn't easy but I can assure you it was worth the wait. Ignore the critics if you're a fan of the books or at least the movies you'll love every second.
  17. Dec 14, 2012
    10
    The film is one of the best movie of the last 5 years. The 3D effect is the most wonderful 3d effect i've ever seen. The story is just perfect, it feels like reading the book. Bilbo is amazing, Thorin, Gandalf, Balin, Dwalin Bifur, Bofur, Bombur, Dori, Nori, Ori, Oin Gloin, Fili, KIli. ALL perfect.
    Also Azog and the king of the goblins are just perfect. Andy Serkis (Gollum) did a
    marvellous work on gollum and the scene of riddles in the dark made me cry.
    Go watching for it, you'll never be sorry for that!
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  18. 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
    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!" Expand
  19. Dec 14, 2012
    9
    While the pacing drags for the first portion of the movie, particularly in the Radagast sequences, Peter Jackson once again brings us a Middle-Earth well worthy of Tolkien's novels and histories. Cate Blanchett particularly shines when she reprises her role from the LotR trilogy as Galadriel, exuding a power that positively sends shivers down the spine. Freeman as Bilbo and Armitage as Thorin Oakenshield are both perfectly cast, and their dynamic as characters is absolutely excellent.

    Gollum, once again, brings a twisted sort of fun in the Riddles in the Dark sequence, and the Ring still bears that soft power to it that seduces and twists. Meanwhile, the hobbit sensibility of Bilbo Baggins is exceptionally relatable even as I sit here with my laptop and mug of tea, reflecting on adventure and home and everything it means to go out your door.

    Many of Tolkien's songs also appear in the movie, lending both light-heartedness and emotional resonance. I actually felt tears in my eyes during the "Far over the Misty Mountains" song, and was pleasantly surprised by the darkly funny "Goblintown." If this movie does not receive an Oscar nomination for its score, I will be deeply disappointed and most offended.

    The 3D was subtle, too, and I am glad of that. Jackson once again shows restraint with the temptation of overusing special effects -- what few there were did not intrude on the story so as to throw me out of it. Once again, Middle-Earth feels as real as the floor under my feet, and for that, I am deeply, deeply thankful.
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  20. Dec 14, 2012
    10
    "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is a great movie. The modern 3D - technology let us enter the world of Tolkien in a new dimension. Peter Jackson made a movie, which shows once again that the small ones are able to be great heroes. The soundtrack fits perfectly to the movie. I recommend you to watch this masterpiece.
    I also will watch it at least once again.

    P.S.: Please excuse my
    bad english, i'm from Germany ;) Expand
  21. Dec 14, 2012
    9
    This is a beautiful film. The 3D is the best I have seen, the 48fps help this by reducing blur and making the whole thing appear much more crisp. The little references to the trilogy and the book itself (ie chapter names in the script) show that this was a labour of love and further proof of the respect Peter Jackson has for the source material. Although I would not say it surpasses the Lord of the Rings trilogy this was an incredible film with some truly inspired scene. Needless to say Riddles in the Dark is a joy to behold. 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.