Mixed or average reviews - based on 40 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 2270 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , , ,
  • Summary: 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. [Warner Bros.] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 40
  2. Negative: 2 out of 40
  1. Reviewed by: Matthew Leyland
    Dec 5, 2012
    Charming, spectacular, technically audacious… in short, everything you expect from a Peter Jackson movie. A feeling of familiarity does take hold in places, but this is an epically entertaining first course.
  2. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Dec 10, 2012
    It isn't as delirious a journey as we experienced a decade ago, but it's still filled with wonder, monsters, and thrills.
  3. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    Dec 13, 2012
    The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey isn't "unexpected" at all, though between its lighter tone and a decade's worth of improvements in digital film techniques, there should be enough of a novelty factor to delight most fans.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Dec 3, 2012
    Jackson and his team seem compelled to flesh out the world of their earlier trilogy in scenes that would be better left to extended-edition DVDs (or omitted entirely), all but failing to set up a compelling reason for fans to return for the second installment.
  5. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Dec 13, 2012
    An Unexpected Journey also proves that it is, indeed, possible to get too much of a good thing.
  6. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Dec 13, 2012
    To sum it up, there is little that is unexpected in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Rather than an epic continuation of Jackson's Middle-earth obsession, the film seems more like the work of a man driving around a multilevel parking garage without being able to find the exit.
  7. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Dec 13, 2012
    If you loved the earlier films, these are moments you will hold on to, but they're very few, and they're not enough.

See all 40 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 65 out of 680
  1. Jan 31, 2013
    I went to this movie thinking that I would be bored half way through. I really liked the first three but I thought it would just be more of the same. But to my surprise I ended up thoroughly entertained. Peter Jackson was able to take what made the first three so awesome and greatly improve upon that formula. Not only that I thought the actors in this movie did a much better job especially the actor who played bilbo baggins. I can't wait to see the other two coming out I am more excited about their release than I was the original trilogy. Expand
  2. Dec 16, 2012
    The Hobbit: an Unexpected Journey is a brilliant movie to start off what will be an amazing trilogy.Now the Director Peter Jackson has not lost his style from The lord of the Rings movies because middle earth still looks excitingly dangerous. Bilbo Baggins played by Martin Freeman from Sherlock owns it as playing Bilbo. He is a brave little Hobbit that goes on a journey with Gandalf and the dwarves to try and reclaim there homeland which was destroyed by the evil Dragon Smaug. When your watching this film you are routing for Bilbo all the time because he is the underdog because the drwarve leader Thorin thinks he has not got what it takes to go on the journey. Also we get to see Gollum again played by Andy Serkis is still a creepy mysterious devil like he was in the Lord of the Rings and that was fantastic to see. I think everybody is going to enjoy this movie and I did not want this film to end. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is a great way to end the year. Expand
  3. Dec 14, 2012
    "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 ;)
  4. Dec 26, 2012
    I think that the people that are posting bad reviews just saw the movie listen to some critics and cry about how its gonna be 3movies and how childish it was.
    Let me inform you that the Hobbit (the book) was indeed a bit chilsdish in the beginning with the talking trols and de dishes but thats the book, if that was cut out you would be crying about that.
    And the "meehhhhh why is is in threee movieess meehhh''' well beceause most of you **** diden't read the books so now they will show you how sauron was risen beceause you dont read that in the Hobbit. That is why its in 3 movies.

    Sorry for the bad grammar!
  5. Dec 30, 2012
    The Hobbit. Is it worth seeing? Yes. Is it as good as LOTR? No. I think I was just well prepared in that I knew it would be slow at the start and take a while to get going and that its more a kids movie. If you know thats what to expect and love the first trilogy as much as me then I can't see why you wouldn't enjoy this. Martin Freeman is perfect and the return of Gollum is a real highlight. The 3D is brilliant and makes Middle Earth even more beautiful. As with LOTR I'm sure it can only get more epic as the trilogy continues.... Expand
  6. Jov
    Dec 14, 2012
    Let me preface this by saying that I'm a moderate fan of the LOTR books and movies, but more-so a big Peter Jackson fan, with my favorites being his early work. Somehow, with The Hobbit, Peter Jackson has fumbled. Thinking back to his fantastic Production Diaries: it's an odd thing when the behind the scenes shorts are better than the film itself. I watched the film exactly as PJ intended it - at 48 FPS, 3D, with Dolby ATMOS surround sound on 4K resolution projectors, but was repeatedly disappointed by the visuals. Peter Jackson seems to have gone the route of George Lucas in replacing actors, puppets, and good old fashioned screen magic with pure CGI. I'm not sure if it was the 48 FPS or what, but the film looked very, very fake. I felt like I was watching an animated film, or a video game at times. A lot of people are complaining about the over-long run time - I'm not one of them. I love a long film, and appreciated it here as well, but I think that it's significant to mention that despite a nearly 3-hour length, there was very little character development. No pauses for pacing. No - this was non-stop action. I felt like I was on "The Hobbit: THE RIDE". But what was I expecting? It was a children's book, and the film is a children's movie. The battles are toned down and pointedly blood-free. If LOTR is a classically painted master-work, then The Hobbit is a caricature. This isn't to say The Hobbit was all bad. It wasn't. I thoroughly enjoyed it at points. But the comparison to Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace is apt. The film is woefully over-full of CGI, lacks spirit. This doesn't feel like a labor of love - it feels like a blockbuster made for a younger generation with short-attention spans. Skip the 3D and skip the 48 fps. I look forward to a fan-edit when all three movies are released. It needs one. Expand
  7. Jan 15, 2014
    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. Expand

See all 680 User Reviews

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