The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Image
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58

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

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8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 2603 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 dwarvesThe 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

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 40
  2. Negative: 2 out of 40
  1. Reviewed by: Matthew Leyland
    Dec 5, 2012
    100
    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
    75
    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
    75
    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
    60
    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
    60
    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
    50
    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
    25
    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: 72 out of 727
  1. 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"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 ;)
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  2. Jan 13, 2013
    10
    This movie was amazing. The storyline was great and if you are a lover of the LOTR then you will definitely love it. the Scenery and theThis movie was amazing. The storyline was great and if you are a lover of the LOTR then you will definitely love it. the Scenery and the costumes and make up should definitely receive awards as they were incredible. I particularly liked how Peter Jackson did not allow one particular character to completely take over the movie but bought all the characters together and showed the importance of each one. I do however think that there was about 20 mins cut out of the movie at the cinema that I saw it as there were 2 areas where the scene abruptly stopped and then went to an entirely different scene and i am sure that Peter Jackson would not allow such bad editing. The movie was running behind so i believe that the cinema cut it out, but i am going to see it again on weekend (good excuse to see again) and will see if it does it again.
    The music appears to be less in this movie then in LOTR but it also has some of the music especially Concerning Hobbits which is an absolute favourite and parents ringtone. The music is fantastic to listen to and if there was not so much going on on the screen you would be very content to just sit back and close your eyes and listen.
    Although this movies goes for 184 minutes you wouldn't know it as I was enthralled throughout it and could have gone on with more. Absolutely wonderful movie and cannot wait for number 2. GO AND SEE IT!!!!!
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  3. Dec 15, 2012
    10
    A prime example of when the general consensus of critics get it wrong. Amazing film and beginning to another epic trilogy. 48fps 3D wasA prime example of when the general consensus of critics get it wrong. Amazing film and beginning to another epic trilogy. 48fps 3D was gorgeous and another evolution of modern cinema. Expand
  4. Dec 17, 2012
    8
    When I see this film, I see exactly what I imagine Middle Earth would look like. "An Unexpected Journey" is an amazing film that, for the mostWhen I see this film, I see exactly what I imagine Middle Earth would look like. "An Unexpected Journey" is an amazing film that, for the most part, remains true to the story. Not only that, but it incorporates elements of the story that aren't present in the Red Book -- where do you think Gandalf disappears to all the time? -- the appendices hold the answers! Do not expect the Hobbit to be the same as the Lord of the Rings; if you do, you will be disappointed. The Hobbit is an all together different type of Fantastic tale that stands alone - not as a prequel, but as a story in its own right. The critics are way off on this one. If you love Adventure, Humorous Warrior Dwarves, Wizards, and the Necromancer, then this film will pull you in again and again! Expand
  5. Dec 21, 2012
    8
    The hobbit had some big shoes to fill.Not just normal sized shoes, giant, hobbit sized shoes(this is just a metaphor,I know hobbits don't wearThe hobbit had some big shoes to fill.Not just normal sized shoes, giant, hobbit sized shoes(this is just a metaphor,I know hobbits don't wear shoes).There were some very high expectations from most people when they went to see the hobbit part 1.People wanted it to feel like a lord of the rings movie, they expected great visuals, grade A story telling, great acting, and for it to have a satisfying conclusion(like the other lord of the rings movies)but to still feel like it was going to lead to something more in later films since it is, after all, the begining of a trilogy. Peter Jackson succeeded on most of these fronts except for a few.Namely it feeling like a lord of the ring movie and he somewhat botched the satisfying conclusion.The main reason this movie doesn't feel like a lord of the rings movie is the visuals(everything visual,the special effects,scenery,and costumes don't give off a very "lord of the ringish" vibe).But don't take this to mean I thought it had a bad look though,the hobbit is the most visually beautiful movie I've ever seen.The scenery and special effects are so gorgeous that they just don't seem like they could be real.This is a good and a bad thing.It all looks beautiful, but some of it was just too extreme to fit in with the previous lord of the rings trilogy.In the other trilogy, special effects were more 'gritty".It all looked fantastic but it all looked like it could've existed at some point in the real world.The hobbit,on the other hand, looks like it belongs in a strictly "fantasy only" world.The ending was descent, but not very satisfying.The movie speeds up very fast for the last 40 minutes or so but then comes to a jarring stop in about the last 2 minutes and so,consequently, the whole final scene just seems out of place.But it does kind of still get you excited for the next installmet, it was probably just the adrenaline still in my system from the epicness that had just occurred in the last 40-60 minutes of the movie but I still wanted to see more when the credits rolled(not in a "this only feels like half a movie" kind of way but in more of a "I'm going to see the next one when it gets to theaters"kind of way).Despite these complaints, the movie was very good.The acting from Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, and Andy Serkis is incredible(especially Andy Serkis's acting, he only had one scene as Gollum but it was amazing).The story was good, it was a little slow the first hour or so of the movie but quickly picked up once they set out on the journey.Many people were worried about this being the phantom menace of lord of the rings movies.Have no fear, it's not.This movie is very good,not as good as the previous trilogy, but much better than the phantom menace,which was garbage.This movie isn't without its issues, but overall it is a very good and very unique movie. Expand
  6. Apr 26, 2013
    6
    The Hobbit has a difficult act to follow. Having already seen the Lord of the Rings Trilogy which is a lot darker and heavier (Like theThe Hobbit has a difficult act to follow. Having already seen the Lord of the Rings Trilogy which is a lot darker and heavier (Like the books), the Hobbit does not feel as gripping. The book of the Hobbit was written before the LOTR and was written for a young audience and I think it shows. The film is trying to be accurate to the text and seems to have a lot of padding to make it more friendly. The opening sequences to me seemed pointless and if they were cut would not have affected the film other than to reduce the run time to something more reasonable. the same can be said for other parts of the film which seem to ramble on rather than actually go anywhere. This not to say the film is poor because it isn't. Overall the casting was good and the acting likewise. Martin Freeman as Bilbo was surprisingly well cast as he got the balance right for the character. One of the issues with the film was a bit like the Star Wars Prequels. You know certain people are going to be okay and also some of the plot if you have seen the later films. This does cross off a few questions raised in the LOTR trilogy but does again make the film have another problem to solve.
    Having Peter Jackson back on board to direct has at least made the universe feel consistent and the camera work is very familiar. The film is not a bad one and I am sure the new Trilogy will be overall good but I can't help feeling that I was not blown away and also that they could have made Two films rather than Three to tell the story.
    I did not see the 3D showing due to not being able to watch 3D so cannot comment on whether this added to the experience. But the world still looks vivid in 2D and maybe even more alive than in the LOTR films.
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  7. Aug 26, 2013
    0
    This movie is a snooze fest. I fell asleep, that was how absolutely boring that movie was. It is three hours of a hobbit traveling aroundThis movie is a snooze fest. I fell asleep, that was how absolutely boring that movie was. It is three hours of a hobbit traveling around magical fairy land. Boring. Expand

See all 727 User Reviews

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