|New Line Cinema | Release Date: December 19, 2001||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
Not since the original ''Star Wars'' trilogy has film dipped into myth and emerged with the kind of weight and heft seen in Peter Jackson's first installment of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Made with intelligence, imagination, passion and skill, propulsively paced and shot through with an aged-in-oak sense of wonder, the trilogy's first film so thrillingly catches us up in its sweeping story that nothing matters but the vivid and compelling events unfolding on the screen. Read full review
For Hobbitués and adventure fans of all other ages, it's the year's best thrill ride -- maybe the best film.
But moving across this tableau is Frodo and his gang, and here the trouble lies...Not a one seems believable as conveyed by Wood, who forever looks to be on the brink of a good sob. Likewise, his hobbit sidekick Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin) is a real wuss.
The film's single downside is a certain nagging sense of deja vu: the fact that so many of the elements of the story -- the dark force, the all-empowering object, etc. -- have been usurped over the years (by "Star Wars" and others) that you feel as if you've been down this road many, many times before. Read full review
Consistently beautiful and often exciting -- despite some dead passages here and there, it's surely the best big-budget fantasy movie in years. [24 & 31 Dec 2001, p. 126]
Though faithful in every detail to Tolkien, it has a vigorous life of its own -- grandeur, moral heft and emotional depth.
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