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The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Review

Movies.com Critics

2.5

Dave White Profile

A journey into digital purgatory and fan sadness. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0
    58

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    A purist's delight, something the millions of die-hard fans of his Lord of the Rings trilogy will gorge upon. In pure movie terms, however, it's also a bit of a slog, with an inordinate amount of exposition and lack of strong forward movement...There are elements in this new film that are as spectacular as much of the Rings trilogy was, but there is much that is flat-footed and tedious as well, especially in the early going.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    While the production design is impeccable and the journey intermittently involving, The Hobbit is overlong and lacks the enchantment of the Lord of the Rings films.

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    An overlong adventure enlivened by wonders.

    Read Full Review

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    I'm holding the filmmaker responsible for getting us all back again - to feelings of excitement and delight. Vital as they are, Gollum and Bilbo can only do so much to keep us enchanted. Is Jackson able to sustain the magic in two more installments? I peer into Tolkien's Misty Mountains and embrace the journey.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 11+

Tolkien tale isn't as great as LOTR, but better for tweens.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, director Peter Jackson's adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien's stand-alone quest through Middle-earth, is less violent than the scarier Lord of the Rings trilogy. But there are definitely some frightening sequences, like the battle between the dragon and the dwarves of Erebor, during which one character is decapitated, another has an arm amputated, and there's mass destruction. The group of Bilbo, Gandalf, and 13 dwarves is often tracked and pursued and nearly killed several times, but they manage to avoid death -- at least in this installment. Bilbo (like Frodo and his friends in the LOTR movies) again shows that size doesn't matter when it comes to making a difference.

  • Families can talk about how The Hobbit compares to The Lord of the Rings. How are the stories similar (a hobbit joins a dangerous quest), and how are they different? Which adventure do you prefer?
  • For those familiar with the book, how does the movie adaptation differ? If you haven't read the book yet, does the movie make you want to delve into Tolkien's classic?
  • What does Bilbo learn about himself throughout the journey?
  • Why do you think Tolkien's fantasy tale has withstood the test of time?

The good stuff
  • message true4

    Messages: As in The Lord of the Rings, the message of The Hobbit is that even the smallest person can make a huge difference. Gandalf even says "it's the small things that keep the darkness at bay" in reference to Bilbo's involvement in the dangerous mission. Gandalf advises Bilbo that it's not knowing how to take a life that takes courage but knowing when to spare one. The dwarves' quest reminds viewers of the importance of home, kinship, and belonging somewhere.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: No one except Gandalf thinks that Bilbo can be of much help, but Bilbo rises to the occasion by summoning his courage when the time calls for it -- except for the fact that he fulfills his destiny as a "burglar" by stealing Gollum's precious ring. Thorin is dedicated to his fellow dwarves, and they in return revere him as their faithful leader.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Less violent than The Lord of the Rings, but there's still some carnage: a battle between the dwarves and the dragon leads to the dwarf king being decapitated, an orc leader's arm amputated, and a multitude of dwarves and their property destroyed. There are several close calls when Bilbo, Gandalf, and the dwarves are pursued or nearly die on their journey across Middle-earth, usually by orcs and their beasts. The orc leader is a frightening sight -- particularly with his claw-like prosthesis, and he's bloodthirsty. A group of goblins/orcs tries to kill the group as well.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Not an issue

  • language false0

    Language: Slang use of "jaxie" (meaning "ass").

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Although there are no product placements in Middle-earth, the Tolkien books and Peter Jackson film adaptations have spawned a ton of merchandise: apparel, video games, LEGO toys and board games, role-playing games, special movie tie-in editions of the books, and more.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: The dwarves are a voracious lot -- even more than hobbits. They ransack Bilbo's pantry and consume large quantities of drink (and food). Gandalf and Bilbo smoke the mellowing pipeweed.

Fan Reviews provided by

3

This is the correct answer: Rate 73% Too Long but adventurous! by TheRightAnswer
This is why I put So-So Good things: The movie was adventurous like I said at the top: I liked all the creative creatures in it like hobbits, dwarfs, goblins etc. I took my friends and cousins to see it and they said: Cousins say: Too Long, Boring, It was ok, and I loved it Friends say: Not my type of movie, it was alright and the other fell asleep halfway through. Improvement: Maybe make the movie shorter, make the movie almost same as the book next time and make more interesting for younger ages to watch. My answer is: It was good, but too long. Good job The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey and keep the movie on! P.S: Im gonna see the Desolation Of Smaug (Hobbit 2) in a few days, as soon as I see it ill put my review on there. I hope this was helpful for all of you!

5

LOTR is back! by quezoman
We were all hoping that The Lord of the Rings would make its returnt to the big screen, and it has! We follow Bilbo on his epic journey to help the dwarves. It is great seeing all the familiar characters and scenery return. Can't wait to see what happens next.

4

by adanielgw

5

by Pamelawa7

5

by olyhorse

5

Love the Journey by mellinda942
The Hobbit is finally here!!!

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