The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Reviews

  • Peter Jackson triumphantly returns to Middle Earth with The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. A folksy, beguiling adventure, we get to enjoy the splendor of the story and fantastic settings in a more whimsical experience.

    Julian Roman — MovieWeb

  • 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.

    Lisa Schwarzbaum — Entertainment Weekly

  • Tolkien's inventive, episodic tale of a modest homebody on a dangerous journey has been turned into an overscale and plodding spectacle.

    A.O. Scott — New York Times

  • [The] elements are in place again, but the story feels less substantial than the Lord of the Rings tales.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" has finally arrived, not on wings of gossamer fancy but with a hairy-footed thud.

    Ann Hornaday — Washington Post

  • [A] dazzling, busy, fundamentally tedious movie ...

    Ty Burr — Boston Globe

  • Even once Bilbo and company take to the hobbit highway, the pacing is leisurely verging on lethargic ...

    Scott Foundas — Village Voice

  • The movie itself is a lot of fun. And if you can separate yourself from the visual distraction, you'll find plenty to enjoy.

    Elizabeth Weitzman — New York Daily News

  • An overlong adventure enlivened by wonders.

    Joe Morgenstern — Wall Street Journal

  • I was impressed with how much of the story's good humor Jackson and Co. manage to weave into the spectacle. It's there in the close shave with a gang of hungry trolls, and it really lifts off once Andy Serkis' uncanny Gollum enters the picture.

    Chris Vognar — Dallas Morning News

  • To its own narrative detriment, "The Hobbit" works hard to lay the framework for what will follow. Certainly that's one way to set out on a trilogy, but it's surely not the best.

    Lisa Kennedy — Denver Post

  • I found that it provided a pretty convincingly immersive experience, and I look forward to the technology's evolution/refinement. Which I guess also means I look forward to the next two installments of the trilogy.

    Glenn Kenny — MSN Movies

  • On balance, honor has been done to Tolkien, not least in the famous riddle game between Bilbo and Gollum, and some of the exploits to come will surely lighten the load.

    Anthony Lane — New Yorker

  • When, in Jackson's film, someone describes a character's "love of gold" as having become "too fierce," you wonder if the warning might apply to "The Hobbit" in other ways.

    Michael Phillips — Chicago Tribune

  • Little about the storytelling suggests a beating heart beneath the visuals; once the journey has begun, the characters find themselves in life-threatening danger with stupefying regularity.

    Ben Sachs — Chicago Reader

  • This is not about a reluctant hero drawing courage from some deep personal well. It's not about dread and danger. It's about visual effects.

    Steven Rea — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is not the worst film of the year, but it may be the most disappointing.

    Colin Covert — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • The last hour of this movie is pretty much nonstop, and it's a gas.

    Tom Long — Detroit News

  • It all just takes so long.

    Bill Goodykoontz — Arizona Republic

  • Fulfilling just a fraction of J.R.R. Tolkien's "There and Back Again" subtitle, The Hobbit alternately rewards and abuses auds' appetite for all things Middle-earth.

    Peter Debruge — Variety

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