The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

quite simply the best movie made to date

Author: (frodolives)
4 July 2002

From the casting to the acting, from the cinematography to the special effects, from the locations to the sets and props an costumes and makeup, from the wonderful film score to the truly excellent screenplay, there is hardly a fault to find with this breathtaking, amazing piece of cinematographic art. Director Peter Jackson and his superb, highly motivated cast and crew have done the seemingly impossible in turning Tolkien's beloved books into a movie, and they have done it so amazingly well - finding their own idiosyncratic interpretations while staying absolutely true to the spirit of the book - that all I can say is: Go and see it!! - if you haven't done so yet.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Richly deserving of its acclaim

Author: G'aal from Monroe, Washington
23 June 2002

Reading through the various posts, I see that the overriding theme amongst the movie's few detractors was that it was "overly long" and "boring", even prompting one poster to rename the movie "Bored of the Rings."

Well, these people clearly haven't read the books and thus are not Tolkien fans. J.R.R. Tokien's books are VERY long and descriptive, and even the hard core fan has to wade through certain elements. However, the books are thrilling, sweeping epics, microcosms of the age-old struggles between good and evil. In this context, Tolkien has created a complete alternate world, populated by humans and similarly-evolved races such as elves, dwarves and hobbits, and mixes courage, determination, love and magic to create "Middle Earth".

Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring accomplishes what no film maker dared attempt in the 47 years. It encapsulates the first book of the trilogy in jaw-dropping fashion onto film. And that bears repeating: the movie is so amazing, so awe-inspiring, so wondrous that through much of the movie, I felt my jaw literally dropping open. It's THAT good.

The cast is nearly perfect: Ian McKellan *is* perfect as Gandalf the Grey. The standoff at the Bridge of Khazad-Dum will go down with the alien's tail slowly encircling Lambert in "Alien", the initial emergence of the creature from the black lagoon and other horror/fantasy epic moments as one of the all-time great scenes in cinematic history. Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Elijah Wood, Liv Tyler, Ian Holm, Cate Blanchett and the rest of the remarkable ensemble cast give the performances of their careers. The special effects, despite some that claim otherwise, leave the viewer on the edge of their seat throughout. And the good news is that since the movie has grossed over $800 million world-wide to date, the second and third installments of the trilogy will benefit with post-production special effects improvements.

If you haven't seen this movie, you've missed out, big time, unless you can find it still playing somewhere. The big screen is far and away the best place to view this masterpiece, especially sitting up close. I saw it three times in the theaters and would see it again today if it were playing nearby. And I know where I'll be the day "The Two Towers" is released: in my local theater, sitting close, watching yet another epic bit of storytelling unfold.

A gigantic 10 out of 10.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A Beautiful Triumph for Peter Jackson

Author: HersheyAddict314 from Maryland, USA
20 June 2002

The Lord of the Rings, the Fellowship of the Rings. The first time I saw those letters appear on a trailer while watching Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon (in May), I thought it was the most ridiculous title for a movie. The trailer was disgusting-I thought the strange-haired little 'people' (later known as hobbits) were ugly and esoteric. Vaguely, I remember whispering to my best friend at the time, 'Ew...who's going to see THAT? What kind of freak would see a movie with such UGLY people??' Little did I know, I would become obsessed with this 'lurid' movie.

About 7 months later, the tickets to 'A Beautiful Mind' were sold out, so I opted to go for LOTR, because nothing else seemed worth my $5.50. The movie astonished me right from the first scene, with the thousands of realistic warriors and beautiful scenery, I was immediately hooked. Throughout the movie, I don't think I blinked once. The characters, the Elvish language, the setting, everything intruiged me. It was artistically and originally beautiful, not at all what I expected. I didn't even notice 3 hours passing by before it ended and I sat dumbstruck in the theater for a while, listening to Enya vocalize 'May It Be.' I walked out of the theater like I walked into a new world.

6 more times I saw the Lord of the Rings. I have two copies of the soundtrack (which is also fabulous) and am counting the days until the Two Towers. For anybody who has not seen this incredible movie, I suggest that you run to the nearest Blockbusters and rent it on August 6th, when it'll be released on DVD and VHS. It's almost essential to life. The actors-Elijah Wood, Ian McKellan and Viggo Mortensen-beautifully and acurately protrayed the characters of J.R.R. Tolkien's historic masterpiece, and Peter Jackson stayed true to the novel. I've read the books and became deeply interested in things I never have before, and have looked at things just a bit differently in this world.

I highly recommend the Lord of the Rings, the Fellowship of the Rings, to anybody at any age anytime. It is my favorite movie, and I'm not surprised that over 60,000 others voted this movie as worthy of #3 on the spot of the top 250 movies of all time.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A Visual (& audio) Feast!

Author: jbirtel ( from United States
3 June 2002

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

First...A disclaimer! (and trivia; for those who care) Lord of the Rings is NOT a trilogy, despite popular perception. It ranks as one of the longest single novel that's been written and consists of 6 books:

BOOK I "The First Journey" and BOOK II "The Journey of the Nine Companions" comprise FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING. BOOK III "The Treason of Isengard" and BOOK IV "The Journey of the Ringbearers" are THE TWO TOWERS. BOOK V "The War of the Ring" and BOOK VI "The End of the Third Age" concludes THE RETURN OF THE KING.(the titles were part of Tolkien's manuscript but were never used).

That said, the upcoming TWO TOWERS & RETURN...are not sequels and shouldn't be viewed as such. So There !!! Like Peter Jackson, I can't wait till the entire trilo...oops, I mean the entire story can be viewed back to back on DVD at 10 hours plus.

Oh! the movie. It's great! On 1st viewing, there were more things I liked then didn't, but my perception was prejudiced from my own interpretation cemented thru many years (I read it 8 or 9 times over 20 years). But on repeated viewings, I came to appreciate the brilliance behind the maker's decisions on how to tackle the telling that would appeal to readers and non-readers alike (face it! there's no way to please EVERYBODY). Compromises were necessary; so it wasn't to the letter of the book. What was captured faithfully were the set-pieces, the characters (fleshed out beyond expectation) and the spirit of the excitement & thrills. This is what cinema should be.

Those who liked the movie (readers and non) will appreciate a repeat viewing that is near improbable to catch the first time. SUBTLE SPOILER:(that's Gollum's voice screaming "Shire" then "Baggins", seconds later the Nine Riders exit the gates of Barad-dur [the Dark Lord's tower]. Immediately what follows is Gandalf's approach toward Minas Tirith [nice long shot] that will be more prevalent as the city besieged in RETURN OF THE KING. And of course, readers will recognize Tom, Bert and Bill, the trolls from "The Hobbit". This is just a few bits of treasure laced thru-out the movie). (more subtle spoilers) I admired the slight changes made. I never did believe Frodo could've stayed on that horse by himself, in his condition, on his final flight from the Nine Riders (unless the horse sprouted an extra pair of hands to hold him) so Arwen's expanded role seemed totally justified. It also gave the filmaker's an opportunity to expand the role of women as heroes, that was sadly minimized in the trilo...darn-it!...I mean the epic (I almost take that back as the character "Eowyn" will prove in the upcoming sequ... I mean, installments of the story). Also, the Tom Bombadil episode was an amusing trifle...for the novel (I did like it), but I always wondered how anyone could film that section without producing unintentional laughter from the audience. It's ommission is ok by me, as the first part of the movie really belongs to the thrill of the chase and the terror of capture from the Nine.

There are so many nice things said about the performances, the music, the locales, the props (wonderful) that's been said better then I can (most of all...Jackson and the collaborater's vision) so, no sense in repeating it here. It's not totally flawless...but realistically...what is?? As far as it's slight from the American Academy Awards as Best Picture...big deal! (It did win the British Award and American Film Inst. Award) No lack of any award robbed my enjoyment from Citizen Kane, Chinatown, Wizard of Oz (I equally loved the movies that did win_) and the lack of Best Picture won't take any pleasure away from Fellowship.. (please don't interpret that I'm lumping these movies on the same level - I'm just making a point - then again, maybe I am)

For those who didn't enjoy it as much, that's understandable. No movie in history has been unanimous amoung critics, or viewers for that matter. I wasn't sure how much I enjoyed it the first time, but after many repeat viewings, I surrender! 10 out of 10

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A Powerful and Moving Movie

Author: SweetEvil ( from usa
2 June 2002

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was the most magnificant movie I have ever seen. From the sets to the costumes; from the acting to the directing; this movie has a stunning outcome. The most truly wonderful thing about this movie is the story. J.R.R. Tolkien had such a brilliant mind. His languages and creatures were ingenious. But, Peter Jackson was also brilliant in his glorious attempt to bring the books to life.

First of all, the scenery was amazing. Hobbiton was exactly how I imagined it. Bilbo's hobbit hole at Bag End was quite a site. Moria was as dark and scary yet bold and beautiful as a mind could imagine it to be. Lorien was so incredibly beautiful. The quick glimpse shown of Minas Tirith was enough to tell us that Gondor will be a stunning site. The Great River and Amon Sul were also sights to behold. But the most beautiful thing created on the set was Rivendell. That is the closest thing any mind could compare to paradise. The sculptures and intricate carvings were amazing. The sets alone were a true accomplishment.

The costumes were perfect. Arwen and Galadriel both wore stunning, flowing dresses. Gandalf wouldn't be Gandalf without his tall pointy hat and long staff. The elves magnificant garments and the hobbits adorable apparel only made the movie better.

What pulls any movie together, to make it worth seeing is the acting. Elijah Wood has always shown off his wonderful acting talents and he proved once and for all that he is an amazing actor. Ian Mckellen seemed so wise and magical that if one didn't know better, you would have assumed he was a wizard. Viggo Mortensen was amazing. He turned from a mysterious ranger to a bold King. I know in the next to movies he will continue to amaze us. I wasn't too fond of Arwens increased part but Liv Tyler made it count. Sean Astin was perfect for Samwise Gamgee, the best friend someone could have. Two of my favorite characters of course were Merry and Pippin. Dominic Monaghan and Billy Boyd made the movie very enjoyable adding some comic relief. The rest of the cast were just as good in their roles. And it doesn't hurt that Orlando Bloom is incredibly attractive.

All in all, everything about this movie helped to make my favorite books a reality. I hope I'll be able to wait for the next two.

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4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A Film for Our Times

Author: NORWOLF1 from United States
1 June 2002

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Rings is a movie for our times. If we look past the stunning visual effects, lush scenery, and spectacular action sequences, and listen to the wisdom of Gandalf and Galadriel we hear the quiet whisper of the true meaning of the film- heroism. The message of this film is that true heroes are not the great and powerful, but the everyday person placed unexpectedly into trying circumstances. What a message at this time in our country's history. On September 11th we saw normal, everyday peoples lives changed suddenly, unexpectedly. They were forced to be heroes, to work to save not only their own lives, but the lives of others too. As Gandalf says, we do not choose what times we live in, but we choose what we do with the time we have.

Remember this theme and focus on Frodo's trials and perserverance whenever you watch this movie. Remember the loyalty and friendship of Sam. That is what this movie is truly about.

Peter Jackson has created a visually stunning film, filled with action, yet rich with meaning. He has for the most part stayed true to the themes and sequences in the books. While he has changed some characters and scenes, those changes do not significantly alter the plot and in some instances actually improve it.

Though the movie is played out on a grand scale, the film is really about a story of one little hobbit, Frodo, and his unexpected challenge of having to be a hero.

The score by Howard Shore is superb, quite worthy of the Oscar it received. The score is destined to become a classic.

The cinematography is also superb, also definitely worthy of its Oscar.

My one criticism, is that Saruman is given more time on screen than in the books. I felt he should be more so behind the scenes as he was in the books. The more sinister evil is the evil that cannot be seen. Though Christopher Lee, as always, is superb.

The rest of the cast is also superb, especially Ian McKellen as Gandalf and Elijah Wood as Frodo. Kate Blanchett and Liv Tyler are also excellent in their roles, bringing a strong female presence.

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5 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

epic filmmaking as it should be!

Author: Allan-Houston from Brisbane, Australia
4 August 2002

No I won't be silenced about this film! No, it hasn't quite reached obsession!

Alright. A quick plot summary, as if you don't already know. Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm), having reached his 111th birthday decides to take off on a last adventure, like he used to in the old days. He leaves to his adopted nephew/heir, Frodo (Elijah Wood) his property and a mysterious ring, which Gandalf (Ian McKellen), the wizard bids Frodo to keep "secret and safe". Of course, as oft happens in these cases, the ring turns out to be the One ring, created by the dark lord Sauron, millennia ago, with the power to enslave the whole of middle earth. So it is that Frodo must leave his idyllic existence in the shire, with his friend Sam Gamgee (Sean Astin) and later superfluous hobbits Merry and Pippin and trek across middle earth to finally take the ring to be destroyed. Along the way, and after much peril, Frodo is joined by men Aragorn and Boromir, elf Legolas and Dwarf Gimli. So the fellowship of nine, in a nutshell, is formed.

What can one say? It's a film that I was waiting for a year and a half for. I was trying to ready myself for disappointment. And so, at 9:50am, Wednesday 26 December, during the first session of LOTR in Brisbane, Australia, I was to finally see this film, for which I had pined, ached to see for so long, and the result was... pure bliss!

So much had been riding on this film. And so brave it was to make all three at once, but it has paid off for the first instalment at least, and created such a marvellous cinema experience that I could hardly contain my excitement when I emerged from the cinema three and a half hours later, feeling rewarded for the experience as I noticed the huge line-up for the fourth session.

The opening of the film, not just the introduction but the whole Hobbiton sequence, was just perfect. It was so pure, so idyllic, so wonderful, rich. It was best we could hope for for the introduction into this world of hobbits, their tranquil, simple existence, which would be sharply and horribly contrasted with the sudden emergence of the evil bound to the ring. And from then on this sprawling epic took us on a journey rarely experienced by cinema audiences.

It is HUGE! It's on such a mammoth scale that you feel breathless watching these beautiful images, these sweeping crane shots, this massive view of a mythic world. Middle Earth is so convincing and not once did I think of it as a fantasy, more of a rich history. Surely we owe this to Tolkien but if it was not for Jackson's vision it could have emerged on-screen in a lesser and inferior form. Such imagination and vision, rich with detail, heart and genuine enthusiasm for the project is rarely found in a big film like this. Imagine what George Lucas would have done for instance. There would have been some annoyingly cute young hobbit characters and Gollum would have been more like Jar Jar Binks than a mysterious, shadow-dwelling enigma. `Mes-a Gollum!'? Shudder at the thought. It shows though that Jackson cares so much about the books, the characters, the story, that he does not sacrifice it for cheap grandiosity or easy commercialism. I actually cared about the characters, what happened to them, the struggles they had to face to achieve their seemingly impossible aim. And the film is not just a fantasy adventure with Jackson pointing here and there saying `look at this, see what I can do??', it works well as a beautifully-conceived, emotionally-rich drama. There are at least two very effecting, very real scenes, both toward the end of the film, in which you truly care and the actors show their craft. In these moments the audience would stop silent. Especially in the first session, there wasn't even a rustle, a crunch of popcorn or a breath to be heard as the struggle was shared by the audience. The performances are exceptional. Elijah Wood is wonderful as Frodo, evoking both youthful enthusiasm and great strength and resilience mixed with a sad loneliness and weakness. He is in one moment both determined and weary. Also worthy of note (and they all are, but being selective) are Sean Astin as Samwise Gamgee and Sean Bean as Boromir. Each brings to their role a painful honesty and true heart. Sam is one of the most admirable and delightful characters I have seen in ages. Sean is a long way removed from Encino Man here. And hopefully he will gain credit for this role, as he is truly excellent. Sean Bean is a man tortured by an underlying will to do good, but a strengthening urge to have power, corrupted by the evil of the ring. He is an excellent Boromir, who despite his transgressions is quite endearing at the same time. It's a given too that Ian McKellen is brilliant, and another Gandalf you could not imagine. Wise, bold, mischievous, caring. And Ian Holm as Bilbo is equally as good. Need I mention the superb art direction, costumes and eye-popping special effects. Particularly good is the way the differences in height from Hobbit, dwarf, man and elf are perceived.

And so, this film, so detailed, so beautiful, both subtle and thrilling, with some very tense moments, is instantly a classic and one of my favourite films of all time.

From one (potential) filmmaker to another, I can think of no better compliment to pay than to say, I wish I made this film. This is the type of film I would love to make. I wish I had some part, whatever it may be, no matter how tiny, in bringing this marvel to the screen. It pains me that I don't live in New Zealand and am still at university, because I would throw myself at Peter Jackson and say, `Take me, I will make you coffee!!' This is the effect of this film. So wonderful, so beautiful, so full of power and magic and bringing together a brilliant team of professionals who are all geniuses in their craft. A year and a half, so much waiting, so much anticipation and it was rewarded and here we have the first instalment of this trilogy, and we wait now for the other parts. It's hard to imagine a better adaptation or a better person to have brought this to our cinemas. Hardly surprising what score I gave it.

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6 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

An instant classic.

Author: Boba_Fett1138 from Groningen, The Netherlands
28 June 2003

Beautiful environments with lovely costumes combined with superb characters and and an intense story...the result: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

Don't let the 3 hour + running time scare you of, like so many long movies it's very well worth seeing. Never has a fantasy world looked so realistic as in Lord of the Rings. All the sets are very detailed and have a realistic feeling as well as the characters and the different races of Middle Earth.

The greatest strength of this movie is not the story itself. The story itself is actually pretty simple, basically it's just about the Ring and the quest to destroy it. No, the greatest strength are the characters, the look of Middle Earth and the action sequences. Rarely has an adventure movie looked so good and has been so tense and enjoyable to watch.

But let's not over praise it, the movie has it flaws and weak spots. There are some unnecessary and boring scene's (especially in the Extended Edition) but for an 3 hour + movie that's maybe just unavoidable. And no matter how awesome everything looks, the special effects aren't always top-class, I'm a firm believer that the movie would have been better if ILM provided the special effects. But let's not judge the movie for what it could have been but let's judge it for what it is. Also, sometimes the Hobbits (Sam, Pippin and Merry) are border line irritating. Another thing that disturbed me was the editing, in my opinion it was extremely bad done in some of the scene's (For instance in the wizards battle between Gandalf and Saruman) but having some editing experience myself I might pay extra attention to this things...

But in this case all those flaws and weak spots are forgiven, for The Fellowship of the Ring truly is a wonderful movie that you simply must have seen at least once in your life.

Already a classic!


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7 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Best adventure film of all-time

Author: gloryfinder ( from Michigan
6 August 2005

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Who can deny the power of the rings? Anybody who watches this film with any remote interest will find it to be utterly amazing with a childish flair and heart-felt bondage to the characters. No other film in the history of cinema has been able to capture the intensity of traveling across mountains to marshes. This is Peter Jackson's best film, although he was more than rewarded for the return of the king. I believe that this film is the best of the ring trilogy because it is so simple to understand if one pays attention. I've heard countless people state that this film is boring, but then I retort by saying, "Did you know what was happening?" And they reply with a simple, "they wanted to destroy the ring." This is true to a first grader, but so much more is happening around the film. Ten out of Ten.

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8 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Set pieces...battles...set pieces...battles...

Author: Neil Doyle from U.S.A.
21 September 2002

THE LORD OF THE RINGS has its admirers who are familiar with the plot and the strange characters inhabiting it--and who genuinely love the book and were eager to see their favorite story on the big screen.

In this case, it helps if you are familiar with the plot and the characters because the screenplay is a murky one with none of the characters given enough time for us to understand what they are all about. Instead, we move from set piece to set piece (grand, beautiful sets abetted by dazzling visual effects) and in between each new grand view locale there's another battle of good vs. evil with weapons clashing in every direction and limbs lopped off as fierce battles ensue.

It's a sort of dungeons and dragons world and if this is your thing then this is your dark movie adventure. I saw this on video rather than the big screen so I can assure you it probably all looks a lot grander on the theater screen with the deafening stereo sound effects adding to the vigor of the story. But none of the characters really stand out amid all this swordplay and skullduggery.

Only Ian McKellen and Elijah Wood have substantial enough parts to connect a viewer to the movie. The others are all backgrounders without becoming characters we care about--with the exception, perhaps, of Christopher Lee as Saruman the White, who always makes a convincing villain. Another problem is the sound--voices are dropped so often that much of the stilted dialogue is muted. This is a special drawback because several of the actors have some sort of accent. The worst offender happens to be Ian McKellen who nevertheless gives a very compelling performance behind his grizzly make-up--however, someone should have dubbed some of his lines for greater clarity. The likeable Elijah Wood relies on his specialty--wide-eyed wonder or tense concern for close-ups, but it's rather a one-note performance.

All in all, I was disappointed. With all of the hype (and due to some of the comments expressed here) I expected a much more substantial story than this, especially for a movie with a running time of almost three hours. The drawback on video is that many of the special effects are pretty obvious and the big screen grandeur is lost even when viewed on a large TV screen.

A bit of a letdown in every department. Even the score only occasionally has the right mystical quality between battles. The battles are not quite as brutal as those in GLADIATOR but their intensity is just as great and they turn up with alarming frequency!

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