Critic Reviews

58

Metascore

Based on 40 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
83
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.
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.
75
There will be opportunities to see the picture in regular 24 frames per second, but I recommend going the whole hog and sampling what Jackson has come up with - a new way to watch movies and a new take on a universe that seemed to have exhausted its narrative possibilities.
75
Piles on enough eye candy and action sequences to please fans, plus more humor than the three "Rings" films - even if it only occasionally achieves the trio's grandeur.
70
An overlong adventure enlivened by wonders.
63
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.
63
What saves the day is the spidery, schizoid Gollum, again performed by the great Andy Serkis through the craft of motion capture.
60
It's one thing to sit on your couch watching football in HD. It's another to view one of literature's most enduring fantasies in the same manner. The experience that felt so breathtakingly cinematic in Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" series now seems frustratingly fake.
60
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.
50
The result is a film that is solid and acceptable instead of soaring and exceptional, one unnecessarily hampered in its quest to reach the magical heights of the trilogy.
50
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.
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.

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