The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) Poster

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10/10
First, And Still The Best Of LOTR
ccthemovieman-17 March 2006
Here is one film that lived up to its hype, and by the time I saw it after it had arrived at the video stores, I had heard and read a ton of things about it, and seen all the awards it had received, and expected a lot. To my surprise, it did not disappoint.

Now, several years later after having watched all three of these "Rings" films twice each, I still think this first movie of the trilogy is the best. It is a truly spectacular adventure story all the way through, probably the best ever put to film...and the first three hours of it is extra special. The following two films were very good, to be sure, but this first had a better mixture of the story. The second and third movies were almost entirely Frodo and his allies' long journey, but the first half of this movie also gives a good bit of interesting introductory material including a number of scenes at the Shire, before the long adventure starts. If you watch all three of these films consecutively the action wears you down by midway through the final episode and it almost becomes just too much That never gets a chance to happen with the "Fellowship" film.

Anyway, "Fellowship," stunned me for the visuals alone. I can't recall any film that has so many jaw-dropping scenes, one after the other, for three straight hours. Some are beyond description, and I don't care if they are computer- generated. So what? The fact is they are awesome to view, both in beauty and in staggering action scenes that feature incredible-looking monsters and other mythical characters.

The story covers all kinds of terrain, too, from the lush Shire of the Hobbits, to the harsh neighboring landscapes. Each couple of minutes, as in the two movies that followed, scenes radically change from calmness to action, adventure to romance, sweet lovable characters to hideous monsters, on and on and on. It's an incredible movie experience.
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10/10
An absolutely incredible film!
NRGWasp2 May 2002
Simply incredible. Never before have I seen a 3 hour movie that didn't seem like 3 hours. I read the Lord of the Rings very recently and I was surprised at how similar Peter Jackson's vision was to my own.

Now about the omissions and alterations. I'm not a crazed fanatic who gets worked up over every little detail. I didn't mind Arwen's inflation and I'm actually glad Tom Bombadil was scrubbed (I felt Tom Bombadil was an unnecessary addition to the book). Despite these minor changes, the screenplay stays extremely close to the book and flows very very well (and the prologue was a nice touch).

The acting was flawless. As I've read many many times in other reviews, McKellen doesn't play Gandalf, he IS Gandalf. Wood, Mortensen, Holm, Astin, everyone was fantastic. My hat's off to Sean Bean who delivers an excellent performance as Boromir, a character who's intentions are good but wrestles with the corrupting power of the Ring. Bean portrays it VERY well. Oh, and Andy Serkis does a PERFECT Gollum voice. It's EXACTLY as I imagined it myself.

The special effects were incredible, the cave troll, the balrog, Gollum, and Sauron's Eye all looked amazing. I was also very impressed by the seamless shrinking of the vertically challenged characters.

What's wrong with this movie? I have no idea... I thought everything was perfect. MY biggest gripe is having to wait an entire year to see The Two Towers!
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Wow!
minionlost11 December 2001
Breathtaking. Unique. Captivating. Enchanting.

Within minutes of the start of this first chapter of an undeniably epic trilogy, the audience was left gasping at the intensity of the images on the screen. And we had nearly three hours to go.

The scope of Tolkien's masterpiece may have eluded film-makers for decades, but director Peter Jackson makes good on his promise: he has not only brought us the tale of Frodo and his bold companions, he has brought us Middle Earth. And believe me, it is BIG. Sweeping vistas and hang-onto-your-seat camera shots send us zooming through the towering cities and citadels of Tolkien's imagination.

But even more impressive than the stunning visuals and sound-effects-like-you've-never-heard-before are the actors who breathe life into the characters. Ian McKellen's portrayal of Gandalf is nothing short of awe-inspiring, and Elijah Wood's Frodo is one of the most unexpectedly captivating performances I've seen in a long time. The despair, terror, and determination of the Fellowship is all there, in spades. I left the theater aching...from tensing every muscle during the fight and flight sequences--the breathless and compelling kind we haven't seen since Spielberg gave us a desperate charge onto the D-Day beaches of Normandy.

Those unfamiliar with Tolkien's world may quickly find themselves lost in it, but happily so. The depth of his creation cannot be grasped in a few hours, and it doesn't need to be; the struggle of good against evil explodes on the screen, and leaves little room for complaint.

The movie ended with a stunned audience sitting on the edges of their seats, feeling somewhat bereft. We were exhausted, but no one wanted to wait a year for more.

Jackson's ambitious first chapter is truly unlike anything you've seen this year. George Lucas and Chris Columbus take note: this is how you deliver on a cinematic promise.

For everyone else: don't you dare miss it.
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Embrace the magic
Daniel Carrapa8 October 2002
It is with no surprise that Peter Jackson's The Fellowship of the Ring film has received such mixed critics. Many viewers refer to it as being childish, boring and uninteresting. Seems to me that it is bound to the same fate of Tolkien's books, destined to be a target for the same type of misunderstandings that keep attacking this literary masterpiece many decades after it's first publication.

Having read the books several years ago, I went to see this `impossible' film when it came out with many doubts on my mind. I really liked it, but left the theater with as many doubts as I had before. Was it perfect? Well, maybe not, but what an achievement. After watching it a few times on DVD, and thinking about it for some time now, I find myself loving this film more and more. Let me tell you why...

The Lord of the Rings is a fairy-tale of myth and fantasy. Peter Jackson directed a film that was considered, for a very long time, impossible to make, and not only for technical reasons. The narrative roots are incredibly long and detailed, and the storyline is deeply connected with the creation of a fantastic continent from a time unknown called `Middle Earth'. It's author, Tolkien, dedicated a considerable part of his life developing this continent's background, it's mythology and origins, it's different kinds of people, cultures and languages, and therefore it's geographic references are determinant to the unfolding of the story of the One Ring.

Peter Jackson went out to achieve the impossible and came out with a recreation of the original that is pure and true to the story in every detail. The first time the four hobbits meet a black rider on the road, for example, is absolutely faithful to the feeling of the book. The assault of the riders at Weathertop is another great example, and it captures that feeling of danger, density and atmosphere that are the main characteristics of the tale. Jackson also took some liberties with the story, and made some right choices along the way. If the so called `purists' may not approve the removal of Tom Bombadil altogether, it should be comprehensible that the travel from Hobbiton to Rivendel is a very long and detailed one and could easily make a movie on it's own. I felt more uneasy with how short the Council of Elrond was. In the book, the council is where the whole story of the rings is first explained, and many passages from the past ages of Middle Earth are unveiled. It is a fascinating moment of the story, that had to be shortened for obvious reasons. Still, after some consideration, I now agree with the options made by Peter Jackson, and think that the movie prologue narrated by Galadriel was the wisest choice. The magic is all there when Gandalf shuts his eyes the moment Frodo stands in the council and says `I will take the ring'. It is there at Moria's Gate, and at the fall of Boromir. It is a powerful film that doesn't fit the rhythm of the standard Hollywood action movie. It is a film that breeds, that takes time to unfold, it's tale branching in every direction.

I could go on and on, talking about all the different elements that bring this film close to perfection, but I'll end saying that deep down, this is not about action, beards and big monsters. The greatest thing about this film, to me, is that it brought me back to a time when I was in love with a different world where everything was possible. Reading The Lord of the Rings night after night, I came to understand what this thing of `mankind' really was all about. The corruption of absolute power, the importance and value of friendship, the inevitability of growing up, the strength of hope... That this film could capture that magic, and be a new bearer to it's message of humanism, is a statement to it's greatness. Gandalf's words, that even the smallest person may change the course of the world, and have a part to play in the destiny of all, are immortal.

In the end, this is a wonderful film, but that doesn't mean you are going to like it. I cannot tell you what it is like to see this film if you don't know or love the book. But I hope it may plant a seed on your heart to discover a great world of fantasy, beauty and humanity. I believe Tolkien would have liked that.
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10/10
Never before in my life were my cheeks more aching...
Nachtritter30 January 2002
...but oh was I thankful for it!!! All through the movie I kept on having this big large smile sculpted into my face. For the record, I'm 25 years old, and I've read "The Lord of the Rings" in three times for the first time when I was six or seven years old. Ever since then, I read it at least once or twice a year - therefore you can count me as a fan, for I follow the same cult fan procedure with "The Hobbit" and "The Silmarillion" as well. Now onto the movie... Gosh, I saw it more than one time, and I keep wanting more of it. It just never gets boring! I really enjoyed the little stuff that is found throughout the movie for fans of the books (the map on Bilbo's table in his house comes to mind, it is exactly as the one in "The Hobbit" book that I own), and I also incredibly enjoyed the intro sequence with the re-telling of the battle against Sauron from the Silmarillion, never has an ultimate evil being been so well depicted on the screen. It truly is Sauron.

Those who argue the movie cuts too many parts or that it changes the story too much are totally wrong. This movie could not have shown the whole first time in its entirety - keep in mind that the audiobook version of 'Fellowship of the Ring' lasts well over ten hours, making a movie this long would, well, make it way too long and besides, how would you financially sustain such a project? I've read a reviewer saying he'd make all three books with the time allowed for the first movie alone. I think it would be a very fast-forwarding experience of a movie with 'Alvin and the Chimpmunks' kind of voices, incredibly stupid to say the least.

Ok, so there are changes in the movie - well, this is Jackson's vision of it. All of us have our own visions of the books, which may or may not be compatible with that of Jackson's, but I can safely assume that nobody can say they have a hundred percent the same vision of the story as Tolkien; that's the thing with books: each reader has a different vision of it. As for me, I was blown away. Never before have I felt so much at home in a movie, it is as if I had taken a walk in the town where I grew up, the Shire, Rivendell, Moria, Lorien, everything felt so much like home, I was moved. I cannot tell of another movie that had me shed tears just by seeing a landscape on screen.

As for the changes, well, I found good reasons behind all of them, and let me tell you right away, I was happy that Arwen saved Frodo, yes, maybe coming from a fan it will look like absolute heresy, but I enjoyed the scene a lot. I did not enjoy it because it was supposedly politically-correct to do so, or that I find Liv Tyler to be absolutely attractive; it was just because I felt like even though it was a big change from the book, it was a very good one indeed, it makes you discover the power, determination, and courage of elves and the fact that even elven women, although great in their beauty and seemingly fragile in appearance do not have anything to envy to their male counterparts. And beside, as Arwen is to become a Queen later on, it was pretty good to see her have a great first appearance.

The actors were great, they were a lot into their characters, and for the first time, I saw elves as they were, quick, agile, terrifyingly effective in battle - just look at how Legolas dealed with the hordes of enemies without a single hint of fear in his eyes - these are elves as they should be. Gimli was great too, I know people seem to think many characters were not developed enough, but by the actions you can learn a lot. With Gimli a lot can be learned about the dwarves, their pride, deep sense of honor and family, their mistrust of elves, their love for strong beer and a good fight against anything bigger, and their sheer hatred for orcs and the likes. Aragorn was totally the ranger character, the ending scene as he walked toward the horde of Uruk-Hai warriors was great, his attitude, his clothes, everything about him just cried "ranger". Boromir was very well depicted, desperate to save the people of Gondor, by any mean necessary, robbed of all hope, yet in the end he redeems himself by showing his true valour, deep down, he's willing to die to defeat evil, and when he recognizes his king in Aragorn, on his last breath, I felt like watching a hero die, it was moving. The hobbits were all great, Frodo is deeply sad and fatalist, and Sam is just the 'best friend' everyone would like to have, just as it should be. Finally, we have Gandalf, quite frankly, he looks mighty, Ian IS Gandalf. The faceoff against the Balrog in the Moria is a memorable sequence, and just shows how strong he really is, to be able to vanquish such a foe. I can't wait for his return.

Quite frankly, I can't wait for the two other movies... In the meantime, I'll watch this one over and over again. This movie has everything that a good movie needs to have, and more. Plus, it just might bring more people to actually read books that have more pages than the average little 25¢ novel that has no value in it, which is great. Parents, maybe some scenes will frighten your kids, but this movie has almost NO blood (even though it has a good share of battle) and the foes are undeniably evil, plus it has good values in it - friendship, courage, responsiblity, sacrifice for a good cause, and the belief that anyone can help to change things. This is worthy of Tolkien, this is a movie that will go down in history as being one of the best ever, for sure.
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10/10
Details!
BoordAppel25 July 2002
I think I can watch this film a billion times and not get bored. Today I saw LOTR for the third time and I noticed a few details.

  • When Frodo is stabbed with the blade from the dark rider and the hobbits and Aragorn are in the forrest u can see 3 huge stone trolls in the background. To understand who they are you have to read The hobbit. - When the fellowship is traveling over the mountains everyone is walking IN the snow, except for Legolas who is walking ON the snow. The is because Elves are so light.


Well when I saw these details I realised that Peter Jackson was even a greater director then I thought. And for the people who think that there are too much 'ring-shots' (sounds like a word from a porn movie) in the movie: THE MOVIE IS CALLED THE LORD OF THE RINGS GODDAMMIT, THE RING IS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IN THE ENTIRE MOVIE! Some say that the movie is too long. It may be long but I never ever get bored watching. This movie is just brilliant, mayB just as brilliant as the book.
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10/10
The Fantasy Motion Picture to Rule Them All...
fearfulofspiders26 August 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Barely ever hearing of The Lord of the Rings, I went in to see this film in theaters the consecutive Friday it was released, to not only be flabbergasted at its greatness, but wanting more! Since then, I devoted myself to seeing the following two films on the first day of release -- a promise I kept.

Peter Jackson's take on Tolkien's fantasy masterpiece not only carries a great deal of the text to full film fruition, but shows the power of film, and proving that nothing is impossible. Jackson's vision is continuous, and never seems to loose grasp of the story that is being told. Using the artistry of John Howe and Alan Lee, The Fellowship of the Ring gleams with a beautiful and dark atmosphere, a length of detail that makes it seem like everyone and everything has its own history, and full of wondrous images one could never imagine.

The acting is superb. With a complex script, each actor has transformed these characters into 3-D people with deep back-story, and people that we feel compassion for. This is one extraordinary ensemble cast. Each actor IS that character, making it seem impossible to imagine anyone else fill that person's shoe in their stead. Viggo Mortensen IS Aragorn. Sir Ian McKellen IS Gandalf the Grey. Elijah Wood IS Frodo Baggins. One could weep with our heroes should one fall, or feel inspired when they achieve victory. A fantasy with this much emotion just seems surreal, but it's completely believable.

Never losing pace, the writing and direction is flawless, making for one enthralling introduction into Middle-earth. The voice over prologue fills even the most uneducated audience member with all the necessary knowledge they need to know in order to understand our heroes' and villains' motives. Some things of course have been omitted for pacing reasons. While not present in the theatrical cut, we do see the passing of the Grey Elves, and get a brief tale of Beren and Luthien. The barrow-wights and their story is no where to be seen (as interesting as it is in the book, there really is no place for it in this film) and Tom Bombadil is absent as well, but thankfully to the ingeniousness of the writers, in the Extended Edition of The Two Towers a little homage is paid to the character. Omissions and changes are always part of adapting a book to film, and the ones made by Peter Jackson, Phillipa Boyens and Fran Walsh are justifiable in every way.

The action scenes are spaced out thoroughly enough for breathing room, plot advancement, and ever-continuing character development. Each action scene is its own, be it the flight to the Fjords of Bruinen, the Mines of Moria, or the showdown at Amon Hen near the end of the film. All are greatly choreographed, each stunt member and actor is full of energy and ambition as they wield deadly weapons at each others' heads and limbs. It really is a sight to behold.

The special effects are mesmerizing. The use of CGI, miniatures/bigatures, and even clever camera angles blend to make one ideal image after the other. The soaring images of Barad-dur or Orthanc seem real when in fact, they only stand so many feet high. The Argonath, two figures of enormous height standing before the Anduin River seem like 300 foot creations, when in fact they are about only several feet off the ground. Simply jaw-dropping imagery.

Howard Shore's score for The Fellowship of the Ring is a beautiful, epic, and complex piece of work that makes one feel like they have been entranced. Even when some of the text seems omitted from the screen, it can be heard through the powerful instrumentation conducted and created by this composer. The use of leitmotifs to symbolize a country, race, or character is stunning.

Overall, The Lord of the Rings - The Fellowship of the Ring is a visionary masterpiece, allowing the world to see what seems like actual history with fantastic elements, equaling the greatness of Hollywood's earlier classics. As the first of three, one who has not seen these films can await the next several hours of their lives to be changed for ever.
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10/10
Greatest `Fantasy' Book become greatest `Fantasy' film
Yrneh22 December 2001
I think it is important to remember that Peter Jackson took up this film not in order just to make a film of `The Lord of the Rings' but because he wanted to make a 'fantasy just like the `The Lord of the Rings'" as he himself put it. After repeating that phrase on a number of occasions the question popped into his mind: "Well, why not the `The Lord of the Rings' itself?". In doing this he, of course, set himself an enormous challenge: he had to make a really good `fantasy' film, one which would stand on its own and be true to what he had originally wanted to do but he would also, and here the task he had set himself was enormous, be true to the original book and to make a film which the legions of people who have loved this book would feel happy with. In the latter task he was certainly not helped by the author or the book: Tolkein, it would seem, hated cinema. The book itself is `HUGE': this was not going to be the kind of task that the James Ivory team set themselves, or Scorsese nor the kind of task facing Branagh with Hamlet; nor was it going to be like the puny task that faced Columbus with `Harry Potter' who had the bigger budget ($130 million for one film as compared with Peter Jackson with $300m for three).

I have just seen the first `volume' and can say without hesitation that he has succeeded in both his goals. It is not the book but a reading of the book which is inventive and fascinating. It is the kind of experience that makes you want to go back and reread the whole thing in the light of the emphases that Jackson has brought to the story. He focuses on the corrupting influence of the ring and, through this focus, the character of the chief protagonists of the story are revealed. Clearly those most tempted by it are mortal men (Boromir and even, in one moment, Aragorn), those who already have power (Elrond - `The ring cannot stay here'; Galadriel; Gandalf and Saruman), and, of course, those who would not normally desire it but who by accident become ring bearers - Gollum, Bilbo, Frodo. I can see why, in this reading, Jackson decided to leave out the Bombadil episode. Bombadil, like the Balrog, is beyond the ring but the latter is important to the unfolding of the story of the fates of all the characters, Bombadil isn't.

It is a miracle of this reading of the first volume of the book that one can see where Jackson is going and one can get a feel of how the reading is going to unfold. In a sense, Jackson's real trial - as far as those who know the books are concerned - will come with the second film in the series. He has lived up to our expectation by creating even bigger ones: how can he handle the story of the chase andrescue of Merry and Pippin, the storming of Isengard etc - stories which don't really add much to the core theme that is emerging. Or is he now going to add the theme of the great contest of good versus evil to the unfolding reading?

All of this points to the fact that the film, even though it is a feast of special effects, focuses on character. And this also explains why Jackson chose the actors he did for their roles: they are not `big' names - no `Sean Connery', no `Alan Rickman', no `Brad Pitt', no `Sam Neill'etc. He didn't want them getting in the way of the story of character. Ian McKellan's talents, in particular, are used to tell a large proportion of the story: an enormous amount is conveyed simply through his facial expressions and even by the language of his body. The other miracle in all of this is Elijah Wood. Like many others, when I first heard of Jackson's choice, I groaned: but Wood has been extraordinary. He brings, as one friend said, a strange kind of androgyny to the role and this is just perfect. McKellan has already been knighted: give Wood the Oscar.

And then there is Middle Earth: this is, as someone put it, another character in the story and the New Zealand landscape, digitally enhanced on occasion, lives up to its role too.

Enough. See this film! Greatest film ever made? How can one make a claim like that! Silly really; as silly as claiming that `The Lord of the Rings' is the greatest book ever written. Can't one simply love a story, enjoy reading it a number of times amd lose oneself in it. One CAN claim that it is the greatest work in its genre as is the film.

10/10
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Middle Earth comes alive...in breathtaking detail.
Scarlet1317 February 2002
When I first saw the trailers for "The Fellowship of the Ring," I had never had any interest in reading the lengthy tome of a trilogy. But seeing the possibility of the movie, I immediately went out and read the whole thing, insisted on receiving it for Christmas, and enjoyed every minute of it. The feelings I had while reading the series were heightened seeing it come to life in the stunning movie. I thought it was a fabulous work of art.

I thought that having Galadriel tell what was basically the prologue of the book was a good idea, as it helped those who had never read the story. It also immediately involved me in the film; I felt I had an insider's advantage on the rest of the audience. Cate Blanchett has a wonderfully deep and emotional voice; the way she speaks Galadriel is almost as effective as her appearence as the Elven queen. Also, showing the last battle of Isildur and Sauron helped unfog a part of the novel that had me a trifle confused.

The entire movie is full of beautiful sets and landscapes. The Shire was almost exactly as I'd pictured it. Hobbiton is cute and very whimsical. Mordor was frighteningly well done, extremely real. Rivendell had a little bit of a European-tourist-trap look, but was beautiful all the same. The entire backdrop of the movie (the mountains, Moria, Isengard) was perfect; it's amazing that "Fellowship" was filmed in one country.

Now to the characters. All I can say is, "Wow." I was a little apprehensive about the casting at first; I'd created such real images of the characters in my imagination, I almost didn't want them spoiled for me. However, I was not disapointed in the least. Elijah Wood, though not one of my favorite actors, was believable. You could tell from the first glimpse that Frodo was special; Wood's pale, sharp features contrast sharply with the more ruddy, robust look of the rest of the hobbits. He also cries like a little girl. But his weaknesses and strengths make his Frodo an apt choice for the starring character. The rest of the Hobbiton gang was well-chosen, too. Sean Astin ("Rudy" forever to me) was loyal and a bit bumbling, just like the Gamgee of Tolkien's telling. Pippin and Merry were congenial, slow-witted lads, but very brave nonetheless. Viggo Mortensen is outstanding. He has the ability to make Aragorn both menacing and kind. He physically represents Strider to the nines with his strength and virility; the action sequences of his are very passionate and exciting. Some may have complained about Arwen's character being slightly expanded; I thought it a good change. In the books, you have to read the whole trilogy and then rifle through the appendix in "The Return of the King" to learn the history between Aragorn and Arwen. Liv Tyler is ethereal and breathtaking, but at the same time displays the courage and magic that make the Elves the beings they are. Speaking of Elves, I can't help but gush over the handsome and ever-so-talented Orlando Bloom as noble Legolas. Bloom captured the archer's very movements; he treads lightly and fights fearlessly. Legolas's bowmanship was amazing; he looked so natural loosing his arrows machine-gun style. He was my favorite character in the books, and his essence transcends the film. Gimli was pompous and brave, as well. He is well-represented in the movie. Boromir was hopelessly lost, but at the same time valiant and strong. Sean Bean gave an emotionally-charged performance as the tortured warrior. Hugo Weaving was very good as Elrond. He was noble and cold at the same time. And Gandalf. What more can be said of Ian McKellan's showcase portrayal of the wizard? He was magnificent. He could be Gandalf, the kind old conjurer who set off pyrotechnics for hobbit-children. Then he could turn around and stun the life out of you with Gandalf the powerful wizard, facing the balrog with defiance and an iron will. His Oscar nomination is well-deserved.

Peter Jackson is a brave soul to take on a project that could have backfired in so many places. Instead of bringing us uninspired kitsch, he serves up raw emotion, graphic battles of good and evil, chilling and wonderful characters, and enough special effects (realistic, mind you) to make John Cameron's mouth water. Knowing that "The Two Towers" was my favorite of the books, I eagerly anticipate the second helping of "The Lord of the Rings."
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10/10
One of the greatest films of all time.
dgallegos25 November 2002
Star Wars has been dethroned. Although George Lucas' movies are good in their own right (except for the juvenile elements he puts in to sell toys to finance the franchise), his scripts (which borrow heavily from J.R.R.Tolkien, mythology & religion) can't compare with the brilliance of the literary trilogy `The Lord of the Rings'. Granted, Lucas took on a herculean task in writing & directing his story himself, but Tolkien's words, along with Peter Jackson's faithful adaptation & inspired vision, have created something no one man could equal.

Of course, it helps that Jackson insisted on at least a 2 picture deal, & New Line Cinema was brave enough to foot the bill up front for 3 movies. They spent $180 million to film all 3 simultaneously. With the New Zealand exchange rate, that equals $360 million ($90 million ea.), but since they used many of the same sets, and FX development costs were spread throughout, we're seeing $120-$150 million on the screen. This will ensure consistency in plot, casting, tone, etc.

In 3 hours, Jackson has crammed everything essential from the first novel & then some into the film, rewriting some scenes & dialogue with lesser characters for the leads, leaving out only what there wasn't enough time for. Basically, you have two 90 min. movies running back to back. There are no slow spots, just one climax after another. From the opening 10 min. backstory where the Dark Lord Sauron is shown on the battlefield wiping out men & elves 10 at a time with each swing of his mace, I was blown away. The romance between Aragorn, king in exile, and Arwen, daughter of the elf-lord, is played up for the "Titanic" quotient, but it's well done.

The story, sets, costumes & FX are so rich, you'll have to see the film several times to absorb everything. The unspoiled New Zealand locales are spectacular, providing a variety of environments to represent the different settings on the characters' journey. The location sets are imaginative, detailed & weathered, adding to their believability, while the studio sets match them in meticulousness. The costumes are at once familiar & strange, drawing on both the medievil & the fantastic, but more important, they're also functional & practical. The music by Howard Shore is appropriately sweeping, Celtic & folky in keeping with the novel, although it lacks the memorable themes of John Williams or Jerry Goldsmith, but neither would commit a year or more to a 3 picture project. The FX are as they should be, unobtrusive & unnoticed most of the time, there only to support the story not draw attention away from it as in most Hollywood movies which try to coverup illogical plots & bad acting.

I'm particularly gratified by the casting of Viggo Mortenson as Aragorn which was a last minute stroke of luck when the actor first chosen for the part backed out due to differences with the director. I've always thought Mortenson had an intensity & striking but not pretty-boy looks that could portray a flawed, dangerous hero instead of the villains Hollywood always picked him for.

A stellar cast giving some of their best performances, visuals that deliver beyond what I imagined, a perfect mix of humor, passion & tragedy, and a feeling of grandeur, scope & impending doom. Perhaps as an ensemble piece with so many characters & the inability to concentrate on any one, it can't be measured against some of the classic character study films, but even the casual moviegoer can grasp the ideas & not get lost As far as I'm concerned, it's one of the greatest films of all time.
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10/10
The Fellowship of the Ring: Not just a Movie, but the Door to another Dimension
bonnie9114 April 2006
The first part of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Fellowship of the Rings opened the door to a whole new world for me. I'd never read any of Tolkien's books when I saw the film for the first time at the theatre and, now that I've read them, in retrospect I think being a neophyte to the mythology made my LOTR movie experience all the more miraculous.

I loved The Two Towers and Return of the King almost as much as FOTR, but not quite, because seeing Fellowship for the first time was like taking a journey to a fabulous new place and meeting incredible new friends that you don't want to leave. I've never felt anything quite like what this epic evoked in me. It was akin to being a child again, with that tireless sense of wonder and enjoyment of each and every moment, maybe because as a child you are discovering your surroundings, and whatever age you are, when you watch the Fellowship of the Ring you are rendered in awe upon being introduced to the purity and beauty of Middle Earth and darkly enthralled by the majesty of Eisengard, Saruman, Sauron and all of their mighty malice. One of the things that makes this movie so special (and there are so many!) is that you fall in love not only with the "good" characters, but also with the "evil" ones. For example, Christopher Lee was amazing as Saruman, and I can't imagine the movie without him.

Some films that might be comparable to the Lord of the Rings trilogy are: The Fifth Element, the Star Wars Trilogy parts IV, V and VI (forget the newer prequels), the Matrix trilogy (especially the first part), Interview with a Vampire, the Legend of Sleepy Hollow (with Johnny Depp), Logan's Run and The Island. They are all excellent movies and works of art that weave that movie magic that keeps you spellbound and entranced for the duration of their runtime.

But after seeing The Fellowship of the Ring, I knew I had found the movie by which I would judge all other movies. Based on J.R.R. Tolkien's beloved books, Peter Jackson has set a new standard in the industry of cinema, one that I honestly think has not and won't be surpassed, at least not in my lifetime, not even by PJ himself.

It is truly an instant classic that will stand the test of time and be loved by generations to come. God Bless Tolkien and Jackson and everyone involved in the conception and making of this film, for creating a world that is at my fingertips, only takes the touch of a button to go to whenever I want, and makes me forget everything else.

The LOTR Trilogy is undoubtedly MY precious, the non plus ultra of all movies!
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10/10
A truly exceptional film
Mr_PCM28 February 2006
There is very little that can be said about The Lord of the Rings that hasn't been said already many times over. But what can be re-iterated is that The Fellowship of the Ring is an outstanding piece of film-making.

Where do you start when reviewing a film the size of Lord of the Rings? J.R.R. Tolkein's seminal masterwork, long considered unfilmable, has made it on to the screen thanks to visionary director Peter Jackson. The Fellowship of the Ring is the first of the three books of the trilogy. Everyone has their favourite of the three, and this one is probably mine. Unrivalled in its size and scale by virtually any other film, with new groundbreaking special and digital effects, a stunning musical score, universally superb acting and most importantly a superb story.

The Fellowship of the Ring is the first part of the epic trilogy that tells of the quest of a hobbit to destroy an evil ring of power. He is aided in his quest by his friends and other companions who accompany him and protect him on his journey. Many threats face him on his long journey, both from the world around him and from his companions, who could be tempted by the power of the ring he has set out to destroy. It is a tale of magic and fantasy, swords and sorcery, but it is not simply for teens who enjoy dungeons and dragons games. It is accessible to everyone. By turns exciting, frightening, funny and sad, it is a true masterpiece in terms of storytelling, encompassing the full spectrum of emotions.

The acting is superb from the entire cast, and it is unfathomable as to how the Academy overlooked the acting entirely for all three films when dishing out awards and nominations. However the performances from Ian McKellan, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Elijah Wood and Sean Bean are all so good it would have possibly been greatly unfair to single any one out for an award.

The film also contains some groundbreaking computer-generated special effects, and some positively genius scale work. Due to hobbits being only about 3 feet tall, some clever scale work was needed in order to ensure that John Rhys-Davies, a dwarf in the film but over 6 feet tall in real life, did in fact look the height of a dwarf. This was done through clever use of forced perspectives, scale doubles, giant sets and blue screen filming. However, the most impressive use of computer effects lies later in the trilogy, with the appearance of Gollum – cinema's first live-action character who is completely computer generated. The music is also beautiful, and Howard Shore has created possibly the most iconic and memorable score since John Williams' Star Wars.

Peter Jackson has, until Lord of the Rings, been seen as a director outside of the mainstream, but his superb, career-defining work on the Lord of the Rings trilogy has seen him well and truly propelled him to the forefront of Hollywood. He has re-defined the epic film with unparalleled success, and created films that will definitely stand the test of time, to one day be thought of with the same reverence as the Star Wars and Godfather trilogies.

A major milestone in cinema history, the trilogy would eventually gain seventeen Oscars between the three films. Lord of the Rings is a master class in storytelling, and essential viewing.
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10/10
An Amazing Achievement
Fayaz_zulfikar_meghani13 April 2003
'The Lord of the Rings' is one of my favorite books, I have read it several times, and remember thinking the last time, about 3 years ago that if I made a film I'd want to make it of this, but wouldn't it be almost impossible. You can then imagine how strong my expectations were when I went to see the eagerly awaited first installment.

This film impressed me hugely, more than anything else because of how true it was to my imagination, both in the characters as well as in the effects and setting- a sentiment I have heard consistently from other fans of the books. Elijah Wood brought across the character of Frodo with the kind of haunted, frail courage that Tolkien captures so well in the books. Nor could I find any fault at all with Ian McKellan's Gandalf, Viggo Mortensen's Aragorn, and Sean Bean's Boromir, all of whom I thought were portrayed excellently. I could pick out instances where I did think, 'no, that's not right', however their seldomness in number would only serve to illustrate the excellence of the overall portrayal. One thing that did stand out for me was Cate Blanchett's performance as Galadriel, the part itself became so perfunctory in the film that to me her alternation between benevolent seer, and figure of potential terror seemed little more than a slightly confusing detour with no real connection into the plot other than as a vehicle for a glimpse into the future. But that was it.

I thought that the points where Jackson did deviate from the text were completely the correct ones to do so. Shortening the opening Shire scenes and cutting out the whole Tom Bombadil bit was great since frankly they bored me slightly in the book anyway. Also, expanding the role of Arwen was a sensible decision.

However this film is by no means above criticism. The dialogue was in my opinion terrible and purely there to drive on the plot. Normally this would ruin a film for me (as in "The Matrix"), making it almost intolerable to view, however fortunately here it proves little more than a minor irritation. Also, the film seemed overall to be excessively plot-driven and at times a mad dash from one action scene to another, the characters, for all their truth to the book did seem flat and sometimes little more than stereotypical fantasy characters. This is perhaps my major quarrel with the film- I would have liked these characters to have come alive as people in a way that was made impossible by the sparseness of the script and the rollercoaster nature of the plot. In general the whole film lacked the depth of context that I think distinguishes Tolkien from other fantasy writers. However to have achieved this would have required a very different movie, and you can't fault an action film for being an action film.

This movie is undoubtedly not for everyone. A lot of people just don't get fantasy- other than Lord of the Rings, I don't particularly either. However in my opinion Jackson really has made an incredible achievement- his and Tolkien's vision carried through suberbly by a breathtaking setting and stunning special effects, as well as by a cast clearly as enthralled as he was. He has taken on a huge task, and is dealing with it with breathtaking success. Check for other user comments.
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10/10
Part One: With Help, Even the Impossible Can Be Achieved
mstomaso30 November 2007
Peter Jackson set out to make movies which the author of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, J.R.R. Tolkien would have endorsed. All three were resounding successes, though because of the film medium they necessarily varied from Tolkien's story-line. Purists may have issues with Jackson's theatrical license, but as someone who has read Tolkien's books several times and seen the films 4-5 times each, I never felt that Jackson went too far or compromised Tolkien's story, the mythology he developed or the wonderful characters he brought to life. Many have said what Jackson did could not be done. He has not only proved the nay-sayers wrong, but lovingly crafted a set of films which will, for many decades to come, stand out as a great achievement.

This is the first of three reviews I am publishing on IMDb for these films. I am labeling them Parts 1, 2, and 3 just in case anybody wants to read them in order. The reviews will be self-contained, but will also be enhanced by a chronological reading. My reviews will focus on the extended edition DVDs, though my comments are also relevant to the theatrical releases.

The Fellowship of the Ring introduces the key characters and the broad story arc of the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Wizard Gandalf the Grey travels to a small town for small people (Hobbits)to help celebrate Bilbo Baggins' birthday. The very elderly Baggins doesn't look a day over 45, and soon it becomes apparent why. Since the great adventure of his life, a quest he was sent on by Gandalf himself, he has possessed the most powerful object in all of Middle Earth – The One Ring.

This ring is evil incarnate, with an insatiable lust for power, it taints every creature who possesses it and tries to work its way back to its creator – Dark Lord Sauron. Bilbo uses the ring to disappear, as he intends to spend his senescence with his friends the Elves in Rivendell. But activating the ring, he draws the attention of Lord Sauron from thousands of miles away in the land of Mordor. Realizing what has occurred, Gandalf scrambles to determine a course of action and recruits Bilbo's nephew Frodo and his loyal gardener Samwise to bear the ring to the Council of Elrond in Rivendell. Thusly, the seeds of the fellowship are planted in the soil of the Shire.

At this point, we are about 1/6th of the way through The Fellowship. Fairly soon thereafter, it becomes clear who will compose the fellowship, and who and what these people are. Though the succeeding films are not entitled "Fellowship", they follow the adventures of the surviving central characters. Characterization is done just as Tolkien did it in the original novel – by example not discourse.

For example, we are given hints to the identity of Strider (Mortenson) earlier on in the movie than in the novel, but the actual significance of this remains ambiguous until about midway through. Strong characterization is key to the success of the entire trilogy. To summarize, Peter Jackson, his team and cast – NAIL the characterization.

The casting and acting is perfect. It is very difficult to resist the temptation to single out Mortenson and McKellen for carrying their difficult roles so well (Strider/Aragorn and Gandalf), but why risk diminishing the contributions of the rest of the cast? Nobody mis-steps, and it is clear from the beginning that the entire cast was thoroughly and completed engaged with the task before them.

Tolkien believed that no film would ever do his work justice, and until this trilogy, he was correct.Peter Jackson and his team have managed to do exactly what they set out to. As Jackson himself has said in reference to the film trilogy, they set out to 'make Tolkien's film.' Jackson successfully drew out elements of all three books, expanding and contracting, rearranging, and sometimes adding whole subplots which are hinted at in the books, but not well explained, in order to adopt the grand story to the film medium. Arwen (Liv Tyler), daughter of Elrond and Elven lover of Aragorn, for example, is introduced early in the films and plays a role in the films which is much more equal to her significance than it was in the books.

The Howard Shore score is lovely, and its simple themes are used to great effect throughout all three movies. The musical collaborations improvising on Shore's basic themes are great, and, though they feature some prominent performers – are never weighed down by star-power.

Jackson made all three movies simultaneously. This technique allowed for perfect continuity, and permitted much greater flexibility in editing and post-production work than would normally be allowed. Knowing that he would need to establish and support his own fellowship to make this production work, he also knew that success would make the production legendary. So, he documented the creation of the films beautifully. Two complete DVDs full of documentary pieces are included in all three Special Edition Packages in the trilogy. Many are likely to be bored by the details in these documentaries, but those interested in the creative process behind the films will be provided with a more comprehensive view than I can remember ever seeing in any similar DVD package.

The Fellowship of the Rings is as true a representation of Tolkien's novel as can be imagined. Although some aspects of the stories in the novel were adapted to the screen, the essentials, the characters, and the overall story are not just recognizable, but ENHANCED by the film. What results is a film that is not just entertaining, but an enormous fulfillment of an undying wish of millions of fans around the world.

Very highly recommended.
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10/10
Haven't felt this excited since I was a 12 year old kid
coldnakedman25 July 2002
Whether it was the opening action sequences or the finale, my heart rate was going a mile a minute watching this movie. FOTR did everything every other fantasy film should have done; it had fantastic creatures and beings that had previously only appeared in my dreams and my imagination. Jackson did a tremendous job making tangible what I previously had to visualize by reading the books. Without getting too specific and spoiling the ending, my only critique of the movie was that it was a little anti-climatic. Then again, the book was also anti-climatic because it was the first part of a trilogy.

I would also like to comment about how many people have compared Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone to this film. My advice is to see them both, don't compare them, and enjoy the each as the great stories they are.

This is one of those movies that I will watch over and over again and never get tired of. It wasn't boring. It didn't lack action. It wasn't overhyped. The acting was good. And those that said it had too many "Scenery" shots should consider Doctor Zhivago...it was 4 hours of trains and snow, but still a classic! Give this movie a shot, and enjoy it for what it is; the visualization of a classic tale.
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10/10
Wow
RatBoy13237 August 2003
This film is a triumph in almost every aspect. I had never read the books upon seeing the film and was a little sceptical about what many people were claiming that it would change the way films were made. Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring has become my favorite movie of all time. And I have seen a lot of freaking movies.

Every aspect of the film works. The cast works their respective roles to perfection with Ian McKellen(Gandalf), Elijah Wood(Frodo), Viggo Mortensen(Aragorn), Sean Bean(Boromir), and Sean Astin(Sam) being the standouts. From the epic prologue of the film you realize that there is a great, epic journey ahead of you. And along the way you meet and care for every single character in the film.

Director Peter Jackson has really crafted a beautiful piece of work that will be remembered for ages. It's a perfect balance of action and great character moments. Character development is not sacrificed for more action like so many other films of its like. There are many moments of the film that make you realize this is more than just your typical fantasy film, moments that transcend filmmaking and have a profound effect on you. The last 30 minutes are particularly powerful and moving.

Basically, this film is an epic, incredible experience. A film that will be looked at years down the road as a great piece of filmmaking. If you're a fan of good fantasy, or if you're just a fan of great movies, you'll love this film, plain and simple.
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An amazing achievement
'The Lord of the Rings' is one of my favorite books, I have read it several times, and remember thinking the last time, about 3 years ago that if I made a film I'd want to make it of this, but wouldn't it be almost impossible. You can then imagine how strong my expectations were when I went to see the eagerly awaited first installment.

This film impressed me hugely, more than anything else because of how true it was to my imagination, both in the characters as well as in the effects and setting- a sentiment I have heard consistently from other fans of the books. Elijah Wood brought across the character of Frodo with the kind of haunted, frail courage that Tolkien captures so well in the books. Nor could I find any fault at all with Ian McKellan's Gandalf, Viggo Mortensen's Aragorn, and Sean Bean's Boromir, all of whom I thought were portrayed excellently. I could pick out instances where I did think, 'no, that's not right', however their seldomness in number would only serve to illustrate the excellence of the overall portrayal. One thing that did stand out for me was Cate Blanchett's performance as Galadriel, the part itself became so perfunctory in the film that to me her alternation between benevolent seer, and figure of potential terror seemed little more than a slightly confusing detour with no real connection into the plot other than as a vehicle for a glimpse into the future. But that was it.

I thought that the points where Jackson did deviate from the text were completely the correct ones to do so. Shortening the opening Shire scenes and cutting out the whole Tom Bombadil bit was great since frankly they bored me slightly in the book anyway. Also, expanding the role of Arwen was a sensible decision.

However this film is by no means above criticism. The dialogue was in my opinion terrible and purely there to drive on the plot. Normally this would ruin a film for me (as in "The Matrix"), making it almost intolerable to view, however fortunately here it proves little more than a minor irritation. Also, the film seemed overall to be excessively plot-driven and at times a mad dash from one action scene to another, the characters, for all their truth to the book did seem flat and sometimes little more than stereotypical fantasy characters. This is perhaps my major quarrel with the film- I would have liked these characters to have come alive as people in a way that was made impossible by the sparseness of the script and the rollercoaster nature of the plot. In general the whole film lacked the depth of context that I think distinguishes Tolkien from other fantasy writers. However to have achieved this would have required a very different movie, and you can't fault an action film for being an action film.

This movie is undoubtedly not for everyone. A lot of people just don't get fantasy- other than Lord of the Rings, I don't particularly either. However in my opinion Jackson really has made an incredible achievement- his and Tolkien's vision carried through suberbly by a breathtaking setting and stunning special effects, as well as by a cast clearly as enthralled as he was. He has taken on a huge task, and is dealing with it with breathtaking success.
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10/10
Excellent
preppy-33 January 2002
Incredible adaptation of the first book of J.R.R. Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings" trilogy. I'm not going to summarize the story--there's way to much going on. All I'll say is they took a verry difficult book with a intricate plot and made it an exciting, totally accesible movie. The film moves quickly (with a few slow spots--but that's to get in the plot) and there's a lot to take in, but I was never confused. I should mention that I tried twice to read the books but found them too hard.

The film looks magical--Middle Earth looks beautifully real. All the special effects are great (the Ring Wraiths are downright terrifying--as they should be) and the action sequences are among the best I've ever seen--fast, long and breathtaking. The film is long (2 hrs, 40 min) but the time flies by. The only problem is that there's so much plot and action going on that you're exhausted by the end--but in a good way.

With the exception of Viggo Mortensen (very wooden) all the actors are good--top honors go to Elijah Wood, Dominic Monaghan, Cate Blanchett, Liv Tyler and (especially) Ian McKellan.

But the film is VERY violent (despite the PG-13 rating). It deserves an R--this is NOT one for the kids. Still, it's the best film of 2001. SEE IT!!!!
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9/10
A Glorious Vision of Middle Earth
dxia11 April 2004
The reason why this first part of Jackson's 'Lord of the Rings' is superior to his latter two parts is because of restraint. Jackson was restrained from over doing it with the CGI and "epic" battle sequences, which in my opinion does not make a story epic. Part of the reason was simply because Tolkien did not have very many battles in the first part of his book, which thankfully forced Jackson to focus on creating a believable world rather than a believable hack-n-slash action movie.

I don't find much entertainment in watching people mutilate each other, but I love it when a movie engages me in a world, and 'The Fellowship of the Ring' does just that. Certainly the most breathtaking scenes in the movie are the moments of patient observation, when the camera pans around and captures the beautiful settings of Middle Earth. I must give Jackson credit. He did hire some very extraordinary artists that have envisioned one of the grandest interpretations of Tolkien's world.

There are about five particular moments that stick out in my mind and gave me that tingle of goosebumps down my spine when I saw them for the first time. The first is the introduction to Hobbiton. After the somewhat awkward prologue, I was beginning to have my doubts to whether the movie would live up to the book. But the movie surprised me. Hobbiton is perfect. The houses have flower patches and old fences, the roads look worn and made through decades of travel, and the Old Mill spins with the laziness of a quiet town. Every color is vibrant and every moment looks as through it was taken out of a picture book. Although I still don't agree with the particular look of the Hobbits, I believe everything else in Hobbiton is worthy of Tolkien's words.

The second moment comes after Frodo's awakening in Rivendell, and the third, during the exploration of the Halls of Moria. In both moments, the camera pans away from the characters and outward into a static shot of their surroundings. The moments make us feel like we're turning our heads and gazing at the world around us just as the characters do. The golden waterfalls of the elven city mark an interesting contrast with the dark halls of the dwarfish mines, but each are inspiring in their own ways and add to feeling of being engaged in a living world.

My other favorite moments come during the exploration of Lothlorien and the passage down the Anduin. And while I won't go into detail about the scenes, since they really should be experienced without any prior expectations, they are monuments in imaginative cinema. 'The Fellowship of the Ring' is one of those rare movies that I always wish I could reexperience for the first time. Unfortunately, Jackson turned away from exploring Middle Earth in his next two movies, and instead, turned to fighting and warfare. He seems to take a lot of pride in the love story and battle sequences he created in 'The Two Towers' and 'The Return of the King,' but it is was in his first movie when he really got it right. In 'The Fellowship of the Ring,' it's okay if the characters are uninteresting and have silly dialogue. Middle Earth is the star, and the characters are the ones seeing it for the first time.
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10/10
A Masterpiece
Theo Robertson16 August 2002
I've never been a fan of the sword and sorcery genre . I'm surprised film companies decide to make rubbish like THE BEASTMASTER, HAWK THE SLAYER and RED SONJA but I am aware of the popularity of JRR Tolkien's massive novel LORD OF THE RINGS and of it's popularity , I remember in a survey carried out by a very well known British fantasy/SF magazine in 1987 Tolkien's book was voted the greatest fantasy novel of all time ( THE STAND by Stephen King was a long way second ) , but it's a novel that has always struck me as being read by anoraks who - like fans of STAR TREK and STAR WARS - insist on reading subtexts that are just not there . When the THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RINGS shot to number one in the IMDb top 250 films I put the popularity down to obsessed anorakish fans who were going to vote the film a classic no matter what . Stranger still I found groups as diverse as neo Nazis to gays to enviromentalists proclaiming " This is our film " so when I finally sat down to watch TFOTR I was expecting only some average entertainment for a non sad person with no political axe to grind . After seeing the film I had to admit THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING is a masterpiece .

Much of the credit must go to the producers . I 've no idea of the politics about bringing the story to the silver screen but I can imagine the Hollywood bigwigs sitting around the commitee table saying " Give us Tom , give us Nicole , get Harrison , get Leonardo . No limeys . Limeys are slimy . No limey accents . We're Americans , this is our baby " to which the producers gave a firm and resounding " No " . Good for them because the Hollywood treatment would have ruined this film. The cast comprised of well known - but not megastar - actors and unknowns are uniformally excellent even the normally hammy Lee and Rhys Davis and the bland Tyler are good . Also great to see so many Brits playing good guys and having the American actors adopting non specific British accents .The cast do a good job

The other production values are outstanding . Pride of place goes to Andrew Lesnie's cinematography where the camera sweeps down from the sky into the Orcs underground lair and the camera also shows off the stunning New Zealand landscapes . I'd always believed Scotland had the greatest scenery on Earth but I'm willing to change my mind . The FX are good throughout though perhaps the matte backgrounds and CGI are less impressive in places but they're still a lot better than we've been used to recently . The Orc make up is wonderful and helps them become classic cinema monsters . The only bad point about the Orcs is - Like the stormtroopers in STAR WARS - they're too easy to kill .

There are some minor flaws to THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RINGS but this is probably down to Tolkien's source novel rather than the film makers . A couple of times the heroes seem set to suffer a resounding defeat when something not obvious at first like flammable villains or a giant eagle saves the day . I guess this is cancelled out by the dangers and adversaries also appearing from nowhere and there's little female perspective in the story for the women in the audience to relate to but come on girls you've got Viggo Mortensen and Sean Bean acting all hunky and macho so you can't complain.

I see the IMDb reviewers have started a backlash against FOTR like they did with TITANIC and GLADIATOR . They're right about the gawd awful rubbish that is TITANIC but they're wrong about GLADIATOR which is a very good film and even further wrong about THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING which is a cinematic masterpiece. Ignore their criticisms . Any film that is praised by people as diverse as fans of the book , people who have never read the book , enviromentalists and cynics like myself is worth your time watching . I'm really looking forward to THE TWO TOWERS
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10/10
An Excellent Movie Choice!
Sheryl3 June 2005
I absolutely love this movie, partly because the acting is really good, but also for the CGI effects and the good storyline. I watched the extended version and realized that it isn't boring like some people think because some people I know think that FOTR is quite a lengthy movie because of all the talking, but in my opinion, if there's not talking, there's no story! If they just jumped to the fighting scenes without any of the introduction, then you won't know where the movie started from. I love the scenes where they get to fight, whether Orcs or Nazgul, the fighting scenes are still the climax of the movie.

Another good movie to see after FOTR is TTT, of course. It is the second part of this great trilogy and there are more climatic scenes. Most probably, you'll enjoy that more than FOTR but don't shun this movie just because it's a bit lengthy.

Overall, it's a great movie to see and it is really worth spending the money to buy/rent the extended/special DVD to watch too. Definitely a 10 out of 10 on my scale! Actually, in my opinion, 10/10 doesn't even come close!
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10/10
Excusable flaws don't detract.
philcooper19 December 2001
There's a very obvious problem when transferring any book to the big screen, namely that some of us may already have seen it.

It's not that the story holds no surprises (save for the occasional controversies that surround the fate of characters like Hannibal Lecter), it's just that many of us have already read the book, and thus we've already directed our own version of the story. We've already seen it in our mind's eye.

And this is the problem that plagues The Fellowship of The Ring. You'll see a lot of reviews here proclaiming it as nothing short of the second coming of cinema, and a few that dare to knock its serious shortcomings. Let me clear this up right now.

The first issue that many may raise is that this is not a faithful adaptation of the book. Quite right, while taking pains to ensure that they stayed faithful to the novel, Jackson et al have not simply been able to lift their screenplay directly from its pages without a few necessary changes. There is a great deal of mindfulness in the film about the portion of the audience (and it will be large) who are unfamiliar with the novels.

Accordingly a great deal more emphasis has been placed upon pacing and storytelling more appropriate to a classic film narrative. Hence we need to see Gandalf's protracted bid to escape the clutches of Isenguard interspersed with the Hobbit's journey to Rivendell. It simply isn't appropriate to expect an audience to bear with the Hobbits' journey, no matter how good the actors are or how enthralling the story is, for upwards of an hour without constant reminders of the films other protagonists OR the threat of the evil they face. Having Gandalf just turn up at Rivendell and tell his story via CGI-filled flashbacks simply wouldn't have had the necessary effect.

Secondly, the omission and reworking of characters. Yes, it was sad that Bakshi felt his animation didn't need Tom Bombadill, and given that he features strongly in Tolkien's other works this has to be frowned upon by the die-hard fanatics, but introducing diverting, but ultimately pointless episodes into the list of the challenges the Hobbits face is hardly going to keep you riveted to your seat is it? I mean, a man who stops the Hobbits being eaten, very slowly, by a tree with his power of song is just quite frankly ludicrous in this day and age. The film is already stretching the audience's suspension of disbelief as far as it can go. Hence the chaff of Bombadill is cut. He isn't relevant to the rest of the story so he can be done without. It's sad for Tolkien fans for him not to be there but there's only so much celluloid available, even with a film this long.

And yes, Arwen Undomiel never saved Frodo from the Dark Riders, but please, remember your girlfriend needs to have something to sink her teeth into as well, not just midgets and men with beards looking mean or scared as they fight monsters. So, for gender representation and a bid to prevent half the potential market (please remember that like all film, this is a product to be packaged and sold) her character gets a drastic overhaul. Go sister!

There are numerous other issues relevant to the faithfulness of the adaptation from novel to screenplay but please, let's be content with what we've got here. It's a hard task to do all this well and Jackson, along with the rest of the boys and girls at Wingnut and WETA, should be commended for what they have achieved.

That said there are some definite flaws in the film, even those that can't be overlooked by justifying the needs to relate to the popcorn and nachos audience.

Firstly, we've got the Fellowship itself. Now, Merry and Pippin, while not really being established as Frodo's friends and thus not having the same kind of bond with him as they do in the novel are moderately well integrated. However, at the arrival of Boromir, Gimili and Legolas we just get left in the dark. None of these three characters, all representing important races, cultures and locations of the world of Middle Earth are given no more than token arrival-shots to introduce them, and little or no back-story as to how they came to be where they are or why they feel compelled to join Frodo's quest. Offering their various weapons is noble, and it sounds fantastic in the trailer, but when we finally get down to it we just don't know who they are or what they're about. Accordingly we don't ever really have time to care about any of these three, save for Legolas whose fighting proficiency alone makes him stand out. Sadly, Sean Bean is allowed little more than to switch from foreboding bad guy to friendly companion and back again (thus betraying his characters ultimate fate from the first time he opens his mouth) and John Rhys Davis is left with little more to do than scowl and look short. It doesn't help that both these characters seem to get a pretty raw deal for screen time, especially Gimli, who is barely in the film at all. We won't even begin to go into the seemingly superficial relationship we see between Sam and Frodo.

All of this is indeed a shame. The film's greatest strength after its story are its strong characters. However, whereas in the book they have the space to develop and flesh themselves out here they have little more to do than look in awe at Gandalf, perhaps not with a humble air so much as a wonder that he's being allowed to soak up all the screen time.

And yes, what you've heard is true; the fight sequences are shockingly bad. Well, perhaps that IS an overstatement. The fight sequences aren't exactly bad, they're riddled with good ideas and clever moves, but the camerawork and editing is so erratic that you'll have a hard time picking out anything to inspire awe or respect. The problem here is that the benchmarks for on screen fighting have all been established nowadays by The Matrix, Crouching Tiger and The Phantom Menace, and all of these films use lengthy shots to allow us to soak up the fight imaginative fight choreography, rather than have us crane our necks and dart about the screen with our eyeballs trying to glimpse it like a rare bird or nipple-flash at a premiere.

Now, these, yet again, are only a few of the problems. There's the geography of Middle Earth, some ropey special effects moments and the clumsy ending to deal with. But you can read the books and see the film for yourself; I've already typed enough about all that here.

BUT, now that I've just spent the main chunk of this review telling you about the shortcomings of The Fellowship of the Rings as both a movie and an adaptation let me tell you, it is good, exceptionally good.

There is no denying that the storyline itself, acting, effects, props, sets and so on and so forth are all spot on. Visually the film is a triumph and WETA has now, without question placed itself ahead of Industrial Light and Magic in terms of industry leading special effects. There are bags of style to proceedings, with some sequences displaying the sheer amount of vision of the whole team to bring somewhat vague sections of the novel to life.

All parts are played to perfection by the cast, and the casting is literally some of the best and most appropriate seen in years, none of this who-hot-and-who's-not Jerry Bruckheimer trash, it's a case of the best possible person for the part at every stage of the film. We'll give particular credit to Sir Ian Mckellan, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm and Elijah Wood again here. No doubt they've had scores of favourable and loving reviews already but these performances truly are worth mentioning just once again.

The film is a masterpiece from start to finish. Yes, it does take perseverance, no it's not entirely faithful to Tolkien's work and there are some serious flaws, but in a year that has been so barren of even five decent mainstream movies I think it's safe to say that no matter when this film had been released it would have outshone its competitors.
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8/10
Frodo Row Your Boat Ashore
wes-connors9 November 2009
"With the help of a courageous fellowship of friends and allies, Frodo embarks on a perilous mission to destroy the legendary 'One Ring'. Hunting Frodo are servants of the Dark Lord Sauron, the Ring's evil creator. If Sauron reclaims the Ring, Middle-earth is doomed," according to the DVD sleeve description, "Winner of four 'Academy Awards', this epic tale of good versus evil, friendship and sacrifice will transport you to a world beyond imagination."

Reading the original J.R.R. Tolkien novels was an intellectual rite of passage; whilst young, you read and enjoyed "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy willingly - prepping with "The Hobbit", of course. "It's a job that's never started that takes the longest to finish," someone said. Writer/director Peter Jackson's "The Fellowship of the Ring" is the first of an extremely well-produced trilogy. Understandably, it's made into a special effects extravaganza, without taking many breaths for thoughtfulness.

"The Bridge of Khazad-Dûm" (#30 on your DVD menu) sequence is a highlight; it climaxes with the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) and the demonic Balrog (CGI) falling into an abyss, from which return seemed impossible This was one of my most memorable "Lord of the Rings" reading experiences - a future without Gandalf was unimaginable. Mr. Jackson and company recreate some emotional scenes extraordinarily well. At one time, it seemed impossible to think that such literature could be brought to cinematic form.

******** The Fellowship of the Ring (12/10/01) Peter Jackson ~ Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Orlando Bloom
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10/10
From the beginning...
dee.reid3 August 2005
...I wasn't sure anyone would have ever guessed (except in a 2004 Fangoria magazine article written by Mexican visionary Guillermo del Toro) that New Zealand native Peter Jackson, the director behind the "goriest movie ever made" (1992's "Dead Alive"), would have been behind the epic three-film installment of "The Lord of the Rings" saga, which include "The Fellowship of the Ring" (2001), "The Two Towers" (2002), and Best Picture Oscar-winner "The Return of the King" (2003).

***Note*** This comment applies to all three movies, as it will be posted at each individual web page.

Not since "Star Wars" has this much hype surrounded films of this magnitude. But I guess such hype exists because J.R.R. Tolkien's books have one of the largest devoted fanbases of any popular reading material. I've never read Tolkien's original books, though several readers as well as fans of the movies have told me such knowledge is not required when viewing "The Lord of the Rings" films. "The Lord of the Rings" is the biggest movie I've ever seen, and there's a whole lot of story, 12+ hours to be exact, and I've spent the last two days viewing the extended versions of all three movies and they are breathtaking. There are many dazzling special effects shots over the course of the trilogy and epic battle sequences to put you in awe (many of which, in my view, do push the limits of the "PG-13" rating), not because it's action but because of how precise Jackson's direction is, and how unflinching the camera becomes when it's time for battle. The rousing, epic score by Howard Shore helps the viewer get "into" Jackson's vision of Middle-earth, and into the characters and on-screen action. Jackson has also breathtakingly transformed his New Zealand homeland into Tolkien's Middle-earth and when you watch these movies, you feel like you're really there, with the rest of its inhabitants. It is also pretty frightening too, with many jump scenes including the frequent and violent battle sequences between our heroes and "The Enemy," who include the brutish Orcs, Moria Orcs, Ringwraiths, and the unreal entity Sauron. And lastly, the cast does much more than bring the action to life, but instead live ("live" is italicized) their parts. Of course, I'm talking about the young Hobbits Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin), who come into possession of the ancient One Ring and must journey to the hellish land Mordor to cast the talisman into a river of lava and bring its reign of evil to an end. Along the way, two other Hobbits Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd), necromancer Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellen), warrior Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Boromir (Sean Bean), elf Legalos (Orlando Bloom), and dwarf Gimli (John Rhys-Davies) aid them in their quest - together as a "fellowship of the ring." There are also plenty of other fantastic supporting roles from Cate Blanchett, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Liv Tyler, Hugo Weaving (Agent Smith plays a good guy), and Andy Serkis as the voice of the ever-creepy Gollum. I think J.R.R. Tolkien would be proud of Peter Jackson's take on his material, despite comments I've heard his son has made in undermining the director's vision. Someone once called "The Lord of the Rings" the greatest fantasy epic ever made; they were right.

10/10
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10/10
Brilliant and Intelligent
Aaron Sticht9 August 2005
For those of you like myself who are fans of the books of the same name,you will not be disappointed by this movie. Unlike the animated versions that have previously been made where much of the story was condensed either for budgetary constraints or time limits, the Fellowship of the Ring while it does take a few shortcuts, there are very few. It is very exciting getting to see places that up until now have been purely figments of my imagination portrayed by someones elses imagination on the silver screen. I felt myself holding my breath waiting to see the various locations of middle earth and how others have dreamed of them. The movie does a breathtaking job in transporting the viewer to this other world and does so with magic good enough to be from the hand of Gandalf himself. Yes, there are places where for dramatic reasons or to prevent a lengthy historical context that certain events from the book were either shortened, modified or changed. These changes however do not change the storyline itself and makes for a very entertaining movie. I do feel however that if you are one of the uninitiated, it would serve you to either read the book before going, or immediately after the film pick up a copy and read it as it will provide more breadth to the story than what an almost three hour film can portray. In addition, there are several scenes in the book that while not central to the main story, add more to the lore of middle earth and help to explain some of the history leading up to the time of the story. The characterizations in the film were very well done and the choices of the actors to play the hobbits were perfect. While I was somewhat anxious to have Elijah Wood as Frodo and Sean Astin as Samwise, after seeing how well they were portrayed on film left me no doubt that these actors did a very admirable job bringing the characters to life. The majority of the cast has some English accent which was my main concern. Both the principle American actors portrayed a passable English type accent themselves which helped prevent them standing out on their own. How the filmmakers made several average height men such as Wood and Astin, and probably more so John Rhys Davies as Gimli appear much smaller than their Elvish or human companions is spellbinding. Special effects in this movie while at first don't really seem to be that obvious eventually take on a more obvious tone as the fellowship moves further into the adventure. As one would expect from a magical world, many things which we take for granted from reading the books are very difficult to accurately portray in a live action presentation. The filmmakers not only did a good job, they surpassed by far my expectations and truly made the experience an enjoyable and fulfilling one. As with any film where there will be sequels coming out, the ending left me longing for December 2002 to follow our adventurers further on their quest.

I will caution parents who are thinking of taking their children to see this movie that it is not a movie made or intended for children. Much Parental Guidance and forethought should be taken before taking children under 12 to this film. Aside from a film which lasts almost three hours in length where much of the dialogue while important to the story is not well suited to entertain small children. In addition, several of the creatures created for the film will probably terrify younger audiences. If you want to take your children to see this film, I might caution you to view it without them first and then decide to take them on your own judgement. Hey, if you do see it first without them, you can see it again right? I plan on seeing it more than once anyway. All in all, this is a well developed motion picture where a great deal of thought went into it's development and execution. I am thankful to the filmmakers for having the courage to tackle such a well known, well loved story with an audience that has a very well organized preconceived notion of how they view the world of Tolkien. The filmmakers did the book justice and that is the bottom line unlike Bakshi's version of 1978 which was a disappointment at best and unfinished as it's final release turned out to be.
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