It seems entirely appropriate to finally write up my first Hobbit movie review of An Unexpected Journey on the very eve of watching the next one! Since I’ve now had the pleasure of seeing this on the big screen and also owning both the standard and the extended edition with bonus features, I feel really qualified to put my opinion out there.

This movie is based on the book authored by the prolific writer J.R.R. Tolkien and published back in 1937. The book is a fun adventure filled fantasy that is aimed at kids yet appeals very much to adults as well. Because the book version is aimed at children, many people mistakenly believe or assume that the movie version is also for kids.

As a parent myself, I’d say this movie is definitely not suitable for young kids. It’s rated at PG-13 for a reason. My daughter is desperate to watch it but at only 6 years old, there’s no way that I’d let her. The director, Peter Jackson, took the stance (quite rightly, in my opinion) of showing a slightly darker side to this tale to bring it in line and have it fit in more seamlessly with The Lord of the Rings movies which were filmed first. And he has cleverly used back-history from Tolkien’s Middle Earth writings to do so.

Although it has much lighter moments overall, there are plenty of scenes which are entirely inappropriate for kids to watch including an early grim battle scene which include a decapitation and an arm being hacked off – and that’s just for starters. Although this is the worst part in terms of viewing for children, there are later scenes involving wargs (think of giant and vicious wolves) and their rather hideous orc riders that would be frightening for kids to see – even with parental supervision. So I wouldn’t recommend this movie for young kids.

For me, The Hobbit is a great movie but not a flawless one. Despite the length of the movie at 2 hours and 49 minutes, it has quite a number of action sequences which keep it rolling along. But those with shorter attention spans may find it a bit lengthy to sit through. It’s got a big battle scene, the charming and lush setting of Hobbiton, the magical and beautiful Rivendell, Stone Giants, Elves, Great Eagles, Trolls, Dwarves, Wizards, Orcs, Wargs, Goblins, The Creature Gollum and the brilliant actor, Martin Freeman as the Hobbit Bilbo Baggins. So there is much to commend it indeed.

There is one very stupid moment which really grates every time I see this movie – and why they did not edit it out of the extended edition is beyond me. That’s a part where a dwarf asks in the Elven outpost of Rivendell “Have they got any chips” which is supposed to be funny, I guess, but it is a ridiculous thing for anyone in Middle Earth to ask and it brings you straight out of the movie and back into modern life. I hate it and I’d love to dub that part out. What was Peter Jackson thinking to allow that part to remain in the final cut?

I’m also not really a fan of the whole Goblin Town / Dwarf section because it’s a little silly especially with the escape of the dwarves which is very over the top and just not believable but I can see how that part might appeal more to a younger audience.

Apart from those minor gripes, I think an amazing job has been done overall in the making of this movie which has clearly been a major undertaking. A lot of things were just spot on. And there is a moment near the end of the movie between the characters of the Dwarven leader Thorin Oakenshield and Bilbo Baggins that has me in tears every time. But really, as with every movie, you should really watch it for yourself and make up your own mind. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my lens or article today, thanks for your visit. See what other movie items this fan recommends below.

The personal image below belongs to the author of this article: Marie Williams Johnstone

The extended version of The Hobbit doesn't add much more in the way of minutes but the value of those extra frames to a fan is really priceless.

The extended version of The Hobbit doesn't add much more in the way of minutes but the value of those extra frames to a fan is really priceless.

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Have you seen this first Hobbit movie yet? If so, how do you rate it? And are you looking forward to the next installments?

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  • danieldruzak Dec 31, 2013 @ 12:58 pm
    The movie is so good. If you like The Lord Of The Ring Series, you have to watch this. They are turning it into a 3 part series. Amazing!!
  • ChrisRThomas Dec 31, 2013 @ 9:46 am
    I loved both the book and the movie! A long time Tolkien fan, I am looking forward to the next Hobbit movie!
  • Vantis Dec 29, 2013 @ 12:36 pm
    Great movie this was. I hope as a trilogy it will be a complete masterpiece like its predecessor. Great lens. It shows, you are a real movie fan. I'm one too. :)
  • Steve_Kaye Dec 25, 2013 @ 12:02 am
    Thank you for posting this candid review.

    I really enjoyed the book. It's a fantastic story.
  • SimonJay Dec 22, 2013 @ 5:00 pm
    I hope to watch this xmas day
  • Merrci Dec 21, 2013 @ 9:11 am
    I haven't seen it, but hope to after reading your review!
  • MrAusAdventure Dec 20, 2013 @ 4:07 pm
    I saw the film when it first came out, having been a massive fan of the LOTR book and film series for years. I was eagerly awaiting it and thoroughly enjoyed it at the cinema. I watched it again the other night in preparation for part 2 (which is released December 26th here) and it was nowhere near as good the second time at home on the TV. The dramatic shots drew the movie out a little too long at home on the couch. Yes! That chips scene drove me mad as well. I thought it had no place in the film too.
  • TheCreative Dec 19, 2013 @ 9:57 pm
    What a great lens! Thanks for sharing.
  • sierradawn Dec 19, 2013 @ 6:17 pm
    I loved both the book and the movie! A long time Tolkien fan, I am looking forward to the next Hobbit movie!
  • JoanneOtt Dec 18, 2013 @ 3:16 pm
    I have not seen the first Hobbit movie, but likely will do so over the Christmas holidays. I'm staying at my sisters and they have a huge tv which will make it fun for viewing.
  • hobbity Dec 18, 2013 @ 11:33 pm
    That sounds good, Joanne. That's for your visit :)
  • adventuretravelshop Dec 17, 2013 @ 9:10 pm
    I went to the cinema years and years ago to see The Hobbit and I did not enjoy it at all. It seemed dark and I couldn't care less about any of the characters! After reading this I think I must have missed a thing or two. I'm going to give it another go now! Thanks for the great ens.
  • MrAusAdventure Dec 20, 2013 @ 4:09 pm
    You could not have seen it years and years ago as it only came out 12 months ago! There was a cartoon version though, so maybe you are talking about that or one of the LOTR films?
  • cheerfulnuts Dec 17, 2013 @ 8:27 pm
    Despite its flaws, An Unexpected Journey is one of the best films I have seen. :)
  • getmoreinfo Dec 17, 2013 @ 12:35 pm
    Thanks for the insightful review of the Hobbit movie, I appreciate it.
  • Upon-Request Dec 17, 2013 @ 12:15 pm
    For the most part I liked the movie - good review!
  • tembrooke Dec 17, 2013 @ 10:36 am
    I love the first Hobbit movie. Like you, I thought it was wonderful but not perfect. I couldn't stand the Goblin King and his song! And I thought the "framing" at the beginning where the older Bilbo is writing his adventures was unnecessary and slowed things down. (I skip over that part when I watch the DVD.)

    The line about the chips didn't bother me at all, probably because I assumed they meant the British version of chips, which are fried potatoes (similar to U.S. fries) rather than potato chips -- and I can believe the residents of Middle Earth would slice up potatoes and fry them in oil.

    I decided I'm not going to spring for the extended cut, since it doesn't offer much more footage (and it does include more Goblin song -- argh!). But I'm eager to see the next film, particularly since I've heard it's better than the first. :-)
  • hobbity Dec 17, 2013 @ 11:43 am
    I just got back from watching the second movie and I really do think it is better than the first one - no annoying songs, not too much in the way of Dwarf silliness. My husband, who is not such as fan as I am, thought it was brilliant. And no mention of chips to really annoy me :) Thanks for stopping by and I hope you enjoy The Desolation of Smaug as much as I've enjoyed it.
  • tonyleather Dec 17, 2013 @ 9:22 am
    This was a hugely enjoyable film - as you rightly say not suitable for younger kids - though there was a lot of leeway taken by the director in his interpretation of the book!
  • hobbity Dec 17, 2013 @ 11:46 am
    Yes there was, Tony. I'm a bit glad about the leeway taken though since it is making for a much more action packed adventure on the big screen :)
  • grammieo Dec 17, 2013 @ 7:18 am
    Haven't seen it yet, but maybe over the holidays.
  • hobbity Dec 17, 2013 @ 11:49 am
    Yes, it's a wee bit longer than the average movie so you need the spare time to sit and enjoy it. Thanks for your visit.
  • tim-bader-982 Dec 17, 2013 @ 5:00 am
    Great review, Hobbity!
    The first time I saw this movie, I was in shock because the whole feel was so different to the book.
    IMO, The Hobbit shouldn't be as dark as it is because the book was always meant for children and had a much lighter and fun tone, compared to Lord of the Rings.
    I was therefore concerned as to whether my kids would enjoy it (although mine a little older).
    However, having watched it with them, they loved it and I enjoyed it much more second time round, accepting it for what it is.
    I agree that Peter Jackson has been very clever in how he has linked it into the LOTR movies.
    I don't have a problem with the 'chips' comment though - there is a scene in Return of the King, where Sam and Gollum have an argument about chips!
  • hobbity Dec 17, 2013 @ 11:53 am
    Yes, it is quite different in tone than the book which was, after all, a children's book. But I'm glad that after watching it again, you could see why Peter Jackson took this bold move. When I sit down for a marathon session of watching all the Hobbits and LOTR films back to back, I know that it will work much better the way he's done it rather than having one set of movies aimed at kids and the other set aimed at adults. Funny you didn't mind the chips comment either - Sam definitely loved his po-ta-toes!
  • lidiyahuong Dec 17, 2013 @ 3:39 am
    I like this movie
  • Brite-Ideas Dec 16, 2013 @ 12:18 pm
    I haven't seen any of the Hobbit Movies - maybe one day I'll sit down and have a movie day and get caught up - they do sound good!
  • hobbity Dec 17, 2013 @ 12:04 pm
    They're a lot of fun. My husband wasn't as keen to watch them but then found he really enjoyed both.