Parents' Guide to

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

By Nell Minow, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Fabulous, but also violent and scary.

Movie PG-13 2001 208 minutes
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 61 parent reviews

age 5+

Lord of the Rings

I watched the movie when it first came out, at the age of 5. I never had any problems with nightmares or thought any part was too scary. There is some violence, but isn’t there even more in superhero movies of today? The point of the film is to follow the main party of “good guys” as they race towards their goal of ending an ultimate evil. It is a wonderful educational film with lots of great teaching points throughout.
age 10+

Violent but quality moral storytelling

Depends on what your child is into. These movies are long, with extensive combat scenes and often gory. Less ‘fun’ than early Harry Potter films, but no scarier than the later ones. No sex or foul language. Powerful moral messages. Plenty of heroes, villains and more complex characters to discuss. Watched all three with a reasonably mature 9yo who absolutely loved them.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (61 ):
Kids say (309 ):

Somewhere, there are future Hollywood directors who will tell magazine feature writers that they first decided to make movies as they watched this film; it's that good. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a once-in-a-generation, not since Star Wars, transcendent reminder of why we tell stories, why we have imagination, and why we must go on quests to test our spirits and heal the world. And it's a story that invites us into a fully realized world with many different civilizations, all so thoroughly imagined that we don't only believe that they each have complete languages, but that they have dictionaries, histories, mythologies, schools, music, and poetry. Peter Jackson, who directed and co-wrote the script, has created a movie that seems astonishingly inventive and new and at the same time somehow seems as though it always existed inside us. Every detail, from the tiniest plant to the hugest battle, is exactly, satisfyingly right. The bad guys, all thundering hooves and billowing capes, seem to have come from the core of every nightmare since the world began. All three movies in the series were shot at once, so his singular vision can carry us through to the end.

A couple of caveats -- like Harry Potter, Frodo is a character who is more interesting on the page, where we can share his thoughts, than in a movie, where he is primarily called upon to look amazed, scared, or sad. And like Harry Potter, there were benefits to producing a series of films at the same time (continuity, commitment to getting all of the details right), but some drawbacks, too. So, we get glimpses of people who will be important later but now are somewhere between placeholders and distractions.

Movie Details

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