All member reviews for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

Common Sense Media says

Tolkien tale isn't as great as LOTR, but better for tweens.

Users say

(out of 202 reviews)
age 10+
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Parent of a 9 and 14 year old Written bygandalf.the.white December 15, 2012

my girls loved it, but they're pretty hardcore

The violence is the biggest wild card here. If you've seen the LoTR movies, it's on the same level as that. There is plenty of swordplay, limbs chopped off, blood, and war scenes. The violence is never for it's own sake, even in the hands of the bad guys. It's always in battle. There is a reference to torture that will happen to the good guys including showing the instruments of that torture, but that never comes to pass. It is scary and there are scary looking creatures throughout. My younger one only got so nervous as to want an arm around her at the apex of action when it looked like we may lose a main character. Of course, there were messages of fealty to friends & family, empathy (especially in the Gollum story line), as well as nods to brains over brawn. There were a few potty humor jokes that I did not expect, but they were not so bad as to turn me off. They merely caught me off guard in this film.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written byWayward Girl December 15, 2012

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is AMAZING!!! I CANNOT wait until Hobbit 2!!!

Just saw this with my family yesterday! My parents haven't let me seen the original trilogy, but they know I am a huge fan of the books, and they decided it would be okay. I am so glad they gave in- It was so much fun! The movie was beautiful, with gorgeous landscapes, and it was pretty funny, so younger viewers will enjoy too. There's tons of battle scenes that show violence through out the movie. One scene shows an "Orc" lifting up the head of the Dwarf King and another showed a Dwarf chopping the same Orc's arm off. The battle scenes may frighten some, but then the creatures who they fight with alone could be considered "scary." Things like the Trolls, the Goblins, the Orcs, The Wargs, and possibly the Rock Giants could bother those too young. There was as scene that disturbed my 12 year old brother, and that was the scene where the shadows of giant spiders could be seen on the windows. That didn't last very long however. And then of course, there is Gollum. Poor little Gollum tends to be very disturbing to younger and older audiences alike. That scene was amazing, by the way, and stuck very closely to the book. In fact, the entire movie stuck very well the the original novel. My dad disagrees, but I think it does. It took what was there in the book and stretched it, going further into details and character development. Lots of people are complaining that it was waaay too long (2 hours and 50 minutes!!) but to be honest? I didn't even notice. I was just hoping it would never end. This was a really fun movie, the best fantasy film I've seen in forever, and I am so excited for the second and third installments. The best part about it though, is that young viewers and old alike can love it.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Teen, 13 years old Written by1234fivemo December 14, 2012

Wonderful Movie for a Wonderful Fandom

For all the LOTR fans this is the perfect film. Only just coming back from the midnight premiere about ten minutes ago I can honestly say it was a wonderful film and great adaptation. The movie does end in a clifhanger awaiting a second film which was a little dissapointing bu other than that a wonderful, tween friendly film!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written bySerendipity7000 January 6, 2013

NOT for children - 12A rating should be re-worded

This film is not like the book of The Hobbit, which is much gentler and more amusing. It is mostly violence, fighting (and very gory fighting with very frightening monsters - overkill on special effects). In particular, early in the film, we are shown a battle (a 'remembered' battle from a dwarf who is telling a story about the past - he should have just told the story and not had it portrayed as a scene) - in which the dwarf king's head is chopped off and then held high by an ugly scary, evil monster - held high for just a bit too long. The monster's arm is then hacked off with blood spurting everywhere. And that sets the tone for the rest of the film, which gets rather repetitive - same ugly monster chasing dwarf band, and scary tense moments and gory fighting. It is the tone which is inappropriate really. I feel the makers of the film have tried to be too clever in showing off their ability to make grotesque special effects. The rating should be UPPED to at least 15, and I quote from the description of a 12A censorship, regarding violence. "What sort of violence can I expect in a 12 or 12A ? At 12A, moderate violence is allowed but it should not dwell on detail. There should be no emphasis on injuries or blood, but occasional gory moments may be permitted if they can be justified by their context (for example brief sight of bloody injury in a medical drama)." It says it should not dwell on detail (erm holding a chopped off head up high for all to see for a bit too long?!) It says a brief sight of blood injury in a medical drama. This was no medical drama and blood gushing out of a chopped off arm is hardly a brief sight in a medical scenario! And seeing Thorin in the jaws of a giant evil warg, being shaken about, for just a bit too long also, and then dwelling on the fact that Thorin looks dead is also highly inappropriate. Basically the film is not what it should be - and the whole story is ruined anyway by the fact that we know that Bilbo survives because we see him at the start writing his memoirs as an old man! And this is not the case in the book. It is purely done to provide a 'link' with the Lord of the Rings films. Fact is, they should have filmed the Hobbit first! It was written first - instead of trying to turn it into some sort of prequel. It is far too long, and doesn't even tell the whole story in one film, dwelling too long on certain scenes, particularly the fighting. It is basically a film about grotesque scary monsters and fighting, with hardly any plot - and what plot there is, isn't explained properly. It was unnecessary to try and link it with the Lord of the Rings, as younger children may not have seen it anyway. What they should have done, was made ONE film - the story of The Hobbit, as more of a gentle, humorous story (as the book) then made two more about the Silmarillion (which WAS a prequel). Finally - 12A says that it is suitable for children aged 12 and over, but that younger children may be taken accompanied by an adult, at the parent's discretion. NOT ON! The parent's discretion is based on thinking this is a film about the book The Hobbit! So any parent who is thinking of taking a child younger than 12 needs to have read up about the film first - and as this is a Christmas/New Year film, people tend to go on impulse. A young child sitting behind us got very distressed and will probably have nightmares about scary monsters, and may never want to have anything to do with The Hobbit again! I feel the violence is gratuitous, particularly for any child under 12. Possibly a mature 10 year-old may handle it - but in general, I would say the 12A rating should be CHANGED. It should say NO children under 12 should be allowed to see it. And in that way, the makers of films would tame their violence if they want it rated as a PG.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written byjlmsmom December 16, 2012

My ten year old left about a third into the movie.

My ten year old had read an loved the book. He very much wanted to see the movie. He understood that there were scary parts, but having read the book he said it would be okay, because he already knew about the scary parts. And so he was devastated when he found he wanted to leave only a third of the way into the movie because they had added a bunch of scary parts that were not in the book and therefore he was unprepared for. He had been anticipating this movie for months and was very angry and disappointed. I am not sure why all the added plot, I can only speculate that perhaps that was necessary to stretch the movie into three thus enabling the producers to make more money. A bitter lesson in greed for my ten year old.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 10 year old Written byjaywdet December 27, 2012

Battle Fest, with Little Appeal. -From a LOTR fan.

I am extremely disappointed with Common Sense's under estimation of the violence in this movie. Half of the movie is battle scenes. I saw one parent review this and say it's okay for 8 year olds. I figured it must be pretty tame. OOOPS. My 7 year old spent half the movie with his head under my arm. My 10 year old can handle it, but the whole POINT of the movie seems to be the battle sequences. I am a fan of Lord of the Rings, but I will not be forking out any more money on this. There was little dialogue, and the character development was poor. Of course, the special effects and action sequences are brilliant as you would expect, but they were the sum of the movie. I found myself wanting it to end, checking the time, and growing tired of the battle scenes. This is not a Fantasy adventure film. It's a fantasy blood fest designed to sell video games. I made a mistake taking my child. The last money I will put into Peter Jackson's pocket. I can't think of a better way to describe this, that to say it was simply an empty film, that will leave you 'feeling' emotionless, or worse. The worst film I've ever seen from Jackson. Thankfully, I went to the $5.00 show.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written byThe Windlass December 15, 2012

More violence, NOT less

I disagree with the reviewer about this not being as violent as the LOTR movies; basically, Jackson has apparently decided to eke out the story into three movies by putting a fight or battle in every few minutes, and all of these fights were every bit as violent and gory as the "LOTR" movies' fights were. There was more of a sense of HUMOR in one or two places, but that doesn't make it less VIOLENT. It even STARTS with a massive, gory battle, rather than with the opening of the book, which is one of the most famous first lines in English literature (they stick it in later, but by that time, sheesh!). One thing we couldn't help noticing was that there were more moments in the fights that were obviously "video game violence," in that they didn't really seem to be obeying the same laws of physics that we have here, whereas there were only one or two of those obvious video game violence moments in LOTR (for example, Legolas' impossible actions on the oliphaunt). But parents should NOT take young children to this expecting it to be less violent than LOTR; if anything, there is definitely more violence per unit of time than in LOTR. Disappointing, since some of the scenes they replaced with fights or bizarre, pointless, violent chases would have shown kids the value of, for example, cleverness, courage, and persistence, rather than just bashing around non-stop action.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written byShivom Oza December 19, 2012

The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey (2012) Review by Shivom Oza – Best Second-Half Of The Year!

Set sixty years before ‘The Lord Of The Rings’, ‘The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey’, based on the 1937 novel ‘The Hobbit’ by J.R.R. Tolkien, is about Bilbo Baggins, a hobbit who is hired by the wizard Gandalf to accompany thirteen dwarves, led by Thorin, on a journey across Middle-earth to reclaim the lost kingdom of Erebor from Smaug, the dragon. The film is the first of a three-part adaptation of the novel. Peter Jackson wonderfully encapsulates a relatively short section of the book into an elaborate 2-and-half-hour film. Visually, as seen in the standard 24 fps format, the film offers nothing spectacular/never-seen-before. It would be advisable to catch the film in 2D for a better experience. The 1 hour-20-odd-minute long build-up is bound to tire even the most ardent fans of the book/LOTR films. However, post-interval, it transforms into a completely different film and takes off magnificently. The film is a must-watch, particularly for the jaw-dropping second-half. The latter half of the film has been shot/edited/written/scored excellently and successfully manages to keep the viewer engaged till the very end. The film begins with the ‘eleventy-one’ year-old Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) starting to chronicle his life on paper by writing about his coming-of-age as the hobbit. We catch a glimpse of Frodo (Elijah Wood) exchanging greetings with Bilbo following which he leaves to meet up with an expected visitor, wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen). This scene is straight out of the story in the first film in the ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ trilogy, ‘The Lord Of The Rings – Fellowship Of The Ring’. Besides the obvious seamless connection that the writers have made between the two films, it is also surprising to see the older Bilbo (Ian Holm) and Elijah looking exactly like they did in the 2001 film. Time changes everything but have to admit that technology is a great leveller! The older Bilbo reminisces about his younger days. We go back sixty years into the past, when Bilbo was just another unassuming hobbit. He happens to encounter Gandalf at the Shire. Bilbo, albeit reluctantly, joins Gandalf and thirteen dwarves, led by the legendary warrior Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), on a quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the horrendous dragon Smaug. Their journey leads them into the Wild, through lands filled with Goblins and Orcs among other monstrous creatures. Their goal lies at the Lonely Mountain. However, to reach there, they must escape the goblin tunnels where Bilbo encounters Gollum (Andy Serkis). For those who have watched the first ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ film will remember that it is never really shown how Baggins gets hold of the Ring. Well, this encounter, last for over 10 minutes, is one of the best scenes of the film. The peculiar-looking Gollum tries to get the better of Bilbo, but the latter, with his dry humour intact, gives as good as he gets! The first-half of the film fails to engage the viewer. There is too much attention paid to the minor intricacies in the story. It is understandable in such a situation when such a compact book is being made into a three-film series. However, the build-up to the mid-way mark does falter, and it won’t be a surprise if several viewers are plain bored by that point. The establishing of Bilbo’s, Gandalf’s and Thorin’s characters, is excellent. However, the journey itself is marred by numerous mundane incidents. The face-offs with various adversaries during the initial stages of the journey are just not thrilling enough and could have been cut short/done away with. The second-half, however, brushes aside all the apprehensions of the viewers. Be it any filmmaking aspect, the writing, characterization, dialogues, action, cinematography, art direction, dialogues, direction, make-up, editing, the works, and ‘The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey’ upstages all expectations. Peter Jackson, with his team of writers Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens and Guillermo del Toro, deliver a magnificent, albeit a wee-bit long, screenplay! The pre-climactic moments of the film are sparkling, to put it mildly. Howard Shore’s spellbinding music acts as a major factor in the ‘second-half resurrection’. Many of the tracks will remind you of those in the ‘The Lord Of The Rings’ trilogy. However, the music goes well with the film and manages to stay with you long after the final credits roll. One more thing, even if you have not read the book, you will like the film. Even if you have no idea about the ‘LOTR’ trilogy, you should like the film. In all likelihood, you will love this film! Shivom Oza
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written bybanyanitis1 December 14, 2012

Not a disappointment! - Love it!

I was worried after the poor reviews that this got but had been so looking forward to it that I went anyway. This telling is very true to the original story it ends at the point that the eagles drop the troop off. The battle scenes are similar to the Lord of the Rings scenes with beheadings and slashings, etc but nothing terribly gory and scary. There are some tense moments when we were on the edge of our seats waiting to find out if the dwarves would make it through their latest scrape. I brought an 8 and 10 year old and they were laughing hysterically at some of the battle moments. I'm not sure why this got panned so badly by the critics. It had a different feel than LOTR, much funnier, but was awesome. Even the 10-year-old who had never seen LOTR or read the book loved it and followed it. Some really good lessons came out of it as we saw Bilbo make choices and live with the consequences.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 8 and 12 year old Written byfastraxsg December 30, 2012

Dont bother. Seriously.

Torture. 3 hours of torture. Can you believe it still has a PART 2 and 3?! Boring plot. Boring characters. Very exaggerated. I was never a fan of fairy tales anyway but this one is especially boring for me. Oh of course there is lots of excitement. And it is quite scary and nerve wracking but I just dont feel connected or adore the characters and I hate those movies where everything is so exaggerated -_- dont bother. Seriously.
Parent Written byElizabeth Darcy December 27, 2012

not very faithful to the book, not as good as the Lord of the Rings, but still enjoyable

Excellent acting and cinematography, but the storyline was weak, dragged somewhat, and felt loose. Tolkien geeks and fans beware: Jackson took tremendous liberties with the plot. In order to spin a relatively short book out into three movies, he added quite a bit of things that came either out of his own imagination or things/characters/places that were created by Tolkien but did not appear in The Hobbit. When it comes any issues in the movie, violence is really the only problem. It's not quite as violent as the Lord of the Rings (or as good either), but it definitely has its fair share of epic-style battles and scary CGI creatures, as well as several non-violent but very creepy scenes such as the ones involving huge spiders and evil spirits come back from the dead. And no, in case you're wondering, Galadriel is NOT having an affair with Gandalf.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent of a 5 and 10 year old Written byjendadsgrl December 20, 2012

Great Movie, Lots of Violence

I just saw this with my 10 year old daughter who had read the book. We both loved it, but there were definitely some very scary/violent images and scenes as well as some content that was pretty dark. She seemed to handle it well, but I would seriously think twice before letting a child watch the movie before reading the book to gauge how the content sits with them.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent of a 6, 12, and 14 year old Written bycrpr2008 December 29, 2012

good movie, opens up for 2nd part

Good movie, but did not deliver on the scale of the original. Some scenes and dialogs straight from the book. Explosions, fires, scary animals, good vs evil. Music and scenery was good also. Acting was good and the dwarves are awesome. Younger children (< 8) may be scared by the main villain. Mine was. Smoking and drinking scenes, but sensible as it probably happened frequently in old times.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 7 and 12 year old Written byStephen the great December 26, 2012

The hobbit review

This movie is fine for kids it has a bit of violence and scary scenes but its ok. It was very funny!!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educator and Parent of a 11, 13, and 16 year old Written bymom3david January 4, 2013

Great for 13 and up but NOT tweens!

I took my sons aged 16 and 13 to see this and we loved it. Despite your rating, I did not take my 11 year old daughter or my friend's 11 year old son and I am glad. My only disappointment with themmovie is that there were many added battle scenes, with much violence and peril. In addition, the gruesome orcs were added into the story. All of this makes for a very tense and violent movie that I think is appropriately rated 13 and up.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Adult Written byBroncoDude10001 December 31, 2012

Great film for Middle-earth fans and newcomers alike!

Finally the wait is over for The Hobbit, the prequel to the famed Lord of the Rings trilogy. They have split the book into 3 movies, and this is the first of the three. It is absolutely stellar, and I enjoyed just as much as LotR, if not better. It's so good. I never enjoyed the book as much as LotR, but this movie does not dissappoint in any way. What I find fascinating, especially since I'm a Middle-earth junkie anyway, is that Peter Jackson took a lot of Tolkien's other writing, from appendices, and notes, and other things, and incorporated them into this movie, so you have multiple plotlines, obviously the main one concerning the dwarves, but also a subplot concerning Sauron's manifestation as the Necromancer, which was only hinted at in The Hobbit proper, but was delved into more in some of Tolkien's other writing. Parents should hesitate to let their kids see this movie,, it is totally clean and appropriate if you think they can handle some rather intense violence and some scary images. There are some intense battle scenes, with some blood (not a ton) and severed limbs, etc. The orcs and wargs can be scary, and Gollum is a little creepy at first, but I have no doubts that he will become your young kids favorite character. This is a more lighthearted tale than LotR, and is slightly more appropriate for younger tykes than LotR. Not nearly as dark or foreboding, and less violence against the characters fans get really close to. All in all, this is a wonderful film, and one of the more accurate novel movie adaptation I've had the pleasure of viewing.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 7 and 10 year old Written byafenrick December 31, 2012

Too violent

I'm fairly permissive when it comes to movies as I think they provide a springboard for conversation. That being said, The Hobbit was simply much too violent. My children (age 8 and 10) were horrified. These are kids that loved The Avengers, Harry Potter 7 and Percy Jackson. But this movie had my son sitting in my lap covering his ears and my daughter burying her face in my shoulder. A shame too because the book wasn't nearly as dark as the movie.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Parent Written byJCMAST December 16, 2012

LOVED THE HOBBIT!

Great movie!! This was a love letter to Tolkien & to New Zealand. I loved that Jackson added add'l material from the appendices, footnotes, etc. (No, I do not believe Jackson added these to make longer movies to make more money. If there is anyone on Earth who does NOT need more money, it would be Peter Jackson. He added the 'extras' to enrich the story and to widen the Tolkien universe, and I'm very appreciative of that). His respect for the source material is clearly evident and brilliantly executed. Martin Freeman was completely on-point as Bilbo Baggins...I thought his performance was brilliant and much more likeable than Wood's Frodo, whose wide-eyed glassy look really got on my nerves after a while. Gollum was perfection. Nothing more to say there. The dwarves started to be more distinct by the end of the movie, but obviously, Thorin stood out, as well as his nephews, Fili & Kili. I'm so glad I revisited this book with my kids, 9&11, via an audiobook before seeing the movie. None of us liked the narrator of the CD, but I'm glad we powered through it anyway. It really made me appreciate Jackson's commitment & dedication to the book. You can tell he's a true fan, a passionate aficianado, and his enthusiasm was catching. I didnt feel that the movie dragged on or could have used more editing...give me more! We are all looking forward to the next 2 installments, and if they're in the same vein as this one, we will have a house of happy campers!! Please note: this is definitely not a movie for sensitive kids! There are some harry & scary scenes for kids. The battle scenes were brutal, very much LOTR, no sugar-coating. My kids handled it all well but I think listening to the book on CD definitely helped since they knew exactly what to expect, so the visual component was the only surprise for them & less of a "shock" than if they'd gone in with no intro to the story. They're also naturally not the sensitive types but Harry Potter & superheroes probably didnt hurt in further desensitizing them. In the end, they both loved The Hobbit and really want to dig in to the LOTR trilogy next. You know your kids...use your discretion wisely...you dont want too much too soon to ruin a wonderful series for a child who may just not be ready for it in movie form. Better to wait for the sweet spot. Let them only read the book for now, but regardless of the medium, enjoy the journey!!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Adult Written bychristian2011 March 17, 2013

I would highly reccomend it for kids and adults of all ages.

The Hobbit is a fantastic fantasy action adventure which is the first of the trilogy, the violence is not too intense for some children, and the story is perfectly well - balanced and takes place 60 years before the events of the lord of the rings series and I would recommend it.
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent of a 14 year old Written bySimpleSense2 February 1, 2013

First Read the Book!

A good, not great adaption of the JRR Tolkien's classic novel. If your children read the book first, this movie is fine.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

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