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Parent reviews for Tolkien

Common Sense says

Cautious biopic about LOTR author has intense war scenes.
Based on our expert review

Parents say

age 13+
Based on 12 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 4 reviews
Adult Written bylettersfromwalden May 11, 2019

Tolkien Fans Be Warned

This film is a fantasy version of Tolkien's life. Few facts sprinkled in, and the time line of events are not accurate. I thought it was a poor representation of J.R.R. I would not encourage my children to see the movie until after they have read a biography of Tolkien. The movie greatly misrepresents how Tolkien came to be, adding their own interpretation of events for the sake of "telling a story." One of the most dramatic scenes, which gives the impression of influencing Tolkien's writing, never even happened. This film took an icon, and produced a story for the sake of monetizing his fans. If you are not interested in a even mildly true story of Tolkien, you might enjoy this film.

The war scene is slightly violent (it is war); people being burned alive, blown up, a large pile of bodies with a collected pool of blood at the bottom. When discussing women, a member of the T.C.B.S grabs his own chest and makes a reference to liking plump ladies. Some nude art prints, but not vulgar. There is drinking, and public drunkenness, with repercussions of the latter.
Adult Written byRootatoota May 11, 2019

Fantastic Movie

I enjoyed this movie more than I thought I would. It was moving and delightful. Cleverly written, beautifully filmed. It is heavy on friendship, beauty, art, imagination, words, love...all the good stuff! :)
The scenes of war are hard to watch and their is a brief shot of nude artwork.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Adult Written byAshlew987 September 8, 2019

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Parent of a 13 year old Written byJoe A. August 10, 2019


Very good movie. The positive parts totally eclipse any nude scenes or the war parts (in my view). I watched it without the kids and plan to show it to them.

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byHMS Hotspur June 19, 2019

poignant time travel

Artistic licence to be sure, but a beautifully imagined film with shades of Chariots of Fire. Slow paced and interwoven timelines, a film recreating an age and author with respect, naivety, wonder and and imagination, more a painting or impression than a narrative. If you are looking for an epic and cynical film with anachronistic 21st century adult themes, you won't find it here.
Adult Written byLucciKi June 11, 2019

Awesome depiction!!

This was a great depiction of an amazing person and author! I recommend it for those that love his books!

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Positive role models
Adult Written byAustenFriend May 23, 2019

Tolkien and good fellowship

I really love this movie and all the details about J.R.R Tolkien's early life. It was great to finally learn a bit about Tolkien's mother and wife as I had only very vague ideas of what they were like. I also love the fact that it emphasizes friendship, fellowship, and how a marriage can be good and be a source of strength and companionship (near the end of the movie). Just a note - he and Edith were actually married a few months before he left for the war and I believe she was already expecting their first child at the time. Also, they had been back together for 2 to 3 years. He supported his family before becoming famous with his books by being a Professor of Anglo Saxon at Oxford (he later met C.S. Lewis either at the college at Oxford or the college at Cambridge - not sure which). I like the fact that this movie shows how his traumatic and horrible experiences during the war - the one bright spot being the man who helped him - influenced his writing. I also liked how there was almost no bad language in the film and the emphasis on friendship and fellowship. Beautiful movie.

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Adult Written byJ M May 19, 2019

Unexpectedly good.

I read the other reviews before we went to see the movie, not expecting it to be that good. I found that it was exceptionally good, in my view. It was full of values that should be instilled today. Friendship, devotion, dedication, love, overcoming what life troughs at you. The war scenes were more tame than most of the movies today or games that are played. It was refreshing to be able to sit through a movie and not be blasted with foul language and taking the Lord's name in vain. Even my husband, who is not a Tolkien fan, enjoyed this movie and thought it was excellent!

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Positive Messages
Adult Written bymoiself May 16, 2019

classy film

This is the first time I have disagreed with Common Sense about a movie's rating. The movie won't appeal to the superhero/action-adventure crowd, but for those who have enjoyed Tolkien's books, it will be a very satisfying experience. It reminded me of a well-crafted PBS miniseries (and indeed, there were at least two actors I recognized from PBS). The movie depicted Tolkien's love of language and how that shaped the development of his books. This is a movie for those who love to read great books.

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Positive Messages
Positive role models
Adult Written byJem82 May 11, 2019

Brilliant film

Really enjoyed the film with my children.
We are going to watch it again.
Adult Written byWildAnatolian May 10, 2019

Incredible movie

I've never read the books, bu this movie is incredible, it shows the strength of friendship, and is very moving, as well as being a very aesthetically pleasing movie, think Downton abbey meets lord of the rings. I have no idea why this movie has such bad reviews, its one of the best movies I have seen in a long time!!!

This title contains:

Positive Messages
Positive role models
Violence & scariness
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Adult Written bymovieman48 May 6, 2019

Pretty Dull Stuff

Unless you're a Tolkien fan, you'll find this pretty dull stuff. Couple of people beside me walked out before the end as it is a pretty tedious biopic. The main character is pretty lifeless and uninteresting - just can't see why the girl falls for him. There is little (apart from one tiny scene) which reminds us that we are with a genius. It is very wordy in places and there is little clue about how his life shaped his fantasies. There are some harrowing war scenes but nothing unusual today. I wanted to be more enthusiastic but I was disappointed.