If the "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy left you wanting more, your wishes have now been granted with Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," the story of Bilbo Baggins and his adventures below and above ground.
The movie is a flashback, with the older Bilbo (Ian Holme) talking with Frodo (Elijah Wood). We soon see the wizard Gandalf (Sir Ian McKellan) drawing a younger Bilbo (Martin Freeman) into an adventure that involves a long journey to a distant land, lots of dwarfs, trolls, orcs, elves, a dragon and, of course, more Gollum (the wonderful Andy Serkis). It's probably a good idea to read JRR Tolkien's books, including the appendices, before heading to the theatre.
Here's what the critics are saying:
Here is a three-hour movie that I wished were four hours. It’s not to say that The Hobbit is a perfect movie—it’s not. But it’s a wonderfully realized, appealing adventure that does a remarkable job of translating one of fantasy’s best-loved books onto the screen. It’s worthy of multiple viewings and as many awards. - Carol Pinchefsky, Forbes
The effects are truly dazzling, and Jackson fills the screen with one surprise after another. Freeman is a delight, and thanks to the wonderful McKellen, Gandalf remains one of the all-time great screen characters. It is, therefore, particularly disappointing when we are taken out of the action by misjudged visuals that remind us of the artificiality of moviemaking. Even in 3-D, the New Zealand landscape now looks like a set from a made-for-TV Syfy movie. - Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News
Plot comes secondary to the care involved in bringing Middle Earth back to life. While Jackson hasn't delivered a hit on par with his "Lord of the Rings" movies, "The Hobbit" proves he can still do justice to the tricky blend of fantasy and action that made the earlier entries such enjoyable works of popular entertainment. - Eric Kohn, Indie Wire
"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is rated PG-13 and runs 2 hours and 46 minutes. Ready to see "The Hobbit"? Click here for Regal Mall of Georgia showtimes.