Director Peter Jackson's fourth trip to Middle-earth can't quite recapture the greatness, emotional impact or charm of his Lord of the Rings trilogy, but there's nevertheless much to enjoy about The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.

A classic book known to millions worldwide, most of whom were introduced to it in childhood, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is appropriately lighter in tone than the more apocalyptic Lord of the Rings trilogy. It's a happier time in Middle-earth -- or so many believe until word comes of a Necromancer and a vague, but definite threat looming somewhere that foreshadows the later events of LOTR -- when Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) finds himself besieged by Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) and 13 dwarves asking this meek, comfort-loving hobbit to leave behind his home and join them on a dangerous quest. These 13 dwarves, led by the brooding king Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), are out to reclaim their homeland and treasure from Smaug the dragon (seen only in the quickest of glimpses here). Read More...


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