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STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
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Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
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Tragic 1 Star

POSTER ART
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FILM DETAILS
Certificate 12A
Cast
Martin Freeman
Richard Armitage
James Nesbitt
Aidan Turner
Stephen Hunter
Graham McTavish
John Callen
Mark Hadlow
Elijah Wood
Ian McKellen
Andy Serkis
Dean O'Gorman
Lee Pace
Evangeline Lilly
Barry Humphries
Luke Evans
Billy Connolly
Directors
Peter Jackson
Screenwriters
Fran Walsh
Philippa Boyens
Peter Jackson
Guillermo del Toro
Running Time
169 minutes

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
Roads go ever, ever on…


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Plot
With the help of "meddling" wizard Gandalf (McKellen), Shire-dwelling hobbit Bilbo Baggins (Freeman) finds himself thrust into adventure, embarking on a quest with a small group of dwarves ("not 13 of the best or brightest") to reclaim their treasure and homeland from the dragon Smaug. Meanwhile, a malevolent presence returns to Middle-earth.


Verdict
It may deal in part with a (literal) phantom menace, but this is thankfully not The Phantom Menace. The Hobbit plays younger and lighter than Fellowship and its follow-ups, but does right by the faithful and has a strength in Martin Freeman’s Bilbo that may yet see this trilogy measure up to the last one. There is treasure here.


Reviewed by Dan Jolin

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