The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)

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9.0 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 10/10

Great visuals, strong story and acting

Maybe too much fantasy for some

 
Movie Info

Movie Name: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Studio: WingNut Films

Genre(s): Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s): December 10, 2001

MPAA Rating: PG-13

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A great quest? Why can’t we just get one of those eagles to fly & drop it in Mount Doom?

The One Ring surfaces in the Shire and Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen) learn that ring found by Bilbo Baggins (Ian Holm) could mean the end of Middle Earth is Sauron ever finds it.  It is up to Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin), Merry Brandybuck (Dominic Monaghan), and Pippin Took (Billy Boyd) to get it to the elves in Rivendell.  Aided by Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), the hobbits manage to reach Rivendell only to learn that another bigger journey is ahead.

Directed by Peter Jackson, the first of The Lord of the Rings trilogy was a smash hit.  The studio put a lot of faith in the project by funding all three massive movies.  The movie received great critical acclaim, box office success and was nominated for 13 Academy Awards including Best Picture, Best Director, and a Supporting Actor nomination for Ian McKellen and won four (mostly for visual effects).

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Frodo…come out, come out! You…uh…forgot your credit card…yeah, that’s it

The movie is a pretty faithful adaptation, which is difficult considering the sheer bulk of the novel.  With the size and scope of the adaptation, it is obvious that parts of the story were lost.  The beginning of the movie compresses the time covered in the story.  This is smart because it gives a bigger sense of danger and more of a rush that wasn’t felt in the novel.  The biggest change was the omission of Tom Bombadil from the story.  For fans it was a loss, but it was smart because the repetitive nature of the story.

The story is benefitted by great visuals.  Jackson really does create a world and the setting of New Zealand just feels like another world. From the hilly shire, to the mountains, to the forests, and plains, the landscape is amazing (and a great marketing campaign for the country).  In addition to the great settings, the designs for creatures, and even the humans are great.  It all comes together for a nice story and film.

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I feel a real fellowship with you guys…Hey, I’ve got a great idea for a name!

The movie has huge potential to just be goofy, but fortunately all the actors commit to the characters.  Elijah Wood is a great Frodo and Ian McKellen brings some fun to Gandalf.  Viggo does a nice job as the underplayed Aragorn and it is great to see Christopher Lee to return as Saruman.  One of the nice surprises in the film is Sean Astin as the faithful Sam.  It is often a popular character in the book, and he plays it well.

The Lord of the Rings:  The Fellowship of the Ring is an amazing first step in a big journey.  Bottom line however is that it is a fantasy and that can turn a lot of people off.  There are goofy named characters and they inhabit a world that is full of whimsy.  Moments like the big battle in Mines of Moria however show that the movie can be enjoyed by fans of action everywhere.  The Lord of the Rings:  The Fellowship of the Ring was followed by The Lord of the Rings:  The Two Towers in 2002.

Related Links:

The Hobbit:  An Unexpected Journey (2012)

The Hobbit:  The Desolation of Smaug (2013)

The Hobbit:  The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)

The Lord of the Rings:  The Two Towers (2002)

The Lord of the Rings:  The Return of the King (2003)

The Hobbit (1977)

The Return of the King (1978)

The Lord of the Rings (1978)

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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