"Unexpected Journey" runs nearly three hours. That gives Jackson plenty of time to revive its magic [which he does] by triggering our good will toward the "Rings" trilogy. He evokes the trilogy's tone and its rhythms.
Whenever this movie suffers from lengthy prequel-itis and a weighty sense of expectations, it falls short. Still, for much of its 165 minutes, this epic has enough small moments and deft touches that it tugs you along with the power of a good story.
A marvel of filmmaking wizardry and engrossing adventure storytelling, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey marks another triumph by director Peter Jackson who once again takes J.R. Tolkien's words and brings them to life with skilful, passionate expertise.