The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Reviews

Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 7, 2014
The Fellowship of the Ring is an unqualified triumph. More, please.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Scott Tobias
AV Club
November 18, 2013
An enthusiastic visionary set loose on one of the biggest playgrounds ever constructed, Jackson brings more personality to the series' first installment, The Fellowship Of The Ring, than typically seeps into a franchise of this magnitude.
Top Critic
David Denby
New Yorker
November 18, 2013
The New Zealander director Peter Jackson, who wrote the screenplay with Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens, works with enough dramatic tension and pictorial grandeur to sustain us through long periods of complicated exposition and heavy bouts of swordplay.
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
November 18, 2013
If Fellowship hasn't rescued an otherwise dreadful year, it at least gives us something to look forward to -- same time, next year.
Top Critic
David Germain
Associated Press
November 18, 2013
Masterfully paced, the movie builds slowly, introducing the mythology, habitats and lifestyles of Tolkien's creatures.
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
November 18, 2013
Against all odds in an era of machine-made spectaculars, Mr. Jackson and his collaborators have created a film epic that lives and breathes, that's swept by almost palpable weather (much of it stormy).
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
March 5, 2008
It's full of scenic splendors with a fine sense of scale, but its narrative thrust seems relatively pro forma, and I was bored by the battle scenes.
Top Critic
Tom Charity
Time Out
January 26, 2006
In unveiling the Holy Grail for action-fantasy aficionados, director and co-writer Peter Jackson has begun a series to rival Star Wars in the pantheon.
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
L.A. Weekly
June 1, 2002
A nerve-jangling, pictorially beautiful, mostly engrossing phantasmagoria of ghouls and warriors, oozing ambitions and towering dark castles, waylaid only by an occasional dip into the bog of exposition.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
January 22, 2002
Tolkien completists won't find any of this overkill, but for those uninitiates among us, less is more is still a dictum worth heeding.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
December 27, 2001
[I]t goes on forever.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 21, 2001
The production design is a marvel, and the special effects are dazzling.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
December 21, 2001
The real deal, a movie epic that pops your eyes out, piles on thrills and fun, and yet stays intimately attuned to character.
Top Critic
Susan Stark
Detroit News
December 21, 2001
McKellen plays Gandalf and, truth be told, his performance is worth more to the success of the film than all the effects, visual and aural, combined.
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
December 21, 2001
You can get gloriously lost in this.
Top Critic
December 20, 2001
I left exhausted, happy, intoxicated.
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
December 20, 2001
An excellent film and a ripping yarn of a movie.
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
December 19, 2001
If we're not careful, Peter Jackson's The Lord Of The Rings could give hype a good name.
Top Critic
Rita Kempley
Washington Post
December 19, 2001
Spectacular scenery, stupefying effects and epic scope ... a dream come true.
| Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 19, 2001
As an allegory of war and world dominance, Ring is weighty stuff, and Jackson gives it appropriate resonance.
Top Critic
Glenn Lovell
San Jose Mercury News
December 19, 2001
Here, at long last, is an epic adventure that's worthy of its source.
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
December 19, 2001
Watching it, one can't help but get the impression that everyone involved was steeped in Tolkien's work, loved the book, treasured it and took care not to break a cherished thing in it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 19, 2001
Visually, then, LOTR -- the first of three annual cinematic installments devoted to the quest of the Ruling Ring -- is a feast.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
December 19, 2001
Certainly the most rousing and ambitious adventure film of many years and bodes well for the future of the Tolkien fan.
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
December 19, 2001
Genuinely transporting.
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 19, 2001
With this production, Jackson has used The Lord of the Rings to re-invent fantasy for the cinema in the same way that the novel provided the blueprint for the written word.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
December 19, 2001
An audience looking for a Star Wars-like fix, albeit with wands and rings instead of light sabres, is sure to offer a healthy return.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
December 19, 2001
This Lord reigns.
Top Critic
Steven Rosen
Denver Post
December 19, 2001
Fellowship is exciting for two hours. How many other movies can you say that about?
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
December 19, 2001
A well-crafted and sometimes stirring adventure.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jay Carr
Boston Globe
December 19, 2001
Not since the original Star Wars trilogy has film dipped into myth and emerged with the kind of weight and heft seen in Peter Jackson's first installment of J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
December 18, 2001
Storytelling in the grandest Homeric tradition.
Top Critic
Elvis Mitchell
New York Times
December 18, 2001
Jackson gets more feeling into Fellowship than he did with his previous films.
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
December 18, 2001
An utterly beguiling feast for eyes, pulses and minds.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
December 18, 2001
Made with intelligence, imagination, passion and skill, propulsively paced and shot through with an aged-in-oak sense of wonder.
Top Critic
Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
December 18, 2001
Jackson's film feels like an honest attempt to use the power of cinema to engage the imagination and senses in deep-ranging and seriously engaged myth.
Top Critic
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
December 18, 2001
Jackson ... handles the proceedings with both a flair for operatic grandeur and a respect for intimacy.
Top Critic
December 18, 2001
Not since Gone With The Wind more than 60 years ago has a movie held up as well to the original book.
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
December 18, 2001
An extraordinary work, grandly conceived, brilliantly executed and wildly entertaining.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
December 18, 2001
Whatever it is that makes great movies stand apart from great theater or great literature, this film has it.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
December 18, 2001
Jackson's adaptation is certainly successful on its own terms.
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
December 18, 2001
It would be an insult to say the picture merely lives up to its hype; it crashes the meaning of hype, exposing it as the graven image it is.
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
December 5, 2001
Thrilling -- a great picture, a triumphant picture, a joyfully conceived work of cinema.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Todd McCarthy
Variety
December 4, 2001
There is little doubt that those who grab the Rings at the start will anxiously await Frodo's trip into ever more perilous territory a year hence.
Top Critic
David Hunter
Hollywood Reporter
December 4, 2001
So well-made and well-cast that one can have no reservations about the rest of Jackson's monumental creation.
Top Critic
David Ansen
Newsweek
December 3, 2001
It has real passion, real emotion, real terror, and a tactile sense of evil.