As a movie, without any prior knowledge of Middle-earth or Tolkien or Lord of the Rings...it was pretty good. Very long, very drawn out with long scenes with Elrond, Galadriel, and Saruman having a council with Gandalf and Thorin...Radagast discovering the Necromancer in Dol Guldur. Very long action/chase sequence in Goblin Town. Pretty much every scene in the book that actually made it in to this movie was drawn way out. They had to introduce an antagonist...so they tossed in a random albino orc named Azog (?) to pursue them across Eregion, instead of just letting them encounter the random perils they face in the book.
The intro showing how the dwarves lost Erebor was good, bringing back old Bilbo and Frodo to reminisce about days gone by on the day of Bilbo's 111th bday at the beginning was not needed.
As a translation of the book...pure shit IMO. I know what they were trying to do...tie it in with the later movies. But I really wish they had just stuck with the purity of the story in the book. Moviegoers would have figured out that the ring Bilbo found was the ring from those other movies and that Sauron was a bad guy. We know, but thanks for the info P.J.
Don't waste your money on 3D. It's another flat turd. The 3D previews for Oz the Great and Powerful was pretty cool though (the 3D effects).
That being said, it works very well as a Lord of the Rings Trilogy #1 (first part).
It does not work as The Hobbit.
I still liked it despite my criticisms. I can still read the books.