The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

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

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½ February 16, 2018
The opening installment to this epic saga Manages To Prove Why Fantasy Is The Greatest Movie genre of all Time.
February 14, 2018
The movie that introduces you into J.R.R. Tolkien's world with incredible visuals, great characters, and a very engaging story. An awesome beginning to an awesome trilogy.
February 8, 2018
Personal favorite of my favorite trilogy. This one brings in the magic world while keeping most of the darkness away. While nothing big really happened in this one, I find it the easiest to watch.
February 7, 2018
(95/100)
(I watched the extended cut). A warming and epic start to an epic trilogy! Very good adaptation of the book.
February 6, 2018
Title: Lord of the Ring
Story/Writing/Message/Plot: 4
Character/Acting: 4
Music/Sound: 4
Cinematography/Editing: 4
Age/Originality: 5
Total: 21/25
Daniel Mumby
Super Reviewer
January 29, 2018
When New Line Cinema first offered a relatively unknown director a budget of $285m, to make a trilogy of films from a source that was deemed un-filmable, you could have been forgiven for assuming we would have another Heaven's Gate on our hands. Likewise, as more and more big-screen imitations have turned up and fallen short - including to some extent The Hobbit trilogy - it is easy to be cynical about The Lord of the Rings because of the legacy it has left behind. But as is so often the way with these things, it only takes a quick revisit of the trilogy for all fears to be laid to rest and for all the magic to once again take hold.

Even if the other instalments of this trilogy had never seen the light of day, The Fellowship of the Ring remains a masterpiece in its own right, an epic with substance and emotional power which rewrote the rulebook for fantasy filmmaking. Considering the enormity of the project and the ambitious scope of J. R.R. Tolkien's novel, it is something of a miracle that it was even made at all. But what is a bigger miracle is that a film this long, with this many characters and this much plot to introduce, should be so flawlessly executed that it holds up even after 40 or 50 viewings.

Part of what makes the film so magical is the sheer level of craftsmanship and attention to detail, both in the visual representation of Middle Earth and the deeply affectionate treatment of Tolkien's story. Before even the prologue has finished you are utterly convinced not only that Peter Jackson was the right choice to direct, but that every effort has been expended to do justice to the material. There are no dodgy special effects, no props which have been built down to a price, and no locations which feel like the real world is being frantically kept off screen.

When designing the film, Jackson and WETA's Richard Taylor sought to create a world and series of cultures which would expand "beyond the four corners of the screen." Everything about the film, from the hair on the hobbits' feet to the grandest building, feels completely bespoke, and in being so detailed the smallest object like a belt or a sword can come to embody and define an entire culture. Because of this level of detail, you never have that awful experience of recognising a prop or set piece. You won't find the tankards in The Prancing Pony hiding in the back of your cupboards, and the woodland communities are not simply jumped-up versions of Endor from Return of the Jedi.

But although the world of Middle Earth is rich with its own cultures, this is balanced out by a desire to be realistic in the film's depiction of characters and situations. The battle scenes may be fantasy violence, but the violence is structured realistically and logically. You don't always need to show blood to understand that people are getting hurt, and unlike the Star Wars prequels we don't end up with fights which defy the laws of physics because of an over-indulgence in CGI. Tolkien wrote The Lord of the Rings as a mythic pre-history, as something that could have existed in a forgotten dark age. And that same spirit has been replicated here: we believe enough in the mechanics of the world to accept it, but there is also plenty of magic in which to lose oneself.

Fellowship is the gentlest film in the trilogy, with more focus in its first hour on Hobbiton and setting up the idyll of the Shire. On the surface this would seem like the easy part of the whole project, since it doesn't involves epic battles with a cast of thousands or scenes of enduring physical pain. In fact, this is the part of the trilogy that Jackson simply had to get right. These scenes have to demonstrate not just the idyllic and sheltered lives of hobbits, but the pure and harmonious way of life which Frodo undertakes his quest in order to preserve. And they succeed wholeheartedly, making us feel part of this community, at home with its customs and laid-back means of existence. Hence when the first elements of darkness creep in with the arrival of the Ringwraiths, we are every bit as terrified as the hobbits or inhabitants of Bree. Likewise, the first glimpse in the extended edition of the elves heading to the Grey Havens leaves us with exactly the sense of wonder which the scene demands.

Even though it is the gentlest in the trilogy, the film has real darkness and builds the creeping sense of horror extremely well. In the first encounter with the Ringwraith, we see insects crawling away from the tree under which the hobbits are hiding, like the whole of creation is repulsed or terrified by the very presence of this fallen king. The scenes in Moria are deeply claustrophobic; even before the orcs and goblins turn up you feel like you are walking through the bowels of hell, on a thin path of light between two immerse darknesses. The Balrog and the Uruk-hai are terrifying, the former especially since its presence is subtly suggested through the evocative use of red light, and when revealed it is every bit as monstrous as one would have hoped.

What is really striking about The Lord of the Rings, and Fellowship especially, is how this progression of increasing darkness is counterpointed by humour. Though this aspect is less prominent in the books, it makes sense for there to be some form of comic relief amidst the gathering gloom and destruction of human souls. Jackson comes from a background in horror comedy, having made his name in the 'splatstick' horror of Bad Taste and Brain Dead. There are clear hints of this macabre humour in the battle scenes, and the comic interplay between Merry and Pippin as is much comic relief as a naïve, absurdist reaction to the strange, dark worlds ahead of them.

Tolkien likened the ring to a machine: something which is cold, clinical, calculating and by its very nature heartless. Tolkien was not a Luddite, but he was aware of the way in which technology could be used to eradicate human will. One of the delicious ironies of the story is that the enemy is both a distant concept (like 'technology') and something which must be carried with them (like a sword) - it is at once a sentient character which tempts the others and a vessel into which men pour all their existing desires. Characters are seduced by the concept or potential of the ring - Boromir believes it will help his people and save his country. But what is designed to bring victory can just as swiftly bring defeat, and just as men die upon their own swords, so the ring will destroy all who carry it.

Much of Fellowship examines the rise of industry and man's relationship with nature. The elves, who have a harmonious relationship with nature, are in the autumn of their years and are beginning to leave Middle Earth. The orcs and Uruk-hai, meanwhile, represent the march of progress, technology and modernity, exploiting and trampling on nature in the name of power. Saruman's decision to tear down his trees and replace them with machines is a symbol of civilisation advancing at the expense of the natural order, which creates competition for resources and causes humanity to turn on itself. While Sauron creates a pure, almost Aryan race in the Uruk-hai, mankind stands on a knife-edge, unsure of which direction in which they should proceed.

The film also has a breathtaking soundtrack, which contains some of Howard Shore's very best work. Because The Lord of the Rings is a deeply emotional story about worlds colliding and civilisations collapsing, it is necessary for the score to be prominent and for it to embody and encapsulate the different cultures. In this case, it fits so perfectly that you can't believe that the actors weren't mapping out their movements to it. From the tender scene between Aragorn and Arwen to the drums matching the Uruk-hai's tempo through the woods, the music never misses a beat and succeeds where so many melodramas fail, matching emotion to music without compromising the performances.

The Fellowship of the Ring is a barnstorming masterpiece, which balances its multiple stories effortlessly. Although it has an easier job than its brothers in this respect, you never feel as though characters are being ignored or getting left behind, and every performance in the ensemble has depth and conviction. The film is visually spectacular, from the ethereal beauty of Lothlorien to the gloomy depths of Moria. Its set-pieces are as intimate and thrilling as its romantic scenes, and Jackson's direction is flawless. It is the perfect start to a perfect trilogy.
January 25, 2018
Best movie of all time!
January 20, 2018
Story-telling at its finest. It's utterly beautiful. I don't know how else to describe it.
January 17, 2018
A wonderful introduction into the world of Tolkien. Seeing his characters brought to life in this remarkable, grounded and detailed affair is a splendid achievement from all involved.
A top notch cast and some thrilling action scenes leave you wanting to return to this film again and again.
½ January 8, 2018
Great movie filled with fantasy and adventure. Heroes are put in a lot of different kinds of danger on their journey. Introduces a lot of characters, creatures and parts of Middle-earth. Probably the best of the trilogy.
January 6, 2018
A wonderfully intriguing setup and introduction for an epic tale. Stands well as its own movie and establishes the world without too much boring exposition.
January 4, 2018
In my humble opinion, this is the best movie ever made, in the best trilogy of movies ever made
½ January 4, 2018
As a big fan of Tolkienian world, I precise that I'm going to review the extended edition movies. I obviously start with The Fellowship of the Ring, my favourite movie of the three, and I specify why: I found the novel too slow and a little bit boring, but this movie has been capable of gripping me and I appreciated that. A description of the plot wouldn't be necessary if one had read the novel, but let's write a bit about it. Frodo Baggins, a hobbit, receives a magic ring from his uncle Bilbo but according to the wizard Gandalf's researches, the ring is cursed, because the Dark Lord has put in it a piece of his black evil soul and everyone who keeps the One Ring will have a corrupted soul for ever. So Frodo has to travel with his friend Samvise Gamgee and his cousins Meriadoc Brandibuck and Peregrin Tuc. When they get to Elrond the elf's home and after a very long meeting, Elrond decides to make a Fellowship of heroes from different free Middle Earth's races: Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pipin for Hobbits, Legolas Leafgreen for Elves, Aragorn II son of Arathorn, Gondor heir and Boromir son of Denethor for Men, Gimli son of Gloin for Dwarves and Gandalf as a guide. The fellowship has to get to Mordor and destroy the One ring in the only way it can be destroyed: by throwing it in the Mount Doom, a giant volcano in the land of Mordor where the shadows lie. But during the journey Saruman the white, an evil-becomed wizard, attacks the Fellowship. At the end Sam and Frodo decide to leave the Fellowship and continue their mission alone, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli decide to hunt some orchs who had kidnapped Merry and Pipin. Gandalf has died during a fight. As I've seen the extra contents of my extended edition blu-ray box, I can definetly say that we're talking about a technical masterpiece, but I have to complain about the screenplay: I know that Peter Jackson has made a 1200 pages book into a 150 pages scrrenplay, but in the novel there is an episode (the Hobbits meet Tom Bombadil) that isn't even mentioned in the movie, neither in the "normal" edition nor in the extended one. Anyway, even if Christopher Tolkien (J. R. R. Tolkien's last living son) is against Peter Jackson's work, I strongly disagree, because this big troupe has worked a lot and has spent bilions of dollars to make this movies and I think that this Fellowship of the Ring is the best Tolkien adjustements that could have been made. 4 and a half stars completely deserved.
December 31, 2017
visually stunning, entertaining and not boring, despite the long running time.
½ December 26, 2017
Of the best movie franchises in the business. Must watch
½ December 21, 2017
The beginning of something truly special.
December 19, 2017
An amazing adaptation of Tolkein's work that delivers characters and fantasy elements in combination with heartfelt themes of friendship, loss, and loyalty to make a film worth much more than the sum of its parts
½ December 18, 2017
Puntaje Original: 6.5

Por momentos llega a parecer demasiado fantasiosa, pero conforme la película va tomando cuerpo muestra la fina madera en la cual fue tallada, cabe resaltar que Viggo Mortensen encaja un magnífico papel de Aragon.
December 17, 2017
All 3 movies in this series is fantastic!
December 17, 2017
Pluses:
Everything.

Minuses:
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