Tolkien Reviews

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June 12, 2019
The film looks great, a polished period piece, but the pedigree is ragged... The result is polite, plodding and unconvincing, like most movies about famous writers.
May 14, 2019
"Tolkien" doesn't seem all that interested in providing any kind of entertainment.
May 12, 2019
Tolkien may have been the most important modern fantasy author but the movie bearing his name won't stand the test of time.
May 11, 2019
If you're going to tell the story of one of the most imaginative writing minds of the 20th century, why not infuse it with more ... imagination?
May 10, 2019
Why do people keep making films about writers?
May 10, 2019
For a film that seems to aspire to greatness, "Tolkien" is done in by its lack of vision. That was one quality which Tolkien himself was never accused of lacking.
May 10, 2019
Director Dome Karukoski treats Tolkien and his story with reverence, and Hoult plays him with handsome rigidity. But neither the story nor portrayal ever come to life.
May 10, 2019
Tolkien casts a delicate spell: it's not difficult to imagine some viewers proving utterly impervious to its peculiar magic. But some others will be enchanted and even transported by its charms.
May 10, 2019
Tolkien approaches its subject with maybe a little bit too much reverence, but shows an interest in the development of Tolkien's ideas, his passion for philology (not the most cinematic of subjects), his love of myths and legends.
May 10, 2019
What's left is a kaleidoscope of well-staged episodes - Tolkien on the field of battle surrounded by a circle of dead bodies is harrowing - that often seem more like prettified postcards from midcentury Britain than real-life being lived by real people.
Top Critic
May 9, 2019
It's perhaps understandable that the Tolkien estate isn't interested in being associated with this biopic - and not just because it simplifies and fudges, as biopics do.
May 9, 2019
Tolkien is to filmmaking what spoon-feeding is to infants.
Top Critic
May 9, 2019
Maybe Tolkien had a fascinating life story full of anecdotes that inspired his future work, but it isn't told here.
May 9, 2019
The result doesn't rise above the insight of a Wikipedia page.
May 9, 2019
"Tolkien" has plenty to recommend it, beginning with a more than credible performance from Nicholas Hoult in the title role.
May 9, 2019
[The movie] teems with many on-the-nose moments. And it does so while hewing so strongly to the Distinguished British Biopic ethos... that it teeters on the edge of genuine obnoxiousness.
May 8, 2019
Origin tales usually give us the backstories of beloved characters. "Tolkien," by contrast, dramatizes the events that created a creator.
May 8, 2019
With a faint plop, "Tolkien" lands in the marshy middle ground of disappointment.
May 8, 2019
Stately, handsome and ferociously romantic, the new biopic of British high-fantasy writer J.R.R. Tolkien won't be everyone's cup of tea, though there is some excellent tea drinking to be had.
May 8, 2019
The character development successfully makes people root for Tolkien and his friends. Director Dome Karukoski guides the actors well with a perfectly British script containing dry, witty humor.
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