Jackson must, in turn, bow to his leading man Martin Freeman whose self-deprecating and earnest portrayal of Bilbo Baggins immediately won over the audience and carried us through the most harrowing scenes with hope and humor. I can’t imagine anyone being able to do a better job in this role.
The Lord team of Cinematographer Andrew Lesnie, Production Designer Dan Lennah and Editor Jabez Ollsen were, also, in top form, as were the Dwarves, Andy Serkis' Gollum and, of course, Ian McKellen in his portrayal of a younger Gandalf.
The only negative was the peculiarly fake performance of the normally splendid Ian Holm as the elder Bilbo. But, thankfully, he was only in the first 15 or so minutes of the film.
If you haven’t read The Hobbit or haven’t seen The Lord of the Rings, this production is a perfect introduction to Tolkein’s masterpiece as it is The Lord’s prequel and this first chapter of the, ultimately, three-part film production and gives a clear exposition of who’s who and the history of Middle Earth.
While it might not be advisable for children under six, this is a wonderful Holiday film for the rest of the family.
I give The Hobbit a 4+ out of 5.