Early HOBBIT Reviews Mixed

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first of Peter Jackson's three-part adaptation of the J.R.R. Tolkien fantasy novel, is out this Friday and thus far receiving decidedly mixed reviews from critics.

On Metacritic, the film currently has a 62 score, indicating "generally favorable" reviews. The Hobbit has a 76 percent "fresh" score on Rotten Tomatoes, though only 56 percent among "top critics." In contrast, Jackson's original trilogy, released from 2001 to 2003, received nearly universally positive reviews according to both indexing sites.

Entertainment Weekly's Lisa Schwarzbaum was among those enthusiastic about An Unexpected Journey, calling it "A colorful yarn spun with children in mind." On The Hollywood Reporter, Todd McCarthy was more ambivalent, dubbing the film "studiously, scrupulously and strenuously faithful" but also "a bit of a slog, with an inordinate amount of exposition and lack of strong forward movement." Richard Corliss of Time also took issue with the movie, saying it "lacks majesty," with an "indefensible" running time. 

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