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Tolkien: Movie Review

Hannah Goodwyn


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"In a hole in the ground there lived a hobbit." - J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

As first lines go, that's right up there with some of the most well-known in literary history. Those 10 words began a wild adventure for young J.R.R. Tolkien and it continues in the imaginations of fantasy fans around the globe.

Over the course of a few books, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, the now revered English author takes readers into the magical world of Middle Earth. Millions more joined the ranks when Peter Jackson's trilogies hit cinemas, starting back in 2001 with The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring.

Now, moviegoers are getting another Tolkien treat, a glimpse into the early years of the poetic novelist and linguistic genius. In Tolkien, we get to know the young man who created a high-fantasy world with its memorable hobbits, dwarves, and elves, completely intriguing made-up languages, and epic adventures through incredible lands.

Nicholas Hoult stars as John Ronald Reuel Tolkien. In his winsome portrayal, Hoult (and his young actor counterpart) takes us through J.R.R.'s early adulthood and the Battle of the Somme during his time fighting in The Great War. In these years, we meet Tolkien's fellowship, his artistic band of brothers, who spurred on his love and talent for storytelling. With Edith (Lily Collins), we witness Tolkien's great romance, one that inspired his book's greatest love stories between a mortal man and an elven princess.

Caution is advised. Rated PG-13 for "some sequences of war violence", Tolkien contains scenes that are inappropriate for young viewers. At one point, Tolkien lies in a pool of blood, water, and mud, surrounded by the dead bodies of fellow World War I soldiers. In another scene, he's drunk.

Tolkien is a slower-paced deep dive into the mind and life of a master storyteller. Overcoming obstacles, persevering in one's calling, and the significance of a fellowship are all key components to this biopic. For any fan of Mr. Tolkien, this is a film worth seeing.

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About The Author


Hannah Goodwyn served as a Senior Producer for, managing and writing for the award-winning website. After her undergraduate studies at Christopher Newport University, Hannah went on to study Journalism at the graduate level. In 2005, she graduated summa cum laude with her Master's from Regent University and was honored with an Outstanding Student Award. From there, Hannah began work as a content producer for For ten years, she acted as the managing producer for the website's Family and Entertainment sections. A movie buff, Hannah felt right at home working as's