Tolkien (2019) - Biography, Drama, War

Hohum Score



The formative years of the orphaned author J.R.R. Tolkien as he finds friendship, love and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts at school.

IMDB: 6.8
Director: Dome Karukoski
Stars: Nicholas Hoult, Lily Collins
Length: 112 Minutes
PG Rating: PG-13
Reviews: 33 out of 206 found boring (16.01%)

One-line Reviews (139)

Despite a solid premise, Tolkien ultimately struggles to elevate its intriguing subject matter above merely being another outcast author.

What a breath of fresh air about a real person, told in reality about real problems and fascinating real progress in the human spirit with real solutions by real people.

From balrogs and lords of darkness hidden behind the curtains of the Great War, to a fellowship of human begins striving to make the world a better place, TOLKIEN is a breathtaking and emotive film.

Smart, Dry, Profoundly Boring .

Tolkien's love affair is as exciting as toast, and his entire life story is presented with him as a magical Mary-Sue type character who can do no wrong.

It seems to me the Tolkien's life was so uneventful there really was insufficient to make this movie.

Bland and uninteresting as well, so maybe the composer wanted to match that.

It's mundane with mundane performances.

Yet, even though I felt the film has certain areas for improvement, it still does deliver on what you wanted, and enjoyable so.

They were standard Hollywood cliché scenes with manufactured drama.

Spend a couple of hours immersed in this film and you'll come out inspired.

What I thought was frustrating but perhaps because it was equally uneventful the film stopped before the Hobbit and LOTR was written so we had no insight into his creative process.

This film is worth watching if you are a fan of his books.

The first half of the movie was quite dull and slow.

Worth watching for the cinematography .

Directed by Dome Karukoski from a screenplay by David Gleeson and Stephen Beresford, Tolkien is an engaging account of the earlier life of the scholar and author.

A touching film, an entertaining story, and great acting.

Somewhat boring .

For the other half this can come across as somewhat predictable.

but some people find these things boring.

The film slow like tomorrow never come!

I guess that there is something remarkable about a biopic that seems fictionalized yet is profoundly boring.

My impression is that it is an unsuccessful attempt, but it will cure insomnia.

Beautiful cinematographyNicholas Hoult and Lily Collins are engaging leads.

In essence, this film is just plain boring.

Beautiful and boring at the same time .

In addition to this, the pacing is painfully slow most of the time, showcasing some of the least interesting aspects of what inspired Tolkien to write his novels in the first place.

I left the theater in the best mood, like floating on air.

If you are a big fan of Tolkien's books and are eager to learn about the man himself, I'm afraid this movie is not going to be very informative, or enjoyable for that matter.

A Well-Rendered But Predictable Bio-Pic .

Intriguing depiction of the life of the greatest fantasy writer ever .

This film is extremely entertaining for a biopic.

This movie is so slow and poorly done it's almost unwatchable.

Watching a portrayal of the man's early life and how he came to the idea of writing his biggest work "The Hobbit", sounds more exciting than it actually looks like.

Female lead falls for male lead cliche.. Unless once again, maybe that actually happened in his life and he didn't know or date other women in his early life Idk..What was with the multiple rugby games?

Gently engaging .

Pointless .

I enjoyed it

And whilst at times the film feels slightly bogged down with the human drama, it redeems itself in some visually stunning scenes of life on the front line in WW1, intercut with the academic starchiness and order of life at Oxford as a student.

Predictable Treatment, Disappointing .

Lily Collins is stunning and elegant as Edith.

It's not as bad as I thought it was, but it can feel slow at times.

Bland and jumbled .

There is a very sluggish and drawn out scene during which of the characters confronts his father in a very passive way (yawn).

Ultimately though its easy to get bored with the life and friendship of Tolkien and his mates.

Incredibly well done and emotional look at a fascinating life.

I watched this on a plane but it was a riveting watch.

Compelling, kept interest up through entire movie .

It's not that the movie wasn't accurate, I have no idea if it was, but it felt as if Tolkien was a really really boring man and the most exciting part of his life, even dramatized and stitched together was still really boring.

It's a bit slow at times and much like his books, it has a bit of everything - drama, romance and hardships all underpinned by a strong fellowship and iconic period setting.

But the story has such a slow tempo that I could fall asleep, specially at the end.

Plusses: engaging, if a times a tad slow, story telling; strong acting, even the teens, and Derek Jacobi delivers another fine performance; beautiful photography; attention to detail in costumes and sets.

It is exciting and conveys a strong tone that matches the film incredibly.

Entertaining Tolkien life story .

As for me, I wish that they had drawn more material from Tolkien's experiences during World War I-- especially if his non-military life was so boring.

It's that element that adds a level of fun to the movie for the fans like me to help offset some of the slower parts to the film.

Entertaining and poetic .

Long, slow , inaccurate.

Engaging Biopic .

Boring .

It did move a little slowly and there were some scenes that were boring.

It's bland.

I really wanted to enjoy this but far too slow .

They even made time jumps and WWI action seem rather dull.

Pointless filler.


IN BRIEF: A beautifully realized, if contrived, biography of one of the most lauded fantasy writer of the 20th century.

Emotional and fascinating .

I kinda felt this movie was trying to tell is the story of Tolkien as it he was Fordo sort of, and the problem with that is that he's not Fordo, so the story telling I found boring.

Ok so some things do happen, but everything seems to be too well polished and the sum total ends up being so feelgood that even some violent scenes are shows as fascinating and peachy.

It embraces contrived situations in its non-linear storytelling and over-romanticizes the author's own legend.

It plays out like a standard coming of age tale, abet a more artistic one.

Personally I found it enjoyable and didn't mind the heavy visual links with LOTR imagery.

He is incredibly bland, emotionless, one-note, tired and overall flat as J.

Not without flaws, but what film is, it seems to be getting criticism unfairly, it's entertaining, and opens you mind to language.

The fact that the ending is predictable makes the constant circling around the obvious ending a little tiresome given the pacing.

We get to see boys sipping tea while creating daydreams, but these somewhat compelling characters (all due to the promising acting skills of Patrick Gibson, Anthony Boyle and Tom Glynn-Carney) seem wasted in the end when all three of them grow up and thus recast by an older group of actors.

Boring, undefined, very brief .

Anyone who thinks this movie is "too slow moving" is missing the point.

So happy to see a PG13 so compelling and interesting.

The storytelling is melodramatic and pretentious to the extent that you should know nothing about actual Tolkien and should really be into the same ideological pattern with the creators of this flick to enjoy this caricature.

It is boring and unimaginative, the characters are flat and dull.

This film has everything - it's a war film, a biopic, a love story and an intriguing period piece about a fascinating time in history.

A super slow and bored to death biopic!

It's long a boring and did not capture my imagination as my mind wonders from boredom.

6.9? Not higher than 5.5! A muddy, boring drama, constantly switching between a war drama, love story and biography.

JIM'S REVIEW: As a character states midway in Dome Karukoski's visually stunning bio-pic, a word without meaning is just a sound.

Great lead cast, very engaging throughout.

Hoult's monotone line delivery sticks out like a sore thumb, so when his co-stars Anthony Boyle, Patrick Gibson and Tom Glynn-Carney come onscreen, their already strong performances are elevated even further because of how flat Hoult is.

Yet the biggest dislikes have to involve the missing that movie magic that makes the entertainment factor for the movies some of the most enjoyable.

However, it doesn't really offer enough for non-fans to get into the film, so it would likely be boring to anyone not interested in Tolkien or his work.

Nicholas Hoult delivers a sensational portrayal, aided by Lily Collins and the rest of the cast who do an absolute stunning work.

Reminding me a bit of the 2017 film 'Goodbye Christopher Robin', which treads similar ground about another famous author, 'Tolkien' lack's that films' cohesiveness and strong characterisations but it is still a story that is worth watching.

Strong Performances, Great Cinematography And A Predictable Biopic .

A boring experience.

The visuals and emotions are compelling, the acting is very solid, and it is at least decently inspiring to see young Tolkien learn what it means to be a creative in a world often titled against that way of life.

SUMMARY: My fellow reviewers are right in the terms that Tolkien may be a bit boring for the common audience member and much of this has to do with the very thing that makes it beautiful, the artistic presentation.

If you had to spend any time with the character as depicted in the film, you'd fall asleep in a minute.

I find the British turn of the century life that he led fascinating.

Robbie K here to craft another review as he takes on:Movie: Tolkien (2019) Director: Dome Karukoski Writers: David Gleeson, Stephen Beresford Stars: Nicholas Hoult, Lily Collins, Colm MeaneyLIKES:Acting Graphics Music Beauty Symbolism Picking Out ThingsSUMMARY: A biopic such as this requires engaging performances to bring the legendary figures to life and fortunately this movie has brought it's cast together to form its own fellowship.

The theming and set was also beautiful and I wouldn't say at any point was I bored, in fact it is a very gripping film.

it was slow and boring if you aren't into these types of movies...

The rest of the plot was enjoyable.

It really gave you an insight into what life was like for Tolkien, what he went through, and how he strived to bring something new and fascinating to the world.


I emjoyed this movie very much it was very informative and entertaining at the same time i made a few connections during the movie.

I could go on about why this was bad but all I want to know is how do you write something so boring about a master story teller lol..yikes.

The film itself is at times slow, but then at times rather enjoyable.

A wonderful film about a fascinating man.

The erotic undercurrents are fascinating, a masterful setpiece that is given the time it needs to develop.

So please, make a consideration to see this film if you wish to step into something slower paced and a break away from the Hollywood heavy-hitters, and surround yourself in a film that is a breathe of fresh air in the industry.

Enjoyable escapism .

Entire film full of boring conversation of Edith(Tolkien's girlfriend) and Tolkien!

Beautifully filmed and great acting but far too slow for my taste.

If you think that people tossing sugar cubes at random strangers' hats is subversive and entertaining, you might love this film.

The friendships between Tolkien, his friends, his professors and his love interest are engaging and life-like.

It's boring, plainly put.

Though handsomely produced, the storytelling can be stodgy and simplistic when Tolkien's writing could rarely be described as the same (the two best scenes involve lengthy discussions of the lovely musicality of the phrase "cellar door" and the roots of the word "oak").

Engaging With A Sweet Melancholy - Sunday Afternoon Treat .

By telling the story in this way, the pace of the movie does slow down when they switch to a flashback.

How fascinating..........

DISLIKES:Slow A Little Too Artistic Predictable Story A little disjointed Perhaps Over Dramatized Not Quite the Quest I envisioned.

And then - again, boring and very tepid pieces about four friends.



Overall very enjoyable film.

If Tolkien was a bit more romance and a lot less talking, maybe it wouldn't be this boring.

Tolkien comes across as staid and dull.

And again, two hours of screen time, and the result is an incredibly slow, dreary and monotonous film, very casual and superficial, showing us either young John, his service in France in 1916, or courtship for Edith, his future wife.

The movie was a bit slow in the second act with Tolkien and his fellowship friends talking about stories.

Moving and engaging film, great locations, fine acting and fine directing.

More than just an origin story, more than just a romance, it's the beginning of a really engaging fairy tale.

Creating a passionate film about a man whose passions were tied up in language, mythology and academia was bound to be a troublesome endeavor, so why waste so much time covering the familiar encyclopedia entry highlights?

Beautifully acted by the cast, you felt immersed in Tolkien's journey with his friends and the love of his life.

PROS:Nicholas Hoult's Lead Performances As TolkienLily Collin's Supporting RoleDome Karukoski's Strong DirectingGreat CinematographyThe Main Romance Was Well DoneBlurring Of Fantasy And RealityCONS:The Frustating Plot StructureThe Third Act Is RushedThe Weak ScreenplayThe PacingThe Story Is Predictable

His fantasy delusions were confusing because I didn't know if it was him coming up with ideas and thinking about it and relating his reality to fantasy or him actually seeing things and he was kind of crazy.

Flat and boring melodrama about some fictional character (not actual Tolkien) .

The movie is slow, boring and the editing,,, Jeeez that editing person should not be allowed to work in the film-industry.

Instead the disjointed moments are sort of skipped, tied together in his memories as he goes through the war, are a little too nonlinear causing a semi-coherent story about how he came up with work.