"The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" (2001) | Movie Review Issue #137 Gem Mint 10.0


“The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring“ (2001)

Director: Peter Jackson

Writer: J.R.R. Tolkien (novel), Fran Walsh, Peter Jackson & Philippa Boyens

Starring: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Sean Bean, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monoghan, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Andy Serkis, Lawrence Makoare

Rated: PG-13 for epic battle sequences and some scary images

Runtime: 2h 58m (theatrical) 3h 48m (extended edition)

Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy

Country: New Zealand | United States

Language: English | Sindarin

Available on: Various VOD platforms


"A meek Hobbit from the Shire and eight companions set out on a journey to destroy the powerful One Ring and save Middle-earth from the Dark Lord Sauron."


You might like this if you like: J.R.R. Tolkien, Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Drama, War Films, Epics, Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom, Sean Bean, Sean Astin, Cate Blanchett, Billy Boyd, Dominic Monoghan, Ian Holm, Christopher Lee, Andy Serkis, Lawrence Makoare


(I insist on watching the EXTENDED EDITIONS)


Ian McKellen (left) & Elijah Wood (right) in "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" (2001)


I remember I went to the theaters with my friend Ruben, Nick Lee, and my parents to go see this film when it first opened in Ventura, CA. I was roughly seven or eight years old and I didn’t really know what I walking into nor was I familiar with it in book form, or any form, at the time.


When the movie started, I remember being swept away, but to be honest, most of that first viewing I was pretty terrified. My scare tolerance was very low at that time, I hadn’t seen that many scary movies, and growing up I had really sensitive ears and would take ear muffs to the theater to help muffle the movie. Just thought things were too loud. ‘Fellowship’ was one of the first I I took them off for. I’ll never forget the scene when they’re on the boats going down the river and there’s a quick cut to a shot of the Uruk-hai as one of their boots quickly hits the ground and I just remember it being one of the biggest jump scares for me (possibly unintentionally, but knowing Peter Jackson’s directing past with low budget horror films makes it seem more likely).


"The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" (2001)


Being so young for that first viewing, I don’t think the ‘Tolkien’ virus had spread quite yet in me. The discovery of its sequels “The Two Towers” and “The Return of the King” are interesting stories in themselves of which I will save for those reviews, but “Fellowship” will always have my heart for being my introduction and the first in line of one of my favorite trilogies of all time.

Before I saw “The Lord of the Rings The Fellowship of the Ring” (2001), I was very much into drawing anime. Especially “Dragon Ball Z” and couldn’t ever put the pen down. So when ‘Fellowship’ opened my eyes to this massive fantasy landscape filled with these wonderful castles, races and weapons I started to realize how difficult it was to go from drawing 2D Japanese anime characters to real life 3D human beings in costume and makeup. It was actually the end of my small drawing career and the start of the transition I made into filmmaking.


"The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" (2001)

A year or two later, I can’t remember exactly when, the ‘Extended Editions’ of “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy started to come out and my world was changed and the curtains were finally pulled back to reveal what I would come to call; 'filmmaking'. Those special features changed my world. Getting to see how those films were made from start to finish in such detail and length, it was everything I could've hoped for in an introductory film course without even knowing it! I was falling in love.


From the costumes, to the make-up, special and visual effects, it was just a fascination to unfold for a 12 year old's eyes. It felt like I got to go on that journey with them in making it. What a blessing to just capture that process. Ever since, I've always made it my second nature to grab behind the scenes on every project I can in hopes it may inspire the next me someday.


"The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" (2001)

I thought the cast was magnificent throughout the entire trilogy. It was where I fell in love with all of those actors with maybe the exception of having seen Ian McKellen as ‘Magneto’ in the Fox ‘X-Men’ franchise. Maybe Elijah Wood in ‘Flipper’ too. Now I can’t help but pick out ‘Lord of the Rings Actors’ where I go. It’s where I got to ‘meet’ them it felt.


"The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring" (2001)

There are so many wonderful sequences in this film, it’s hard to choose one. From the opening Last Alliance of Man and Elf as they battle Sauron, to the Mines of Moria, to the Balrog, The Shire… I have to stop somewhere. It captured my imagination to feats I didn’t know were there. The start of so many roads I would take and explore.


Written by Sam Gall on Nov 6, 2021


CGC Grading: Gem Mint 10.0


"Jackson's films are sure to take the "Star Wars" mantle as beloved mythic epic for a new generation." - Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews


"Funny, scary and, totally involving, Peter Jackson's assured adaptation of JRR Tolkien's The Lord of The Rings turns the book's least screen-worthy volume into a gripping and powerful adventure movie." - Nev Pierce, BBC.com


"A perfect blend of action and fantasy, of special effects and thoughtful storytelling, and, in a time when the two seem anything but mutually exclusive, blockbuster juggernaut and arthouse darling." - Jon Popick, Planet S Magazine


"Back in the '60s, college geeks used to wear t-shirts proclaiming 'Gandalf Lives.' After watching Ian McKellen's marvelous performance, I'm inclined to agree." - J. Robert Parks, Phantom Tollbooth


"Every frame of Fellowship bursts with finesse and imagination, demonstrating what miracles a moviemaker can accomplish with his head, hands and heart fully engaged." - Steve Schneider, Orlando Weekly


Official Trailer:


Behind the Scenes:


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