I saw the Hobbit last Friday, and I must start by saying I thoroughly enjoyed it.
I must also say that I've found most of the reviews of the Hobbit done by Catholics that I typically trust to give good reviews of films have been, in my estimation, guilty of missing the boat entirely.
I've heard many Catholic reviewers talk about how the Hobbit is too long. Really? I thought there were a few points where the movie could have ended, but I certainly was glad that it DIDN'T end at those points and instead kept going. The whole point about Tolkien's world is that it is a world that you don't want to leave, and I certainly found that to be the case with the Hobbit.
I was THRILLED that it continued on and on. I would get the critique if it were coming from someone who didn't understand Tolkien, but Catholic reviewers ought to know better.
I still remember when the Return of the King came out, and everyone was bashing the fact that it took several minutes to end. Tolkien's (and Jackson's directing of Tolkien's) world is like a big pint of delicious ale that you are GLAD to see that it doesn't end right away.
I also thought that the acting was fantastic, the cinematography spot on, and everything about Middle Earth has stayed the same while somehow also improving. I must admit that the commercials gave the appearance that perhaps the Hobbit was going to be a bit more cartoonish in the special effects department and in the story telling, but that fear was put to bed.
The Hobbit is a great movie, and it is very effective in bringing to the screen the world that Tolkien first dreamed up so many years ago.
I can't wait for the next installment of the Hobbit!