The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey has been a long-awaited movie, seeming to be often delayed by technicalities and other issues. At last, Peter Jackson and the LOTR crew reassembled and began filming.

What might take some getting used to for some people was actually one of my favorite parts of the movie–the fact that young Bilbo Baggins is played by Martin Freeman. Freeman brings a humor and depth to the character that is impressive, even if only because he had to follow in Ian Holm’s footsteps.

Thorin Oakenshield, played with all his stubborn pride by Richard Armitage, is an excellent and complex character. The other dwarf that really stands out is the kind and loquacious Balin, one of the older dwarves, and the one who particularly looks out for Bilbo.

There is a lot more that can be said about the movie, particularly what was changed or added, but I don’t want to spoil anything for those who haven’t seen it yet. I will say that the movie is cinematically up to the standards of the LOTR trilogy, and fans of those movies are almost sure to enjoy this one.

On top of that, Howard Shore’s music is excellent, as it was for the LOTR trilogy. The main theme is a song sung by the dwarves, which is a powerful moment that sets the tone for much of the movie. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was worth the wait. Now we just have to wait for the next installment!