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Movie Review: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Extended Edition (2002)

Updated on June 12, 2019
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Natalie is a writer who works at her local library. She enjoys writing reviews, watching anime and TV shows, and playing videogames.

Quick Info:

Director: Peter Jackson
Studio: New Line Cinema/Warner Brothers Studios
Release Date: November 12, 2002, for the DVD, August 28, 2012, for the Blu-Ray
Runtime: 208 minutes
Availability: On DVD and Blu-Ray, check your local retailer or buy online on Amazon

Story Summary:

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Extended Edition is the longer version of the original theatrical version of this movie.

A young Hobbit named Frodo Baggins is tasked with destroying the Dark Lord Sauron’s evil Ring of Power. He is joined by other races in Middle-Earth who will help him on his dangerous quest.

The Lord of the Rings Theatrical Trailer:

Peter Jackson kept a lot of the Book, and that’s Impressive for the movie:

The plot is excellent and the characters are well written. It’s a great adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books, although it’s not a literal one, we’d be watching this movie for weeks if it was. It has the spirit of the books while keeping all the important information there.

The books are so long and detailed that there’s no way they would make an exact copy of the book in the movie, but they kept a lot of the events from the book in the movie, and the extended cut added a song that was in the book to the movie.

There were so many songs and poems in the book that they couldn’t put them all in, but that they did add in some of the songs and poems did make me very happy as a fan of the books.

One scene I’m very happy they put back in was the scene from the books were the Elf-Lady Galadriel gives the Fellowship their gifts, although they are different gifts for some characters than in the books, it was still nice that the scene was added back into the movie.

There is a lot of dialogue from the books, but sometimes it is given to different characters than who actually said it in the book, which is a little odd, but it still works.


The Actors are Fantastic!

The acting is fantastic in this movie, all the actors are great, there are just so many actors to talk about, the entire cast is amazing. Every performance is great and this was some of their best work. Standouts are Elijah Wood who played Frodo Baggins. He did a great job, but sometimes he does feel a little overdramatic, but he was still great.

Sean, Astin was great as Samwise Gamgee, he did a spectacular job and he portrayed the character very well. He was great and I enjoyed his work in this role.

Viggo Mortensen was also excellent as Aragorn. His acting was great and his character was interesting. They did change Aragorn compared to his character in the books. They made him a little more angsty instead of a man who accepted his role as the King of Gondor, but Aragorn is still a good character.

Ian McKellen was great as Gandalf. He is an excellent actor and he did great in this role. His portrayal is what I think of when I read the books.

Sean Bean also does a great job. He continues his long tradition of being the character who dies, yeah, that’s a spoiler, but his fans have come to expect it anyway.

The late Christopher Lee is great as Saruman the White. He was a fantastic actor and he brought gravitas and charisma to the role. He was a great actor and this is one of his outstanding roles.

Cate Blanchett was also wonderful as the Elf-Lady Galadriel. She brought a regal and elegant. Even when she reprised her role for The Hobbit Trilogy, she still looked as beautiful as she does in this movie and it’s kind of strange to say that now that The Hobbit is finished.

The entire cast is fantastic and you’ll enjoy the actors’ performances. It’s a fantastic movie that made some actors famous and elevated them when it came to their careers.

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The Music is So Fantastic!

The music by Howard Shore is amazing, it’s just beautiful and fits every scene in the movie, the extended scenes feel like they were always a part of the movie, and it feels like it all fits together.

The music is definitely my favorite musical score for any movie I’ve watched. The music is wonderful and emotional and amazing. It embodies J.R.R. Tolkien’s work and if you enjoy excellent soundtracks that really make the movie a fantastic experience, then you’ll love this music.

"The Fellowship" by Howard Shore


The Cinematography and Visual Effects are Great!

The cinematography is amazing. The camera shots in this movie are amazing. The camera work is beautiful, showing off New Zealand’s fantastic landscapes. The scenes cut from the movie added in and you can’t even tell that they were cut because they feel like they belong on screen.

The visual effects are pretty great for the most part, although some of the CGI really sticks out because of how good CGI is now, but it’s still a very enjoyable movie despite being dated.


The Sheer Length of the movie might turn off Newcomers:

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring was already a long movie with the theatrical edition being 2 hours and 58 minutes. The extended edition is 3 hours and 46 minutes but it’s definitely worth it if you want the best version of the movies. You can always split the movie in half if you want.

But the length of the movie can be very daunting because it’s such a long film but believe me, it’s worth it, otherwise, you might as well read the books.


This movie is rated PG-13 for fantasy violence and blood. It’s not for little kids, and you should at least be 12 years old to watch it.

The Special Features Are Fantastic!

The special features on the DVD and blu-ray discs are amazing. Nowadays they don't put a lot of special features on disc because they're expensive to make, but back in 2002 special features were a new thing and The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring has some the best behind the scenes footage for a movie.

There are so many different videos in the special features. From documentaries about J.R.R. Tolkien to behind-the-scenes making-of footage, the special effects, to the score. The interviews with the cast and crew are also interesting and provide their thoughts and feelings on the film as well.

The cast and crew commentaries for the movie are also funny and insightful as well. It's one of the few movies to have multiple audio commentaries for the film.

I Love these Movies:

I love these movies, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring isn’t at all the perfect movie, the movie is long and there’s a lot going on in it and it may not grab your attention right away, but it’s still a movie worth watching as it’s the only series to win an Oscar for Best Picture on its third movie, which has never happened again in Oscar history.

The film is a wonderful fantasy movie. It brought fantasy movies to the forefront of the film audience. It also paved the way for a flood of movie adaptations of books, some of them good, some of them bad.


Quick Summary:

What Works:
What Doesn't Work:
Excellent story, characters, and world-building
Some dated CGI
Amazing actors
Film's length is daunting
Amazing soundtrack

Final Grade: A+:

I highly recommend this movie. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring is a spectacular, epic fantasy that many fans love. It’s an excellent movie and it’s an excellent adaptation of a fantastic book. The flaws it has is its sheer runtime, it’s a very long movie and the DVDs have it split into separate discs, which does make it easier to watch if you don’t have a lot of time, I don’t have the Blu-Ray so I can’t say what they’ve done for those.

It’s a modern fantasy that has influenced many fantasy authors and filmmakers to this day. While the movies do show their age sometimes, they are still amazing films to watch. The extended edition improved the films, adding more elements from the books and they are the definitive version if you want to watch The Lord of the Rings.

I purchased the streaming for Amazon Prime video where you can buy movies instead. This is definitely worth your time and money, if you don’t want to sit through this version, there’s always the theatrical version you can pick up if you want to.

The second movie in The Lord of the Rings Trilogy is The Two Towers Extended Edition.

My Rating:

5 stars for The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2002)

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