JRR Tolkien is probably the godfather of the modern fantasy novel. He was a romantic sort that invented a language for the elves and then wrote a few books around it.
So, how about a biopic? Particularly one that the surviving Tolkien family didn’t necessary approve of? Well, here we are with Tolkien.
John Ronald Tolkien (Nicholas Hoult) is orphaned as a young boy and sent off to live with a wealthy woman and attend a nearby high class boarding school around Birmingham, England. At the school, he befriends a group of artistically-minded boys, growing up with them as they form an early club to express their artistic endeavors together as each finds their various guardians and parents a bit disapproving of their respective art. He also meets and eventually romances another orphan staying with the rich woman, one Edith Bratt (Lilly Collins). When the first World War breaks out, Tolkien and his friends all go off to fight.
OK, so, I’ll get right to it: this movie was kinda boring. Were you hoping to see young Tolkien develop the language of the elves? Well, he mostly does it off-screen. How about how he developed the mythos of Middle Earth? There are some hints here and there showing where he had some of his influences, but not too much of that. Most of the movie seems to be about either Tolkien’s relationship with his friends or his relationship with Edith, but neither relationship are anything more than by-the-numbers, and if you are at all interested in what happened to Tolkien’s kid brother, well, good luck. He basically disappears. None of the characters that do hang around seem all that interesting as it is. The end result is something that didn’t do much of anything. There’s nothing wrong with it, but there’s also nothing all that interesting with it. 6.5 out of 10 loyal enlisted men named Sam.