• 2019
  • US
  • 1h 52min
  • 12A
  • Directed by: Dome Karukoski
  • Cast: Lily Collins, Nicholas Hoult, Genevieve O'Reilly
  • Website:

Young J.R.R. Tolkien (Gilby, then Hoult) romances Edith Bratt (Keene, then Collins), forms friendships and then fights in the trenches of WWI. Hoult is charismatic as the lead and Collins is charming as Edith, and it’s a convincing enough portrait, but it’s a bit too cosy and traditional, especially the family-friendly combat sequences.

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Tolkien (12A)

As a young student, J.R.R. Tolkien finds love, friendship and artistic inspiration among a group of fellow outcasts. Their brotherhood soon strengthens as Tolkien weathers the storm of a tumultuous courtship with Edith Bratt and the outbreak of World War I. These early life experiences later inspire the budding author to write the classic fantasy novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.

Nicholas Hoult moves away from his superhero roles to take on a more serious character. Not without its flights into fantasy, Tolkien aims to tunnel through the prose and link his novels to real-life occurrences to discover the inspiration to his cherished works. With popular actors in the central roles, Tolkien has appeal outside of literary circles. Runtime: 112 mins

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Reviews & features


2 May 20193 stars

Cosy biopic of the Lord of the Rings author, starring Nicholas Hoult and Lily Collins

Directed by Dome Karukoski (who made Tom of Finland), this British biopic of fantasy author JRR Tolkien takes a traditional, by-the-numbers approach (an 'Expected Journey', if you will) – yet succeeds well enough on its own terms, thanks to a likeable…

Lily Collins worked with 'dialect coach' for Tolkien

29 Apr 2019

Film gossip

Lily Collins worked with a "dialect coach" to prepare for her role in 'Tolkien'. The 30-year-old actress – who lives in Los Angeles – plays Edith Bratt in the much-anticipated biographical drama about English writer-and-academic J. R. R. Tolkien, famous…

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