FILM: Tolkien (2019, Dome Karukoski)

Tolkien film promotional poster.jpg

Biopic Tolkien is distributed by Fox Searchlight Pictures. The film tells the story of how the young J.R.R. Tolkien (Harry Gilby) bonded with school friends who shared his passion for the creative arts. As they finish school and head off to university, Tolkien (Nicholas Hoult) discovers his true passion for language, his education taking a new direction, but before much longer World War I begins and he and his friends must fight for King and Country.


  • Good performances from the actors playing Tolkien and his friends, both the youth and young adults, the actors having a good chemistry and camaraderie together.
  • Good production and costume design brings a real sense of authenticity to the early 20th Century setting and a gritty quality to the Battle of the Somme scenes.


  • An altogether very underwhelming, restrained film which is disjointed (due to a non-linear narrative) and gives a very surface-level depth insight into the life, loves and career of the great J.R.R. Tolkien.
  • Supporting cast members such as Colm Meaney, Pam Ferris and Derek Jacobi are notably underutilised.



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