The first instalment of Peter Jackson's adaptation of JRR Tolkien's classic fantasy adventure sets the majestic tone for the trilogy. Elijah Wood stars as Frodo Baggins, the lowly hobbit who is enlisted by the great wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellen) to undertake an epic quest to save Middle-Earth from the ever-growing forces of darkness. It's a mighty tale of myths and magic, greed and deception, courage and conviction, men and monsters, elves and dwarves... and the one ring that rules them all. The movie picked up Oscars for visual effects, make-up, score and cinematography.
Whether The Lord of the Rings is entirely true to Tolkien's book is neither here nor there.
We are not discussing a novel; we are discussing a film, one that looks spectacular, is packed with action and very well acted.
The story tells of a perilous journey by Frodo, the hobbit (Elijah Wood) and his companions to return a magical ring.
The ring, which has the power to plunge the world into evil, must be taken to its place of origin and be destroyed.
Peter Jackson's film - the first of a trilogy - is both ambitious and a labour of love.
Its creation of a world inhabited by mystical creatures such as hobbits, elves, wizards and dwarves is undoubtedly successful.
It is sumptuous - if perhaps over-violent for the under-tens - and splendidly played.
Of particular note are Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen (as a wizard), Ian Holm (another hobbit), Viggo Mortensen (a human knight) and Cate Blanchett (an elf queen).