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'The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey': 3 points for parents

Violence: This is an adventure film and the dwarves have natural enemies, namely orcs. These orcs will pick up swords or clubs before they actually try and speak to someone. As a result, there are some scenes that include fighting with both forged and improvised weapons. The scenes are at times prolonged and some start, then stop, and then begin again.

Gore: Luckily for the ratings board, orcs bleed black. As in The Lord of the Rings trilogy, if they did not the film would have been rated R. Also, there are creatures who want to eat Bilbo and his friends as they travel. Characters are burned, beaten and eaten in this film.

Length: If you are planning on taking children, remember that this film runs two hours and 46 minutes. Accordingly, you may want to pace your child's intake of beverages — and your own.

"The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey" is very much like watching The Lord of The Rings trilogy. Some of the same sets were used. If you liked The Lord of the Rings, you will enjoy this film as well. The new frame rate technology for this film has received mixed reviews, however. That may be due to the fact that it has mixed results. At times the images on the screen do look too real and it appears the actors are on a set instead of in a setting. Then there are moments on the screen that look incredible. A 13-plus audience would be appropriate for this film and it is rated as such.

Shawn O'Neill is the Family Man Movie Reviewer.