Tolkien movie poster

Director Dome Karukoski’s portrait of the man who wrote The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings tells three intertwining tales. The first and most artful of these gives us the making of a writer: an orphan whose mother taught him to love language before she died, a nature lover forced into the brimstone-belching industrial world, a boon companion who loses friends to the horrors of the First World War. The second — blunter, sometimes clumsier, but not without worthwhile points and pleasures — gives us the making of the works themselves. It may be a bit on the nose to translate the mortar bursts and mustard gas of The Battle of the Somme directly to the blasted monstrosities of Mordor, but when your subject spends a good part his literary energy mourning the violent destruction of a civilization, some allowance may perhaps be made. And the third? The gradual, sometimes wince-worthy, but ultimately gratifying making of a man, as he learns to love a woman. Tolkien casts a delicate spell: it’s not difficult to imagine some viewers proving utterly impervious to its peculiar magic. But some others will be enchanted and even transported by its charms. 2019.

Matthew Lickona

Showtimes

AMC Fashion Valley

7037 Friars Road, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Monday, May 20

12:15pm, 3:10pm, 6:10pm, 9:05pm

Tuesday, May 21

12:15pm, 3:10pm, 6:10pm, 9:05pm

Wednesday, May 22

12:15pm, 3:10pm, 6:10pm, 9:05pm

AMC La Jolla

8657 Villa La Jolla Drive, San Diego, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Monday, May 20

12:30pm, 3:15pm, 6:10pm, 9:20pm

Tuesday, May 21

1:50pm, 4:40pm, 7:20pm, 10:15pm

Wednesday, May 22

12:30pm, 3:15pm, 6:10pm, 9:20pm

AMC Otay Ranch

2015 Birch Road, Chula Vista, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Monday, May 20

4:15pm

Tuesday, May 21

12:00pm, 3:00pm

Wednesday, May 22

4:15pm

AMC Plaza Bonita

3050 Plaza Bonita Road, National City, 888-262-4386 | Directions

Monday, May 20

1:45pm

Tuesday, May 21

11:10am, 1:45pm

Wednesday, May 22

1:45pm

Angelika Film Center & Café

11620 Carmel Mountain Road, San Diego, 858-207-2606 | Directions

Monday, May 20

2:00pm, 5:00pm, 7:35pm, 10:15pm

Tuesday, May 21

10:55am, 2:00pm, 5:00pm, 7:35pm, 10:15pm

Wednesday, May 22

11:00am, 2:00pm, 5:00pm, 7:35pm, 10:15pm

Thursday, May 23

10:55am, 2:00pm, 5:00pm, 7:35pm, 10:15pm

Cinépolis Del Mar

12905 El Camino Real, Del Mar, 858-794-4045 | Directions

Monday, May 20

3:20pm, 8:45pm

Tuesday, May 21

3:20pm

Wednesday, May 22

3:20pm, 8:45pm

Cinépolis Vista

25 Main Street, Vista, 760-945-7469 | Directions

Monday, May 20

12:50pm, 7:55pm

Tuesday, May 21

12:50pm

Wednesday, May 22

12:50pm

Edwards Mira Mesa

10733 Westview Parkway, San Diego, 858-635-7716 | Directions

Monday, May 20

10:05pm

Tuesday, May 21

7:10pm, 10:05pm

Wednesday, May 22

7:00pm, 10:05pm

Reading Cinemas Town Square

4665 Clairemont Drive, San Diego, 858-274-9994 | Directions

Monday, May 20

9:55pm

Tuesday, May 21

11:30am, 9:55pm

Wednesday, May 22

11:30am, 9:55pm

Thursday, May 23

11:30am, 9:55pm

Regal Escondido

350 West Valley Parkway, Escondido, 760-291-0119 | Directions

Monday, May 20

7:30pm, 10:15pm

Tuesday, May 21

10:15pm

Wednesday, May 22

7:30pm, 10:15pm

Regal Oceanside

401 Mission Avenue, Oceanside, 760-439-1327 | Directions

Monday, May 20

1:40pm, 4:30pm, 7:20pm

Tuesday, May 21

1:40pm, 4:30pm, 7:20pm

Wednesday, May 22

1:40pm, 4:30pm, 7:20pm

Thursday, May 23

1:40pm, 4:30pm, 7:20pm

Regal Parkway Plaza

405 Parkway Plaza, El Cajon, 619-401-3456 | Directions

Monday, May 20

1:40pm, 4:20pm, 7:00pm

Tuesday, May 21

10:50am, 1:40pm, 4:20pm, 7:00pm

Wednesday, May 22

10:50am, 1:40pm, 4:20pm, 7:00pm

Thursday, May 23

10:50am, 1:40pm, 4:20pm

Regal Rancho del Rey

1025 Tierra del Rey, Chula Vista, 619-216-4707 | Directions

Monday, May 20

9:05pm

Tuesday, May 21

9:05pm

Wednesday, May 22

9:45pm

Regal San Marcos

1180 W. San Marcos Boulevard, San Marcos, 760-471-3734 | Directions

Monday, May 20

1:35pm, 7:15pm

Tuesday, May 21

1:35pm, 7:15pm

Wednesday, May 22

1:35pm, 7:15pm

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