Don't expect the literary depth or potent themes of Lord of the Rings. This excellent adaptation is based off a 300 page story introducing readers to Middle Earth. While I question the wisdom of turning it into a trilogy, I am blown away by how successfully it is being done. It has required invention and the inclusion of fringe Middle Earth Tolkien lore. Jackson is obviously well-versed in all things Tolkien, and it shows. Even the mood of the film, sometimes silly, sometimes scary, but never too serious, jives with the book.
Martin Freeman is perfect as Bilbo, and I loved seeing Gandalf and Legolas again.