Bad:  Parents I have to warn you--this PG-13 movie is rated appropriately and is NOT a child's movie.  This is a movie filled with some of the most intense battle scenes and fights you’ve ever seen.  There are graphic sword and bow & arrow battle scenes, various gruesome/scary-looking creatures that are mean (not to mention grotesque!).  Gollum is bizarre looking and sometimes scary looking, and there are numerous, intense chase scenes with weird creatures following and an overall dark story about man’s quest to destroy evil.  So for any child (or maybe even some adults) who have nightmares easily, this is NOT a movie you want to see.

Bottom Line:  I have to be honest--I went to this movie thinking I wouldn't enjoy it because I knew it would be dark.  But I was enthralled from the opening scene to the last!  Although Tolkien wrote this as a classic good vs. evil fantasy, there are biblical symbolisms all the way through it.  Gandalf is “reborn” in white and rides a white horse to “save the day”, the Ent tree is the “living word” for man and together the trees cause a flood that cleanses and destroys the dark underworld.  It's these kinds of plot points that make this story even more compelling and all the more exciting for those who believe in Tolkien’s theology.  The fantasy message of hope and justice overcoming evil has never been more timely or relevant for today's world, so take your mature pre-teens (or teens) who can handle the intensity and violence and see this movie together.  Then discuss it afterwards!  And for you die-hard adult Tolkien fans, you won't be disappointed in this brilliant second film.