The cynical play here would be to knock the “unexpected” nature
of this enterprise because, after the overwhelming success of Peter
Jackson’s justifiably epic Lord of the Rings saga, why wouldn’t Jackson and New Line seek to replicate that run with The Hobbit?
Susie Salmon (Saoirse Ronan) narrates the story of ... what exactly? She tells us almost from the start that she died at 14 years old. And it's not simply that she died; she was murdered by a neighbor (Stanley Tucci), an evil serial molester, all the more sinister in skewed feverish angles. Unfortunately, Peter Jackson ('The Lord of the Rings' trilogy) just isn't in tune with the magic of female adolescence (and early teenage male longing) in the 1970s. Grade: B-.