Roger Ebert likes the way the Beauty/Beast relationship is portrayed better than the original 1933 version and calls the film "magnificent entertainment." Moria gives it top marks and says, "the crowd I saw the film with did fidget through the first hour. But when the film does finally gain its feet, Jackson dazzles us." 1000 Misspent Hours isn't so impressed, giving it 2 1/2 stars and says,
The bad news is that the new King Kong still comes nowhere near matching the original as a total package, hamstrung as it is by a lethargic pace, a marked tendency toward gross visual overindulgence, and a pointlessly hypertrophic three-hour-plus running time.and
The good stuff is great beyond my wildest, most blatantly unrealistic hopes. The bad stuff sucks beyond my most churlish, mean-spirited worries. On the balance, it manages to be a mediocre film even though there’s next to nothing mediocre about it.