Ultimately, An Unexpected Journey
was a good, IMHO very good movie - but it wasn't exceptional in the way Fellowship of the Ring
was. Not only does it have some flaws (Azog, cartoonish action, and for some viewers pacing), its subject matter is "smaller" and less epic. Still, for the kind of film it sets out to be - a fun adventure as well as an introduction to Middle Earth, its cultures and its overriding conflicts - it is quite the success.
Bring on the Desolation of Smaug