I was surprised to see this movie pop up out of the blue, since Tolkien is a pretty big name. I would've expected quite a bit of buzz when this was released, but somehow it didn't make a big splash. It's not a very remarkable biography and LOTR fans hoping to find out much more about the book might be disappointed, but this was actually a pretty capable film.
Tolkien focuses on the early years of the writer, pretty much his life's story up to the point when he started writing his famous fantasy novels. There are the typical adversities of an orphan boy, first love, his student years and WWI, all events that somehow inspired him to write his famous epic.
Performances are solid, the direction is stylish and the links between Tolkien's life and the books that would make him famous are both subtle yet easy to grasp (even for someone who never read the books and disliked all the films). It's a very traditional biopic, nothing spectacular, but well executed and a decent watch.