"Elijah Wood has emerged, in my opinion, as the most talented actor in his age group in Hollywood history" - Roger Ebert
Særdeles talentfull ung skuespiller som etablerte et rykte som 90-tallet mest talentfulle barneskuespiller i Hollywood. Wood debuterte med en liten rolle i Back to the Future Part II, før han fikk sin første karakterrolle i 1990 med Barry Levinsons Avalon. I dette kritikerroste dramaet kom Wood til syne for sin sterkt troverdige portrettering av sårbarhet og intensitet, hvilket ledet til hans første store rolle i Paradise (1991). I denne en av Woods mange mesterlige fremføringer av vanskeligstilte barn, er det vennskapet mellom ham og unge Thora Birch som skinner sterkest. Deres kjemi på lerrettet vil vanskelig kunne matches.
De neste tre årene skulle vise seg å være en parade-tid for unge Wood og hans talent. I 1994 ble han kåret til årets barnestjerne av NATO/ShoWest kommisjonen. Dette til tross for at hans to filmer dette året, North og The War, ikke var betydelige suksesser. Begge filmene hviler i urimelig stor grad på 13-åringens skuldre. Og i The War gjør han også en av sine beste fremstillinger, som den anstrengte og ustabile Stu Simmons. Da hadde Wood allerede høstet strålende kritikk for sine roller i Richard Donners Radio Flyer (1992), og i tittelrollen av Walt Disney-filmatiseringen The Adventures of Huck Finn (1993).
Som barneskuespiller var Wood eksepsjonell på å formidle følelser. I langt mindre grad enn sine likemenn, hvilte hans berømmelse på sjarme og utseende. Wood takler alle dramatiske scener, men er aller best som offer for paniske og tragiske hendelser - som i The Good Son (1993) der Wood sto støtt på egne ben mot Hollywoods største barnestjerne Macaulay Culkin.
1996 representerte et skifte
for Wood, som med Flipper gikk inn i en typisk ungdomsrolle. Hans talent og
populæritet ser dog ikke ut til å svinne, og Wood har vært aktuell
med flere interessante roller også på slutten av 90-tallet. Kanskje mest interessant i en
mindre rolle i Ang Lees The Ice Storm (1997), men også som Dodger i TV-filmen
Oliver Twist (1997). I 1998 spilte han en av hovedrollene i katastrofefilm-
Elijah tok dog for alvor steget opp på stjernehimmelen først med sine roller som Frodo Baggins i Peter Jacksons The Lord of the Rings-trilogi. Gjennom de tre filmene ble han allmenn kjent for sin nervøse men devoterte Frodo, og kunne først i 2003 igjen konsentrere seg om sin øvrige skuespillerkarriere med nye filmer som Ash Wednesday og Try Seventeen.
"'Paradise' does have real qualities. Two of them are the kids, played by Elijah Wood and Thora Birch with strong, simple charm." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, on Paradise.
"As Mike and Bobby, Wood (Paradise) and Joseph Mazzello are excellent." - Leah Rozen, People Magazine, on Radio Flyer.
"Wood is an almost scarily accomplished little pro." - Jay Carr, Boston Globe, December 16, 1992, on Forever Young.
"Elijah Wood brings a naturalness to his acting that at times is completely disarming. Perhaps Mel Gibson should have paid more attention to the familiar adage that actors should never work with animals or children because they are likely to be upstaged. As he did in Radio Flyer (1992), Wood manages to evoke all the right emotions, furthering the story as a result. His performance is in direct contrast to the rather uneven acting of Gibson, who treats some of the more dramatic moments with inappropriate lightness. Since Wood can clearly hold his own with such a seasoned professional as Gibson, Wood's career as an actor is assured." - Richard Cormack, Prodigy Online Services, on Forever Young.
"Good-hearted Huck is the most engaging urchin in American literature, and in scamp-and-a-half Elijah Wood he comes to life more than he ever has before.... Not even Mickey Rooney and Jackie Coogan, who starred in two of the earlier versions, captured the spunk and the spirit of the boy who wouldn't be civilized in quite the way Wood has.... With a face lively even in repose and eyes like great dark saucers, Wood displays more of an irrepressible imp persona than he showed in 'Avalon' and 'Radio Flyer'. Yet it is not just his wholehearted relish for pranksterism that sets this Huck apart, it is his air of capability and self-possession. This is one small boy whose survival on his own is not at all hard to believe." - Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times, April 2, 1993, on The Adventures of Huck Finn.
"Huck is played by Elijah Wood, from 'Radio Flyer' and 'Forever Young', who mercifully seems free of cuteness and other afflictions of child stars, and makes a resolute, convincing, Huck." -- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, April 2, 1993, on The Adventures of Huck Finn.
"[Elijah Wood is] a talented young actor who acquits himself well even under these dire circumstances." - James Verniere, The Boston Herald, September 24, 1993, on The Good Son.
"Second-billed Wood is a far better actor [than Macaulay Culkin], and his scenes with Culkin bring the child star's limitations into painful relief." - CineBooks Motion Picture Guide, on The Good Son.
"Mr. Wood is currently the most natural, confident child actor of his generation... He's very likable throughout, and Mr. Reiner has surrounded him with a good deal of comic relief." -Janet Maslin, New York Times, July 22, 1994, on The War.
"Elijah Wood has emerged, in my opinion, as the most talented actor in his age group in Hollywood history." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, on The War.
"Elijah Wood--that terrific little actor--has the spunk and fury to make Stu into more than just a peacenik. ...His performance resembles a champion swimmer paddling through heavy molasses." - Peter Rainer, The Los Angeles Times, November 4, 1994, on The War.
"The most satisfaction the movie offers is the spectacular acting of Wood, 13, who is the best under-20 actor since Freddie Bartholomew." - Ralph Novak, People Magazine, on The War.
"Elijah Wood confirms his standing as the foremost actor of his generation. ...Wood acts so eloquently with his sentient face and searching eyes that his job becomes one of concealing how redundant his spoken lines are - a tricky job he largely is able to bring off commendably." - Jay Carr, The Boston Globe, on The War.
"In Jon Avnet's mesmerizing 'The War', young Master Wood is giving acting lessons all around.... I prefer to ponder the wonder of Elijah Wood, who manages to bring tremendous restraint - an inner simmering - to a role that, with a lesser actor, could have gone out of control.... Sometimes a great performance is just a onetime occurrence, and sometimes it is a flash of things to come. Right now, Wood is blinding us." - Rod Lurie, Los Angeles Magazine, on The War.
"Young Wood is an exceptionally talented actor; his career is likely to survive both The War and the disastrous North." - CineBooks Motion Picture Guide, on The War.
"Kids are supposed to have fun. They're supposed to do something that they like to do, because they don't have to worry about paying the bills and things like that. I'm doing something that I like to do and I'm having fun. Acting, for me, is normal. When you're doing something that you love to do, it's almost like you've created your own little childhood. I'm not being forced into it and I'm having a great time." - Boston Globe, October 30, 1994
"I'm not on drugs. I'm not an alcoholic. I've just got incredible people backing me up...I wouldn't even think about taking drugs. I think it's ridiculous! I think people are throwing their lives away. River Phoenix was such a talented actor. I would have loved to see him win an Oscar. He so deserved it. Obviously he got mixed in with the wrong crowd. That ruined him. I love life. I've always been this way." - USA Today, November 4, 1994
"I'm not a dark person or anything, but it would be a challenge to be someone who's messed up in the head" - Entertainment Weekly, November 25, 1994
"I enjoy writing, and I know that if I can really focus on that and get some good tuturoing in English, I can be a really good writer when I get a little older. What's more fun than that? It's creating your own world." - Entertainment Weekly, November 25, 1994