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Generally favorable reviews- based on 1060 Ratings

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  1. Apr 13, 2014
    Just as good as the first one, maybe even surpasses it by the plain fact of there being a dragon in it! I recommend this movie to ANYONE and EVERYONE! If your the kind of moviegoer that enjoys action, fantasy, battles and things being killed then this is the movie for you!
  2. Apr 12, 2014
    I am so bitter after writing my first review of this film that I feel I have to add to it by assuming the great Ian Mckellen was asked to play down his acting ability so as not to undermine the other mediocre performances in both these films ...I look forward greatly when I hear of a monumental fantasy film in the pipe line as they are far and few between....I hope a director with vision and the backing of a major studio have the balls between them to bring us another fantasy tour de force such as Terry Brooks shannara series or the fantastic works of Raymond E Feist.....IF YOU ARE LISTENING JACKO,GET YOUR HEAD OUT YOUR ARSE AND BRAIN BACK IN GEAR AND BEAT EM TO THE PUNCH Expand
  3. Apr 8, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. First of all, I'd like to apologise to my eyes for making them watch this garbage.
    The book was fantastic, the 2 movies (so far) are crap.
    The story has been changed so much that it's barely recognizable.
    Did the script writers even READ the book?
    Where did Legolas come from?
    Orcs chasing the barrels down the river?
    Orcs in Laketown?
    The entire fight sequence between the dwarves and Smaug just didn't happen. Smaug was already dead by the time the dwarves went into Eribor.
    I didn't know bard had kids? There were none in the book.
    I could go on and on, but you get the point.
    I'm sure that if J.R.R. was alive today, he'd be suing someone for the butcher job they did on his story.
    If you insist on seeing it, may I suggest you go to your local video store and RENT it for $5.00
  4. Mar 29, 2014
    I did actually like the first Hobbit movie, despite what some may say, but Desolation of Smaug was amazing! The first few minutes were a little bit bland, but it picked up really fast. The action in this film was really good; it would get very fast paced and epic and it was just a lot of fun, I especially love the barrel scene. The scenes with Smaug were also great however I did kind-of got my groove threw off at the ending due to it having a huge cliffhanger, but overall this was a very good film and I look forward to There and Back Again when that comes out later this year. Expand
  5. Mar 26, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I really enjoyed the first part more than this one. It was more character-oriented and at least had a resolution regarding one plot element (Bilbo becoming accepted and respected among the dwarves).

    This, however, feels a little like a mess.

    No subplot reaches a satisfying conclusion. Not a single one. The dragon story ends with Smaug flying over to the laketown, with Bilbo watching over in horror. Gandalf is trapped. The orc army is not defeated, and it's not even begun its attack. In short, story-wise, it felt like a camera cutting a scene mid-sentence.

    Another problem, is the unconvincing of other story parts. Like when the dwarves are trying to get the Arkenstone ti unite the dwarven families, so they go back to the same place they're in, to kill a dragon they know can only die with a certain weapon they don't possess. What the hell??

    And their strategy in trying to kill it, is by luring him into a trap by calling it names. Seriously? This is an insult to a dragon character, that was previously portrayed as a highly cunning creature.

    And what is it with that romance thing between the dwarf and elf? Doesn't have any sense of purpose, meaning, or emotion.

    The only redeeming qualities in this film, is the action scenes, Peter Jackson's brilliant directing, the beautiful art direction, and the overall sense of adventure.

    I hope the final part will be better than this. I hope it focuses on the characters again, because they are rarely interacting in this one. And i hope it has a stronger emotional punch.
  6. Mar 23, 2014
    Finally more action! This movie is a huge improvement in comparison to the previous one, because the tempo is so much higher. It also got more unique things, and the story is way better. The opening scene is great, and the movie overall got exiting events with good connections with the Lord Of The Rings movies. The Desolation of Smaug also got an awesome ending, and the film is very well made!

    The negative things about this movie is that there are to much dark scenes, witch didn't work well when using 3D-glasses. Another thing is the computer generated objects, witch doesn't look real at all, and the movie was a little slow at some places. The last thing is the action scenes, witch was a little reheated.
    But overall is The Desolation of Smaug a great movie!

    The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug gets a 8,5/10
  7. Mar 13, 2014
    This movie is a personalization of Hollywood's greed. Wonderful book was taken and transformed into trilogy with bizarre moments that were created in sick mind of script editors and references to Lord of the Rings that never were in original.

    60% of movie is just made up to make it longer, but non is done in a good way. And it's just makes it boring as hell.

    Please someone tell Peter
    Jackson that he is not Mr. Lucas. He is not filming pre-story to his wonderful trilogy. He is filing different book. let him read it.

    The movie is not bad in general. It's good only 40% of time when it follows book. I hope they will make special edition based book authentic script and cutting three movies to look like they were made actually based on Hobbit. Not a greedy - mind created hobbit.
  8. Mar 8, 2014
    This sequel improves on the first film's pacing and it was exactly what I wanted from this film. Smaug was a bad-ass (coolest dragon ever), the film was entertaining and thrilling, and the journey back to Middle-Earth was a warm welcome.
  9. Mar 7, 2014
    Simply put, I loved this movie. I was surprised to hear the number of people say they were disappointed in the first movie, but I think those that were will not be will this installment. Although Jackson takes some creative liberties, I believe they were for making a better movie than just straight up adapting the book.
  10. Mar 6, 2014
    I say it once and i say it a gain device hobbit in 3 part is the stupid thing peter Jackson ever did.The movie have a lot of unnecessary scenes just to took movie as long as the request . The CGI is only thing good but he use a lot of CGI for background instead go out side and use real scene. The camera is another disappointed it give me the headache rather than good view
  11. Mar 5, 2014
    the hobbit is a cliff hanger i hate these kinds of movies to be continued . it takes forever also dont buy it on dvd . so i hope no this is the last one
  12. Mar 3, 2014
    This movie was absolutely horrible!!! I love the first 2 films (they are my favorite), but this. My god, I couldn't wait for this movie to get over with. I just hated it!
  13. Feb 27, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Coming to cinema two months later in Mainland China, the second chapter of THE HOBBIT TRILOGY is poised to prevail the box office in a rather lethargic period after the red-hot Chinese Spring Fe festival.

    THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY (2012, 6/10) is a relentless roller-coaster ride with a slew of visual stunts to propel a succinct plot, which doesn’t live up to the expectation of THE LORD OF THE RINGS’ Middle Earth triumphant standing, also Peter Jackson’s innovative shooting technology has received with some resistance and negative feedbacks. The second round, a 3D version is all we have in China, the palette is light-toned, the textual sharpness hasn’t been refined from the first one, a tad dim and the same landscape doesn’t register the same rapt effect anymore.

    Nevertheless, the film is an ameliorated update from AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, not simply because of Smaug’s imposing grandeur and droll garrulousness (voiced by a malignantly intoning Cumberbatch). The plain narration bifurcates from the early start, when Gandalf (McKellen) detaches from the rest of the expedition on a solitary quest, as it often pans out, the journey without the omnipotent grey wizard galvanizes more excitement and comic relief. The action set pieces are imbued with sufficient antics in the barrel cruise, the comeback of Legolas (Bloom) and a freshly coined female elf Tauriel (Lilly) reinforces audience’s modern aesthetic as a welcoming love triangle among the two and a handsome (and slightly taller-than-average) dwarf Kili (Turner) is a clever deployment to gratify a touch of romanticism and conforms with the topical love equity enthusiasm. The pulchritude of slaughtering orcs with dexterous archery can never stultify the viewers.

    When Bilbo (Freeman) lurches into Smaug’s turf to exert his burglar role, it prompts the zenith with the disparate duel between the dwarf pack and the indomitable fire-generator, it is also worth mentioning the dissonant atmosphere between Bilbo and Thorin (Armitage), is the hobbit only an expedient pawn for Thorin’s stout-hearted vengeance to reclaim his kingdom, or the boundary of species can be breached through Bilbo’s valorous altruism? Let’s wait and see what will happen in the final venture.

    This time, one might be able to distinguish the 13 dwarfs more easily besides Thorin, Balin (Stott), Kili and Fili (O’Gorman), Freeman is consistently indulged in his invisible vantage with the ring, while McKellen’s Gandalf has some perilous path to overcome. The film is properly enlightened by several new characters, apart from Tauriel’s apropos feminine touch, Bard (Evans) is the key character introduced here, and for certain his import in the finale is well hinted although we haven’t seen too much potential in him yet. And it is always a delight to watch Stephen Fry, sketchily appears as the Master of Laketown, quips with his insidious underling Alfrid (Gage).

    As a middle section of a trilogy, this film actually skirts the conundrum of being left in the epic and enmeshed background without a certain closure to end the film itself, it is both satisfied to see to a not out-and-out victory and intrigued to imagine what will happen when the dragon is released to a more spacious scale, all magnetizes its core audience to return for a third time.
  14. Feb 25, 2014
    It was an improvement from the previous installment but continues to lack memorable characters due to a shortfall in character development creating no emotional attachment to any of the dwarfs travelling with Bilbo Baggins. However, the visuals are amazing it is much more action packed compared to the first one giving it a final score of 64.6 out of 100.
  15. Feb 24, 2014
    It's no LOTR but this is certainly much better than the first movie. The high frame rate doesn't annoy me as much, probably because I'm use to it now but I wasn't back then when the first movie came out in theatres. Back then it looked more like a video game and there was really no value to it. Sadly, some of the problems from the first movie are still present in this movie. It's like 3 hours long (which would be okay if it wasn't boring half the time) and it's overstuffed with underdeveloped characters. The fact that this movie uses footnotes from many of Tolkien's other novels means that it's not truly faithful to the original source material, too often it diverts away from the main story. Only the devoted Tolkien fans (not me) would get the most out of it but for the uninitiated (me), it just feels like a lot of subplots. There's really no need to extend a short children's book into a trilogy. The only reason for that is to make even more money (obviously 3 is more than 1). The Hobbit trilogy is just Peter Jackson's way of reliving his golden era when the LOTR trilogy was critically and commercially successful, with the last movie winning Best Picture award. This movie would be better off as one movie, or maybe even a two-parter because at least then it would be more faithful to the book. But of course, all the good points in the last movie are present in this movie as well such as the film's visual style, score, special effects and the wonderful performances from the cast. This movie is more action packed than the last one which makes it more enjoyable and stand out as an exciting fantasy adventure in it's own right. I do hate that it's a bit of a disappointment when you compare it to LOTR therefore, I won't be expecting the last movie to meet the same standard (but I do hope it's good). I do understand that the books are very different from each other but Peter Jackson's direction makes the two franchises very similar to each other. He does almost everything he did back when he was directing LOTR so don't b***h about how it's unfair to compare The Hobbit to LOTR. If you're already a fan of the first movie, no doubt you'll enjoy this one. Expand
  16. Feb 20, 2014
    I saw the movie in IMAX and 3D. Visually, the movie is stunning with terrific special effects. There is a lot of action in the film, and it is one of the loudest movies I have ever attended. Most of the action sequences went on a little too long for me, especially with the dragon in the last 1/2 hour, but there is no question it is a better film than the first installment of the series. The battle scenes are all preposterous, of course. You must go into the film knowing the Dwarfs will face epic battles against great odds but no good guys will die. I also had an issue understanding about 20% of the dialogue with all the noise and synthesized voices, a problem very common in today's special effects extravaganzas. Expand
  17. Feb 14, 2014
    Desolation of Smaug, unlike the first feature contains more interesting scenes and dialogue that make the film somewhat better than the first film in the Hobbit series.
  18. Feb 13, 2014
    Peter Jackson does it again ...
    This movie took ahold of me and took me on a Journey from begining till the end !!

    This movie i saw in Real 3D it was one of the best on par with Lord of the Rings:Two Towers on more ways than one aka the abrupt ending which i knew Peter Jackson would do as seeing this was the first sequal in the trilogy and he has a knack for leaving us in suspense !!!
    Must watch & Must own for any J.R.R Tolkien fan !!!!! Expand
  19. Feb 12, 2014
    "The desolation of smaug" is blockbuster action movie with superbe and stunning quality images, much better than an unexpected journey. but I seemed a long boring movie.
  20. Feb 11, 2014
    Hobbit 2 is about a mission where dwarves want to take the mountain and the gold back, because in the past the dragon took it from them.

    The battles are very cool and there is lots of action in te entire movie.
  21. Feb 11, 2014
    Surprisingly even worst than the first film. Laughable acting, Terrible CGI, and the whole reveal of Smaug was quite the disappointment. All the hype around the series and it turns out to be a piece of crap.
  22. Feb 9, 2014
    Great Movie so Far.Better then the first one.Better the fellowship and two towers .Great art Direction Lovely landscapes.Fast Paced heart pounding, mind blowing, barrel riding action. The world is living and breathing I feel like playing a Middle Earth rpg Game specially lake town segment is best. and who can forget about the CGI???If you wanna see a real dragon then watch this movie.
    Overall Superb Movie.
  23. Feb 8, 2014
    An improvement from last time, this is a Middle Earth movie no fan should skip! Better story, action and a crazy cliffhanger. The addition of the new characters that were not in the book is also a welcome addition.
  24. Feb 8, 2014
    The second part of one The Hobbit book.
    As a amateur of J.R.R. Tolkien I have read The Hobbit, The Lord of the Ring little bit more than once. That mean, that I little bit know what had happened in real book.
    Trilogy of The Lord of the Ring I understand, that is logical, but 3 parts of The Hobbit is abundant, yep crisis in Hollywood is and anyone can understand that, but that is so
    vulgar try to make money from nothing.
    I'm okay when movie and book have differences and in movie add some new aspects, that is normal that is understandable till new things are logical.
    Movie is incised and include a lot of sharp jumps to the new sciences.
    I really enjoyed the first part of The Hobbit
    The second one, I would not recommend to my friend to see. Nothing interesting.
    ordinary Score...
  25. Feb 6, 2014
    I honestly don't know why we need 3 movies per book.

    The Hobbit (book) is a great story and doesn't need to be messed with.

    That said, this was a pretty good movie in spite of that.
  26. Feb 6, 2014
    The fabled gold that surrounds The Hobbit is quite applicable as we can see this film struggling with its pacing which stems from no other source than the search of loot, and by loot I mean the money in the general populace's pockets. The Hobbit is at best two movies and the first of this series helped prove this to a great droning yawn. The acting has become tired and listless save for Smaug and Bilbo the rest of the cast is there for the same reasons as the financiers.
    The Poe Scale:
    Acting: 1/2
    Cinematography: 1.5/2
    Editing: 1.5/2
    Effects and Design 2/2
    Writing: 1/2
  27. Feb 5, 2014
    Felt like I had to add a review firstly because this is a very good film and also to counter the childish fools who gave this film a below 7, honestly people should grow up and enjoy the film for what it is and yes of course it's not as good as lotr but it still a very good watch, enjoy
  28. Feb 5, 2014
    It was great getting back into the world of the ring.
    But, this time I wasn't so much thrilled as I expected.
    Truthfully, I wanted a better Bilbo - Dragon confrontation, that meeting should have been as wonderful and arty as the Gollum-Bilbo meeting. Oh well.
    Didn't mind the additions, they had a nice touch, especially the female elf (although the romance angle should just be gone in
    the third part :P ) Expand
  29. Feb 3, 2014
    惊险刺激的中土之旅,抛去前作的种种铺垫,哈比人2的节奏更加流畅,唯一的不足,长湖镇的戏略显沉闷,当然抵达孤山之后, 和史矛革的对峙相当精彩。视觉效果出类拔萃,蜘蛛/龙的造型设计堪称完美,精灵族的造型超级美,同时场景设计美轮美奂,配乐不如首部曲但也高水准。不过彼得夹克逊对于原著的篡改实在是令人吃惊和不满。
  30. Feb 2, 2014
    On par with the first one, overly long but certainly wildly fun entertainment. Some interchangeable aspects of the story work in Peter Jackson's direction and things feel a lot grittier. What elevates this movie is Smaug and the long-awaited build-up. Some aspects of the journey's embrace is lacking but there are more stronger characters than weak in this instalment of the hobbit.
  31. Feb 1, 2014
    A must see! I think ALL of the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit movies are incredible! I can't wait for the final Hobbit next Christmas.. but then I will be sad that they are over,
  32. Feb 1, 2014
    This was less a chapter of the Hobbit and more a prelude to the Lord of the Rings. Dividing The Hobbit into three parts seems more a financial move than a creative one; much of this episode is neither found in the novel or the Silmarillion, but fabricated. Further, it's a far departure from the spirit of the original work. Where the first chapter of the Hobbit was at least partly light-hearted as the book was, this movie was filled with foreshadowing for the impending LOTR movies (which is unnecessary and again misses the point of the original work). Further, the acting and action scenes were occasionally so over the top that they come off as unintentionally comical. This isn't a new telling of a timeless children's story but a clunky, clumsy, B-rate action movie. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is the Michael Bay version of high fantasy. Expand
  33. Jan 29, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Major praise to the performances of the cast, especially scenes involving Martin Freeman and/or Benedict Cumberbatch, the CGI, and the overall improvement from the previous film. However, the love triangle between Evangeline Lilly's character, one of the dwarfs, and Legolas, and the films use of previous locations and characters from the 'Lord of the Rings' trilogy does decrease its likability. Expand
  34. Jan 28, 2014
    What George Lucas did to Star Wars pales into insignificance compared to what Peter Jackson has done to Middle Earth. There is so much ethereal mulch and noticeable CGI crammed into the visuals that it is almost impossible to be carried along on the journey because you can't believe they are on a journey, and it's certainly very difficult to make out uniquely discernible locations. Crammed full of not only tired movie cliches, but badly and needlessly re-used ideas from the LOTR films.
    The script is awful and plodding and without any joy or bite, and the constant use of panoramic, sweeping camera shots was in the end both annoying and alienating.
    It is a poor imitation of the LOTR films and a poor film in it's own right - ridiculously strung out for no apparent or rewarding reason.

    Lastly - what these films have done to the story from the book is, for my money, nothing less than hateful. The Hobbit is a magical tale which has been decapitated and gutted until a thin, barely recognisable husk has remained. This second installment is worse than the first, which in itself should be a punishable crime.
  35. Jan 27, 2014
    Like the first movie, the desolation of smaug still suffers the consequence of making 3 movies for a 300 pages book. The result is almost nothing really important to the story happening throughout the entire movie
  36. Jan 27, 2014
    "The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug" directed by Peter Jackson was a interpretation of the book written by J.R.R. Tolkien under the name "The Hobbit". The movie has impressive CGI, acting talents and provides an atmosphere like no other. However, the movie's story differs from its origin and because of this, creates potholes. The movie doesn't solve all problems that are faced within the story, therefore, forcing the viewer to come back for a third instalment.

    As expected the plot differs, introducing characters and scenarios not seen from its origins and has tweaks in the story. However, one may state that these changes are bad as they detach from the original story, making fans of the book and previous movies disappointed. However, it still does stick to its bases, still introducing locations and plot points from the book.

    The visuals are amazing, providing the audience with the atmosphere that it needs and therefore, making the characters believable. The use of CGI can emote what emotion that is being portrayed, however, there are some instances that seem dodgy, or poorly animated such as Smaug's scene.

    The movie is a disappointment to its origin and its previous movies, however as an individual movie, provides entertainment and an atmosphere like no other. However, because of its little ties to J.R.R. Tolkien's book "The Hobbit", it will disappoint to fans who are expecting a true movie interpretation of the fantastic book.
  37. Jan 26, 2014
    I seem to be in the minority, but I preferred the first Hobbit movie to this installment. Outside of Smaug and the barrel chase scene, nothing of significance remains, and the rest of the movie has almost been purged from my memory though I just saw it. The greatest failure of this movie is its unconvincing nature. Even Legolas gives a weak performance. Mostly it didn't feel like Tolkien at all, the magic and wonder of the Lord of the Rings movie....and briefly throughout the first nearly entirely missing. It is not a bad movie, just a very average one. Expand
  38. Jan 25, 2014
    Not a bad movie, not a great one. Desolation of Smaug is in between which is exactly what's wrong with it. This is a sequel, it has no real beginning nor end. It just kind of starts, runs for a few of hours and then fades to black. Those few hours are enjoyable, even if they are plagued by some of Jackson's eccentricities, mainly the extremely long and over stylized fight sequences. The dwarves are back and as goofily likeable as ever. Bilbo Baggins is... somewhere. For a movie called "The Hobbit" the only hobbit in the film has very little to say or do until the end where we finally get to meet the dragon we've heard so much about. And Smaug does not disappoint. These Tolkien films have a great way of making cgi characters stand out and Smaug is no different. Voiced by the excellent Benedict Cumberbatch, Smaug is by far the best and most memorable part of the movie. Smaug is terrifyingly captivating, more grandeur than I had ever imagined from the books. Just as we meet him and the movie starts to get good, it ends. I see myself liking this movie much more after the third one come's out but as of now, it just left me unfulfilled. Expand
  39. Jan 25, 2014
    This movie shows an incredible description of Tolkien`s fantasy universe, and once again we get thrown into Middle - Earth to experience great character developments and action sequences. The second chapter of a trilogy is often the most difficult to make, but Peter Jackson and his crew have taken the right decisions all the way and in my opinion The desolation of Smaug leaves the impression of being better than the first chapter of the trilogy, as the story takes a darker turn. Smaug himself enters the story as one of the most remarkable movie villains of all time, he`s a perfect example of evil and its greediness, in great contrast with little Bilbo who tries his best to survive through dark environments. Expand
  40. Jan 25, 2014
    The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug sequel The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. Peter Jackson took great as always, a beautiful fantasy. The film proved to be a more sombre colors. We were shown the dark side of the heroes. Smaug turned simultaneously scary and sweet. In The Desolation Smaug was more action adventure.

    The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug great Fantasy with soundtrack good
    and beautiful special effects. Expand
  41. Jan 23, 2014
    Well i saw the first movie and it was pretty good, not great but i still liked it, when i went to watch the Desolation of Smaug, i loved it and its probably my favorite Middle-Earth based movie, go watch this movie it will blow your mind, Smaug is the most real CGI character ever to appear on the big screen.
  42. Jan 23, 2014
    Just imagine, one whole 3-hour Hobbit movie with the trolls, Rivendel, Gollum, the Spiders, the Woodland Elves, the Barrels, Laketown, Smaug, and the final battle. Could you imagine. JAckson has it. He captures Middle Earth and the beloved tale of THe Hobbit as I pictured it to be 8 years ago. But sequences are time-dragged where they don't need to be. Constant reminders of character backgrounds is unnecessary. Where's Bilbo's backstory 'cause I could do a 15-page paper on Thorin. Remember all the backstory they gave LEgolas and Aragorn and Gimli in The Lord of the RIngs? Of course not, 'cause there didn't need to be. The mystery is the page-turner for viewers. Nevertheless, in this the pace crescendos, a wondrous love story draws in better character and a tearing score, and the intensity spine-tingles of SMAUG!! Holy mother of Middle Earth. Reminded me of the identical-looking horror dragon of my childhood dreams. There's annoyed-yawn moments, but it's a park blast worth another go and a perfect Christmas blockbuster to sit back and drink steamed milk to with the snow lightly covering the land. Now we gotta wait a whole year for part III after it's Breaking Bad-like finish. Expand
  43. Jan 23, 2014
    Nothing was overly dramatized, the scenery was amazing, and the music was beautiful. Great acting, epic fight scenes, and they've added new depths to the characters.
  44. Jan 22, 2014
    Amazing 48FPS technology. Great visuals. The rest is very poorly executed and the plot could be summarized in one sentence: they are travelling to get to the dragon whom they eventually meet and then the movie ends.

    3/10 (max what I can give) for 48fps 3d that doesn't hurt your eyes.
  45. Jan 21, 2014
    The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is certainly an improvement over An Unexpected Journey; it is well-paced and much more entertaining. This follow-up is highly enjoyable and a must-see in 3D with support of its gorgeous and utterly beautiful visuals. The highlight of the film is Smaug, who is played brilliantly and menacingly by the fantastic Benedict Cumberbatch. The film is certainly flawed and it does pale in comparison to the Lord of the Rings trilogy, but otherwise it is a fantastic adventure film that brilliantly and excitingly leads up to the next instalment, There and Back Again. Expand
  46. Jan 21, 2014
    Better than the first part of the Hobbit trilogy. More intense and action-packed. You finally get to see and hear Smaug. Great visuals and locations, a hallmark of all LotR films, once again transport you to the beautiful and dangerous land of Middle Earth. As a film, this was highly entertaining with enough humor, action, and intrigue to go around. However, it does stray from the book as the writers changed, removed, or shortened certain sections. That being said, I still enjoyed this second installment of The Hobbit and would recommend it to anyone who loved the original LotR trilogy. Expand
  47. Jan 20, 2014
    The best Tolkien "Fan-fiction" to ever hit the big screen. Unlike most critics, I ADORED the first Hobbit film, because it captured the playfulness, and awe of the original work beautifully. This second film downplays all the tones and it's main characters for the sake of adding completely non-canon content that was in the story like Azog the Goblin and Legolas. The saving grace for me was the fact that it brought more action, and Smaug. Bennedict Cumberbatch as Smaug was brilliant, and terrifying. Expand
  48. Jan 20, 2014
    The Hobbit may be lighter and sillier than The Lord of the Rings, but that's how it's supposed to be. J.R.R Tolkien wrote The Hobbit as a children's book. So it's not quite comparable to The Lord of the Rings.

    It's supposed to entertain rather than to tell a deep story, and that's exactly what Peter Jackson is doing. Now, I do understand why some people might be disappointed by this
    movie, and to be fair, a part of me kept expecting something as magnificent as LOTR. Sadly, it hasn't reached that point. At least not yet. Who knows, maybe the third installment will blow us all away. Expand
  49. Jan 18, 2014
    Maybe Peter Jacksons money, and quest for the oversized adventure has got to his head. Nonetheless, I loved this film. It's such a major improvement over An Unexpected Journey, I don't even want to talk about that peice of crap. I feel more like this should be similar to that of the trilogy and thats what makes it amazing. If Peter would've done this with An Unexpected Journey they would've made alot more money on this film. overall major improvement, 8/10 Great. Expand
  50. Jan 17, 2014
    Peter Jackson seems to have sparked into life with this second installment of The Hobbit series as this is a vast improvement on the first film. Gone are the laboured, talky scenes of Hobbit domesticity and much of the lame humour has also been excised. We now have a movie with plenty of action and adventure and one that stands tall and bears comparison to 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy. All the series' constants are present including impressive make-up and special visual effects, as well as beautiful Art-Direction and great sound. The film sports boundless energy and some amazing set pieces involving spiders, dragons and Hobbits in barrels. Editing is also much sharper this time out and the wonderful swooping camera shots are very much part of the film's overall style. Aside from an awful supporting performance from Stephen Fry as 'The Master of Lake Town', 'The Desolation of Smaug' really does deliver. The cliff hanger ending sets up the third picture nicely, although I would Quite happily have continued watching this one for another couple of hours, that's how good it is! Expand
  51. Jan 16, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Holy Sh*t was this movie awesome, I mean Smaug was so cool, and it was less boring than the first, and It leaves wanting for more thanks to the Cliffhanger ending, but it does have it's flaws, like straying too far from the book, the pacing it's still a little off, but ironically, I actually enjoyed the part I thought I would hate, the character of Tauriel, who was actually Bad ass, but her romance with one of the dwarfs still felt forced, and awkward, but overall though this movie was great, but not as good as The Lord of the Rings, but still pretty good on it's on right. Expand
  52. Jan 16, 2014
    A really enjoyable movie that has it all: action, adventure, humor,drama and even a small romance. The fact that Peter Jackson did not stay completely true to Tolkien's book, is a very brave and admirable thing. Obviously, it's worse than The Lord of the Rings, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's bad. The visual effects are top notch, especially the dragon Smaug which was incredibly detailed.

    Although the movie takes us to many new and beautiful designed locations, you really cannot feel like you really care about them. The hobbit 'gang' are thrown from one place to another, each with one different character to another, and only when they get to the mountain you feel excited.

    Still, 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug' is a very good movie. Sure it's not better that 'The Lord of the Rings' trilogy, but that doesn't mean it's bad.
  53. Jan 16, 2014
    Blatantly visual-oriented, tries to be funny but isn't, tries to be spectacular but only seldom is, not consistent with the book, acting is horrid, the epic i-am-the-hero discourses are just over the top and what's wrong with Orlando Bloom's eyes?

    On the other hand, special fx are stunning, especially the scenes with Smaug (which by the way last very little) and the voice of Smaug
    himself is transcendental. I'm personally biased towards films like this, for I don't usually like fantasy, but this one is not so bad after all. Expand
  54. Jan 15, 2014
    The Desolation of Smaug is a little less boring than the previous instalment, but it’s really no better in terms of craft and narrative. There is one inspired action sequence in which the dwarves and Bilbo escape from the elves in barrels. This sequence recalls Jackson’s King Kong set pieces where he just builds ideas on top of ideas into an extended adventure. And that’s it. Then it’s all back to normal.

    Whilst the Lord of the Rings were Oscar-winning technical marvels, the biggest issue I have with this and Journey is that the story is so mundane that we’re left looking for a visual “wow” factor, and it’s not there. The barrel sequence was so clever, I didn’t care how the effects looked. The generic archery and dragon hunting wasn’t creatively captivating, and it certainly wasn’t visually so.

    Overall it's entertaining and it's quite obvious the source material is so short that the crew had no choice but to embellish on the story. And add plenty of visual effects as filler to prolong this story across three films.

    If you seek an absolutely 100% accurate book to film translation you will be unhappy. But if you want to be entertained and can overlook this you'll have a nice time.
  55. Jan 12, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Minor spoilers. It's a solid movie but is also the weakest of Jackson's Tolkien adaptations. There were some very good scenes, such as the escape scene and the Beorn sequence. However, there were some very weak scenes involving Tauriel. The character just didn't work. I've been fine with most of Jackson's deviations in the other movies. However, the addition of Tauriel and the big changes in Smaug's scenes bothered me quite a bit. I still found the movie to be enjoyable, but it's far from Jackson's best work. Expand
  56. Jan 11, 2014
    The dwarf quest for their home went stale one hour into episode 1. Now it' s become torture. Good actors gone to waste, an endless conversation with a too loquacious Dragon, and too little of the gorgeous elf elf lady who kicks butt.
  57. Jan 11, 2014
    Bilbo ends The Unexpected Journey by saying “I do believe the worst is behind us.” Cinematically speaking he couldn’t be more wrong! He ends The Desolation of Smaug with a despairing “What have we done?” I’m wondering the same!

    The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is a tedious failure when compared to the purity of its source. Peter Jackson has been infected with some incurable
    malady that needs exercising. I have little hope for the final installment of the “trilogy,” and I can only hope, once again, that some fan with brilliant video editing skills will get to work on these movies when they are all available on Bluray and give us what we all really want . . . The Hobbit. Expand
  58. Jan 11, 2014
    I've read a few negative reviews of The Hobbit TDOS and can’t see why so many Tolkien fans dislike it? I have read the book and I feel although the film has some changes, it is still a brilliant adaptation. Peter Jackson is still the right man for the job, and he has yet again made Middle Earth look fantastic. The film flows well and there are some great action sequences such as the escape from the Elves and the fight with Smaug and the Spiders in Mirkwood.

    The Sets look authentic and magical. The score is enchanting and the acting is all spot on. Some CGI is a bit ropey and I'm not a great fan of Orlando Bloom leaping around grinding like he's on a skateboard, but that doesn’t spoil the whole film.

    The scenes with Smaug are particularly exciting and work very well. They are intense and Smaug really is terrifying I found the film to be better paced than the first movie and I enjoyed TDOS more. The ending has a real cliffhanger that has made me really excited for the next film. So Ignore the haters and Tolkien geeks who think the books were written just for them. And go see this movie, blockbuster movie making at it's finest and a cracking fantasy adventure movie.
  59. Jan 11, 2014
    How people could place a good rate for this movie? Like a fan of LOTR, i bpredictablecame very disapointed with this last. The difference between the others and this was great. for me this was like any other hollywood movie with a lot of "cliches" And terrible argument, what was the dragon scene? He was loosing for a single hobbit and be cheated? Terrible to see it. The king of elfs a person with big ego with stupid behaviors,
    A king dont act like him.
    My impression was, the produccer took a new direction and let the movie so predictable and let the persons so fool with stupds behaviors like the key scene about to enter into the dwarf citie.
  60. Jan 10, 2014
    You might enjoy this if you know absolutely nothing about the source material and are also a brain dead moron. Seriously this movie is way way too long and has so much needless stuff shoehorned in I can't believe it's made by the same guy that made The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Truly Peter Jackson is the new George Lucas. I'm glad he's not the one making these stories up though. The books will always be there for those who really want to know about the world Tolkien crafted with his words. Expand
  61. Jan 9, 2014
    El primero en la fila para ver Desolation of Smaug: simplemente impresionante y mejor que la primera entrega. Peter Jackson dirige con éxito este maravilloso spin-off de "El Señor de los Anillos" y le hace un gran honor a los libros de Tolkien. Esta película impacta intelectualmente como visualmente, y, para hacer más honores, las escenas épicas de aventuras son impresionantes y divertidas.
    La saga de The Hobbit es la mejor aventura épica desde que empezó la década y no me arrepiento en decir que si esta película no es de tu agrado; a mí ni me hables, porque obviamente habitas en un mundo al que yo no estoy interesado. Gran película y merece un 10.
  62. Jan 9, 2014
    I always loved Lord of the rings. This is similar, but has better animations. This second part is much better then the first one because it has a lot more action. I loved th dragon, they made him look and sound awesome.
  63. Jan 8, 2014
    So many differences from original book. I'm big Tolkien fan and if I would was younger (pardon my English) I would definitely was pissed off. But the movie itself is very well filmed, bright and colorful.
  64. Jan 7, 2014
    this a very indulgent, expressive, and well choreographed piece of work. The chemistry between the actors is more than acceptable Even with the dragon who was a fantastic treat. I'd say for the second installment to the hobbit series, its a more then watchable delight.
  65. Jan 7, 2014
    Still not at the level of LOTR, but an improvement over the first movie (which I did still like, just not as much). Just one thing, if you haven't read the book or seen the first movie, you absolutely have to do one or the other before you see this or you won't know what the hell is going on, because it jumps right in. Otherwise, this is one good movie.
  66. Jan 7, 2014
    Can´t believe I´m saying this but I really liked and enjoyed this second part of the trilogy. I love The lord of The Rings (especially the last part and especially Frodo+Sam, the heart of the film) and yes the first Hobbit was a letdown because it felt long and was boring at parts, like there was no reason whatsoever for this new adventure despite the stunning visuals. TLOTR was vibrant and exciting and had a heart, the first Hobbit didn´t have that and it made us wonder if this was a bad decision. Well, so surprised they convinced me with this second part that the effort to do this new trilogy was worthy. They explain some more things about this adventure that make it more grounded. I enjoyed it from start to finish, visuals can´t get any better, good acting (actor playing Bilbo was an amazing choice, he is fantastic for this), the pacing was great this time because the start of the film was strong, this younger Legolas we didn´t know is great to see, the new Elfo woman is a good character too, the King of the Elves from the forest seems like a great and intimidating character too (I´m sure we´ll see him a lot in the last part of the trilogy) and of course the moment we finally get to see Smaug is impressive, very entertaining and spectacular. Best part of the film was Smaug+Bilbo scenes. It went a little downhill after that when all the dwarfs join Smaug and Bilbo because it felt like nobody was at risk despite the giant dragon trying to kill them.

    Overall, I think it´s time to accept The Hobbit has always been a lighter story and that it is here to be enjoyed without getting emotionally involved like it happened to everybody with Frodo, Sam and the whole TLOTR trilogy. This time the director got it right and was entertaining and stunning offering so I give this a strong 7.5 (I gave the first Hobbit a 6 out of 10).
  67. Jan 7, 2014
    Jackson certainly endeavoured to outdo himself and he succeeded in at least the visual department, with both the visual effects and set design. The photography was breathtaking, suggesting the same sense of wilderness audience must be familiar with if they have seen Lord of the Rings.

    The bad blood between dwarves and elves is further explored. Thorin Oakenshield, Bilbo Baggins and
    Gandalf remain the main characters. The rest of the dwarf company also come in handy. At other times they goof around and keep the mood from turning gloomy. The orcs are more fierce enemies than just being the cannon fodder. The aura of incorruption around the elves is lifted when they behave in quite an ordinary and unnoble way. One new character I felt like should have been given a bigger role than the ones which were was Beorn. We follow three gradually diverging narratives_ Gandalf's search for the Necromancer, Bilbo's and the dwarves' journey through Mirkwood and beyond, and Legolas's and Tauriel's adventures.

    The visual effects were stunningly beautiful. The creatures depicted, such as the horde of gigantic spiders and the orc leaders, were better done than the ones in the sister franchise. Azog and his son Bolg are the first time a sense of family has been associated with orcs. I especially liked the scenes with the Necromancer and the dwarves' predicament in the forest. Smaug is the best dragon I've seen anywhere on film and tv, and his scenes with the sea of gold in a cave projected a scope out of this world. New places, like the town of Esgaroth, the ruins of Dol Guldur and Mirkwood were created in CGI but looked authentic. The fighting scenes were thrilling and enduring.

    New characters joined the plot whenever the existing ones ran into trouble they couldn't find their way out of. Lord of the Rings did that only in the first instalment, and those characters remained important, like Aragorn and his buddies, and their quest remained relevant and sometimes became more important. Here, Legolas just walks into the film and so does Bard, conveniently at times when the dwarves most needed them, and their stories become central for no apparent reason. Legolas should have only been included if his interaction with the company and his impact on the narrative had been so essential to the onward flow of the plot that had he been removed the story would have crumbled. His inclusion was just a fan service. The natural growth of a story to include these characters was not visible, and their stories were irrelevant. This is a sign of weak storytelling. I guess this could be argued for against Lord of the Rings too but at least it didn't claim to follow only Frodo.

    Lord of the Rings was a tale that you felt about and cared for. Maybe it was because of the fact that the visual effects did not outshine the indomitable strength of the narrative and its emotional impact. The Hobbit series may not be memorable, or it may be but only because of Jackson's attachment, for quite frankly it was a show-off of the advancements of visual effects. Maybe if they had stuck with the decision to make only two films there would have been more enduring scenes at regular intervals instead of empty action gimmicks presented with nothing at risk. No character's life is ever seriously threatened. While that rang true to some extent for the second and third instalments of the Lord of the Rings, here not one character sacrifices his life for the benefit of others, even with a ridiculously large fire-breathing dragon as their adversary. For this reason I feel The Hobbit series is in the same vein as Pirates of the Caribbean franchise.

    The stakes skyrocketed after Smaug comes onscreen, and the film improved manyfold, but unfortunately it takes two hours to reach him. While the Lord of the Rings was distinguished with Gollum's entry in The Two Towers, this time it was Smaug who allured and amazed and fascinated. One more film franchise rescued by Benedict Cumberbatch. His voice was haunting.

    Legolas seemed like a different character. He's haughty, disrespectful and reckless, and occasionally needs saving. I explained this development by observing that he was young back then. He engages in sword duels when there really is no need for it. His fighting skills in LotR was effective in that he doesn't feel the need to showcase his abilities and only does what is necessary to kill his opponents with the least amount of energy and with a view to overcome the odds of the orcs pitted against him.

    The movie tended to drag before the tempo being picked up again by the action sequences. What they did better was the start and finsish of the film, which were promising and spiked interest immediately. It felt like an amalgamation of some very great scenes which when brought together didn't really help either Bilbo and his ring story or the main story about the dwarves' kingdom. This movie only roused my wonder with the visuals but had absolutely no impact on my emotions.
  68. Jan 6, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I just cannot believe the downplaying of major characters, their complete omission in some cases and the addition of some of Peter Jackson's own invention. HE DID NOT WRITE THESE BOOKS! Therefore he has NO RIGHT to change them in this manner. Pivotal storyline changed and the timeline all screwed up! There's some 40 years between The Hobbit and LotR, this is establishing a much shorter timeline. I don't want to put spoilers in but seriously, he has destroyed Tolkeins legacy with this. Bilbo is as all Hobbits a innocent, that's why he DOES NOT keep the ring hidden. Gandalf suspects but until he investigates, he does not know for sure and Bilbo DOES NOT LIE!!!!! Beorn had such a great role in the book, but thanks to PJ, he's just an illtempered giant, Im surprised he left him in at all. And the Barrel scene!?!?! OMG, can you be setting up the next water park ride for that stupid village in NZ? The leap of faith is the fantasy world itself, but the aim of those barrels....SHEESH, I haven't seen aim like that since Liam shot every exploding barrel in France in "Taken", And this Michael Bay non stop CGI action?!?!?!?! WTF!!!!!! The last movie was Harry Potter, this one is Transformers. The Hobbit DID NOT get the Peter Jackson who did LotR, it got the King Kong crap artist! I apologize for the spoilers and the anger, but seriously, I am a huge fan of the books and a man spent his entire life sweating every detail of his world. This is not homage, this is pissing on his grave! Expand
  69. Jan 6, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Another year, another average, empty, shallow and lite Hobbit film. The real problem is that the story of The Hobbit is simply too little to pad out into three 2 hour plus films. With the Lord of the Rings, there was too much story, and much of it had to be slimmed down (which wasn't necessarily a bad thing) for the three films. With The Hobbit, there simply isn't enough story. The Desolation of Smaug is somewhat better than the first film, but only because this one appears to have a point to it. I really wish that del Toro had directed these ones, as I think he would have done it much better than Jackson is capable of. Expand
  70. Jan 6, 2014
    Severely lacks the more grounded approach taken in the original trilogy. To make decent films, they had to cut alot of the books material out to make the first trilogy as good as it was.

    In that vein they should have taken the same approach to things like the barrels scene in desolation, which was laughable.

    The original trilogy had a decent and grounded mix of special effects and
    live action scenes, but the hobbit has pushed it too far into the special effects camp and looks more like a video game.

    I didn't want to say this after the first Hobbit film, but this is turning into the fiasco equal only to the Star Wars prequels.

    It's not quite as bad, but getting close.
  71. Jan 6, 2014
    Some of the spectacle and action sequences are amongst the best that I've seen, with the barrel sequence being my own particular favorite

    The introduction of Tauriel was good (I didn't know she wasn't in the book until an outraged fan told me..), although the love interest felt a bit forced and Orlando Bloom appeared to be trying to act the part only using his eyebrows and an offended

    The narrative feels clunky and stretched to the point of breaking with some scenes feeling really baggy
  72. Jan 6, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. What an amazing movie! Just as good as the first one! In my opinion The Hobbit series is on par with The Lord of the Rings series- they are just quite different, and people need to realize that. I will not say it was an improvement over An Unexpected Journey because I loved the hell out of that movie, but this one's just as good.
    First of all, the acting was brilliant. Martin Freeman again creates a mesmerizing Bilbo- a very believable character (he isn't a master swordsman as soon as he picks up a sword, and he relies on his wits more than his brawn), and his wit and humour really add some heart to the movie. His subtle, slightly humorous reactions to Smaug waking up are great! His funny little mannerisms and facial expressions and hand gestures really give his character a sense of uniqueness among the other hobbits we've seen. Also, his relationship with Thorin is very well handled, although the best of it will be seen in There and Back Again. Speaking of Thorin, Richard Armitage gives a truly magnificent performance. The right balance of determination, arrogance, and charisma. Thorin is a much darker, more complex character than Aragorn from The Lord of the Rings, and you can really see his arrogance and greed taking over his being once he reaches Erebor, and just the slightest hint of madness (the scene where he holds Bilbo at sword point), which will come into play more in the third movie.
    In regards to Ian McKellan's Gandalf, we really didn't see much of him, but he was as amazing as ever, and his duel with Sauron was incredible!
    As for the dwarves, it is Ken Stott and Aidan Turner who shine this time, and much to my displeasure James Nesbitt's Bofur falls to the background a bit (but he still has his moments- "Bless my beard, is that the time!"). Stott creates a very memorable Balin, bringing depth, kindness, and heart to his role. Aidan Turner was great as the young, dashing Kili, and his hero moment at the river scene was very well done. Some of the other dwarves fall into the background a bit, but Dwalin, Bofur, Fili, and Gloin all are given some time to shine.
    As for the new characters in this movie, they were all excellent and well integrate into the story. Mikael Persbrandt had a short but memorable role as the Skin-changer Beorn, and his performance was very powerful (and he had a really epic Swedish accent). Lee Pace was excellent as Thranduil, who is a very interesting character. Pace provides regal arrogance and a slight unsettlingness to the character, and his scene with Thorin was very powerful. Orlando Bloom is back as Legolas, and this time he provides more three-dimensional acting, as his personality and personal life are fleshed out more here, and we get to see a meaner side to him as well as a softer side. And his fight with Bolg at the end was badass! Tauriel, as played by Evangeline Lilly, was a very good addition to the story. Her character was even more interesting and in depth than I thought before the movie came out, and she was acted very well by Lilly. The romantic subplot with Kili was very well handled and not over done. She is a very interesting character- curious about dwarves, determined, and sticking up for what is right (which means going against her king). In Lake-town we are introduced to Bard and his family, and Luke Evans did a great job as the "Robin Hood of Middle-earth." His family was a nice touch and makes the audience care more for him and adds depth to his character. We also meet the Master of Lake-town and his conniving servant, Alfrid, played by Stephen Fry and Ryan Gage respectively. Both were very good characters. Stephen Fry was hamming it up as the sleazy master, and he was a joy to watch.
    And now on to Smaug. What can I say besides that he was the best dragon, cgi character, and villain ever to hit the screens! Perfect vocal and motion capture performance from Benedict Cumberbatch, seamless visual effects by WETA, and some great dialogue. The scene with him and Bilbo was one of the best scenes I've seen in a very long time! Freeman and Cumberbatch were great together. His epic fight with the dwarves was great too.
    The writing in this movie was very good. I thought each character was developed enough, and the side subplots, like Gandalf's investigation of Dol Guldor and the Kili/Tauriel sublot, were woven into the story smoothly. Also, the decision to split up the company was one of PJ's best deviations from the book.
    The visual effects, costumes, makeup, and art direction were flawless as usual- no point going into details there. But they were truly top notch. The score was also amazing (I particularly like Tauriel's, Smaug's, Thranduil's, and Lake-town's themes). Howard Shore is a genius.
    Special mention should be made to the Barrel scene. It was awesome- the best action scene of 2013 for sure! Legolas and Tauriel were badass, and Bombur's orc-anihilating barrel run was hilarious and epic at the same time!
    All in all, this movie was perfect!
  73. Jan 5, 2014
    After the disappointing borefest that was the first hobbit movie I was really hoping for a big improvement in the second. Unfortunately it is more of the same, long winded drawn out scenes, lots of extra embellishments that weren't in the book and DEFINITELY weren't needed in the movie. They seem to be desperately padding these movies to make what should have been a single long movie into 3 hideously overdone movies. I guess it is all about money now and not quality. Expand
  74. Jan 5, 2014
    this movie disappointed me so catastrophically that have no desire to see the last part of this series, I can not believe that even the special effects did not fill me, the story was poor, regular performances.
    The truth I'm giving you three because still rules the ghost of Lord of the Rings.
  75. Jan 5, 2014
    The most dissapointing film of 2013. Jackson has completely mangled the books. The original core (a children's book about Bilbo finding his inner Took) has been dumbed down to an action film. Don't get me wrong, the film is extremely well filmed and it's Middle Earth in all its glory, but it's not 'The Hobbit'. Where Jackson would leave out or alter minor details in the original Lord of the Rings trilogy, he's added extra, unnecessary details. Legolas wasn't in the book and neither was Tauriel, not to mention Azog. He has even added material from the Appendix of the Return of the King! The film should have been ONE film without any added details rather than 3 films that are way too full of unnecessary details. The film could be a lot of fun for people that have no idea what the original book is about, but for people that read the book it's a huge dissapointment. I don't think I'll go to the third film, as I can't bear to see what Jackson will turn the Battle of the Five Armies to. Sorry Jackson, but you messed up big time with The Hobbit pt2. If you enjoy an action film that has the likes of Middle Earth, this is for you. If you like the lore and any backstory whatsoever, stay away from this abomination. Expand
  76. Jan 4, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. One of the most painfully boring movies I've seen in quite a while. So unlike the Lord of the Rings trilogy, which I enjoyed.

    And the kicker was the ending with the most blatant hint of a sequel. If it hadn't been "at the movies." I would have thought it was a commercial break.
  77. Jan 3, 2014
    The various scenery, 3d effects and direction of action scenes are great but the story is an inconsistent mixture of action, drama and comedy which lasts too long. Also, the characters keep making illogical decisions, there is no sense of danger for anyone of them and Smaug behaves like an idiot.
  78. Jan 3, 2014
    Because I enjoyed the LotR trilogy so much its hard for me not to compare this move to it. that being said I have a few issues with this movie

    My first problem is one I have with many other movies that are being made. The over use of CGI. The lord of the rings spent the extra money to get people dressed as orcs in big battle scenes. the CGI was done very well and It all felt somewhat
    real. That is quite the opposite for the hobbit. For example, there is a scene where the dwarves are in barrels going down a river trying to escape from orcs while Legolas is massacring the orcs. The CGI is so heave that there is no realism. Legolas' character looks terrible imo. The scene was intertaining, but no where near as good at what I saw in LotR.

    My other problem is the final scene. It went from intense action to....nothing. It felt like the scene was cut in half and left us with a giant cliff hanger. The second half of the scene will be the start of the next movie, which sucks.

    I can't say I didn't enjoy this movie. The fights were decent, despite the CGI madness. The acting was amazing. My favorite dialogue was with Smaug. Overall I would recommend this movie to everyone, as long as they don't mind CGI.
  79. Jan 3, 2014
    Enjoyed the first film, loved the second & looking forward to the third despite it being another 12 months away! A fun, action packed film for all the family.
  80. Jan 3, 2014
    I was one of the people who really enjoyed the first Hobbit movie, as opposed to a majority of critics who saw Peter Jackson's return to Middle-Earth as long and poorly paced. I, on the other hand, enjoyed the new protagonist. Bilbo was an awesome character who, unlike Frodo, went through a noticeable change in character, was extremely useful to his group, and had a memorable personality from one of Hollywood's finest actors (Martin Freeman). That being said, I find it ironic that opinions are completely reversed in the Desolation of Smaug. Critics appreciate this film more, while I believe it lost the magic of the original. Bilbo has already underwent his transformation into a heroic Hobbit, thereby leaving him as merely a side-note on the quest of the dwarves to reclaim their homeland from Smaug the dragon. There are so many new additions that don't work (an awkward love triangle between Legolas, another elf, and one of the dwarves) that it seems silly that the movie even be called The Hobbit at all. It really should be called "The Reclamation of Erebor: The Quest of the Dwarves, Two Elves, Gandalf, and...Oh Yeah, There Was a Hobbit Somewhere in There." Bilbo's story is really lost in this movie beneath nauseating action sequences (I still don't enjoy the camerawork in the film) and a boatload of side characters who serve typically one purpose and have little to invest in. Beorn, one of my favorite characters in the novel, is seen for all of three minutes in this film and is never truly fleshed out. Despite all this, I did enjoy the movie for a few reasons. First, while the action sequences did make my head spin, there are some incredible moments. The barrel riding scene is one of the coolest fights I've seen on the big screen in a long while. In addition, there are some exceptions to the list of boring new characters, including Bard, who is torn between aiding new friends to saving his hometown from inevitable destruction. Also, the path of Thorin and his doubts as he tries to reclaim the throne is always entertaining to see. However, Desolation of Smaug is more sparkle than substance, and is nowhere near as entertaining as the original film. Too many unnecessary additions mask the true stars of the movie, and an added emphasis of action over storytelling makes Bilbo's second romp through Middle Earth more of a misfire than a stellar sequel.

  81. Jan 2, 2014
    Fantastical to say the least! Thoroughly enjoyed this epic story come to life. In fact, never wanted it to end as it was a tour de force of story, sound and imagery. One for the cinema and will lose its luster at home.
  82. Jan 2, 2014
    Well, I have to say that this movie was better than the last one, but stills very bad if you compare it with The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy; I think Peter Jackson is doing an excellent work with the Tolkien's novel, but no good enough.
  83. Jan 2, 2014
    I loved this movie and can't wait for it to come out on disc as well as the next one in the series! Great job. I hope it is better than the next one is even better. Please don't let us down. Make it the best.
  84. Jan 2, 2014
    The thing that grabs and holds you is the rich visuals. My eyes were in ecstasy! Such detail goes into these worlds. Its quite a trip. This should be enjoyed in IMAX 3D if you can. Its worth the extra cost. Do not see if you are afraid of heights. There are so many precarious walkways and stairs without railings that span bottomless pits and gorges you just may find yourself clutching your armrests a little too tightly. The sense if enormous scale is wonderful. I wondered how it would compare to the LOTR series and its different but still good. Plenty of new action like the entertaining barrel escape sequence, great acting, cool special FX. Awesome set pieces. Some things are familiar Orcs are effortlessly dispatched in a thousand bloodless ways by sweatless elves. Some things are worth the price of admission like the deliciously evil and infinitely powerful Smaug. The ending will leave you wanting more even disappointingly so. Expand
  85. Jan 2, 2014
    Great just great! After almost 3 hours this movie has you wanting to see more. I could have sat through another 3 hours easily. Can't wait for the next!
  86. Jan 2, 2014
    I'm a big LOTR fan and thought the first Hobbit was OK typical visual candy and decent story but TDOS really took the story to another extraordinary level. The last 30 minutes of this movie blew my friggin mind. I've never seen a movie that so seamlessly integrated mind-bending effects so effectively. Talking dragons? Really? It works. Seriously
  87. Jan 2, 2014
    It mostly has the same problems as the first, such as repetitive action, goofy acting sequences, etc. But the 2nd Hobbit is still a better experience than the first.

    The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug gets a 7.3/10
  88. Jan 1, 2014
    This film was really disappointing. Half way in I was wishing for it to be over and had to sit for a further 1 and a 1/2 hours till it ended...It should have been 2 hours long max.

    The special effects were bordering on terrible at times and the CGI creatures were very unconvincing and cartoon-like.
    Then there is all the tacked on stuff that wasn't in the book, which probably accounts
    for the unnecessary extra hour of the film.

    It wasn't a 'bad' film, but it was very over-long and drawn out, and the visual effects were the least impressive that I have seen in a long time. Hard to recommend...and this is coming from someone that loved the LOTR trilogy.

    I'd say watch it on DVD when it comes out, that way you can take it in pieces and not have to sit for nearly 3 hours in a cinema. That's is how I watched the first Hobbit movie and I don't remember it being bad, but if I had to sit through it all in one sitting, my opinion might have been different.
  89. Jan 1, 2014
    It feels like just yesterday I was mulling at my disappointment with ‘An Unexpected Journey’ and its fall from the graces of ‘The Lord of the Rings Trilogy’; however has Peter Jackson got back his mojo? Probably not; but I must say this was quite improvement and it seems as if he’s striving to return to the glory of the first trilogy. ‘The Desolation of Smaug’ was an exciting "little" epic and it feels much more purposeful than the first film. The story continues with the band of dwarves on their journey to reclaim the Misty Mountain, which was overrun by the vain and cruel Dragon named, Smaug (perfectly voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch). Of course, along the way, they encounter a great deal of danger which... of course, was engineered to the finest degree. The action sequences did run for too long in many instances, but they were creatively staged; and Jackson and his legions visual effects specialists continue their win streak in this department. One aspect that falls utterly short was the length and enormity of the film; which doesn't match the scope of the relatively small story. A sentiment I also expressed with the first installment, though to a lesser degree, here. This time around the film was filled with too many neat gimmicks (take Legolas’ inclusion as an example) and uninspired subplots, such as the Elven-Dwarf love triangle. Thankfully these stumbles did not do much damage to the main story line, which is setting up dominoes for an epic conclusion, but they do highlight flaws in the screenwriting department. These things aside, ‘The Desolation of Smaug’ was an entertaining, visually appetizing film; that should please fans of the original trilogy and newer followers, if even solely for its pure level of charm. Expand
  90. Dec 31, 2013
    Really good movie. It added parts that where humorous. The visuals where amazing and Legolas making an apearence really was cool being that he is the best elf ever. The acting was terrific and smaug was as terrifying as in the books
  91. Dec 31, 2013
    Ho Hum...beautiful scenery. Love the looks of the film. The River scene was visual fun...but became a long ride of the same water and barrels and ugly dudes...and whimsical dwarves. Love looking at Orlando Bloom....and the gold Smaug is the ultimate collectors item...but the end came as a shock. The cave of treasure has been revisited way too many times in movies...overall the movie was well filmed and colored and extremely scenic...but Ho Hum...I am off to see the wizard...! Expand
  92. Dec 31, 2013
    This second part of The Hobbit trilogy went on more of an action take than its predecessor, where as the first part focused more on character development. The Desolation of Smaug may have taken some liberties and strayed a bit from the book, but it still is an enjoyable movie to watch.
  93. Dec 31, 2013
    I can safely classify The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug as an action movie. And that's about the biggest insult I can give it. Neither The first Hobbit, or the Lord of the Rings trilogy had its focus on action, but rather on characterisation. This added to the action scenes, because you truly cared about the characters, and therefore the outcome of the fight. It was somewhat of a drag to sit through this because the meaningful experience that I expect from Jackson was non-existent in this movie, and I seriously hope the final installment to The Hobbit returns to its roots. Expand
  94. Dec 30, 2013
    An honest opinion from an average Joe who is no LoTR fan-boy. I honestly thought this movie was one of the best I've seen this year. Aside from some ridiculous elven gymnastics it was very entertaining, didn't seem overly long, and set up everything well for the finale. I look forward to the holiday season next year to finish this thing off. My three young children enjoyed this movie greatly as well. They all actually sat quietly and watched it without whining for snacks or bathroom escorts. Solid 9. Expand
  95. Dec 30, 2013
    full of fighting scene and good story indeed.The story,the backgrounds,the scenes,the pictures are all almost perfect.Pull us into the soul of the film and bring us deeply to feel every moments in it.Every second drives usd to more excitement.Unexpected that will be as good as it.Simply,the exposition in this film is perfect.The desolator of other films in 2013!
  96. Dec 30, 2013
    We love the story extension. It is a great combination of Lord of the rings and the Hobbit books!
    OK, Orks looks a bit different (stronger) than in LOTR. but this is OK.
  97. Dec 30, 2013
    The second movie in Peter Jackson's epic trilogy has arrived, which started off with the impressive An Unexpected Journey, so far it's consistent.
    While it did get a positive reaction overall the main problem most people had with An Unexpected Journey was how slow moving it was and the lack of action. This definitely improves on that, instead of spending 45 minutes eating fine dairy
    products and washing up pots you go straight into the action. I would just prefer it if the action wasn't so brainless and cartoon like, I have been trying to avoid saying this but it would benefit from being more like the Lord of the Rings. The dwarves and Bilbo attempting to take down Smaug in the climax reminds me of a Tom and Jerry episode I once watched. However all of the actors give respectable performances even if some of their lines can be cheesy. Martin Freeman is more than respectable as the title character Bilbo Baggins (the Hobbit), possibly even more impressive than in the previous instalment. But the most memorable by far is Benedict Cumberbatch (Sherlock Holmes) doing some brilliant voice acting as the trilogies main villain Smaug the dragon. It's just a shame that I was reminded of one of the clichéd Bond villains who doesn't kill its main threat even when they have a good chance at success. Brilliant CGI for Smaug and his lair though. Everyone got pissed off with Peter Jackson after the first movie was (in short) boring, and the movie nerd outrage this time is that there is a love triangle between 2 elves and a dwarf. To be honest it didn't bother me, actually I did for the first 2 hours when I thought it was utterly pointless and only in the movie to make it longer. Then a very emotional and moving speech is made by a dying dwarf which totally redeems it all. Some may find it forced and dismiss it as clichéd, but I enjoyed it and found it to be the highlight of the movie.
    Not as good as the first movie despite being much more exciting and having the first appearance of the slightly disappointing Smaug. Worth watching if you liked the first movie, if you hated it this one will be just as bad.
  98. Dec 30, 2013
    At the end of the first movie, Peter Jackson had me believing he could successfully stretch this story into a trilogy. After watching this one, I can say he has failed. He should have made this film an hour shorter and ended it in the same place or kept the same length and wrapped up the series in two movies. As it stands, the Desolation of Smaug feels like butter scraped over too much bread.

    This one is long, boring and inserts many pointless scenes not found in the novel. I thought just about everything Jackson inserted into the LotR movies was brilliant and appropriate for a film adaptation. Not so, here. There are a lot of strange decisions.

    First of all, the journey through Mirkwood, one of the most memorable parts of the novel is breezed through in about ten minutes with much of its story cut out or altered. And in a departure from Jackson’s other Tolkien movies, how he depicts Mirkwood does not at all match how I had envisioned it.

    Then there is too much time spent attempting to develop a romance between Kili the dwarf & the invented female elf character so Bilbo’s rescue of the dwarves feels rushed. We get to the barrel scene, which is fun but goes on too long (like the movie itself). I got quite tired of the orc pack continually hunting the group, especially all the way to Lake Town. They introduced the Pale Orc to give some backstory to this guy who is hunting Thorin, they have this pack of orcs continually chasing the dwarves & Bilbo, but now they are being led by…another pale orc? It was an interesting plot device in the first film but in the second I think the focus needs to firmly shift to the dwarves & Smaug.

    To that end, there is far too much discussion of Sauron going on. Little references such as the first film had are fine but so many people talk about Sauron so often in this one that it loses its grip on what the main story is. A dark power is rising somewhere to the East, you say? Uh, yeah. I know. I already watched three very long films all about that very subject. And how is this going to end where all of these people know Sauron is “preparing for war” but 60 years later (in Fellowship) Gandalf is leisurely attending Bilbo’s birthday party and is caught off guard by his return?

    I had hoped Jackson would develop the character of the Necromancer more since he is only vaguely referenced in the novel. I won’t spoil the details of how this plays out, but let’s just say it was unsatisfying and further muddies the waters of what the main story is.

    A few more disappointments: the decision to have several dwarves left in Lake town is quite odd. An excuse to show yet more elf stuff with Legolas and whats-her-name, I suppose, but I had my fill of that during the barrel chase scene (not to mention the first three LotR movies). Bilbo all but completely disappears for the very long middle part of the film, too. You almost forget about him entirely until the party reaches the door on the mountain. And the whole chase through Erebor was a silly waste of time that, once again, did not happen in the novel. I half expected to hear the Benny Hill theme music start playing.

    There are some things the film does right, most notably the scene of Bilbo entering Erabor alone and climbing on the massive piles of treasure and his initial confrontation with Smaug. Like the other high points of the film, though, it takes a sour turn before long. You’ll quickly grow tired of the environment between Bilbo’s extended “I can almost reach the Arkenstone…aw, I missed it again!” sequence and the mindless chase through the halls after that.

    Which brings me to the terrible, atrocious ending. Again, I won’t spoil anything other than to say it’s the most shameless hook for a sequel setup since the Matrix Reloaded.

    Overall the Desolation of Smaug is a film with an incredibly short attention span that seems intent on reminding you about Jackson’s LotR movies instead of standing on its own. If characters aren’t breathlessly whispering about Sauron and dropping leaden references to a coming war, Legolas is flitting about like he did in the other trilogy. We even had to revisit the town of Bree and the Prancing Pony in this film, for goodness sake. So my initial instinct was correct: there is simply not enough in the story of the Hobbit to warrant three movies. Hopefully the third will be much better and henceforth I’ll just skip the second if I ever rewatch the series. I cannot imagine willingly watching the Desolation of Smaug again and become somewhat queasy at the thought of a special, extended version of it.
  99. Dec 29, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Desolation of Smaug picks up where its slow predecessor left off right after Bilbo discovers the Ring, and right before Thorin and company reach Erebor, the land of their forefathers.The Desolation of Smaug has been long anticipated by many this year and, in many regards, it did not disappoint fans worldwide. Yet, despite its domination in the box office, thrilling premise and great reviews, The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug brought to light several aspects of The Hobbit franchise that remain lacking and rather disappointing for die-hard Lord of the Rings fans, such as myself.

    As the story picks up, it grows steadily darker much like The Lord of the Rings franchise (from The Fellowship of the Ring all the way to Return of the King) and this is carefully and perfectly approached by Jackson, so that we're not completely overwhelmed by it, but can appreciate its implementation in the grander scheme of things. Overall, it was a fantastic and incredibly entertaining film.

    As for acting... these actors are perfect matches for the roles that they take on. Namely, however, Martin Freeman's performance as the clueless and yet surprisingly courageous Bilbo Baggins is, once again, absolutely astounding he practically carried the film in this regard. If one hadn't seen him in any of his previous work ranging from the UK's The Office to BBC's smash hit, Sherlock they would assume that he was born for this role. No one else would have been able to play the surprisingly layered Bilbo with such sincerity. He was not only hilarious (he somehow made the scene with Smaug as laughable as it was terrifying), but captivating every time he was on the screen, I simply could not tear my eyes away from him! And his moments with the Ring sent uncomfortable shivers up my spine ("MINE").

    The film's crowning glory, however, was undoubtedly the scene all Lord of the Rings fans have been waiting for the unveiling of Smaug the Terrible, self proclaimed "King Under the Mountain." Whoever designed, animated and rendered Smaug should be given a cookie every day for existing, and I'd like to thank Peter and company for keeping the design a secret before the premiere seeing Smaug for the first time was simply breathtaking. That, combined with the sultry and devilishly articulate voice of one Benedict Cumberbatch, created an adversary that was as "cool" as it was simply terrifying. The chilling game of words played between Smaug and Bilbo had me on the edge of my seat for the entire ride.

    The problem with The Hobbit franchise, therefore, isn't the story or the filmmaking or the acting; it's the way that the story is being approached. Lord of the Rings fans will recall the incredible, epic sagas that each of the original three films would bring near four hours of nonstop excitement, twists and character development, all leading up to the pivotal scene at Mordor. Yet, The Hobbit isn't an epic saga, nor should it be approached as one it's the story of one unassuming hobbit who joins a company of dwarfs to reclaim their homeland and slay a dragon. A to B; point blank and simple no ring to destroy and Middle Earth to save. Somehow, Peter Jackson tried to take on the entire alphabet, while moseying past more than a few key letters and relying more on action and CGI (where did the REAL men dressed up like the baddies go?) than the base story.

    Most upsetting was how the characters were approached. The characters are what's key to the plot of The Hobbit or any Tolkien work, for that matter and they're crucial to the telling of any half-decent story. However, while I could name off any Lord of the Rings character and give you my opinion on them, I hardly know any of the dwarfs by name, and I never really get to see anyone's personal journey as the story progresses in any detail, anyway. Bilbo and the dwarfs are sometimes passed up in favor of thrilling (and completely unrealistic) action sequences though, while exciting, really didn't do anything for me at the end of the day.

    I stand by my opinion that three films is far too much movie to be had for Bilbo and his dwarfish companions. One long, four-hour film (or maybe two films, as was the original plan) would have been perfectly suited to tackle this story in a proper way.

    That being said, creative differences with Jackson and his team didn't stop me from seeing The Hobbit twice in a weekend, and do not take away from the film being one of the best adventures of the year. The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug definitely trumped its predecessor. The pace picked up, Bilbo finally got his moment to shine as "burglar," and the scene with Smaug was near flawless. It's a "must see" for any movie lover, and especially any fan of Middle Earth!
  100. Dec 29, 2013
    Not as good as the first one I think but still a very solid movie all around. The story, action sequences, comedy, etc was all really good. The one knock against it is that it didn't give me the same "epic" feeling the lord of the rings movies and the first hobbit movie gave me. It didn't seem as grand an adventure as the first one. And I also feel there is too much computer animation which takes away from the realism. In any case I still very much liked it and highly recommend you go see it! Expand

Generally favorable reviews - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 44
  2. Negative: 2 out of 44
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Dec 13, 2013
    Most middle movies in a trilogy simply mark time. Not this one.
  2. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Dec 13, 2013
    Visually stunning.
  3. Reviewed by: Sheila O'Malley
    Dec 13, 2013
    The thematic elements are in place, the emotional tension is highly strung, and the action unfolds in a wave like the fire erupting from the dragon's mouth, overtaking all in its path.