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Generally favorable reviews - based on 44 Critics What's this?

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7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 1429 Ratings

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  • Summary: Thorin and company have reached Lake-town and it is time for the hobbit Bilbo Baggins to fulfill his contract with the dwarves. The party must complete the journey to Lonely Mountain and burglar Baggins must seek out the Secret Door that will give them access to the hoard of the dragonThorin and company have reached Lake-town and it is time for the hobbit Bilbo Baggins to fulfill his contract with the dwarves. The party must complete the journey to Lonely Mountain and burglar Baggins must seek out the Secret Door that will give them access to the hoard of the dragon Smaug. If Bilbo and the others are able to gain the treasure, will they be able to keep it? And will they discover what has become of the wizard Gandalf? Collapse
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 44
  2. Negative: 2 out of 44
  1. Reviewed by: Nick de Semlyen
    Dec 6, 2013
    100
    Middle-earth's got its mojo back. A huge improvement on the previous installment, this takes our adventurers into uncharted territory and delivers spectacle by the ton.
  2. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Dec 12, 2013
    80
    This is a rip-snorting, barrel-riding adventure movie — perfect for all ages, as they say (though it isn’t for very young kids) — loaded with fast-paced fight scenes, great-looking effects and enjoyable and/or scurrilous supporting characters.
  3. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Dec 11, 2013
    78
    The Desolation of Smaug is, on the whole, a vast improvement over The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. It’s a popcorn movie (in the best sense) disguised as deep-core nerdism.
  4. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Dec 6, 2013
    70
    After exhibiting an almost craven fidelity to his source material the first time out, Jackson gets the drama in gear here from the outset with a sense of storytelling that possesses palpable energy and purpose.
  5. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Dec 12, 2013
    63
    But, oh, that dragon. I'd endure another slog through Middle-Earth just to spend more time with Smaug.
  6. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    Dec 11, 2013
    60
    It’s hard to fight the feeling that The Hobbit simply isn’t an epic story, and the efforts to expand it into one leave it feeling like an anvil crammed into a sock: The sock is taking on some weird shapes, and it’s being stretched awfully thin.
  7. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Dec 12, 2013
    25
    Results are all that matter, and the result here is that The Desolation of Smaug fails in almost every way, as a story, as an adventure, as a piece of art direction and as a visual spectacle.

See all 44 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 48 out of 330
  1. Dec 13, 2013
    10
    Enjoyed it thoroughly. Much better than the first one, it's not as action based as the LOTR series but that's not a bad thing. It sets its ownEnjoyed it thoroughly. Much better than the first one, it's not as action based as the LOTR series but that's not a bad thing. It sets its own pace and is more "adventurey". Makes me laugh where needed and was just a ton of fun to go for at launch night. Expand
  2. Dec 25, 2013
    10
    Hit or miss for many people. However, users claiming the movie will not be enjoyable if you're a fan of the original LOTR trilogy areHit or miss for many people. However, users claiming the movie will not be enjoyable if you're a fan of the original LOTR trilogy are basically 100% wrong. When did movie watching become a job for people to then criticize to death a person's movie for "flaws" that they perceived? Where is the objective criticism? Enjoy the movie for what it is people.

    The acting is great. The CGI is great and, yes, there is a lot of it but I fail to see how this is a bad thing, especially when done so well! The characterization is far better than the first movie and the only aspect that seemed a little unnecessary is the relationship between Tauriel and Kili but it doesn't detract from the movie whatsoever. I've simply come to believe people make it their mission to nit-pick movies. Nevertheless, it is a nearly 3 hour movie that is worth the price of admission, to at least experience or distract yourself with during your free time, more so than the hour and a half movies the industry favors nowadays.
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  3. Dec 16, 2013
    9
    Again Peter Jackson has managed to impress me. Firstly, a few niggles that I want to get off my chest. I keep seeing reviewers comparing theAgain Peter Jackson has managed to impress me. Firstly, a few niggles that I want to get off my chest. I keep seeing reviewers comparing the Hobbit trilogy with the Lord of the Rings. While this is logically understandable, it should by no means factor into the Hobbit trilogy reviews. Why? Because firstly the Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings have two distinctly different feels to them, both in terms of the movies and the books. The Hobbit is supposed to be more colorful, fantasy orientated and vivid than the later more darker Lord of the Rings. And so it is saddening to see that people use the Lord of the Rings, despite the stark contrast in the concepts, as a benchmark/basis to justify low ratings.

    Which is why when I entered the cinema, and just as I sat down now to review this movie I try to dispel all the bias and judgments that may affect me beforehand. The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug was more exciting, action packed and energetic when compared to the first film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. While the first film served to introduce the characters, set the pace of the film and slowly familarise the audience; it was expected that TDoS (The Desolation of Smaug) would quicken the tempo and pace, and by God it did just that! Fans of the first film will enjoy and welcome the countless fight scenes that are magical, well choreographed and don't feel over the top. If I had to pick one aspect of the film that I would of liked more, I probably would have liked to have seen more comical moments. Again, it is understandable why there were fewer comical laughs than the first film; mainly because of the quicker pace of the film, and the darker subplot; which meant that an excess of comedy would have made the sense of urgency prevalent throughout the film seem unrealistic.

    Benedict Cumberbatch as the voice of Smaug was brilliant. Sinister, yet somehow I found myself sympathising with the dragon when he retold his version of events that led to him occupying the Lonely Mountain.

    While the first film lacks action and pace, it ultimately reinforces the need for character introduction. While the second film lacks the slower pace of the first film, it is squashed by the sheer speed of which this film moves at. Even the introduction to the movie, felt as though a sense of urgency was needed. Again, this is not a negative considering the fact the film is based through the middle/second half of the book.

    Overall, brilliant film, didn't lose its way.... Slower in some scenes, but not necessary a bad aspect!

    9/10.
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  4. Jan 7, 2014
    8
    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 theCan´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).
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  5. Jan 15, 2014
    7
    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. ThereThe 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.
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  6. Feb 6, 2014
    6
    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,
    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.
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  7. Aug 19, 2014
    0
    This movie totally sucks, even more than the first installment. I've sued Jackson for wasting nearly 3 hours of my life that I will never getThis movie totally sucks, even more than the first installment. I've sued Jackson for wasting nearly 3 hours of my life that I will never get back. I demanded monetary compensation for the severe mental abuse OR Jackson incarcerated for crimes against humanity. I haven't even read the books and still could tell after 20 minutes there is no way this travesty is anywhere close to the source material by Tolkien. The plot is laughable at best, those action sequences are ludicrous. Most insane one being some blond dyke standing on the heads of two dwarfs going down a raging river and shooting endless volleys towards running Orcs and taking them out with a cruise missile like precision. Seeing so many people still enjoying such utter garbage, convinces me there is no hope whatsoever for this civilization. May God have mercy on our souls, we are doomed! Expand

See all 330 User Reviews