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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 1204 Ratings

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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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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
    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: 46 out of 304
  1. Dec 13, 2013
    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 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 15, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. You can't compare the movie to the book at all, since half of the movie never happened in the book, but there are some scenes that you just can't describe with words!!! The movie in and of itself was awesome except for the cliffhanger ending. If you have no patience wait till next year to buy the 2nd hobbit and watch the third right after. But i still cant wait till next year to see where they're going to go with this different storyline. I wasnt too excited to see a love story mixed in though, but that's just me. Expand
  3. Dec 13, 2013
    The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is Peter Jackson's middle earth, no doubt about it. If you you go into the movie expecting a faithful recreation of the book, I daresay you'll be disappointed. However, having read both the Lord of the Rings trilogy and The Hobbit book, I can assure you that Peter Jackson's middle earth is nothing short of breathtaking, and I find that the his numerous changes are more than justified. Desolation of Smaug offers much improved CGI (when compared to An Unexpected Journey), a soundtrack wrapped in nostalgia, and non-stop action from start to finish. Unlike the first installment in this new trilogy, the Desolation of Smaug feels much more free from the confines of staying true to the book. It really feels like Jackson just had fun making this movie, dotting it with welcome humor and incredible action. Legolas and Tauriel discover the most creative ways to slay orcs, and trust me, everything about their addition is epic and memorable. Without them, a lot of the intensity and uniqueness of the action scenes may have been lost. And then of course you have Smaug, who is undoubtedly the most impressive dragon I have ever witnessed. Ever. And Benedict Cumberbatch's voice only perfects an already astoundingly memorable creation. Smaug is most certainly up there with the best of the best.

    All in all, this film stepped things up so much from the previous installment of the Hobbit trilogy, that I am actually tempted to say it just might compete with the Fellowship of the Ring. In other words, it's really good, and I highly recommend it.
  4. 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. Expand
  5. 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
  6. dtl
    Dec 21, 2013
    Far better than its predecessor in almost every way, DoS is still not a great movie, but it is a great spectacle. I thought the CGI and 3D effect were very well done here, and the few times I particularly noticed the work they did on the sound, it was impressive. Smaug was definitely a highlight for the movie being impressively rendered and voiced in a manner that made him seem very powerful.

    Neither the story nor the characters were a strong point for the movie, but both were executed better than before, and the movie didn't need those aspects to shine for it to be worth watching. If you are interested, watch it. If you aren't interested, you aren't missing much.
  7. Aug 19, 2014
    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 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 304 User Reviews