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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Adventure . Fantasy

The Dwarves, Bilbo and Gandalf have successfully escaped the Misty Mountains, and Bilbo has gained the One Ring. They all continue their journey to get their gold back from the Dragon, Smaug.

Actors: Martin Freeman , Ian McKellen , Richard Armitage , Ken Stott , Graham McTavish , William Kircher , James Nesbitt , Stephen Hunter , Dean O'Gorman , Aidan Turner
Directors: Peter Jackson
Release: 2013-12-13
More Info:
  • Nick de Semlyen

    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.

    Empire Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    Bilbo, as played by Freeman, suggests a sly-dog Dana Carvey without irony, and he is certainly overmatched, but that doesn't mean he's outplayed. Desolation is now his business.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Richard Corliss

    Smaug is different: a really good movie, superior to the first in that it brings its characters to rambunctious life.

    Time Full Review
  • Sheila O'Malley

    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. Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Most middle movies in a trilogy simply mark time. Not this one.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    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. Full Review
  • Keith Uhlich

    By the time the beast spreads his wings to full span, soaring skyward toward a vaguely Spielbergian moon, you’re in the kind of breathless awe that so few current cinematic superproductions are able to provide.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Alan Scherstuhl

    Sure, all the studios offer anymore are big, dumb adventure spectacles, but that's not a knock against the achievement of this one, which at least parades wonders before us, not the least being the greatest dragon in the history of movies.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Matt Maytum

    Despite suffering from middle-act wobbles, The Desolation Of Smaug nevertheless delivers rousing action, incredible visuals and one stupendous dragon.

    Total Film Full Review
  • Peter Bradshaw

    The Desolation of Smaug is a cheerfully entertaining and exhilarating adventure tale, a supercharged Saturday morning picture: it's mysterious and strange and yet Jackson also effortlessly conjures up that genial quality that distinguishes The Hobbit from the more solemn Rings stories.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    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.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Liam Lacey

    The best of The Desolation of Smaug is saved for the last, when Bilbo goes to steal from the massive fire-breathing dragon, Smaug. The orange-eyed beast is voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, who, through a sludge of voice-altering electronics, seethes and preens between fiery exhalations; this scene is one of the few occasions in the film where anyone actually takes time to talk.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    Second verse, same as the first, a little bit shorter and a little less worse.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    That dragon represents the best and worst things about the film. He’s terrifying yet slightly droll.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    At its best, Hobbit 2, which carries the subtitle The Desolation of Smaug, invites comparisons to Jackson's "Lord of the Rings" threesome.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Colette Bancroft

    Never mind the dwarves and elves and wizards — maybe even the hobbit. The star of The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is the dragon.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Michael O'Sullivan

    The second part of Peter Jackson’s “The Hobbit” trilogy goes a long way — and at 2 1/2 hours, I do mean long — toward righting the wrongs of the first movie, which was even longer.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Richard Roeper

    Even though “Smaug” moves at a faster pace than the first part of the journey, it feels overlong. I still feel this whole Hobbit tale could have been told in one great, three-hour movie.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    Look for Jackson’s cameo in the opening, which sets the tone. Call it another visual triumph for New Zealand’s vision of Middle Earth.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    My advice to "Hobbit" fans is not only to see this one, but to see it as I did, in 3-D projected at the normal rate of 24 frames per second. The film will also be shown in what's called High Frame Rate 3-D, at 48 frames a second, but that made the last installment look more like video than a regular movie. Smaug is scary enough without a turbo boost.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Kerry Lengel

    For fantasy fans who have dreamed all their lives of spending time inside Tolkien’s dazzling alternative reality, it’s a ride well worth taking.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Betsy Sharkey

    Jackson's latest go at Tolkien's treasured "Hobbit" story gets closer to that rich alchemy of fantasy, adventure, imagination and emotion that made his "Lord of the Rings" trilogy such a triumph.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    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.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Justin Chang

    This robust, action-packed adventure benefits from a headier sense of forward momentum and a steady stream of 3D-enhanced thrills.

    Variety Full Review
  • Marc Mohan

    Some of the dwarves have nice individual moments, namely Balin (Ken Stott), Bofur (James Nesbitt), and Kili (Aidan Turner), and Gandalf gets to throw some potent magic around at Dol Guldur. But other than that (and the dragon itself), The Desolation of Smaug turns to be more of too much of a good thing.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • A.A. Dowd

    This Hobbit is, in other words, a much more eventful affair than its year-old predecessor. And yet for all the fine spectacle Jackson crams into his lengthy sequel-within-a-prequel, it’s still hard not to mourn the single, self-contained movie that could have been.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    Not only eight minutes shorter than its forebear, it's at least eight minutes better - less twee, less chatty, more action, more Elvish.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    But, oh, that dragon. I'd endure another slog through Middle-Earth just to spend more time with Smaug.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    There are things to like about the second Hobbit film - the director's vision of Middle Earth is as beguiling as ever - but the bloating that was a problem with An Unexpected Journey is an even bigger issue here.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    Visually stunning.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Manohla Dargis

    There are, once again, too many busy, uninterestingly staged battles that lean heavily on obvious, sometimes distracting digital sorcery. But there are also pacific, brooding interludes in which the actors — notably Mr. Freeman, an intensely appealing screen presence — remind you that there’s more to Middle-earth than clamor and struggle.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Bilge Ebiri

    Much of the bloat is still there, but The Desolation of Smaug, the second film in the Hobbit trilogy, is a real improvement – filled with inventive action set pieces and dramatic face-offs that we (finally, at long last, hallelujah!) care about.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Tasha Robinson

    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.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    The cast, including Orlando Bloom and Evangeline Lilly as warrior elves, is also excellent (though we don’t get even a glimpse of Andy Serkis’ Gollum). And individually, each escapade does hold its own thrills.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Eric D. Snider

    It’s merely somewhat better than last year’s meandering dud — a slight improvement on a movie that should have been pretty easy to improve upon. Full Review
  • Ian Buckwalter

    This all essentially serves to distract from the fact that all that really happens in the film is that the company manages to eventually reach the mountain.

    NPR Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    When it's not stalled on silly, it falls into slog territory.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    We were promised desolation, but “The Hobbit” just keeps dragon on.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    Jackson has become too distracted by his digital toys to give his characters the same weight and importance he used in the Rings trilogy.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • R. Kurt Osenlund

    A once-precious franchise's weakest installment, which forgets these adventures' magic was never conjured by bells and whistles.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Rodrigo Perez

    The Peter Jackson-directed Hobbit sequel might be the more vigorous, action-packed, darker and more (superficially) engaging version of the series thus far, but that doesn’t actually mean it’s a keeper of any sort.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Robbie Collin

    The second leg of Peter Jackson’s three-part adaptation of The Hobbit, by J. R. R. Tolkien, is mostly stalling for time: two or three truly great sequences tangled up in long beards and longer pit-stops.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    There are probably enough moments to satisfy hard-core fans, but for the rest of us, this amounts to the Middle Earth equivalent of “Star Wars: Episode II — Attack of the Clones,’’ a space-holding, empty-headed epic filled with characters and places (digital and otherwise) that are hard to keep straight, much less care about.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    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.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
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