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The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Action . Adventure . Fantasy

Immediately after the events of The Desolation of Smaug, Bilbo and the dwarves try to defend Erebor's mountain of treasure from others who claim it: the men of the ruined Laketown and the elves of Mirkwood. Meanwhile an army of Orcs led by Azog the Defiler is marching on Erebor, fueled by the rise of the dark lord Sauron. Dwarves, elves and men must unite, and the hope for Middle-Earth falls into Bilbo's hands.

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: 2014-12-17
More Info:
  • Richard Corliss

    If The Hobbit doesn't equal the achievement of Jackson's earlier Middle-earth movies -- and, honestly, what could? -- it is still, in sum, a thrilling effort.

    Time Full Review
  • Bruce Ingram

    Fighting — presented with Jackson’s usual double helpings of visual splendor, emotional oomph and low-key comedy — is what Battle of the Five Armies is all about.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    The best film of The Hobbit's three, this final installment is closer in quality to "The Lord of the Rings" than to its immediate predecessors.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Drew McWeeny

    By focusing on a few key emotional arcs instead of making it about every shot being the BIGGEST THING OF ALL TIME, Jackson gives the battle a sense of urgency that builds and ebbs, builds and ebbs.

    HitFix Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    Now, thanks to this last film, in 3-D, the pleasure is intense, and mixed with awe. There is majesty here, and not just because we’re in the presence of magnificently regal madness.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • James Dyer

    A fitting conclusion to Jackson’s prequel trilogy and a triumphant adieu to Middle-earth. Now complete, The Hobbit stands as a worthy successor to The Lord Of The Rings, albeit one that never quite emerges from its shadow.

    Empire Full Review
  • Richard Edwards

    Despite the warmongering title, focusing on the action would be doing The Battle Of The Five Armies a disservice. Even at its most talky, it's compelling stuff, reaping the rewards of characters built-up over two-and-a-bit movies (sometimes more), all of them flawed and with a convincing agenda.

    Total Film Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    The final stretch of The Battle of the Five Armies possesses a warm, amiable, sometimes rueful mood that proves ingratiating and manages to magnify the good and minimize the bad of the trilogy.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    The performances have remained continuously excellent throughout The Hobbit trilogy, and they remain so here; likewise Howard Shore’s score, which is particularly righteous – bloodthirsty when it needs to be, keening when a particularly major character is cut down.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Chris Nashawaty

    Like everything else in Jackson's Tolkienland, the buildup to the climactic melee stretches on too long. But when it comes, it's a doozy.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Jeff Baker

    The "Hobbit" trilogy started slowly and ended with a rush, heroes and villians fighting it out over a mountain of gold. What kid of any age can resist that?

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Rene Rodriguez

    OK, Mr. Jackson, you proved your point by landing the finish. Now please, no more Middle-earth, ever.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    The final installment of the Hobbit trilogy is the best, featuring more spectacular action scenes as well as the series' most emotionally resonant moments.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Drew Taylor

    The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is easily the best film of the new trilogy, more entertaining and energetic and tonally in sync with Jackson's earlier, edgier work, shifting from berserker comedy to abject horror at a moment's notice (and then back again).

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Richard Larson

    These films, and Tolkien's entire oeuvre, are most affecting in their depictions of friendship, and the performances here represent plutonic male intimacy in convincing, often moving ways.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Tasha Robinson

    At 144 minutes, Five Armies is the shortest and the least bloated and discursive of the Hobbit films. It’s also the one that relies least on filler material and extra character business, and the one that most earns its moments of outsized, dire drama.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Scott Foundas

    If none of the Hobbit films resonate with "Rings'" mythic grandeur, it’s hard not to marvel at Jackson’s facility with these characters and this world, which he seems to know as well as John Ford knew his Monument Valley, and to which he here bids an elegiac adieu.

    Variety Full Review
  • Lawrence Toppman

    The Hobbit concludes as it began: in a welter of continuous action, with characters who have become archetypes but seldom rise above that level, and with a host of ideas J.R.R. Tolkien didn't put into his short novel.

    Charlotte Observer Full Review
  • Kyle Smith

    It’s adequately visionary, it’s routinely spectacular, it breathes fire and yet somehow feels room-temperature.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Michael O'Sullivan

    Jackson’s storytelling at this point is so driven by green-screen trickery and digital legerdemain that he seems to have forgotten about human emotion.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Sheila O'Malley

    There are some wonderful sequences in Battle of the Five Armies, and the attention to detail is breathtaking (each different space rendered with thrilling complexity), but the film feels more like a long drawn-out closing paragraph rather than (like "The Desolation of Smaug") a vibrant stand-alone piece of the story. Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    It’s the best film of this trilogy, but truthfully, none of the “Hobbit” thirds have been any better than middling “Hunger Games” or “Harry Potter” installments. Considering the vaunted reputation J.R.R.Tolkien enjoys, this overdone “There and Back Again” never quite got us there.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Betsy Sharkey

    The finale is not an all-out disappointment. It should satisfy the franchise's fans, and it does wrap up any loose ends you might be wondering about.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    If I had the power to turn back time and start the tortuous production process that led to the “Hobbit” trilogy over again, with a different director in charge and a completely different approach, I would do it. But that’s precisely the problem with the One Ring, right? Once you put it on you are changed, and those changes cannot be undone. Full Review
  • Kerry Lengel

    Even though Five Armies is the shortest Hobbit movie, it also is the least thrilling as it chugs toward the finish line weighted down with all the added characters and confusing subplots that have been tacked on along the way.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Mike Scott

    That's a lot of storytelling going on, and it costs Battle of the Five Armies a certain cohesion.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Alan Scherstuhl

    The longer versions of all Jackson's Middle-earth films have played better (and made more sense) than their theatrical cuts, but this time he's trimmed out something absolutely vital, the one element that, besides his mad gore-minded grandiloquence, has kept everything together five films running: an attention to the emotional lives of his hobbits.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Joe Walsh

    Jackson's efforts have peaked and troughed, but this final chapter will undoubtedly satisfy fans, and kindle a sense of sadness as this hobbit's tale finally draws to a close.

    CineVue Full Review
  • Tom Huddleston

    Luckily, Jackson’s singular talent for massive-scale mayhem hasn’t deserted him, and the hour-long smackdown that crowns the film gives him ample opportunities to indulge it.

    Time Out London Full Review
  • Andrew Pulver

    Like Agatha Christie’s detective novels, there would appear little in the way of aesthetic – as opposed to technological – progression; having set the tone so definitively at the outset, each film delivered exactly what it promised.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Talk about beating a dead orc. In dutifully completing his prequel trilogy to his three-part Lord of the Rings triumph, director Peter Jackson has sadly saved the worst for last.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • John Semley

    Five Armies only feels truly entertaining when it embraces the arch silliness of its material; like when 92-year-old actor Christopher Lee whirls about in combat with a handful of ghosts.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    If you want to see a Renaissance faire turned into an apocalyptic battlefield, this is the ticket.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Nicolas Rapold

    Bilbo may fully learn a sense of friendship and duty, and have quite a story to tell, but somewhere along the way, Mr. Jackson loses much of the magic.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    By the second hour of The Battle of the Five Armies, the visual approach becomes a paradox: monotonously dynamic epic storytelling.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    As Bilbo, Freeman is a pleasure to watch to the extent we get to watch him. His timing is brilliant — he gets the movie’s only laughs. He has tremendous sensitivity and an ability to seem like he’s about to say something — and then convey it without saying it. He could have made a great Bilbo. Instead he’s the one thing that has made this trilogy bearable.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    Whose story is this? There’s an old saying that history is written by the winners. The screenplay for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies must have been written by elves.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • A.A. Dowd

    Bilbo fades into the sidelines of his own movie, and that may be why the mournful finale of Battle feels so canned, like a roiling tide of crocodile tears. Eleven years ago, Jackson earned the fond, seemingly endless farewells of The Return Of The King. His Hobbit series has only one ending, and it comes not a moment too soon.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Colette Bancroft

    Turns out we were right to wonder. The first film based on The Hobbit was charming fun, the second pretty good, too. But The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is a film too far, tedious and overlong and short on most of the elements that made the first two work.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Jonathan L. Fischer

    Rather than having too much pure Tolkien, it offers too much pure Jackson. It may occasionally seem to be aware of its undiluted preposterousness, but that hardly eases the experience of sitting through its endless cartoonish action sequences and overwrought emotional payoffs.

    Slate Full Review
  • Bilge Ebiri

    The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies feels thoroughly inconsequential — a bloated, portentous mess that, in a just world, should not exist.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Joe Neumaier

    There’s far too many moments of sabre-rattling, and too much confusion about who is aligned with whom, and why. Those who know and love Tolkien’s texts will have a vested interest. Everyone else may grow restless.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Inkoo Kang

    The 144-minute running time showcases Jackson's worst tendencies: eons-long battle scenes, sloppy and abrupt resolutions, portentous romances, off-rhythm comic timing, and, newly in this case, patience-testing fan service.

    TheWrap Full Review
  • Tim Robey

    The trouble is that Jackson can’t make it mean very much: when every life on Middle Earth is seemingly at stake, few individually grab our attention.

    The Telegraph Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    Jackson has marched the modern fantasy-action epic into a thundering blind alley; the movie exhausts your senses without ever engaging your imagination.

    Boston Globe Full Review
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