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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

  PG-13 HD Closed Captioning

Peter Jackson

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Plot Summary

Academy Award® winner Peter Jackson continues his Middle-earth adventure following Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) who's swept into an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor from the fearsome dragon Smaug. In the company of thirteen dwarves and the wizard Gandalf the Grey (Ian McKellen), Bilbo enters the Lonely Mountain in possession of Gollum's "precious" ring and his keen blade, Sting. With an all-star cast and the effects wizardry of Jackson's award-winning Weta Workshop, Tolkien's epic story comes to life as never before imagined.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 216
  • Fresh: 160
  • Rotten: 56
  • Average Rating: 6.8/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: A relentless adventure tale, teaming with rowdy action, slavering enemies and Elven gymnastics. – Manohla Dargis, New York Times, Dec 12, 2013

Rotten: Director Peter Jackson performs the same kind of miracles with the digital Smaug that he did with Gollum in the Lord of the Rings trilogy. – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone, Dec 12, 2013

Fresh: Peter Jackson's newest installment of the Tolkien trilogy is set afire by the scorching roar of a dragon. – Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times, Dec 12, 2013

Fresh: The latest lap of their journey is far more focused and much more exciting than the last one. – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal, Dec 12, 2013

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Beyond darkness…beyond desolation…lies the most unforgettable dragon ever!!

Academy Award-winning director Peter Jackson continues his unnecessary trilogy with an action-packed second chapter: ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’. We, again, follow the Dwarves as they continue their quest to reclaim, Erebor, their stolen mountain kingdom from Smaug the dragon (Benedict Cumberbatch). This time, though, they face familiar and new dangers such as colossul spiders, more orcs and the greatest peril of them all: the earth-shaking villainous beast the fans have been waiting for. And, once again, there are plots within the main overall plot such as Bilbo’s One Ring secret and Gandalf (Ian McKellen) branching off on his own quest where he confronts the Necromancer (Benedict Cumberbatch).

Never have I felt so much tension and menace from a movie villain once Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) entered Erebor. He is sent inside to search for and bring back the Arkenstone: a white object that will make Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) king under the mountain. In the meantime, though, Smaug is king under the mountain, sleeping under a enormous pile of gold.

I remember Thorin being doubtful about Bilbo’s ability in the first installment yet, in many ways, he was right. Bilbo even admitted he doubted himself, too and that he was self-centered. In ‘The Desolation of Smaug’, however, the selfishness between these two characters is reversed as Thorin wants Bilbo to fetch the Arkenstone but doesn’t care that the Hobbit’s life will be at extreme risk.

We have have some new faces appearing in this movie trilogy including Evangeline Lilly as a gorgeous Elf created by Peter Jackson specifically for the movie and Luke Evans as Bard the Bowman who tries to help Thorin but also disagrees with his decision. And, of course, I can’t forget Orlando Bloom returning from ‘The Lord of the Rings’ movie trilogy as Legolas!

And, then, there’s Smaug. How could Benedict Cumberbatch not have fun playing the biggest, baddest and most menacing dragon I’ve ever seen in any movie?! He is, without a doubt, one of the best villains in cinematic history and is so terrifyingly epic that he creates one of the most jaw-dropping endings ever.

In the end, ‘The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug’ is insanely entertaining, awesome, dazzling, terrifying and dark and I aboslutely loved it! And to those of you who didn’t like the first installment and don’t intend on watching its sequel, just see this one for Smaug. To everyone else, though, it’s a gold mine whether you’re a huge Middle-Earth fan or not.

One of my favorites of 2013.

I enjoyed An Unexpected Journey, and was excited to see this one too. I was blown away! Although it had been a decade since I’d read the book, and I know that PJ added a ton of original material/characters, I really loved this installment! Plenty of well-choreographed and well-shot action sequences (the action junkie in me was very much appeased), I did like Tauriel’s character, and oh my god, Smaug stole the show!! Watching this actually inspired me to re-read the book, and I honestly can say that I really like what PJ has done with his adaptation. Yeah, yeah, so a 300-page book is being stretched into 3 movies, and tons of the little details have been changed, but as much as I adore the book, I completely understand the changes that PJ made in order to keep this film trilogy more “mainstream”. Unlike in the book, every single dwarf is a stand-alone character, which I really love and appreciate. The dwarves aren’t wearing ridiculous little hoods (the description on my most recent read-through reminded me of garden gnomes!), the elves aren’t silly and seem to keep more with the tone that PJ set in the LotR trilogy, and quite frankly I enjoyed seeing a kick-butt female character for once (the book is very short on female characters). The cinematography is incredible in this movie, too, as is the soundtrack. And SMAUG. We can’t forget the awesome that is Smaug the talking dragon!!

So basically, I love this movie (though I completely understand why many of my peers/friends have not shared the depth of my enjoyment, even if I don’t relate), love where this is going, and can’t wait to see the final installment, even though I know it’s going to make me incredibly upset, haha. I can’t wait for the extended edition!!

Don’t watch if you like the book.

Note: If you have not read the book, check out the other reviews.

The Hobbit was one of my favorite books growing up. It’s a perfect book - fast paced, but not too fast; lots of background, but not too much. Not too serious but has depth. It’s a masterpiece.

This movie is a Hollywood-CGI infused extravaganza loosely based on the story. That in itself would be fine if it were a good movie; alas, it isn’t. The story feels stretched (because it is I suppose), the bits and pieces used as filler material feel out of place. The mystery and wonder is removed by way of lengthy explanations.

It feels like the studio told a team of script writers to make three books out of one, to blow up this story into a trilogy, and they took it literally and just added pages and pages of filler material. Even if Tolkien himself had tried that, the results would have been bad. And those script writers aren’t Tolkien.