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The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

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New Zealand, United States · 2013
Rated PG-13 · 2h 41m
Director Peter Jackson
Starring Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch
Genre Action, Adventure, Fantasy

In the second installment of The Hobbit trilogy, the prequel to The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Bilbo Baggins accompanies Thorin Oakenshield and his fellow dwarves on their quest to reclaim the Lonely Mountain from the dragon Smaug, all the while evading the vengeful orcs.

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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.


Village Voice by 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.


Variety by Justin Chang

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


Total Film by Matt Maytum

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


The Guardian by 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.


Time by Richard Corliss

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


The Playlist by 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 Hollywood Reporter by 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.

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