The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug Reviews

  • The Desolation of Smaug entertains, but the run time continues to be way too long.

    Julian Roman — MovieWeb

  • Jackson's direction is spiky and majestic ...

    Owen Gleiberman — Entertainment Weekly

  • A relentless adventure tale, teaming with rowdy action, slavering enemies and Elven gymnastics.

    Manohla Dargis — New York Times

  • Like its predecessor, it features way too much trudging through forests.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • Much of this has all the gluteus-clenching intensity of a good video game, but there's also a thematic subtext here - as there was in the "LOTR" films - of good vs. evil and honor vs. treachery.

    Michael O'Sullivan — Washington Post

  • 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.

    Alan Scherstuhl — Village Voice

  • If you liked "An Unexpected Journey" last year, you'll like "The Desolation of Smaug" because, really, it's more of the same.

    Elizabeth Weitzman — New York Daily News

  • The latest lap of their journey is far more focused and much more exciting than the last one.

    Joe Morgenstern — Wall Street Journal

  • Peter Jackson, take a fire-breathing bow.

    Chris Vognar — Dallas Morning News

  • For the casual but compelled moviegoer, The Desolation of Smaug is a fine improvement over the first offering. Tolkien aficionados may feel otherwise.

    Lisa Kennedy — Denver Post

  • The tale has no emotional resonance, and the thinness of the plot (only five of the book's chapters are adapted here) and the colorless depictions of the leading characters do it no favors.

    Bruce Diones — New Yorker

  • It's livelier and better than its predecessor. The first movie's harrumphing throat-clearing has given way to a swift, imposing adventure boasting several wing-ding action sequences.

    Michael Phillips — Chicago Tribune

  • The chaotic action, amped-up sound effects, and needlessly intricate CGI landscapes (which are less convincing than traditional sets or even the hand-drawn backdrops of Disney classics) wore me out well before the movie was over.

    Ben Sachs — Chicago Reader

  • The Desolation of Smaug is not only eight minutes shorter than its forebear, it's at least eight minutes better - less twee, less chatty, more action, more Elvish.

    Steven Rea — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • "The Desolation of Smaug" is a rip-roaring wizards and lizards escapade that delivers a full quota of thrills while remaining true to the lighthearted spirit of the source material.

    Colin Covert — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • This film could lose an hour and be much better for the cutting. But then again, it never really needed to be made in the first place.

    Tom Long — Detroit News

  • For many, Jackson's "Hobbit" will look like an overly long amusement-park attraction. But 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.

    Kerry Lengel — Arizona Republic

  • After a bumpy beginning with 'An Unexpected Journey,' Peter Jackson's 'Hobbit' trilogy finds its footing in this much more exciting and purposeful second chapter.

    Justin Chang — Variety

  • A space-holding, empty-headed epic filled with characters and places (digital and otherwise) that are hard to keep straight, much less care about.

    Lou Lumenick — New York Post

  • Jackson's audacity and folly both come to the fore in this picture, which is much more than a placeholder but something less than a fully satisfying saga in its own right.

    Peter Howell — Toronto Star

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