Rating: PG-13, for extended sequences of intense fantasy action violence, and frightening images.
If the giant talking spiders or ugly orcs don't get you, the ferocious, fire-breathing dragon Smaug will. In between there are piercing arrows, ominous shadows, stabbings and beheadings. (And just think: If you have a 3-D TV at home, some of those severed heads will come flying right at you.) Yes, the source material - J.R.R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, contains this kind of fantasy action, but director Peter Jackson's second film in his treatment of the book is just extraordinarily violent. Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) and his dwarf pals enjoy many lively adventures on their way to Lonely Mountain, but once they get there they must contend with Smaug himself. Benedict Cumberbatch voices him, so you know he's going to be deeply chilling. Given the graphic nature of this movie and the extended running time, this really is just for the most mature tweens and up.