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The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug (2013)



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

While still slightly hamstrung by "middle chapter" narrative problems and its formidable length, The Desolation of Smaug represents a more confident, exciting second chapter for the Hobbit series.


Average Rating: 6.5/10
Critic Reviews: 44
Fresh: 29 | Rotten: 15

While still slightly hamstrung by "middle chapter" narrative problems and its formidable length, The Desolation of Smaug represents a more confident, exciting second chapter for the Hobbit series.



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Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 250,047

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Movie Info

The second in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug continues the adventure of the title character Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) as he journeys with the Wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellan) and thirteen Dwarves, led by Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage) on an epic quest to reclaim the lost Dwarf Kingdom of Erebor.(c) WB

Apr 8, 2014


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All Critics (216) | Top Critics (44) | Fresh (160) | Rotten (56) | DVD (2)

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.

December 30, 2013 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Be forewarned: Whether through ego, avarice, or unchecked enthusiasm, Jackson has wandered deep into the realm of fan fiction.

December 13, 2013 Full Review Source: The Atlantic
The Atlantic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

With the introductions and bag-packing out of the way from the first film, the new movie jumps straight into the action and doesn't relent until the cliffhanger ending almost three hours later.

December 13, 2013 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

December 13, 2013 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Desolation of Smaug looks as dreary as the title would lead you to believe. The whole thing lingers in the memory as piles of sludge and ash.

December 13, 2013 Full Review Source: Grantland
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I'm not an aficionado of J.R.R. Tolkien's wonderworlds and I was bored with the first Hobbit movie. All this is by way of saying I quite liked its sequel and the second in the trilogy.

December 13, 2013 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is technically "better" than The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey in the same way Attack of the Clones was technically "better" than The Phantom Menace.

August 11, 2014 Full Review Source: Forbes

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug is another grand entry in the Tolkien saga, raising the emotional and physical stakes while revealing more of the sinister forces that we know will ultimately come to threaten the entire world.

August 1, 2014 Full Review Source: Forbes

"(There) seems to be more action this time around. It's much more thrilling and is, again, pertinent, necessary action. And the character moments just work better in this installment."

May 12, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinephiled

Smaug slept through the first Hobbit film, and boy was I jealous.

April 18, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Chambers
Movie Chambers

For all the great effects it garners, [it] is a cold, and monotonous epic that borders on fan fiction.

April 8, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

The dragon is battled by dwarf, elf and Hobbit in a semi-decipherable battle of industrial de-evolution. Gold seethes down like the sweetest Caramelo candy bars passed down from the Gods. Oh, the beauty of the fallen, fiscal world.

April 7, 2014 Full Review Source: Newcity

It's these impulses of Jackson (amped up action and crass disrespect for the text) that spoiled the film; there's no let up, no pause for breath, no pause even for meals.

February 7, 2014 Full Review Source: Future Movies UK

As usual, the dialogue includes certain important-seeming nouns which bushy beards and thick theatrical accents make difficult to discern.

February 4, 2014 Full Review Source: SF Weekly
SF Weekly

A terrific middle chapter with plenty of action, excitement and fun.

February 3, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

An entertaining adventure with some truly masterful moments, but they still fail to justify the nearly three-hour running time.

January 22, 2014 Full Review Source: The Verge
The Verge

Whatever hiccups there are, Freeman continues to be note-perfect, and Jackson does deliver on the action and builds a great deal of momentum in the final stretch.

January 15, 2014 Full Review Source:

Nearly everyone in the film is creaking under the weight of the past.

January 14, 2014 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

It's natural to be repelled by Jackson's commercial- and franchise-minded motives ... but, ultimately, he delivers escapist entertainment that functions as the cinematic equivalent of comfort food.

January 13, 2014 Full Review Source: Cinema Writer
Cinema Writer

For as much as Smaug is a technical improvement over its predecessor, the screenplay is still disappointingly shallow.

January 8, 2014 Full Review Source: Impulse Gamer
Impulse Gamer

More tightly paced and action-oriented than its predecessor

January 8, 2014 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

Even more entertaining than its predecessor, "The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug" continues J.R.R. Tolkien's journey with fleshed-out characters and action sequences that will bring fans back to their beloved Middle Earth.

January 7, 2014 Full Review Source: Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

When Jackson sticks to the game plan Tolkien laid out for him, amazing happens. Yet when Jackson strays like he has during key moments here, you can be forgiven if thought this chapter was titled "The Desolation of Tolkien".

January 5, 2014 Full Review Source: Matt's Movie Reviews
Matt's Movie Reviews

Finally, there is the great Smaug, menacingly voiced by Bennedict Cumberbatch with a mixture of menace and humor.

January 3, 2014 Full Review Source: MediaMikes

Serves as the transitional movie between the introduction and the conclusion, but the ending to this movie is too abrupt.

January 3, 2014 Full Review Source:

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of watching the movie, but I felt a bit disengaged with the story, as if it only existed as a device to hold the big pretty visuals together.

January 3, 2014 Full Review Source: The Mercury
The Mercury

Audience Reviews for The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug

Review at
August 1, 2014

Super Reviewer

another average and disappointing hobbit film, but for opposite reasons to the last installment. like the last film the acting was split and the effects no more than passable, and the film was entertaining and the action sequences fun to watch. however, whereas the last one slumped along and failed to gain any momentum by way of dragging from one scene to the next, this film failed to capitalize on momentum by moving far too quickly once it started to gain any. each time i felt a great moment coming, like those so often found in LOTR, the scene was dropped for yet another unnecessary story development that served to do little more than clutter the film. overall, good but found wanting.
June 26, 2014
danny d

Super Reviewer

An action-packed, improved second chapter of "The Hobbit" trilogy, chronicling the journey Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman), Gandalf (Ian McKellan), and a group of dwarves undertake in trying to take back a city from a ruthless dragon named Smaug (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch). Where the first chapter felt like a lot of "filler" material thrown into place at a rather scattered rate, this film actually does a great job pushing the story further and coloring its characters much better than the first movie did. Freeman continues to knock it out of the park as Bilbo, now surging with confidence, while Cumberbatch's voice lends a real villainous tone to the story. It still plods along at times, but the ending is downright fantastic, with a cliffhanger for the ages capped off in haunting fashion.
June 7, 2014
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

Fun movie, as usual! Great acting, lots of adventure, drama, tension, interesting characters, and fanciful creations. Unfortunately, a to-be-continued film. That part upset me a bit. However, I did really enjoy it, and I cannot wait until the next one. Wasn't that the point of it all, anyway? :)
May 12, 2014

Super Reviewer

    1. Smaug: Come out. Don't be shy. Step into the light.
    – Submitted by Max H (42 days ago)
    1. Bard the Bowman: Folk in this town are struggling. Times are hard. Food is scarce.
    2. Alfrid: It's not my problem.
    3. Bard the Bowman: And when the people hear that the Master is dumping fish back into the lake? When the rioting starts? Will it be your problem then?
    – Submitted by Jordan L (2 months ago)
    1. Gandalf: Where is your master? Where is he?
    – Submitted by Paul W (7 months ago)
    1. Thranduil: Do not speak to me of dragon fire for I have encountered it myself.
    – Submitted by Jill R (7 months ago)
    1. Thranduil: Fortunes of the world will rise and fall, but here in this kingdom we will endure.
    – Submitted by Dennis T (8 months ago)
    1. Bard the Bowman: The king beneath the mountains, the king of cavern stone, the lord of silver fountains, shall come onto his own!
    – Submitted by Jean-Philippe G (8 months ago)
View all quotes (54)

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Foreign Titles

  • Der Hobbit: Smaugs Einöde (DE)
  • Le Hobbit: La désolation de Smaug (FR)
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