The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Critics Consensus

Though somewhat overwhelmed by its own spectacle, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies ends Peter Jackson's second Middle-earth trilogy on a reasonably satisfying note.



Total Count: 254


Audience Score

User Ratings: 214,785
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Movie Info

From Academy Award (R)-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson comes "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies," the third in a trilogy of films adapting the enduringly popular masterpiece The Hobbit, by J.R.R. Tolkien. "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" brings to an epic conclusion the adventures of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield and the Company of Dwarves. Having reclaimed their homeland from the Dragon Smaug, the Company has unwittingly unleashed a deadly force into the world. Enraged, Smaug rains his fiery wrath down upon the defenseless men, women and children of Lake-town. Obsessed above all else with his reclaimed treasure, Thorin sacrifices friendship and honor tohoard it as Bilbo's frantic attempts to make him see reason drive the Hobbit towards a desperate and dangerous choice. But there are even greater dangers ahead. Unseen by any but the Wizard Gandalf, the great enemy Sauron has sent forth legions of Orcs in a stealth attack upon the Lonely Mountain. As darkness converges on their escalating conflict, the races of Dwarves, Elves and Men must decide - unite or be destroyed. Bilbo finds himself fighting for his life and the lives of his friends in the epic Battle of the Five Armies, as the future of Middle-earth hangs in the balance. (c) Warner Bros


Martin Freeman
as Bilbo Baggins
Ian McKellen
as Gandalf
Richard Armitage
as Thorin Oakenshield
Ian Holm
as Bilbo Baggins (old)
Elijah Wood
as Frodo Baggins
Cate Blanchett
as Galadriel
Lee Pace
as Thranduil
Stephen Fry
as Master of Laketown
Luke Evans
as Bard the Bowman
Barry Humphries
as Goblin King
Benedict Cumberbatch
as Necromancer/Smaug
Ken Stott
as Balin
Ryan Gage
as Alfrid
Sarah Peirse
as Hilda Bianca
Conan Stevens
as Keeper of the Dungeons
Erin Banks
as Lobella Sackville Baggins
Brian Hotter
as Otho Sackville Baggins
Timothy Bartlett
as Master Worrywort
Merv Smith
as Tosser Grubb
Martin Kwok
as Voice Of Ragash
Olof Johnsson
as Voice of Creature
Jon Olson
as Voice of Creature
Otep Shamaya
as Voice of Creature
Debra Wilson
as Voice of Creature
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News & Interviews for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Critic Reviews for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

All Critics (254) | Top Critics (50) | Fresh (150) | Rotten (104)

  • This is comfortably straightforward hokum -- which is to say that Jackson, for all his delusions of grandeur, remains a bit of a hobbit at heart.

    Jan 6, 2015 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Untold manpower, pixels, and money culminate in the gangbusters final installment. It can't redeem the useless tedium of the first two, which exist for gargantuan profits and structural necessity.

    Dec 19, 2014 | Full Review…
  • Well, at least there won't be another one for a while.

    Dec 19, 2014 | Rating: C- | Full Review…

    Tom Long

    Detroit News
    Top Critic
  • It's adequately visionary, it's routinely spectacular, it breathes fire and yet somehow feels room-temperature.

    Dec 18, 2014 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • It plays out as if someone chucked a whole bunch of carefully detailed Warhammer figurines into a centrifuge -- goblins, goats, dwarfs, wizards and wolves bouncing off one another in waves of alternating tedium and punishment.

    Dec 18, 2014 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • It's a big, bold, schizophrenic pageant that still manages to work on a surprising number of levels -- creative liberties and indulgences be damned.

    Dec 18, 2014 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

  • Dec 09, 2015
    Pretty solid. Much longer than it needs to be, but this is a really entertaining watch, and it wraps up the storyline pretty nicely.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer
  • Jun 15, 2015
    Here we are, the final chapter in this blatantly over-milked adaptation of the Tolkien Hobbit book. If you've been following this franchise up to this point (stupid thing to say really) then you'll know this movie completes the story arc for Smaug the dragon, Bard and Thorin. Sauron himself pops up along with Saruman to hint at what is to come in the follow up trilogy, after freeing Gandalf, but as the title suggests the main crux of this movie centres around the battle at Lonely Mountain for the treasures deep within. The most impressive part of this entire movie is right at the start, the destruction of Laketown by Smaug. Whether or not you agree that this sequence should have been at the end of the second movie is no longer of importance really, we all know it should have been. Nevertheless this sequence is mightily impressive with full-on dragon kickassery as Smaug swoops down, back n forth, carpet-bombing the town with a tsunami of fiery death. Even though we have witnessed much death and destruction in these movies up to this point, there is something quite brutal and genuinely terrifying about this slaughter. Alas its all brought to a stupid conclusion with the way Smaug is brought down, one black arrow hitting one small chink in the dragons armour. I believe this is in the original book but the way it plays out on the big screen just feels totally unachievable, even for a fantasy film. What's more, this entire sequence is the climax of the original book, yet here its all done and dusted before the opening credits. From this point onwards its merely a case of Jackson moving the various chess pieces into position for the long drawn out CGI battle at Lonely Mountain. Unfortunately that is exactly what makes up the rest of this movie, an elf army turns up to help the people of Laketown and retrieve a precious elven item from the mountain. There is already an army of men led by Bard, there are a couple of orc armies marching to the mountain, and a dwarf army arrives on the scene too. There is virtually no plot here, its quite simply...everybody wants the gold...fight!! What little else you see is basically padding and invented for the purpose of the movie. Lets get gritty, the battles, that's what its all about, how good are these battle sequences. Well first off we've all seen the LoTR's trilogy and the previous two Hobbit movies, so basically we've all seen this before. No I'm not being harsh, this movie actually feels like a rehash with the same CGI battles over and over, nothing new, its been done to death by Jackson and co now, battle fatigue much! The CGI in question looks pretty bad too, I kid you not, its like the quality is basically about on par with the original trilogy or worse! (LoTR's trilogy finished in 2003). Seriously there was very little here that actually jumped out at me, accept for the Smaug devastation at the start, everything else just felt like watching solid videogame sequences (again). To make matters worse the greenscreen was horribly obvious throughout, obvious and everywhere. In general, I think watching masses and masses of CGI men, elves, orcs and a variety of beasties, clash in a clinically sterile CGI arena or environment, has just become tiresome. Yes I know everything does have an aged, weather-beaten appearance but it still doesn't detract from the shiny plastic looking visuals and rag doll effects we get with CGI. What really amazes me though is how this movie franchise never seems to grow up, the amount of deus ex-machina bullshit that still goes on is mind numbing. Time and time again various characters could and should be killed outright but the enemy pauses, or uses a non-lethal blow, or falls over, or gets shot with an arrow by someone else at the last second etc...It really becomes a joke, the entire climax for the this movie is one big deus ex-machina, everything that Legolas does is a continuous deus ex-machina moment...with gravity defining skills. During the main overly long battle sequence Azog and some of his orcs appear to be watching the battle from the peak of a mountain or cliff, what mountain/cliff is this?? The battle ground is quite flat and expansive, so where on earth is Azog standing because from his viewpoint its right over the top of the battlefield. Oh and how do orcs control Were-worms?? During the battle the elves and dwarfs suddenly appear with these battle rams? like...where the fuck did they come from??! Oh and the way they run up the steep mountain pass with riders on their backs is inane. One other thing that made me laugh, the orcs are winning at one point, the dwarfs were staring defeat in their hairy faces. Luckily Thorin and his tiny band of fellow dwarfs decide to join the fight and run headlong into the battle, and this somehow rallies all the dwarfs to fight? eh? I also love how predictable Jackson is with his battles. I think in every one of these movies he's had a moment where one army, or group of people, is saved at the last minute when another army, or group of people, decide to attack and save the day in a stirring heroic manner. Then at the end of all that, after all that fighting and bloodshed, the battle just ends. Bilbo and Thorin have done what they needed to do elsewhere and that's all we need to know, so apparently the hundreds of thousands of elves, men, orcs, goblins, dwarfs etc...all just finished the battle and went home. Bilbo is a secondary character in his own story (its more about Thorin), we don't actually see what happens to most of the characters at the very end after the battle (Dain?), the battle itself was an anti-climax. Billy Connolly was dreadful as Dain the dwarf, I hated how Legolas is told to go find Aragorn at the end (this makes no sense if you do your homework), I hated how Legolas is at the forefront of this movie, and the Grima Wormtongue rip-off character Alfrid, was a cringeworthy rehash. What's so utterly ridiculous (and kinda insulting) about including Legolas so much is the fact there is zero tension in whatever he does. He keeps getting into these tight situations of certain death, but its all for nothing because we know damn well he isn't gonna die (facepalm!!). I'm not really an expert on the Hobbit book and its content but I do get the impression Jackson and co really really wanted to make these movies identical to the previous LoTR's trilogy. I think we all know now how much was stuffed into these films which wasn't suppose to be there, and I think its obvious that it was done to ride on the coattails of the previous trilogy. Its funny that Jackson is actually trying to leech off the success of his own movies...and can't manage it. The fact he clearly tried to cash in on the franchise by making this adaptation into a trilogy was probably his downfall. This final chapter really feels very anti-climatic, the main criticism being its badly over stretched and padded out (obviously so). I mean come on, virtually the whole movie is that one battle between the five armies, and its not even that good! (thank God for those eagles huh).
    Phil H Super Reviewer
  • May 18, 2015
    The final installment of the prequel series, director Peter Jackson nearly outdoes himself with ambition, grandeur, and scale with The Battle of the Five Armies, yet succeeds in delivering a satisfying and immensely enjoyable finale. In Battle of the Five Armies, we find Smaug defeated but a new force of evil unleashed. Alliances become entangled, political intrigue is afoot and a nefarious force is prevailing the land. In other words, it's the Lord of the Rings. The film starts on a bit of a surprising note, almost unceremoniously tying up the cliffhanger of the second installment, yet immediately launches in to the penultimate showdown. There's a lot of plot lines to be had, a lot of action to be displayed, and Jackson proves once again his incredible skill with large scale films. The CGI is great, the world building ever effective, the staging grand, and the characters always central. It's perhaps not very distinctive from the other installments, yet feels organic to them. Certainly, there are times when it feels as if Five Armies is trying to balance too much. Indeed, the third act starts to feel like it's getting away from Jackson, as if focus has been lost and instead action set pieces become the driving force, not the central narrative. He manages to hone it in, however, and we feel satisfied. Taken on its merits, and the difficult position it finds itself in being awkwardly placed in the series, we have to admire what the result is. A success. 4/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 29, 2015
    The film is essentially a 2 hour and 30 min action sequence with the best production values money can buy. Forget having a narrative, lets just throw as many action sequences together and loosely string them together with a premise that we'll call a plot. The pacing isn't even good either, Smaug's death was underwhelming and completely overshadowed by later events. Rather than "The Battle of Five Armies" why not call it "A Dragon dies and Legolas beats everyone up."? The Hobbit trilogy started out as a decent set of films but has whole heartedly embraced the fact that it's nothing more than fanservice for the LOTR franchise. Some may love it for that fact but as a film critic I simply can't be so forgiving.
    Drake T Super Reviewer

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