The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies 2014

Critics score:
60 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Bruce Ingram, Chicago Sun-Times: Fighting -- presented with Jackson's usual double helpings of visual splendor, emotional oomph and low-key comedy -- is what "Battle of the Five Armies" is all about. Read more

Wesley Morris, Grantland: 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. Read more

Kyle Smith, New York Post: It's adequately visionary, it's routinely spectacular, it breathes fire and yet somehow feels room-temperature. Read more

Mary Ann Gwinn, Seattle Times: The best of the three "Hobbit" movies, moving from an enjoyable action/battle movie with fantastic visuals into the realm of authentic tragedy. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: If The Hobbit doesn't equal the achievement of Jackson's earlier Middle-earth movies -- and, honestly, what could? -- it is still, in sum, a thrilling effort. Read more

Scott Foundas, Variety: The result is at once the trilogy's most engrossing episode, its most expeditious (at a comparatively lean 144 minutes) and also itsdarkest - both visually and in terms of the forces thatstir in the hearts of men, dwarves and orcs alike. Read more

A.A. Dowd, AV Club: All this plot unfolds like obligation, a paragraph of book-report summary bulked up to feature length. Read more

Kerry Lengel, Arizona Republic: Tolkien's richly imagined novels served as the template for an entire genre of "epic fantasy," and the opportunity to spend a final 144 minutes inside that world ... is more than worth the price of a 3-D movie ticket. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Jackson has marched the modern fantasy-action epic into a thundering blind alley; the movie exhausts your senses without ever engaging your imagination. Read more

Drew Hunt, Chicago Reader: Mindless CGI spectacle overpowers every aspect of Peter Jackson's concluding Tolkien adaptation; like the other installments of this lumbering trilogy, it's more tech-demo than movie. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: By the second hour of The Battle of the Five Armies, the visual approach becomes a paradox: monotonously dynamic epic storytelling. Read more

John Wenzel, Denver Post: It's a big, bold, schizophrenic pageant that still manages to work on a surprising number of levels -- creative liberties and indulgences be damned. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Well, at least there won't be another one for a while. Read more

Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly: While more than enough praise has been poured on Jackson and his singular gift for CG spectacle, Martin Freeman deserves some credit for lending humor and humanity to what could have been a numbing orgy of pixelated mayhem. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter: Third time's a charm for the mammoth screen version of Tolkien's little persons' odyssey. Read more

Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times: Five armies are too many. Read more

Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News: While it's true that none of the "Hobbit" films were as good as any in the "Rings" trilogy, "The Five Armies" at least comes closest to capturing Tolkein's essence. And in this instance that is good enough. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: OK, Mr. Jackson, you proved your point by landing the big finish. Now please, no more Middle-earth, ever. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: A passably satisfying ending to a franchise that has always seemed a little like a bonus DVD. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: It was too much, and it was not enough. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: There's far too many moments of sabre-rattling, and too much confusion about who is aligned with whom, and why. Those who know and love Tolkien's texts will have a vested interest. Everyone else may grow restless. Read more

Nicolas Rapold, New York Times: Bilbo may fully learn a sense of friendship and duty, and have quite a story to tell, but somewhere along the way, Mr. Jackson loses much of the magic. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: If you want to see a Renaissance faire turned into an apocalyptic battlefield, this is the ticket. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: The best film of The Hobbit's three, this final installment is closer in quality to The Lord of the Rings than to its immediate predecessors. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Talk about beating a dead orc. In dutifully completing his prequel trilogy to his Lord of the Rings triumph, Peter Jackson has sadly saved the worst for last. The Battle of the Five Armies is 20 percent inspiration, 80 percent desperation. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com: Considered as contemporary CGI-driven action-adventure cinema, and as the template for a new generation of video games, they are rich and entertaining. Even in the decadent phase of his genius, Jackson remains an expert world-builder and image-maker. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: [Freeman] could have made a great Bilbo. Instead he's the one thing that has made this trilogy bearable. Read more

Jonathan L. Fischer, Slate: It may occasionally seem to be aware of its undiluted preposterousness, but that hardly eases the experience of sitting through its endless cartoonish action sequences and overwrought emotional payoffs. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: It's designed to leave the audience drained and exhilarated, and from its opening scenes of exploding awesomeness there's no looking back. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Whose story is this? There's an old saying that history is written by the winners. The screenplay for "The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies" must have been written by elves. Read more

Jake Coyle, Associated Press: The magic, fleeting to start with, is mostly gone. Read more

Christopher Orr, The Atlantic: What is perhaps most depressing about Jackson's swollen Hobbit enterprise is the way it retrospectively diminishes his Lord of the Rings trilogy. Read more

John Semley, Globe and Mail: 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. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: What looked like indulgent folly at the outset now seems closer to epic justification, as Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy draws to a rousing close. Read more

Inkoo Kang, TheWrap: "The 144-minute running time showcases Jackson's worst tendencies: eons-long battle scenes, sloppy and abrupt resolutions, portentous romances, off-rhythm comic timing, and, newly in this case, patience-testing fan service." Read more

Tom Huddleston, Time Out: More battles, more creatures, more not-quite-comical asides, more stern speechifying and more gob-smackingly elaborate action set pieces. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: The final installment of the Hobbit trilogy is the best, featuring more spectacular action scenes as well as the series' most emotionally resonant moments. Read more

Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice: It's sad that Hollywood filmmaking is so often about attempting to put the dreams of children onto our screens, but shouldn't it still be notable when someone actually manages it? Read more

Bilge Ebiri, New York Magazine/Vulture: This third installment of The Hobbit trilogy is allegedly the shortest of all of Peter Jackson's Tolkien films, but my theater must have been orbiting a black hole because I could swear it swallowed up 20 years of my life. Read more

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post: Jackson's storytelling at this point is so driven by green-screen trickery and digital legerdemain that he seems to have forgotten about human emotion. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: The pleasure is intense, and mixed with awe. There is majesty here, and not just because we're in the presence of magnificently regal madness. Read more