First Reviews For THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES Are In

With its release date right around the corner, hit the jump to find out what some of the best film critics had to say about Peter Jackson's third and final film in The Hobbit trilogy, The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies,.


It is time for Peter Jackson ("King Kong") to move on from Middle Earth. The director spent seven years working on The Lord Of The Rings trilogy, and has spent the last five years working on The Hobbit trilogy. The last film to explore this fantastical world is The Hobbit: The Battle Of Five Armies, which will be released in theaters December 17. Today, the first wave of reviews begun to pop online. Below, are some excerpts from them, which for the most part are mixed. Most aren't extremely positive, yet none of them are extremely negative either. Check them out for yourself.


The Wrap: "I'm mostly just relieved the journey is now over."
"But the lumbering and overstuffed “Five Armies” only proves Christopher Tolkien right. 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. Nonstop motion and a sense of fist-clenched urgency propel the buildup to and the melée of an interspecies conflict between dwarves, elves, goblins, and plain old humans. " - Inkoo Kang


Variety: "Sports the most austere and forbidding look of the “Hobbit” films."
"This is the way “The Hobbit” ends: not with a whimper, but with an epic battle royale. True to its subtitle, “The Battle of the Five Armies” (revised from the initially more pacific “There and Back Again”), the final installment of Peter Jackson’s distended “Lord of the Rings” prequel offers more barbarians at the gate than you can shake an Elven sword at, each vying for control of mountainous Erebor. The result is at once the trilogy’s most engrossing episode, its most expeditious (at a comparatively lean 144 minutes) and also its darkest — both visually and in terms of the forces that stir in the hearts of men, dwarves and orcs alike." - Scott Foundas


Hollywood Reporter: "Final visit to Middle-earth is the most purely entertaining"
"After all the initial fuss and bother about the 3D and 48 frames-per-second images, Peter Jackson ("The Lord Of The Rings") and his visual team made the necessary technical adjustments to smooth things out, the result being a strong, robust looking, CGI-dominant film with great detailing and gargantuan imagery." - Todd McCarthy


Digital Spy: "Luke Evans's blandly heroic Bard the Bowman sticks around for a bafflingly long time"
"The Battle of the Five Armies is an alternately thrilling and frustrating sendoff for the series, its spectacular, character-driven action undermined by muddled subplots and a cobbled-together quality that fades away by the stellar third act." - Emma Dibdin


Slant Magazine: "The battle that ensues is epic in every sense of the word."
"But the obligatory romantic subplot, absent from the source material, plays itself out ploddingly, and the admirable effort to create a female character for the films to make up for the dearth of such in the book is undercut by the one-dimensionality of Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly), an elf warrior who seems motivated entirely by the pursuit of love. But these films, and Tolkien's entire oeuvre, are most affecting in their depictions of friendship, and the performances here represent plutonic male intimacy in convincing, often moving ways." - Richard Larson


The Telegraph: "One great set piece and Christopher Lee's kung fu skills can't make up for all the padding"
“So began a battle that none had expected,” wrote JRR Tolkien in the third-from-last chapter of The Hobbit. “And it was called The Battle of the Five Armies, and it was very terrible.” Peter Jackson’s expansion of this epochal but barely-described fracas, in his third and final film from this slim book, is neither very terrible nor remotely unexpected. It’s a series of stomping footnotes in search of a climax. - Tim Robey


Empire: "A fitting conclusion to Jackson’s prequel trilogy"
"At under two-and-a-half hours, there’s little flab on Five Armies. Jackson has been judicious with the edit, jettisoning anything not essential to the tale at hand. It’s smart work and the film never drags but it doesn’t come without cost. What could have been the stand-out set-piece is largely squandered." - James Dyer



From Academy Award®-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 to hoard 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.
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