Hobbit Battle of the Five Armies review

December is upon us, which means there are mere days until the final Peter Jackson Middle-Earth film comes to theaters. The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies opens December 17 and the review embargo just broke. Let’s just say the notes aren’t as good as the ones for the final Lord of the Rings film, which won 11 Oscars including Best Picture. They also aren’t as bad as the reviews for previous films in this new trilogy. It’s a bit all over the map, but most seem to agree if you like the other films, you’ll really like this one. Read some early The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies review below.

Here are excerpts from a bunch of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies reviews. Click the link to read the full thing:

The Hollywood Reporter:

After six films, 13 years and 1031 minutes of accumulated running time (far more if you count the extended versions), Peter Jackson has concluded his massively remunerative genuflection at the altar of J.R.R. Tolkien with a film that may be the most purely entertaining of any in the collection (tellingly, it is also, by far, the shortest of the sextet).

Variety:

While that effort has ultimately proved only partly successful, it’s easier now to see the entire “Hobbit” project as a labor of love on Jackson’s part, rather than a descent into crass box-office opportunism. Where the first two films often felt like a marking of time by a director intent on fattening his own Smaug-like coffers, “The Battle of the Five Armies” contains a series of emotional payoffs and bridges to the “Lord of the Rings” films that work as well as they do for having been carefully seeded by Jackson in the previous episodes. And if none of the “Hobbit” films resonate with “Rings’” mythic grandeur, it’s hard not to marvel at Jackson’s facility with these characters and this world, which he seems to know as well as John Ford knew his Monument Valley, and to which he here bids an elegiac adieu. Indeed, it is not only Bilbo but Jackson too who returns to the safety of his Hobbit hole, weary and winded, with a quizzical grimace on his face that seems to say: “Where do I go from here?”

The Wrap:

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.

Coming Soon:

Minor issues aside, this is another grand spectacle that does a fine job wrapping things up without offering nearly as many of the memorable moments of its predecessor… or “The Lord of the Rings” as a whole.

Empire:

A fitting conclusion to Jackson’s prequel trilogy and a triumphant adieu to Middle-earth. Now complete, The Hobbit stands as a worthy successor to The Lord Of The Rings, albeit one that never quite emerges from its shadow. Jackson has crafted a grand old tale to do Tolkien proud, and with a single, simple bow in the final moments, one that offers a far cleaner send-off than Return Of The King ever did.

Telegraph:

The trouble is that Jackson can’t make it mean very much: when every life on Middle Earth is seemingly at stake, few individually grab our attention. There’s more aftermath than plot left, and very little of it has to do with Bilbo (Martin Freeman), who feels increasingly like a forlorn bystander in his own franchise.

The further and more competently the movie trundles on, the more it begs not to exist, really: hindsight favours a two-part adaptation at most.

IGN:

There’s a little too much padding in the final Hobbit flick, and the best sequence is without doubt the film’s first. But the central battle is indeed spectacular, and as ‘The Age of Orc’ approaches, it rounds out this particular story in stirring and emotional fashion.

And some other brief thoughts:

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