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The Hobbit: the Desolation of Smaug

  • Action
  • Fantasy
  • 2013
  • Peter Jackson
  • 154 mins
  • 12A


Fantasy adventure starring Martin Freeman and Ian McKellen. Bilbo Baggins marches on towards the Lonely Mountain flanked by Thorin and his band of dwarves. There he is destined to encounter the fire-breathing dragon Smaug, guardian of a precious, mystical stone that bestows great power on anyone who possesses it.

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A star rating of 3 out of 5.

Martin Freeman soldiers on along a bumpy road as Bilbo Baggins, but is pushed even further into the background, in this second part of Peter Jackson's long drawn-out adaptation of the JRR Tolkien classic. Even vengeful dwarf Thorin Oakenshield (Richard Armitage), who dominated the first film, is made to look one-dimensional on this leg of the journey. The attention to detail is once again all in the visual realisation of Middle-earth and some extraordinary action scenes, including a sticky situation with giant spiders and Bilbo's close encounter with the evil dragon Smaug (boomingly voiced by Freeman's Sherlock co-star Benedict Cumberbatch). And, thankfully, Jackson has toned down the Day-Glo brightness of the first instalment for a softer, more traditional storybook aesthetic. Evangeline Lilly is a welcome addition to the story as elvish warrior Tauriel, who brings some much needed heart and urgency to the story, caught between a brooding Legolas (Orlando Bloom, returning on good form) and flirty dwarf Kili (Poldark's Aidan Turner). But the dramatic tension comes in fits and starts, and for that reason the film can be a frustrating watch, although Jackson does succeed in building anticipation for the final chapter.



Bilbo BagginsMartin Freeman
Gandalf the GreyIan McKellen
Thorin OakenshieldRichard Armitage
Smaug / NecromancerBenedict Cumberbatch
TaurielEvangeline Lilly
GaladrielCate Blanchett
LegolasOrlando Bloom
Bard the BowmanLuke Evans
KiliAidan Turner
BalinKen Stott
DwalinGraham McTavish
BofurJames Nesbitt
FiliDean O'Gorman
ThranduilLee Pace
BeornMikael Persbrandt
RadagastSylvester McCoy
Master of LaketownStephen Fry
AlfridRyan Gage
Hilda BlancaSarah Peirse
Albert DrearyPeter Jackson
BainJohn Bell (4)
SigridPeggy Nesbitt
TildaMary Nesbitt
AzogManu Bennett
BolgLawrence Makoare
NarzugBen Mitchell
FimbulStephen Ure
GalionCraig Hall
ElrosRobin Kerr
LethuinEli Kent
BomburStephen Hunter (3)
OriAdam Brown


DirectorPeter Jackson


Theatrical distributor
Warner Bros
Released on
Some violence.
Available on
DVD and Blu-ray

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