The Movie Snob says Peter Jackson saved the best for last.
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (B+). The movie review in the local newspaper criticized this final installment of the Hobbit trilogy for being non-stop action, with no time for personal moments. I have to disagree with my colleague on that point. Given the movie’s subtitle, obviously there is going to be plenty of action, but I thought there were enough quiet moments to give the film a little balance. The first order of business is to see what happens when Smaug the dragon (voice of Benedict Cumberbatch, The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug) attacks the human settlement of Laketown. Then there’s a lull in the action while the forces of good and evil mass for the titular battle. There are plenty of heroics once the evil orcs, goblins, and giants attack the humans, elves, and dwarves assembled at the Lonely Mountain. I don’t think there’s really adequate justification for the decisions to shoehorn Legolas (Orlando Bloom, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers) into a story in which he doesn’t belong, or to create lady elf warrior Tauriel (Evangeline Lilly, The Hurt Locker) out of whole cloth, but I guess they add a little sex appeal to a movie that would otherwise be largely without. And at only 144 minutes, it’s the trilogy’s shortest film to boot! I say check it out.