Family Film Guide: 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug'

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The Post-Gazette reviews movies from a family perspective.

Rated: PG-13.

Suitable for: 13 and older or mature tweens familiar with the book.

What you should know: Director Peter Jackson's second of three films adapted from J.R.R. Tolkien's classic fantasy novel "The Hobbit" has 13 dwarves and the title hobbit Bilbo Baggins continuing their journey through Middle-earth, which is showing the influence of a looming menace. The company tangles with Wood Elves, giant spiders, Orcs and humans to reach Erebor, the former Dwarf homeland that generations ago was ripped from them. The treasure-filled land under The Lonely Mountain is in the clutches of the fire-breathing and talking dragon, Smaug. The film introduces the female Elf Tauriel, a warrior played by Evangeline Lilly. The film can be seen in Imax 3D, 3D or 2D.

Language: None.

Sexual situations/nudity: Chaste stuff. Tauriel is warned by the Elf King to not encourage Legalos' feelings for her. She is drawn to Kili and notes to Legalos, "He is tall for a Dwarf." Kili expresses feelings for Tauriel.

Violence/scary situations: Fantasy-adventure jolts from end to end. On their journey to confront a dragon, the company faces a shape-shifting bear/human, murderous Orcs, terrifying giant spiders and unsympathetic Elves and humans. They are imprisoned, on the run or fighting for their lives for much of the movie, before confronting the vengeful dragon. Some of the fighting shows arrows, daggers and swords impaling enemies at close range. A likable character is wounded and is shown in great pain. Gandalf has a showdown with a powerful force that foreshadows the evil to come ... and so it goes throughout.

Drug or alcohol use: Characters are seen drinking alcoholic drinks and a few are shown passed out drunk.


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