The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

Mindless CGI spectacle overpowers every aspect of Peter Jackson’s concluding Tolkien adaptation; like the other installments of this lumbering trilogy, it’s more tech-demo than movie. His original Lord of the Rings franchise benefitted from practical realism, with its handmade sets and beautiful location photography. But in this monstrosity, virtually everything is computer-generated, from the settings to the actors (altered to look more like orcs and dwarves and elves), and this artificiality intensifies the antihumanism of Tolkien’s high fantasy. Innumerable characters quibble over ancient treasure found inside a mountain, though Jackson rushes the dramatic interplay and simple story development so we can get to all the fighting. With Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, and Luke Evans.