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The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies - Extended Edition

M: violence

Spoiler alert

This page outlines how the classification criteria were applied. We do our best to discuss the content while avoiding spoilers, but please avoid reading this information if you do not want to learn anything about the content of this movie.

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies poster

Date registered: 30/10/2015

About the film

The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies is an extended version of the final instalment in Peter Jackson's three-part film adaptation of the novel The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien, and the prequel to The Lord of the Rings film trilogy. It concludes the epic adventures of hobbit Bilbo Baggins, and his time with King Thorin Oakenshield and the dwarves of Erebor.

The dwarves have reclaimed the riches of their homeland, but have unwittingly unleashed the dragon Smaug upon the defenceless people of Laketown. The wizard Gandalf warns that the great enemy Sauron has sent forth legions of Orcs in a stealth attack upon the Lonely Mountain. The dwarves, elves and men of Middle Earth must unite or be destroyed. Bilbo finds himself fighting for his life and the lives of his friends as the Five Armies go to war.

A still image from the film - the elf army waiting at the gates of Erebor

Classification criteria: Horror

Certain material is likely to frighten younger children. There is a pervasive sense of danger. There are digitally-created, monstrous creatures such as a giant, fire-breathing dragon (Smaug), menacing orcs and giant ogres/trolls. These creatures behave aggressively toward humans, elves and dwarves, and their actions are accompanied by shrill sounds. There are some loud, threatening voices. Opening scenes show Smaug flying over a city, causing fire and devastation while people flee in fear. Orcs are coated in armour, wield large sharp weapons, and growl. These creatures are sometimes harmed in gruesome ways. These and other screeching creatures can appear suddenly and startle the viewer.

A still image from the film - the dragon Smaug attacking Laketown

Classification criteria: Cruelty

Gandalf is briefly seen imprisoned in a tight iron cage. His orc minder releases him, drags him to a chopping block and is about to sever his hand with a machete before another character intervenes and saves him. Acts of cruelty are also discussed in conjunction with violence below.

A still image from the film - Gandalf, alone and in danger in Dol Guldur

Classification criteria: Violence

Violence is moderately extensive but it is of a fantastical, often swashbuckling nature. Computer-generated imagery is heavily employed. There are few depictions of bodily harm and blood.

There are lengthy battle scenes. Armies of thousands of orcs, ogres/trolls, elves, dwarves and men meet in combat, fighting with swords, spears, and other weapons. Some orcs and ogres/trolls have blades and flails in lieu of hands. Fighting here is aggressive but mechanical. There is little-or-no detail of individual harm. Action is intensified by loud sound effects of battle.

Two important characters in the trilogy are murdered by orcs. Both depictions are fairly discreet. One has been taken hostage and is stabbed in the back and pushed off a ledge. There is a brief close-up of his face as he lies dead. The other is held down and stabbed through the chest. Penetration is implied by the rise of his chest. The camera focuses on his pained face as he dies relatively quickly and quietly.

The deaths of orcs and ogres/trolls occur in more gruesome ways. All depictions are fleeting and are mitigated by the fantastical context. At one point a dwarf-driven chariot flies through the air, decapitating several trolls at once with its protruding wheel blades. The trolls' heads roll off with minimal blood splatter.

A still image from the film - in the midst of the battle

Decision summary

The film is an impressively made, action-packed adaption of the enduringly popular fantasy novel, The Hobbit. Its unrestricted availability is unlikely to be injurious to the public good therefore a restriction is not warranted. Younger children are likely to be frightened by the violence involving monstrous creatures, shrill sounds, and aggression, so caution is advised. Otherwise, the few depictions of murder and bodily harm are relatively fleeting and are greatly mitigated by the fantastical context.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies - Extended Edition is classified as unrestricted, but is recommended as more suitable for mature viewers due to its treatment of violence.

Contact the Information Unit if you require further information on a classification decision.

M label
M: violence