It has been six films in the making – if you count the first Rings trilogy – clocking up god knows how many hours of screen time, so there is a little pressure on Oscar-winning filmmaker Peter Jackson to deliver the goods with his final foray into Middle Earth here. The good news is that he delivers in spades.

The third and final part of his three-movie adaptation of JRR Tolkien’s The Hobbit sees Brit Martin Freeman’s final outing as Bilbo Baggins. Featuring all the New Zealand scenery, hairy feet, epic battles and Ian McKellen that the series has become loved for it is a fitting conclusion to the movie franchise that has made Tolkien’s world a cinematic classic and Jackson a Hollywood legend of his own. 

For those who have even but a passing interest in Middle Earth or movies, it is a filmic event not to be missed. And, while clocking in at just under two and half hours (which is pretty short for Jackson”s Middle Earth franchise really) you’ll be glad to hear that it has but one ending rather than the overly padded out multi-conclusion Jackson couldn’t resist in his Rings- concluding Return of the King. 

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is released December 12 courtesy of Warner Bros.