User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 1492 Ratings

User score distribution:
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  1. DavidL.
    Dec 19, 2001
    6
    Great spectacle, poor story. The greatest fault of the movie is that is started with a weak script that dooms its effort to bring Tolkien's magic to life. The casting and cinematography are good, as are the battle scenes. However the story departs from Tolkien in all the wrong places--too much setup of the ring, not enough on the hobbits and their relationship. The attempt to glorify Great spectacle, poor story. The greatest fault of the movie is that is started with a weak script that dooms its effort to bring Tolkien's magic to life. The casting and cinematography are good, as are the battle scenes. However the story departs from Tolkien in all the wrong places--too much setup of the ring, not enough on the hobbits and their relationship. The attempt to glorify Arwen's role by changing her character fall flat, as does the repeated sequences with Saruman and Sauron's eye. Expand
  2. BobD.
    Dec 25, 2001
    6
    If the movie was any longer, I would have needed an I.V.
  3. LisaB.
    Dec 29, 2001
    6
    It was visually stunning and emotionally empty for me. I had trouble staying awake.
  4. MatthewA.
    Dec 1, 2004
    5
    I know that my rating will encite hatred from LOTR fans but I'm sorry, the movie, sans the special effects, did not make me fall in love with it. I NEED to fall in love with a movie. I WANT to fall in love with a movie. And LOTR was just a bad date to me. Normally in these big budget adaptations they try and be as accurate as possible regarding time, events, wardrobe, etc. In this I know that my rating will encite hatred from LOTR fans but I'm sorry, the movie, sans the special effects, did not make me fall in love with it. I NEED to fall in love with a movie. I WANT to fall in love with a movie. And LOTR was just a bad date to me. Normally in these big budget adaptations they try and be as accurate as possible regarding time, events, wardrobe, etc. In this case the totally forgot character development. I couldn't have cared less what happened to Frodo and his crew. Sorry fans of the movie I just don't get LOTR and I even love Sci-Fi and Fantasy movies. Star Wars (the first three, episodes 4, 5, & 6) kick this movie's ass all over Gondor. Expand
  5. Jul 8, 2014
    4
    סרט ממש משעמם, הדמות היחידה שמעניינת הכל הטרילוגיה הזו לא בדיוק נמצאת שם, ואין שום רגע אחד מרגש או מותח, אתם לא תתחברו לדמויות כל כך, אין רגע שתזכרו מהסרט עד שתרדמו
  6. ChristopherE
    May 7, 2009
    5
    One of the more over-rated films of the 21st century that owes it's success more to nostalgia than to taste.
  7. ColierD.
    Jan 3, 2002
    6
    The special effects are, of course, good. However, the film is ultimately just an overlong film that is too intense for young children and is, at heart, a simplistic action flick that has little to offer adults.
  8. SeanR.
    Aug 7, 2002
    5
    This is one of those movies where you need to expect an 500 page story crammed not action. The action weren't that good and the demon characters looked really cheesy. The plot also really didn't make a whole lot of sense either. The thing I will never get over though are the names Frodo, Bilbo. Did Mike Tyson name these guys?
  9. T.
    Sep 13, 2002
    5
    I think the movie was ok. too much violence though for a movie where the audience maybe children. or even adults for that matter. this lord of the ring thing is everywhere, like all the bookstore now has huge display on this.. renewed interest? oh well. some of the charaters are downright annoying like those two short guys.
  10. JinC.
    Dec 20, 2001
    6
    Jackson approaches the film DEATHLY AFRAID that he will bore someone. many scenes from the book are re-imagined for excitement's sake but it makes for an altogether different experience than that conveyed by the original story. also, many of the characters are not only sharply drawn but are altogether caricatures. gandalf and galadriel are good examples of the writers missing the Jackson approaches the film DEATHLY AFRAID that he will bore someone. many scenes from the book are re-imagined for excitement's sake but it makes for an altogether different experience than that conveyed by the original story. also, many of the characters are not only sharply drawn but are altogether caricatures. gandalf and galadriel are good examples of the writers missing the complexity in tolkien's work. though perhaps it is less the inability of the writers than their lack of faith in the audience to 'get it'. also, i'd forgotten how 'gimmicky' jackson could be. i would have much preferred the steady camera and editing of john ford, akira kurosawa or david lean for this series. the quick cuts and cascading dissolves make the film seem a bit less epic and a tad more cheap. but jackson does combat scenes VERY well and nearly all is forgiven once we hit moria. the special effects are great and weta is to be congratulated, especially with the 'actor shrinking' that they seem to do so effortlessly. it's an ok film with many merits, but it's not as 'true' as many say it is to the original and it certainly does not merit all the acclaim (and the near 100% metacritic score) it enjoys. Expand
  11. YohannesA.
    Dec 20, 2001
    6
    Very drab and politacally correct untill the slaying starts. Felt a lot like watching Bakshi's lord of the rings.
  12. MarcE.
    Jun 23, 2002
    5
    You've seen the movie. Now buy the video game!
  13. AlexM.
    Dec 4, 2004
    4
    Not only was I massively disappointed by this film, but having re-watched it several times in the years since I originally saw it, I have come to believe that it is actually a flat-out bad film. This entire trilogy has, in my opinion, been hideously overblown. This first film is clearly the weakest: a mess of oppressive close-ups, shoddy CGI and ludicrous sequences (like a lame scene in Not only was I massively disappointed by this film, but having re-watched it several times in the years since I originally saw it, I have come to believe that it is actually a flat-out bad film. This entire trilogy has, in my opinion, been hideously overblown. This first film is clearly the weakest: a mess of oppressive close-ups, shoddy CGI and ludicrous sequences (like a lame scene in which Gandalf and Sauron do battle). "The Two Towers" was not much more interesting, but at least the bizarre spectacle of Gollum kept things interesting. "The Return of the King" was the only one of the trilogy that I semi-enjoyed, but even that is a deeply flawed movie. I just don't sense any artistic invention from Peter Jackson. His roots are in schlocky horror films, and I think those roots are quite evident in the way he has interpreted Tolkien's work. I had not read the "Lord of the Rings" books before seeing the films, and afterwards I sought them out so that I could discover whether the books themselves were overrated or whether Jackson had simply blown the adaptation. I found the books to be masterful: captivating, imaginative and with a genuine sense of invention and wonder. It is that sense that is missing from the films...instead, the overall tone of the movies is reverential, hushed, quasi-Shakespearean and, frankly, boring. I agree with what another poster said: the first three "Star Wars" films are brilliant and far superior to these movies, and despite the current hype, I predict that in 30 years when people look back at the "LOTR" films, they will see that they don't stand the test of time. Expand
  14. LanceE.
    Feb 16, 2004
    6
    -Not a total dissapointment but nontheless, overrated. -The Pros: -Ian McKellen and Viggo are rather apt for their roles. The music is epic and exhilarating. The scenery of New Zealand is wonderfully captured. There are some nice battle sequences. -The cons: Firstly, it is not very true to the novel-counterparts, as many have pointed out. In the novels the characters lived and breathed. -Not a total dissapointment but nontheless, overrated. -The Pros: -Ian McKellen and Viggo are rather apt for their roles. The music is epic and exhilarating. The scenery of New Zealand is wonderfully captured. There are some nice battle sequences. -The cons: Firstly, it is not very true to the novel-counterparts, as many have pointed out. In the novels the characters lived and breathed. In this, the heroes have been twisted to suit Jackson's need to make them more "bigger" than the actually are. What this means is that the characters in the novels are deeply flaws, even great Gandalf. In the movies they are much more grand. This is mostly because the movie has been made more action-oriented than the novels. As Jin C said, "Jackson approaches the film DEATHLY AFRAID that he will bore someone. Many scenes from the book are re-imagined for excitement's sake but it makes for an altogether different experience than that conveyed by the original story." -The characters have surely been slaughtered, made more epic. -Everyone says the special effects are great, but they're decent. Jackson and team make the scenes very dark, to hide the need for detail in the cgi. Monsters move unrealistically and look plastic. The point is, you can easily tell that the scenes inteded to look real, look fake. As F. Scott Fitzgerald said about the Thirties is true of this movie and its sequels, "the most expensive orgy in history". -As for those who say this movie has no plot, no, it does have a plot, and its a good one. Well, the book has a plot and the movie doesn't carry it out well. The problem is in the book we feel for the characters, we get much more information on the situation than the movie can ever give, and the narrator acts as a guide. That is why the movie seems lacking in plot, because LOTR is meant to be a novel, not a movie. -Jackson has royally screwed up by putting in his own scenes, altering others, and totally removing some. So if you got a problem with plot, don't blame Tolkein, blame the director. -And yes, the ending did suck because it really didn't end. For those of you who say this is a trilogy and it's supposed to make you anticipate the next movie, you're wrong. Firstly, it ended on a poor note--not at all making me anticipate the next movie. Secondly, the LOTR books aren't a trilogy, they're one novel. Tolkien has said this himself. Don't believe me? Read the novels. Book 1 ends and Book 2 picks up not days or hours afterward, but mere seconds. That's why the FOTR's ending is poor, because it was meant to be read one after another--and the movies can't do that. -Other things: Arwen has been included as an imporant character in this. Why? Because they got an big-shot actress to play her, and not wanting to let the money go to waste, they gave her additional scenes and a love-subplot with Aragorn, which is only mentioned in the notes section of the book. -With this comes another problem. People say a 400+ page book is hard to convey in movie form, but guess what? Jackson adds his own scenes to make it even longer. Besides, the book focuses heavily on describing every little detail in the surroundings; it is not really longer than 250+ without description. (Since the movie doesn't describe anything, it's free from time constraints) -Also, for those who think Jackons is the greatest filmmaker of all time because of the LOTR series, think again. What makes him the greatest director? The fact that he already had a whole story on his hands complete in excruciating detail, with plot and characters already mapped out? Or the fact that the script was already 99% complete? Or maybe the locales which were so vividly described in the novels or the pictures that Tolkien drew his backgrounds. Yeah, I'm sure Jackson was stumped when begining this series. -Yes, he has dedicated about a decade of his life to this series, and it does have its merits, and I'm sure he DID work hard; but what do you expect from a trilogy? Movies take from 2-3 years, so what's the big deal? Lucas has been working on StarWars from 1977 to the present. -Summary: Good in some respects, but pretty bad in others. Too long, decent as a standalone movie, and terrible as a rendition of the book. Much too over-hyped. This is not Tolkien's LOTR, it is Peter Jackon's LOTR. Expand
  15. Mike
    Feb 6, 2005
    5
    I was sooo disappointed by this movie!!!
  16. EricR
    Jun 16, 2009
    6
    It suffers from meandering moments that lag the story, choppy editing, and underdeveloped characters. But it somehow managed to hold my attention thanks to the amazing enthralling world Jackson has realized for the big screen and the flawless cast.
  17. TaylorS.
    Dec 20, 2001
    6
    Wonderful cinamatography, special effects, sets. everything visual is amazing. as is all the acting. but they killed the story. just completely dropped so many things that tolkien empahsized. it would be wonderful if they hadn't called it lord of the rings.
  18. YoonMinC.
    Sep 26, 2003
    4
    Maybe the book is a literary classic but I suspect this movie left out everything except the violence. Worse, everything here is a rudimentary sword/sorcery cliche, the special effects are murky, and the characters only frown, growl, or sweat. The pointyeared archer is handsome and dashing, and there are a couple of impressive images, but overall you're better off playing with your Maybe the book is a literary classic but I suspect this movie left out everything except the violence. Worse, everything here is a rudimentary sword/sorcery cliche, the special effects are murky, and the characters only frown, growl, or sweat. The pointyeared archer is handsome and dashing, and there are a couple of impressive images, but overall you're better off playing with your Playstation instead. Expand
  19. IlzeS.
    Dec 26, 2004
    4
    Not a bad movie, but theres no plot and storyline is really bad!
  20. DanF.
    Nov 14, 2002
    6
    Ned is the man! His comments are very thoughtful and well stated. However, I think his word choice and rating(1) are a little too harsh. He definitely has some merit to what he is saying: the movies characters are weak and the plot is fairly immature. However, those faults are eclipsed by the brilliant fighting scenes and the digital artwork. Ned, you are very intelligent, yet a little Ned is the man! His comments are very thoughtful and well stated. However, I think his word choice and rating(1) are a little too harsh. He definitely has some merit to what he is saying: the movies characters are weak and the plot is fairly immature. However, those faults are eclipsed by the brilliant fighting scenes and the digital artwork. Ned, you are very intelligent, yet a little too narrow minded. Expand
  21. Feb 4, 2013
    6
    Possibly people for a good movie, but for me it is another of those movies fun to hang out.
  22. Jul 22, 2013
    5
    mucha a charla y poca accion para una pelicula que lo tenia todo para un hermoso 10, efectos, tema, actuacion, personajes, paisajes y falto accion lo cual bajo la calificacion
  23. Elmer
    Dec 19, 2001
    6
    Put your time and money to better use by buying and reading the book. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but if they tell a different story there is no comparison.
  24. Mar 22, 2015
    6
    1. choppy editing in non action scenes.
    2. way to slow character development.
    3. to much screen time devoted to unneeded scenery brochure.
    4. not enough focus on Languages
    5. nazgul impotence.
    6. no magic battles.
Metascore
92

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. 100
    I see it as nearly perfect: It's one of the best fantasy pictures ever made.
  2. An extraordinary work, grandly conceived, brilliantly executed and wildly entertaining. It's a hobbit's dream, a wizard's delight. And, of course, it's only the beginning.
  3. 70
    Above all, Jackson evokes an almost palpable sense of the will to power trapped within the ring. Without this evocation of the ring's insidious ability to sniff out the potential for corruption and capitalize on it, the entire enterprise would be precious drivel.