|New Line Cinema | Release Date: December 17, 2003||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
Represents that filmmaking rarity -- a third part of a trilogy that is decisively the best of the lot. With epic conflict, staggering battles, striking landscapes and effects, and resolved character arcs all leading to a dramatic conclusion to more than nine hours of masterful storytelling. Read full review
The invisible wizard Peter Jackson makes use of every scene to show us the meaning of magnificence. Never has a filmmaker aimed higher, or achieved more.
Then, finally, there are the endings, all six of them...For us outsiders, it seems like too much of a good thing...But all those are minor rants: The big fact is that The Return of the King puts you there at Waterloo, or Thermopylae or the Bulge, any desperate place where men ran low on blood and iron and ammo, but not on courage. Read full review
Peter Jackson has not really made a movie of The Lord of the Rings; he has sprung clear of it to forge something new. He has drawn a deep breath, and taken the plunge. [5 January 2004, p. 89]
It’s odd and unfortunate, however, that The Return of the King just barely misses the eye-misting emotional wallop of the series’ previous installment, The Two Towers, which had a lyrical subtlety underpinning the vast vistas of growing chaos (and Christopher Lee hardly hurt matters) and hobbits-in-peril. Read full review
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