New Line Cinema | Release Date: December 17, 2003
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Universal acclaim based on 2288 Ratings
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9
EpicLadySpongeJan 5, 2016
This long movie for the end of the Lord of the Rings will just simply pull out all your excitement for a waste of 201 minutes. I don't really have anything else to say other than just saying these repetitive words for each review I give forThis long movie for the end of the Lord of the Rings will just simply pull out all your excitement for a waste of 201 minutes. I don't really have anything else to say other than just saying these repetitive words for each review I give for movies I've already seen in the past. Expand
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10
SpangleJul 17, 2014
Just absolutely marvelous. It takes what made its predecessors so amazing and added more amazing on top of it. The acting is great as usual, the battle sequences are masterfully filmed, and the film just really beautiful all around. The CGI,Just absolutely marvelous. It takes what made its predecessors so amazing and added more amazing on top of it. The acting is great as usual, the battle sequences are masterfully filmed, and the film just really beautiful all around. The CGI, the story, the cinematography, just brilliantly done. Also, as with the first two, the film watching experience is entirely magical. It really wisks you away to another land and engulfs you in the happenings as if it is happening in your world. It is hard to put my finger on what makes this series so great, but I think we get a taste of it at the end as even when this film, the final in the trilogy, ended I was left wanting more. Over three hours was simply not enough of Frodo, Sam, Aragorn, Gandalf, etc, for me, which is an amazing thing to say. As for the ending, it is great, though it does go on a tad too long for my liking and is not as great as the rest of the film, but it works and it is pretty satisfying. The Lord of the Rings is one of the rare film franchises that gets better as it goes on, though that is not to say the first two are bad, as they are just as good as this one. I am sad now that is over, but I guess that is to be expected. Expand
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9
Compi24Jan 4, 2013
Rounding off a trilogy on the right note is no easy task, but Peter Jackson and co. pull it off with ease in this third and final installment of their adaptation of the classic Tolkien tale - it's bursting with marvelous set pieces,Rounding off a trilogy on the right note is no easy task, but Peter Jackson and co. pull it off with ease in this third and final installment of their adaptation of the classic Tolkien tale - it's bursting with marvelous set pieces, heart-wrenchingly emotional drama, and that same plethora of charming characters that rightfully bring it all home. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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8
MovieGuysFeb 2, 2014
Middle Earth fans will be pleased by this, as well as the other installments in the series. Not being a Middle Earth fan myself, I still found myself amazed by the spectacular visuals, the great special effects, and the captivating story.
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10
beingryanjudeAug 24, 2014
It is no small feat to perfectly tie together an extraordinary trilogy. The Return of the King is, perhaps, the most passionate of all three. There is a reason why the Oscars awarded this film Best Picture... it is a masterpiece.
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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10
csw12Dec 22, 2012
The miracle is that 'The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is better: tighter, smarter, funnier the previous 2 and that is saying a lot. Peter Jackson has created some of the greatest films ever made for the movie screen. TotalThe miracle is that 'The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is better: tighter, smarter, funnier the previous 2 and that is saying a lot. Peter Jackson has created some of the greatest films ever made for the movie screen. Total perfection in every aspect it takes to make a movie. This is an astonishing achievement in movie making. An epic masterpiece of total perfection that will leave you amazed. Expand
5 of 6 users found this helpful51
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9
cameronmorewoodNov 14, 2012
The best of Jackson's middle earth epics is also the longest, and rightfully so. Return of the King is a wonderful and gripping tale with ups and downs that despite its fantasy, make it seem almost relatable.
4 of 8 users found this helpful44
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9
imthenoobNov 22, 2012
Not as good as people made it out to be. Visually, It's the best the series has been but story-wise it's rather stupid. The whole relying on ghosts thing just irks me for some reason. Action is suprisingly even better then the previous filmNot as good as people made it out to be. Visually, It's the best the series has been but story-wise it's rather stupid. The whole relying on ghosts thing just irks me for some reason. Action is suprisingly even better then the previous film and it's very satisfying to watch as well. A satisfying ending to the trilogy. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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10
Trev29Jun 11, 2013
Words will never be enough to describe this movie. You must see and feel this movie to understand the absolute perfection it portrays. No other piece of film will ever compare to it.
3 of 4 users found this helpful31
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8
JacobJan 12, 2013
There is so much you could say about this film but I am going to keep it brief. Return of the King is a great film and possibly one of if not the best film adaptation of a book I have ever seen. It cuts stuff out to keep the plot moving andThere is so much you could say about this film but I am going to keep it brief. Return of the King is a great film and possibly one of if not the best film adaptation of a book I have ever seen. It cuts stuff out to keep the plot moving and the stuff that Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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10
oxanaMay 20, 2014
This film was massive; although "The Two Towers" had a great battle at Helm's Deep, the fight that takes place before Minas Tirith is massive on another scale entirely.

We have finally met all our heroes, and it is time to get all the
This film was massive; although "The Two Towers" had a great battle at Helm's Deep, the fight that takes place before Minas Tirith is massive on another scale entirely.

We have finally met all our heroes, and it is time to get all the pieces really moving.

Frodo and Sam, guided by Gollum/Sméagol continue their journey to Mordor, now choosing another road that seems to be even more perilous than the first.

In the meanwhile, Gandalf tries to find out where Sauron will strike next now that Saruman has been defeated, and all signs point towards Gondor.

The fight scenes are incredible to watch. Men, Elf and Dwarf alike are put to test to see who will emerge victorious in the end. The slight sparks of humor in the midst of action only make it better. May the best Dwarf win!

The attention to details in clothes, weapons and cities remains the same all thorough the series - something a viewer takes for granted at least the first few times. The score is beautiful and fitting.

Since this concludes the trilogy, we are handed a rather long ending (with several "fake" endings). After a long movie, it starts to feel a bit drawn out, yet it is a fitting end for the Fellowship.

It is hard to write a worthy review for a movie you love so much. Again, I thought they pushed too much of Arwen in random, short shots into the movie, but that was so that the audience would not forget about her... and Liv Tyler is pretty to look at, so let's forgive them for the slight disruption of balance. Also, I am still amused about the moving spotlight that Sauron's Eye is. Just saying.

Once again, if you have a chance to get your hands on the extended edition, do that; lots of extra goodies there.
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1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
MovieLonely94Oct 30, 2010
the best movie of all time and the only one that nearly made me cry.
9 of 12 users found this helpful93
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10
heyitsmegrif4May 26, 2012
The best ensemble there is give us the best performances I have ever seen, with dazzling visual effects breathtaking action, and probably blowing anyone who sees it out of their seat with the emotional power of the franchise and the movieThe best ensemble there is give us the best performances I have ever seen, with dazzling visual effects breathtaking action, and probably blowing anyone who sees it out of their seat with the emotional power of the franchise and the movie itself. I give this movie 100%. Expand
6 of 7 users found this helpful61
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10
TheApplegnomeDec 9, 2014
A flawless movie that might be one of the best ever made.

Stunning, massive, entertaining, deep and dramatic. Those words truly illustrate how great this last installment of The Lord of the Rings truly is. The high amount of action and the
A flawless movie that might be one of the best ever made.

Stunning, massive, entertaining, deep and dramatic. Those words truly illustrate how great this last installment of The Lord of the Rings truly is. The high amount of action and the uniqueness keeps me entertained. The story is so touching and I the first time I saw this movie I started to cry. The Lord of the Rings trilogy is much about us humans as it is about evil; it shows us that we can live together even though we are different. The extended edition of The Return of the King got much more logical things than the original, even though it’s almost 4,5 hours long. The CGI are in fact in my opinion greater than in The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, but there are some vague practical effects, but I don’t really care because the movie is awesome! The ending in The Return of the King is in level with The Dark Knight Rises and Inception; it's spectacular as it is touching. I totally cried in the ending. It's extremely hard to illustrate my feelings about The Return of the King, because that would only result in an emotional response.

This movie is both dramatic and spectacular.

The Return of the King gets a 10/10.
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10
StevenFOct 2, 2013
The final chapter in the groundbreaking trilogy can only be described in epic fashion as a satisfying conclusion, it maintains all the drama, battle, interest, fright and fantasy that its predecessors held, but still manages to inject moreThe final chapter in the groundbreaking trilogy can only be described in epic fashion as a satisfying conclusion, it maintains all the drama, battle, interest, fright and fantasy that its predecessors held, but still manages to inject more life into the story with many twists and turns to feel a sense of despair that's its now over. Saying that, at the time of writing this, The Hobbit trilogy is obviously in full swing, but it's a prequel, so this technically is the end. Just when we thought there was a silver lining after the events of the Two Towers, the battle of Helms Deep was mesmerising yet tragic, but a victory was in toe, yet as we kick off Return of the King, we realise that was only the tip of the iceberg, as Gandalf (Ian McKellan), King Theodin (Bernard Hill), Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Gimli (John Rys-Davies) continue their quest to stop the powerful Sauron, who is changing the very landscape of Middle Earth. Aragorn again plays a pivotal part in the finale, attempting to take back a throne that is rightfully his, Mortensen excellently shows so much development of his character over the three films, always fighting the good fight while looking out for those who matter most, now in the midst of leading a rebellion against Mordor. But the real journey still soldiers on with Frodo (Elijah Wood) as he edges ever closer to Mordor, but the ring continues to overburden him, alienating his only friend, Sam (Sean Astin), who can't seem to do right, he continuously warns his friend of the threat of Gollum (Andy Serkis), who has a more expansive role here, we see his humble beginnings as one of the river folk, with his eventual descent into madness well documented. These three must take a secret passage into flaming city in the hope of destroying the ring. What also comes to mind is that these
Frodo and company haven't seen any of the original Fellowship since the first film, they aren't aware that Gandalf is alive, but Gandalf himself now knows that the hobbits are still around, we get the sense of hope from his face that they were indeed around only days before. Almost every scene in the film proves significant, they all feel like closing moments of a long-running show, each character we have come to know over the films have very important roles to play in how the war will pan out, even the accidental travellers of Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd), who proved more than useful in the fall of Saruman (Christopher Lee). We also have most visually spectacular of the three, the massive battle scenes on the edges of Mordor are some of the finest elements of the film, one of the smaller charges against the enemy comes to mind as we are treated to a beautiful medley from Pippin as many soldiers ride to their likely death. In terms of the ending, it really should have decided on one, but the film, or entire saga for that matter, has been such an achievement in special effects, writing, direction and acting, the muddled endings can be forgiven, for the crowing battle of Minas Tirith is a wonderful piece of cinema, combining real set pieces with spectacular effects seamlessly, it just works so well. Many will argue the ridiculousness of such a tale as this story comes into full play, debating whether they pack the emotional punch or relevancy of other masterful pieces, but take a look at how much an audience loves to get lost in a supernatural or fantasy world, and why shouldn't they? There is so much to relate to with these characters and the journey they have taken and where it will go, something we can do as well. It speaks volumes when we choose to separate from big bad out there to seek solitude in a riveting adventure, one which Middle Earth will always hold, there will probably be nothing quite like it again.
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1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
homer4presidentMar 11, 2015
The Return of the King is by FAR the most moving, inspirational and epic of the three parts in Peter Jackon's take on Tolkien's fantasy masterpiece. After proving that this trilogy can carry the weight of a truly enormous body of text withThe Return of the King is by FAR the most moving, inspirational and epic of the three parts in Peter Jackon's take on Tolkien's fantasy masterpiece. After proving that this trilogy can carry the weight of a truly enormous body of text with the Fellowship of the Ring and the Two Towers, Jackson has shown that nothing is impossible anymore when being brought to film, and that fantasy can be surreal, but grounded to reality. Expand
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
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10
HalfwelshmanMay 21, 2011
A fittingly epic end to a near-perfect trilogy. ROTK not only breaks the formula of third parts in the trilogy being the worst, it actually succeeds in bettering its predecessors. Luckily it has the privilege of resolving all the plot pointsA fittingly epic end to a near-perfect trilogy. ROTK not only breaks the formula of third parts in the trilogy being the worst, it actually succeeds in bettering its predecessors. Luckily it has the privilege of resolving all the plot points from FOTR and TTT, and therefore doesn't suffer from their chief problem - they had to break off the story at some point. The finale is awesome in every sense of the word, from start to finish - from the colossal battle scenes to the quieter character-driven moments it sets the standard not just for fantasy films, but all films. The only real drawback of ROTK is that after watching it, you are finally forced to leave Middle Earth behind. Expand
6 of 9 users found this helpful63
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10
OfficialDec 6, 2013
"LOTR: The Return of the King", the last installment in the series, is also by far, the best in the series too. The emotional depth that has been put in this epic finale is tremendously effective. The extended edition, at 263 minutes, is"LOTR: The Return of the King", the last installment in the series, is also by far, the best in the series too. The emotional depth that has been put in this epic finale is tremendously effective. The extended edition, at 263 minutes, is absolutely brilliant. The action is exhilarating, the acting is powerful, and is fantastically staged. This movie is one of the greatest masterpieces ever made in movie history. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
MasterRileyJul 20, 2016
The best conclusion to Tolkien's stories anyone could have ever asked for. The Return of the King is more than a satisfying conclusion with great casting, great acting, great action, great effects, great world building, and great music.
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10
aadityamudharApr 17, 2016
This is simply a masterpiece.
You will never see a trilogy like this one, essential for your cinematographic culture. The Return of the King is the prove that third parts can be much better than the first or second one.
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9
sanyrubDec 8, 2013
Could not have imagined a better ending for this trilogy. The better paced one among the 3, not one single filler moment. Action great as always, visuals great as always, excitement in overload mode because we know we are getting to the end.Could not have imagined a better ending for this trilogy. The better paced one among the 3, not one single filler moment. Action great as always, visuals great as always, excitement in overload mode because we know we are getting to the end. Emotional content on point. It has everything, and more. The last hour is just superb. Like I said in my reviews for the other 2 parts, despite everything epic in this trilogy, the heart of the film are Frodo and Sam. That´s beautiful, and even hair-raising in that final hour. I mean, I´m sure Sam was Frodo´s boyfriend for crying out loud! lol Sam had to get a girl at the end just to follow the outdated rules of society No, seriously, it´s amazingly epic and emotive at the same time. Very few times achieved in a film. I can´t give it a 10 because there are very few perfect things in this life and I´m hard when it comes to reviewing. But it has to be the strongest 9 I´ve ever given. Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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9
spadenxDec 6, 2011
I agree that the film is a masterpiece and not only shows Peter Jackson's direct skills at full blast but it shows that even now we can still produce a film that will stun you in the way that Return Of The King has.

The only problems with
I agree that the film is a masterpiece and not only shows Peter Jackson's direct skills at full blast but it shows that even now we can still produce a film that will stun you in the way that Return Of The King has.

The only problems with the film I have are this - The acting ,will solid through out, is no where near as good as any other part of the film and it is a bit disapointing. Also there are parts with the CGI and special effects look painfully obvious (usually when the actors are on the screen when they occur). Besides that, Its a great film.
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4 of 6 users found this helpful42
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10
MovieMasterEddyApr 17, 2016
A “King” that earns its crown, Peter Jackson’s final installment in his monumental “The Lord of the Rings” represents that filmmaking rarity — a third part of a trilogy that is decisively the best of the lot. With epic conflict, staggeringA “King” that earns its crown, Peter Jackson’s final installment in his monumental “The Lord of the Rings” 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, “The Return of the King” is an urgently paced 200-minute film without an ounce of fat — until unfortunate multiple endings that go on and on, as if Jackson couldn’t bear to let go.

In the rarefied world of large-scaled cinematic triptychs, three in the modern era quickly come to mind that, initially at least, combined striking cinematic prowess with enormous public enthusiasm: “The Godfather,” “Star Wars” and “The Matrix.” In the first two instances, the second film was by general consensus the best and most adventurous, while the third was by far the weakest across the boards.

What Jackson and New Line so boldly did right was to shoot all three in one continuous stretch rather than start from scratch each time.

Of all the wonders associated with this trio of films — the literate, generally well structured overall script, the perfection of the New Zealand locations, the visionary scenic designs, the exceptional visual effects, the costumes, hair and armor, and the excellent cast — perhaps the most impressive feat of all has been Jackson’s ability to keep it all in his head through the years and deliver a cohesive work with a proper sense of balance and proportion.

Unlike his predecessors in the trilogy business, of course, Jackson had a ready-made three-part text to work from, one constructed to pay off in the climactic installment. And pay off it does, in ways guaranteed to satisfy the multitudes around the world who embraced the first two films, and even to impress non-card-carrying members of the massive Tolkien-Jackson cult.

Still, anyone who hasn’t seen the first two pics won’t have a clue what’s going on at the outset of “The Return of the King.” With much struggle behind him but the worst yet to come, Frodo (Elijah Wood) is increasingly feeling the weight of being the Ringbearer as he and his faithful friend Sam (Sean Astin) make their way toward Mount Doom, the place where the Ring was made and the only place it can be destroyed, thus thwarting Sauron’s attempt to destroy humankind.

In a way new to the trilogy, the emotional momentum surges along with the physical action. After early ambivalence over his responsibility for the Ring, Frodo grows into the job; after long dodging his royal inheritance, Aragorn finally rises to the occasion; Sam, especially, emerges as a three-dimensional character of intense devotion to Frodo even after he has been tricked by the Iago-like Gollum and exiled by his closest friend; and the ineffectual Hobbits Pippin and Merry take on some size, figuratively if not literally.

The building sense of dread is palpable. With the belching Mount Doom and its all-powerful hovering Eye in the distance, humankind and Orcs alike traverse an already stark landscape that will shortly become scorched. Dreadful giant screeching dragons, called Fell Beasts, flap down out the sky to pluck hapless soldiers off their feet and horses. And the Orcs are assisted by yet more monsters, including Hulk-like Trolls and towering, long-tusked mastodons known as Mumakil, that strike terror and make resistance seem futile.

With these forces massing to decide the fate of civilization, Gandalf tries to buy time for Frodo to plunge the Ring into the lava at Mount Doom. To greater effect than he has at any point in the three films, Jackson cuts among different sets of activity, the most spectacular being the battle and the most emotionally intense being Frodo’s painful, inch-by-inch journey.

The siege of Minas Tirith may well be the mother of all cinematic battles; certainly no pre-CGI war film ever featured a scene involving upwards of 200,000 soldiers. But that’s how many Orcs maraud the city, and the details are extraordinary: the huge stones catapulted at the fortifications from mobile towers; the fire-breathing dragon battering ram that crashes through the main gates; the earth-shaking Mumakil that raze all before them with scythe-like tusks and carry dozens of men; the gradual movement of the battle from the ground to the upper levels of the exquisitely designed citadel. All of “The Lord of the Rings” has been building to this, and it delivers entirely.

All the outstanding technical and craft achievements that have been duly honored in the previous installments are at least equaled and sometimes trumped here, especially in regard to how involved the creatures are this time. There has been no let-up in creativity, only intensification.

So Jackson has done it. After seven years of work, Jackson has pulled off one of the most ambitious and phenomenally successful dream projects of all!
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1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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10
MovieManiac83Apr 23, 2015
According to the calendar, Christmas is December 25. According to the movie release schedule, it's December 17. There can be no greater gift for a movie lover than the one bestowed upon audiences by Peter Jackson, whose The Lord of the Rings:According to the calendar, Christmas is December 25. According to the movie release schedule, it's December 17. There can be no greater gift for a movie lover than the one bestowed upon audiences by Peter Jackson, whose The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King is not only the best movie of 2003, but the crowning cinematic achievement of the past several years. In fact, labeling this as a "movie" is almost an injustice. This is an experience of epic scope and grandeur, amazing emotional power, and relentless momentum.

One could be forgiven for initially approaching The Return of the King with a little trepidation. As good as the first two films, The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, are (in either their theatrical or extended DVD versions), movie history is littered with occasions when trilogy conclusions have crashed and burned. Return of the Jedi. Godfather III. The Matrix Revolutions. And so on? Yet, with The Return of the King, Jackson has done more than just bucked the trend. Not only is this motion picture an entirely worthy conclusion to the landmark trilogy, but it's better than its predecessors. Somehow, Jackson has managed to synthesize what worked in The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, while siphoning off the less successful elements. The result is amazing. Taken as a whole, there is nothing out there today that can come close to comparing to The Lord of the Rings.

The slowest portions of The Return of the King occur early in the proceedings, as Jackson re-establishes the characters. From there, it's a slow, steady buildup to a rousing climax. The experience is so immersive that I found myself in the middle of the Battle of the Pelennor Fields along with the heroes, rooting for them - even though I knew how things were going to turn out! Along the way, there are moments of genuine pathos that draw a tear from the eye; times of triumph that cause the heart to soar; instances of overwhelming tension that cause the adrenaline to surge; and images of spectacle that make the jaw drop. The pace is unflagging - once Jackson has us, he doesn't let go. When the movie was over, I couldn't believe that 3 1/4 hours had passed.

Although it's unfair to characterize the film as a collection of great moments - the character arcs and overall narrative are too strong for that - it is nevertheless impossible to deny the power of many individual scenes. One of Jackson's most notable contributions is that he directs the film with the intention that certain instances will raise nape hairs. It's the "wow" factor, and it is frequently repeated. Gene Siskel once argued that a great film needs three memorable scenes to go along with no bad ones. The Return of the King exceeds that criteria by a considerable amount.

For those who despise truncated endings, Jackson has a treat in store. The Return of the King ends with a 20 minute epilogue that chronicles events after the War of the Ring, going as much as four years into the future and tying up nearly every possible loose end. The film concludes on exactly the same note as the book (in fact, with the same line), and, while the final chapter of the trilogy is as satisfying as it could possibly be, there's still a vague sense of melancholy when "The End" appears on the screen, because it means that these adventures are over.

The acting shines through more in The Return of the King than in the other films. Elijah Wood is excellent as Frodo, a shell of the cheerful hobbit he once was. Sean Astin transforms Sam into a fierce knight protector, defending his master against the treacherous Gollum, the terrifying Shelob, and the forces of Mordor. Viggo Mortensen gives Aragorn his fullest opportunity to be seen as a three-dimensional hero. Newcomer John Noble, as Denethor, the Protector of Gondor, displays madness laced with cunning. Orlando Bloom and John Rhys-Davies have less to do, but provide us with a little comedic banter as well as some more serious moments. Miranda Otto's Eowen is as sharp and fierce as any man, and far better looking. Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan are given a chance to flesh out Pippin and Merry. Cate Blanchett, Liv Tyler, Hugo Weaving, and Ian Holm all make brief appearances.

Expectedly, the special effects set a new standard. The CGI participants of the major battles look more like real combatants than cartoonish computer creations. The locations, set design, and costumes are without flaw. By building many of the elaborate locales, Jackson achieves a sense of verisimilitude that he might not have attained by relying more heavily on computers. And composer Howard Shore's score is perfectly wed to the visuals, being alternately bombastic and delicate, as circumstances dictate.

The Lord of the Rings will go down in cinematic lore as a milestone.
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10
gameguardian21Jan 7, 2016
This is the best book- to- movie adaptation put to film as this remains my second favorite movie of all time. It has the most emotional story line, amazing action sequences, and it's all thanks to peter Jackson. This one of the best films, inThis is the best book- to- movie adaptation put to film as this remains my second favorite movie of all time. It has the most emotional story line, amazing action sequences, and it's all thanks to peter Jackson. This one of the best films, in one of the best trilogy's of all time. Expand
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8
gm101Mar 29, 2011
In a way, this was better than the last two movies, but the reason I'm giving it the same score as the last two was because Christopher Lee's scene was deleted (which is such a big shame, considering he is one of the best actors ever).
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10
SwatiDec 4, 2013
For Jackson to shoot The Lord of the Rings with a local crew in New Zealand, a country at the edge of the world with little stake in its doings, is a marvel which may only be repeated by Jackson himself. Apart from the international cast, theFor Jackson to shoot The Lord of the Rings with a local crew in New Zealand, a country at the edge of the world with little stake in its doings, is a marvel which may only be repeated by Jackson himself. Apart from the international cast, the people who were actually working to bring us the trilogy, like special effects, were Kiwis. The majority of this credit must go to Jackson for his leadership and vision, and for succeeding in hiring an able team.

The Return of the King is the concluding chapter in the trilogy. The story is picked up where it was left off at the end of The Two Towers. We are shown a glimpse into Gollum's past. The rest of the fellowship reunite at Isengard. Saruman's fate is omitted from the theatrical edition, which I always found odd given his importance in the previous instalment.

It is a time for festivities in Rohan in the wake of the victory at Helm's Deep. An accident shows us Sauron's plans for Minas Tirith, the legendary capital of Gondor. The fellowship breaks again in a different way. Gandalf rides to the city to find the steward reluctant to lift even a finger for its defence. Needless to say, things work out and Rohirrim ride for Gondor's aid. Faramir, dejected by his father, rides out in a last ditched effort to reclaim Osgiliath.

A family heirloom is returned to Aragorn which he uses to find help in the most unexpected places. Another plot device if you ask me. If you keep an eye out for them, they become very obvious. Jackson could have lessened its impact or omitted it entirely, making sure the battle was won through the prowess of battle commanders, which he failed to do so. As Fellowship never purported to show us a huge battle at all, and did not have to resolve it, I will forever hold it in higher regard than Return. The Two Towers resolved its battle much more satisfactorily, but Return has got much more on the former in other areas, so the second place goes to the latter.

Orcs begin the attack on the city. Gandalf leads the defence. The battle looks grander than the one at Helm's Deep, the besieging armies and weapons more awe-inspiring. The special effects used to bring this conflict to life were stunning_ showing the destruction of architecture by the catapults and the loss of men and Orcs; as well as bringing to life Shelob, the giant spider. The scene of the Rohirrim cutting through the Orcs on their horses is possibly the most spectacular. Oliphaunts and Nazguls join the fight.

My previous apathy for Eowyn is cured after watching the extended version, in which she develops significantly. In fact, she is the only female character in Middle Earth who is of some worth, and I like where her story took us, climaxing in a very satisfactory way in the middle of a battle, pitted against only the most important antagonists.

The main trio_ Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, are absent from much of the fighting, as the other two accompany the former on his journey of self-discovery. I was earnestly hoping for them to join the fight, which they did (Legolas displaying some very impressive killer moves), but it was so ridiculously short. Four minutes. Believe me, I counted. In this regard The Two Towers was much better, as well as having more memorable scenes with the Gollum.

Frodo's inevitable clash with Gollum goes full circle. Sam displays unprecedented strength of character and resolve, and the Hobbits thrive without much help from men. Men ride once more to aid Frodo in his quest to rid them of the ring, and a final battle sequence follows, after which it is destroyed. In epilogue, we learn about the fates of the Hobbits, Aragorn and Gandalf.

The extended edition had some interesting scenes which enriched the characters and the story, but also some which betrayed some ineptitude at editing. One scene had a character utter the exact same dialogue to persuade someone in the span of a single conversation. Surely a rewording would have been more effective. I scoffed at a particular attempt to blossom an affair between two secondary characters. Such things should have been hinted at in the epilogue. No one is interested in that stuff when the stakes involve the end of the world.

Finally, a discussion about the extraordinary tally at the Oscars. Eleven well-deserved wins out of as many nominations, in fields as diverse as art direction, costume design, make-up, sound, original score, original song, editing, visual effects, adapted screenplay, directing, and Best Picture.

In the end I would observe that the extended editions of the first and second instalments, three hours twenty and three hours thirty-three minutes respectively, enhanced the tales while the third one, a crushing four hours, did not achieve anything of worth.
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9
Andys_ReviewsOct 13, 2012
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The book could very easily have been made into two films; there is such a lot that happens and so many twists in the plot that it might have benefitted if that were the case. But we Expand
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mds03Apr 15, 2013
What's good about this final film in the franchise is that it's action scenes, script, direction, and the ending all work fine. The last hour of it was especially entertaining and intense. Like the first film in the franchise, almostWhat's good about this final film in the franchise is that it's action scenes, script, direction, and the ending all work fine. The last hour of it was especially entertaining and intense. Like the first film in the franchise, almost everything works except for the runtime and probably something else. I mean come on, a 201 minute runtime. It feels like I could run a marathon of 100 miles and the movie would still have 30 minutes left when I got back home!!!!!!!!!! The other problem is that the camera shifts far too many times and far too fast between Frodo's group and The Fellowship while the movie is going. The camera will show the Fellowship fighting off the bad guys for 30 minutes and then shift to Frodo, Sam, and Gollum's point of view for barely 5 minutes!!!!!!!!!!!! It's still good but it has almost the same exact problems as the first two. Expand
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JohnMasterLJul 20, 2015
La mejor película de fantasía de todos los tiempos. The Return of the King es hermosa, perfecta, una aventura de 3 horas y 21 minutos repleta de emociones, es totalmente épica, dramática, divertida y poderosa. Peter Jackson creo una obraLa mejor película de fantasía de todos los tiempos. The Return of the King es hermosa, perfecta, una aventura de 3 horas y 21 minutos repleta de emociones, es totalmente épica, dramática, divertida y poderosa. Peter Jackson creo una obra maestra única e insuperable. Coloca las 3 partes juntas y obtendrás la mejor aventura mágica y épica de todos los tiempos con duración de casi 10 horas. Ganadora de 11 premios de la Academia. The Lord of the Rings es la mejor trilogía que eh visto. Expand
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