Metascore
94

Universal acclaim - based on 41 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 1979 Ratings

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  • Starring:
  • Summary: Sauron's forces have laid siege to Minas Tirith, the capital of Gondor, in their efforts to eliminate the race of men. The once-great kingdom, watched over by a fading steward, has never been in more desperate need of its king. But can Aragorn (Mortensen) answer the call of his heritage and become what he was born to be? In no small measure, the fate of Middle-earth rests on his broad shoulders. (New Line Cinema) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Andrea Gronvall
    100
    Ties everything together with a dazzling synthesis of pagan animism, heroic quest mythology, orientalism, Pre-Raphaelite imagery, 1950s sci-fi creature features, and Hollywood war epics.
  2. Reviewed by: David Hunter
    100
    An epic success and a history-making production that finishes with a masterfully entertaining final installment.
  3. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    100
    It might be the cinema's most astonishing holy war film. The Lord of the Rings took seven years and an army of gifted artists to execute, and the striving of its makers is in every splendid frame. It's more than a movie--it's a gift.
  4. Reviewed by: Alan Morrison
    100
    Those who have walked beside these heroes every step of the way on such a long journey deserve the emotional pay-off as well as the action peaks, and they will be genuinely touched as the final credits roll.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    100
    As good as each individual movie is, the third film vaults the work into the stratosphere of classic movies. Key characters are enhanced, new civilizations visited and battles fought more intensely, while feelings and motivations are plumbed more deeply and movingly.
  6. 88
    There is little enough psychological depth anywhere in the films, actually, and they exist mostly as surface, gesture, archetype and spectacle. They do that magnificently well, but one feels at the end that nothing actual and human has been at stake.
  7. Add a lot of dull acting -- except Sir Ian McKellen and Andy Serkis -- and you have an uneven movie with yawns aplenty.

See all 41 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 84 out of 724
  1. ClayE.
    Jan 4, 2004
    10
    A Fitting ending to the greatest trilogy of all time!
  2. Aug 9, 2011
    10
    It's a perfect epic. There's not one false step. The battles are incredible, the characters just as fun as ever. This movie is basically flawless. One of the best ever Expand
  3. BoydL.
    May 29, 2008
    10
    Awesome.
  4. Sam
    Feb 3, 2006
    10
    Peter Jackson is an absoloute marvel at filmaking, even the spectacular action scenes have their share of emotional beauty. The Return of the King is one of the greatest movies I have ever seen, surpassed by Jackson's King Kong. Expand
  5. Dec 5, 2012
    10
    "The Return of the King" is the best of the trilogy. It's passionate, and grand in scale and scope. An unforgettable conclusion to an already impressive series. Expand
  6. NickS.
    Mar 7, 2004
    9
    It was great. I have to agree with some people that the ghosts left the battle something to be desired. The battle did last long enough though to make it epic. But, it really wasn't the epic battle of the movie. The battle at the Black Gate was honestly the epic one. If you think about it, they faced impossible odds, and they were all united to fight the odds. Anyway, the film was one of the best ive ever seen, and it is not overrated. Its actually underrated from my point of view. I reccomend this film to anyone who loves fantasy movies. Oh yeah, and CONGRATS to the Lord of the Rings cast and crew. You worked hard to make it, and you won alll 11 Oscars. HORRAY FOR LORD OF THE RINGS: RETURN OF THE KING!!!!!!! Expand
  7. LegionODorkS
    Dec 19, 2003
    0
    This ZERO is for the pinheads rating this movie as 'BEST MOVIE EVER'. Yes, if you've seen only three movies in your life-- including the first two installments of this outrageously overrated series-- than yes, FANBOY, this is the best picture ever. If, on the other hand, you're over 3 years old, you may have seen... oh... I don't know... 200 better films, conservatively? Let me guess: George W. Bushole.. best President EVER?!? I thought so... Expand

See all 724 User Reviews

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