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88

Universal acclaim - based on 38 Critics What's this?

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9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 1111 Ratings

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  • Starring:
  • Summary: In the second chapter in J.R.R Tolkien's epic trilogy, the Fellowship faces unimaginable armies and deception while also witnessing ancient wonders and the untapped strength of their people. (New Line Productions)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. 100
    What makes Towers so staggering is the way it brings the full scope of Jackson's adaptation into focus. Without missing a beat in three hours, the film shifts from epic to lyrical and back.
  2. 100
    The result is harrowing and inspiring. As escapist entertainment, it's the movie of the year.
  3. Moviegoers should be almost as entranced by the teeming, glorious landscapes and dark, bloody battlegrounds of Two Towers: astonishing midpoint of an epic movie fantasy journey for the ages.
  4. 90
    The virtues of Jackson's trilogy, thus far, have been pace and astonishment, which is almost the same thing. [6 January 2003, p. 90]
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    88
    Epic battles, spectacular effects and multiple story lines make The Two Towers a most excellent middle chapter in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
  6. The sequel's battle scenes -- especially the climactic assault on the Helm's Deep fortress by the armies of darkness -- easily put those of the "Star Wars" series to shame.
  7. 60
    This second installment is heavy on battle sequences, which will thrill some viewers more than others.

See all 38 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 15 out of 311
  1. Aug 14, 2010
    10
    When the "worst" movie of a trilogy is an absolute 10, then you sir, have a damn fine trilogy. This is an incredible movie from start toWhen the "worst" movie of a trilogy is an absolute 10, then you sir, have a damn fine trilogy. This is an incredible movie from start to finish, but the one drawback is that it feels like it was continued and needs continuing. The thing is, it's actually worth the ride. Expand
  2. Oct 2, 2013
    10
    The battle for Middle Earth continues in this epic and vastly rich in detail sequel to the Fellowship of the Ring, the Two Towers is oftenThe battle for Middle Earth continues in this epic and vastly rich in detail sequel to the Fellowship of the Ring, the Two Towers is often regarded as the best of the three, its name deriving from the tower in Mordor where the flaming eye of Sauron sits, and the tower of Isengard, where the corrupted Saruman build his army. It introduces new characters while still maintaining heavy focus on the ones we grew to admire from the first part, the stories intertwine yet happen worlds apart, Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Sam (Sean Astin) have gone it alone to the fires of Mount Doom in the hope of destroying the ring of power, but they are my no means alone, as the shady creature known as Gollum (Andy Serkis) is on their every move, but he may soon prove his worth as the two hobbits seem to be going round in circles. Frodo is beginning to show signs of the ring overpowering him by now, he's grouchy, angry and taking it out on Sam. But another battle continues to rage as the evil Saruman (Christopher Lee) continues to raise an unbeatable army in the name of Sauron and the ring, an army that seeks domination of the lands, Rohan being the centre of it, Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) Legolas (Orlando Bloom) and Gimli (John Rys-Davies) are in search of Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd) who have been taken by the dangerous breed of Uruk-hai believing them to be Frodo.
    But there is more to it all that just needs to be watched, we have a reborn Gandalf (Ian McKellan) who helps steer the masses in the right direction, as each city must stand up and rise against the armies. We make way for one of the most memorable battle sequences in cinema history, the battle of Helms Deep, thousands of soldiers and even more orcs line the land to fight, it's raining, it's wonderful to watch and it's action packed, to the fullest. Wonderful to watch couldn't be used enough in this review, because the Two Towers is exciting from start to finish, whether its the epic battles, talking trees, continuing character-driven stories or vast landscapes of beauty, it takes everything from the first and doubles it, Aragorn seems to take centre stage in the film, as the Hobbits take a back seat for a while, the two hobbits on the way to Mordor are really just walking for most of the film, but Wood and Astin excellently play beaten travellers as we begin to realise the sway such a small object can hold, but Aragorn is the heir to the white city of Gondor, he therefore must salvage all the remaining hope in men, and deal with the many obstacles that stand in his path, but not without a few secrets to be revealed first, although he longs after Arwen (Liv Tyler), another woman, Eowyn (Miranda Otto) takes an interest in his peculiar being. Like before, it's the phenomenal acting and intriguing characters these actors portray that really bring the film to life, it's visually impressive as ever, yet these larger than life heroes are likeable, easy to root for and give a sense of happiness and despair rolled into one, we have love, loss, hatred and frightening elements of the supernatural to enjoy. McKellan's Gandalf speaks heavily in riddle, and the more I watch this trilogy the more I think he knew along what was going to happen, the reason for his participation was a bored pensioner with not long left until retirement. The element that drives Lord of the Rings head and shoulders above others is its own time and its own original world, everything about it breathes magic and fantasy, the Two Towers capitalises on success but doesn't settle to be just as good, it aims higher and opens up to a host of new characters and story lines that set up a massive and historic final chapter.
    Expand
  3. DerekP.
    Jan 17, 2006
    10
    Give it up! This was the best of the trilogy by some substancial amount. I mean take into consideration that 1 year before Fellowship ended Give it up! This was the best of the trilogy by some substancial amount. I mean take into consideration that 1 year before Fellowship ended and you felt in awe. In Awe! This one completely satisfied my expectations plus some. PS. Anyone who loves LOTR should buy the box sets, the special features are amazing and have replay value. Expand
  4. Aug 9, 2011
    10
    This movie is pure gold. Besides a few weak points like some unrealistic lines and the shield-boarding down the stairs, it's perfect. There isThis movie is pure gold. Besides a few weak points like some unrealistic lines and the shield-boarding down the stairs, it's perfect. There is no lack of emotion, all performances are good and the battle at Helm's Deep is perhaps the best ever in a movie. The highlight for me was the introduction to Gollum, though. He is one of the best characters ever. Expand
  5. Jul 14, 2013
    9
    Not as good as the first film, this film may feel long in some parts but it still boasts of what the first film contained: great action,Not as good as the first film, this film may feel long in some parts but it still boasts of what the first film contained: great action, adventure, fantasy, good acting, great music and stunning cinematography. I think this is the worst of the trilogy, but it still is a great film nonetheless. Expand
  6. Nov 13, 2014
    9
    A slight hair below Fellowship's quality, Two Towers is still a masterpiece. Although it does seem to slow down at times and differ from theA slight hair below Fellowship's quality, Two Towers is still a masterpiece. Although it does seem to slow down at times and differ from the source material in an occasional cliché way, it has the big plus of adding a theme of end and despair. Expand
  7. RuisertTheMad
    Jan 18, 2003
    3
    [***Potential Spoilers***] I loved the stunning cinematography and mountain vistas, I'd bet Jackson could do some wonderful tourism[***Potential Spoilers***] I loved the stunning cinematography and mountain vistas, I'd bet Jackson could do some wonderful tourism films for New Zealand, something a little less ambitious... Another thing that I liked was Gimli's line about dwarf wives and Aragorn's comment about the beards. It's true to the story, but it is information that's in the book, and inserted in such a way as to develop the history that otherwise would be hard to translate to a film. I wish they'd done some of that during all the travel sequences. And the cgi Gollum was pretty well done technically, but watered down scriptwise, and the (gollum,gollum) was overdone. (Fisssssh!) ...... Other than those points, it was horrible. Horrible. A lot of it boils down to some bad decision making, I think - hiring Liv Tyler for what is not just a bit part, but a minor bit part. I love her in the role, but it's extravagant unless you do as was done and rewrite major portions of the story to justify the expense. Another bad decision was building the set for Edoras. Why? For 3 or 4 scenes? What a waste. But the unforgiveable sin is the complete altering of the story line. Someone earlier mentioned pandering to your typical movie-goer's sensibilities, like not sending the women, children and old men to Dunharrow. Or Leg - O - Lamb skateboarding down the stairs shooting orcs on the way. Please. Then there's the whole loony Aragorn/Arwen sequence. Did someone really think this was an improvement over the book's storyline? Send me some of whatever it was you were taking when you made that decision, ok? Instead, we could have had the wonderful scene in Isengard where Gandalf masters Saruman with mere words and not the ludicrous pyrotechnics we were bothered with in the FotR movie. Or to quote from the TT itself 'Wizards are subtle and quick to anger'. Subtle. I'll bet that's even defined in dictionaries in New Zealand. The part I'm referring to is where Gandalf is talking to Saruman in the tower, and Saruman refuses the offer to mend his evil ways and still help, in some small way, those he was sent to help. Then Gandalf says 'Saruman, your staff is broken.', and it breaks, and his power is broken by the same force that reincarnated Gandalf. Subtle, but very dramatic if done right. And why precious, oh why, did they decide to change Halbarad and Aragorn's other Ranger kin into elfses, and then kill Halbarad in Helm's deep instead of later? Why? I'd have thought it much cooler to see riders that even the horsemen of Rohan knew were the better. One of the most dramatic moments in the second book, I think. Lastly, the final ton of hay that breaks this camel's back is the Osgiliath sequence. Faramir deciding to take Frodo to Minas Tirith, instead of showing his better intuition about the ring and allowing them to continue. Frodo offering the Ring to the Nazdrool, right there where there's no real defense to prevent it being taken. I've often wondered if the writers didn't have bad dreams after reading the Cliff Notes of the Reader's Digest Condensed Version for Dummies of the Two Towers and felt the need to rewrite it. I mean, do you really believe a commitee of people I've never heard of before could possibly re-write something that's sold millions of copies over almost 50 years and improve it? Didn't they understand that the whole game was won or lost on keeping the Ring's location and more important, final destination secret? The way the book plays it, Sauron thinks the Ring is in Aragorn's hand after he shows himself as Isildur's heir with the reforged sword that took the Ring. Now obviously I'm one of those that have read the trilogy more than once, which is saying something. I've read tons of books, but not many rate one re-reading, but I've read these more than I can count. Despite that, I can't quite imagine it real enough. I want to see it just like I've read it, or as close as humanly possible. I know it's difficult translating a book into a movie, and we're talking one book, not 3. I have to give the guys credit for being crazy enough to try and pull this off. They certainly did better than the Ralph Bakshi animated movie that only did about the first half of the story. But I was very disappointed by the sudden complete departure from the story in this movie. I had problems with the first one, but they didn't ruin the movie for me. But I'm still glad I went to a matinee and only paid 2.50 to see this dog. Expand

See all 311 User Reviews

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