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88

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

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9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 1215 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)
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. 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.
  2. 100
    Like its predecessor, The Two Towers is a great motion picture, and not to be missed by anyone who appreciates fantasy adventure.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    100
    The miracle is that 'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is better: tighter, smarter, funnier.
  4. 90
    One of cinema's most absorbing fantasies.
  5. 88
    For now, The Two Towers feels like the second installment in what next year, when Frodo finally reaches Mount Doom and the story draws to a close, we'll surely be hailing as a masterpiece.
  6. Both a triumph of design and cinematic engineering and, at the same time, long, repetitious and naive.
  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 321
  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. Dec 4, 2013
    10
    This is where the story gets interesting. While Frodo and Sam continue on their separate journey to destroy the ring, Aragorn and the rest areThis is where the story gets interesting. While Frodo and Sam continue on their separate journey to destroy the ring, Aragorn and the rest are caught in the battle to defend Rohan against Saruman's orcs. They choose to stay and help them. In other places we are introduced to talking trees called Ents.

    The first two hours has more travelling as the characters struggle to reach places they need to be, often confronted by orcs or other men, and even the land itself. The people and culture of Rohan are introduced. Some new characters are introduced, the most interesting among them Eowyn, her brother Eomer, and Faramir. They are woven into the main story seamlessly. In fact I would have loved to watch Eowyn given a bigger role, seeing that there are no female major characters in the story.

    This is also the instalment where we get the full dosage of the creature called Gollum. As interesting as he is when interacting with other characters in his queer manner, he is more intriguing in his monologues where he converses with himself, in a split-personality, between his two identities of his former somewhat sane self Smeagol and the villain Gollum. Andy Serkis is one hell of an actor. All his movements and expressions bring to life a character unprecedented in the history of cinema. The CGI used to create him does an incredible job in making him seem like a real creature roaming around the human-like characters, and it makes for a fun yet a piteous sight.

    Gandalf comes back stronger than ever. He was my favourite character from the first movie, but is outshined this time around by Aragorn, against whom everyone is a minion in stage presence. The latter becomes quite a legend in the extended version when a bit of his past is discussed.

    The main battle sequences are much more satisfying as Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli take a leading part in the fighting. Rohan defends itself by sheltering inside their fortress, Helm's Deep, while the orcs lay siege and charge repeatedly. All the rest shall have to be seen to evoke the full emotional impact. In the tradition of most epic films, Saruman the second-in-command is the main villain for this instalment. Sauron is the one behind pulling the strings.

    People who may have had problems with Fellowship regarding the character development of characters such as Legolas and Gimli need not worry, because while they only come onscreen after an hour and a half in Fellowship (there was a lot of other stuff going on with the Hobbits, Gandalf, Aragorn and the Ringwraithes for us to even begin to think about anything else), they were there from the start in The Two Towers. They have larger roles and kill more orcs.

    Despite everything, this movie felt as a continuation of an on-going tale and set up the next instalment when it ended. I would have held it against it if Peter Jackson hadn't done such a wonderful job bringing such magic to his version of Middle Earth. I believe that with minor tweaks, if it hadn't been the requirement of the story and this movie had been separate from the trilogy, it would be hailed as among the finest pieces of cinema in the genre of fantasy. But when discussing the greatest movies, I believe a film should qualify on its own merits. I must hold it in comparison against a great film from another franchise, The Empire Strikes Back (though it cost The Return of the Jedi in story), and come to the conclusion that it just missed the mark of greatness. Having said that, there were some sequences that were more memorable that any in the other instalments. One of course is the defence of Helm's Deep, for its ingenuity in the field of battle and tactics in general; the other are the scenes with the Gollum, who had a longer screen time than he had in The Return of the King.

    It was well acted all around. The cinematography was up to the highest standards held by Jackson. The special effects as always couldn't have been better without ruining the effect and look. The score sounded better than ever.

    This had to be the lesser of the three films, because as most trilogies go, the middle instalment is more often than not a chance to develop the characters and introduce new conflicts, and cannot function independently as the first instalment can, which is why the latter are often more liked than the sequels. In one regard in which it did a better job than the first movie, is it gave the orcs some semblance of dialogue, so while the illusion of their just being war-mongering brutes is not shattered completely, it still presented them as beings capable of thought and some reason.

    I had a lower regard for The Two Towers, which was a disappointment to a certain degree, until I watched the extended edition which includes some light hearted moments and develops some secondary characters like Eowyn and Faramir significantly. This, among other things, turned my score from a generous 9 into a well-deserved 10; and tilted my preference in favour of The Two Towers over The Return.
    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. Mar 13, 2015
    10
    Very good movie. Well done peter Jackson and Crew. They are made a nice job. The Lord Of the Rings: The Two Towers made me love fantasy movie.Very good movie. Well done peter Jackson and Crew. They are made a nice job. The Lord Of the Rings: The Two Towers made me love fantasy movie. Because before i saw it i think fantasy movie suck, childish, and cheesy but this is not. This movie has epic battle sequence, beautiful landscape, stunning CGI, real setting and good cinematography. This film should've won best picture oscar 2002. Expand
  5. Jan 28, 2012
    9
    The Two Towers is an extraordinary movie which only Peter Jackson can deliver. It's a sequel to the 2001 movie The Fellowship of the Ring, andThe Two Towers is an extraordinary movie which only Peter Jackson can deliver. It's a sequel to the 2001 movie The Fellowship of the Ring, and it continues the adventures of Frodo Baggins as he carries on his quest to destroy the One Ring in the fiery depths of Mt. Doom to sabotage the Dark Lord Sauron once and for all. Peter Jackson once again proves his mastery of the Middle Earth universe in this movie. Expand
  6. Nov 9, 2014
    9
    This movie is awesome. Though I admit there is walking which every body seems to hate in the first half with small battles all off a suddenThis movie is awesome. Though I admit there is walking which every body seems to hate in the first half with small battles all off a sudden BOOM! there is like a mini war. then it goes to the next battle which is enormous with epic deaths and hand-to-hand combat that is magnificent but the walking I admit could've been more interesting but it's still a really good movie. 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 321 User Reviews

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