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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Year:
2003
Country:
USA, New Zealand, Germany
Genre:
Drama, Action, Adventure, Fantasy
IMDB rating:
8.9
Director:
Peter Jackson
Noel Appleby as Everard Proudfoot
Sean Astin as Sam
David Aston as Gondorian Soldier 3
John Bach as Madril
Sean Bean as Boromir
Cate Blanchett as Galadriel
Orlando Bloom as Legolas
Billy Boyd as Pippin
Sadwyn Brophy as Eldarion
Marton Csokas as Celeborn
Richard Edge as Gondorian Soldier 1
Jason Fitch as Uruk 2
Storyline: While Frodo & Sam continue to approach Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring, unaware of the path Gollum is leading them, the former Fellowship aid Rohan & Gondor in a great battle in the Pelennor Fields, Minas Tirith and the Black Gates as Sauron wages his last war against Middle-Earth.
Type Resolution File Size Codec Bitrate Format
1080p 1920x1080 px 19109 Mb mpeg4 10151 Kbps mp4 Download
HQ DVD-rip 640x272 px 2090 Mb mpeg4 696 Kbps avi Download
iPhone 640x360 px 2257 Mb h264 1569 Kbps mp4 Download
Reviews
There'll never be anything like it
(huge whopping spoilers like you wouldn't believe)

It's not really a movie at all - what it is, is an experience perhaps only religious conversion can touch. This movie, as a whole, has changed my life. I make movies because of this movie. I owe more to it than the filmmakers can ever know.

It starts off wonderfully unexpectedly, with a shot of a worm between two fingers. The focus pulls back and we see a hobbit - or something like a hobbit. We find out its Smeagol in a bit, and then, a bit farther on, we find out what Smeagol did to ever have his Precious in the first place. Then it moves on - to Frodo and Sam, to Pip and Merry and Aragron and Gandalf and all the rest. I won't bore you with a whole retelling, since no doubt if you're reading this you're probably as obsessed as I am. I'll just mention a few things-

Merry and Pip greeting the riders at Isengard. There's nothing funnier than stoned hobbits, man.

Minas Tirith. Enough said.

The stairs at Cirith Ungol, and the spire of light that went up into the sky. Most people don't mention this in their reviews, but I felt terror, sheer and true. I can't remember the last time I've felt that, and I watch countless amounts of horror flicks.

Gandalf explaining death to Pippin. So soft and beautiful and true. It feels so true, somehow.

Sam carrying Frodo on his back. You'll see that one parodied in a few years, trust me. It's just too strong and lovely and heartbreaking and man if I'm not using the same words as everyone else uses.

Everything in Mount Doom, all of it. It worked out better than I had hoped for.

Frodo and Sam lying on that rock, the lava streaming around them, waiting to die. Frodo remembering the Shire, seeing it. Sam remembering Rosie dancing. I've seen it four times now, and I can never get through that bit without sobbing like a child. Sam gave everything for his master, and only in the end, in that last moment before death, did he even truly think of himself.

Frodo's face as the eagle picks up up. Oh my God I can't describe how beautiful it was. My first thought when I saw that was: "He think's he's dead. You only have that sort of release with death."

Frodo getting on the ship at the harbor, the slow way he walked and then the strange making slow creeping flush in his eyes and his face. He was back, and he was our Frodo again.

And the line, "You cannot always be torn in two," Frodo's voice-over message to Sam. Ah, I love it so much. Man.

There's more, thousands of words worth more: Pip's song, Denethor's funeral pyre, the mumakil charge, the charge of the Rohirrim. More strikes me each time I watch: this last time, it was the way Aragorn and Arwen's son looked, and the strange colors in his eyes.

I staggered out of the theater all four times with a washed-clean feeling - like I'd run a thousand miles and washed in a thousand oceans. I've never cried so much in a movie before. I've never come out of a theater feeling reborn before. Only these movies, only these, forever - I can only hope to someday have half the effect these movies have had. They aren't really movies at all - they are religious experiences.
2004-02-05
Beautifully realized, but it has eight separate endings
***Spoilers herein***

That's right, this film could have ended eight separate times, but it chose to keep going. It's one of those movies where you think it's going to end, but then suddenly there's another scene. I would rather have had fewer and shorter Hobbit close-ups and Family Ties-style hugging, and more Saruman and Treebeard. The film skips Saruman's downfall, and he's relegated to a single sentence by Gandalf. After all the crap that Saruman pulled, I really wanted to see how broken he was after Isengard's destruction by the Ents. Speaking of Ents, Treebeard is in the film for about a minute. It would have been nice to see he and Gandalf gloating over Saruman's downfall. I guess there was only so much they could fit into three hours.

The three films are a tremendous effort. There are breathtaking vistas, panoramas, and sweeping pans whisking you up and down Minas Tirith and Mordor, and the battle scenes are nothing short of remarkable. In one scene, Legolas swings up the side of an oliphant and quickly kills everyone riding it, then fells the huge beast with a single arrow, all while the view is rapidly rotating around and around the maddened oliphant. It is a stunning special effect.

One problem I had with these films is the realism. In both Minas Tirith and Rohan, there are absolutely no farms, livestock, fields, wagons, crops, markets, trees, or any of the other things that a city requires in order to provide for its people. Watch the movie carefully. See a crop of corn anywhere, or even one single sheep? Where did they get the material for those clothes?

There are two scenes with Shelob that are breathtaking in their simple horror: there is a full view of Shelob, launching herself onto the little Hobbit with the tenacity of a rabid dog. In the theater, everyone gasped at that scene, because it drove home the size of Shelob against the size of Sam. The second one is where Frodo is by himself, on the path, and Shelob looms soundlessly over him. It is creepy to watch.

I'm disappointed by the truncated friendly rivalry between Legolas and Gimli. In the book there was a rich humor in their odd-couple friendship, but it isn't really explored in the films. Then again, there are so many characters that the film couldn't possibly explore them all. Eowyn's story seems particularly abrupt; the tender moment with her dying father is pretty much the last we see of her. I don't remember seeing her at the wedding. The moment she slays the Nazgul reminded me of St. George and the dragon. Also, Faramir's story ends abruptly too. And what about the white tree and the restorative quality of kingsfoil? It was those missing details that could have added more humanity to the film.

There could not have been a better Gandalf than Ian McKellen. He has just the right kind of wise, sprightly, smart-ass attitude that the character has in the book. He's fantastic during battle scenes, whirling around, running back and forth, telling people not to give up, conking mad steward Denethor on the head with his staff. I understand that Peter Jackson wants to make the Hobbit as well, and if so, it will be nice to see Ian McKellen introducing the dwarves one-by-one to Bilbo Baggins at Bag End.

Frodo and Sam's trek through Mordor moves too quickly. One moment they are in the orc's tower, and the next they are at Mount Doom. How did they get there so fast? Gollum's descent into the volcano was perfect. In a final demonstration of just how precious the ring really was to him, he keeps it out of the flame until the last possible moment as he slowly sinks into the lava, deliriously happy at having the ring again as he ignores the lava that eats him alive.

This film isn't perfect, but it's so faithful to the book and so carefully crafted that it's easy to overlook the faults and enjoy the breathtaking scenery.
2004-01-08
Peter Jackson's odyssey comes to a welcomed conclusion
The ring is destroyed! Middle Earth is saved! Hobbits and Elves rejoice!

Peter Jackson's masterful odyssey that began 11 years ago is complete with the release of the third installment of the Lord of the Rings, Return of the King (ROTK).

Peter Jackson's love affair with the J.R.R. Tolkien story is complete with the third film installment, Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (ROTK). Audiences have waited through three years of release dates, countless DVD editions and marketing tie-ins to view what is essentially one long 11+ hour movie. And at the end of it all, I too found myself rejoicing - rejoicing that the third movie finally ended!

Lord of the Rings: ROTK is both good and bad with the good being exceptional, but the bad, being prominent enough not to be overlooked. First the good. Ian McKellan as the wise wizard Gandalf is the best he has been in ROTK. Gandalf transformed from being a new generation's Obi Wan Kenobi - as all wise and more powerful after death - to being a vulnerable participant in a future unknown. A scene shared with Viggo Mortensen's Aragon shows Gandalf to be scared for Frodo (Elijah Wood) and Aragon must reassure him to follow his heart. This is Ian McKellan at his best and if he was good enough to garnish an Oscar nomination for the first Lord of the Rings, then he should be assured one with ROTK.

Also showing more acting range that was expected of him is Sean Astin in the role as Sam, the Hobbit that accompanies Frodo on his journey to Mount Doom. Sean shows courage, heart and conflict and we believe in the conviction that the young actor put into his role.

Also on the plus side are the fight scenes in ROTK. The great battles in the Pelennor Fields, Minas Tirith and the Black Gates are speckled with special effects mastery never before seen on the big screen. Kudos also to Mr. Jackson for the amount of humor that was absent from the previous two installments. Seeing Gandalf react to an overeager Pippin (played by Billy Boyd) put the audience into an outburst of laughter - a response not yet heard in the first 9 hours of storytelling.

And finally, and most importantly, the story receives note for being the strongest of the three. With many balls in the air to juggle, Peter Jackson weaves the story through Frodo's trek to Mount Doom with the ever-schizophrenic Gollum, Aragon's journey to regain the throne and Rohan's King Theoden search for an army to wrestle the evil Orcs just to name a few. All stories are equally interesting and Jackson is able to stay true to the novel in bringing the story to the masses.

But not all is good with ROTK. The special effects in the final film are average, that being, not on scale with what was presented in 2001 and 2002. Some effects actually look terrible. The scene where Legolas (Orlando Bloom) is able to get atop a giant elephant looked cheap and unrealistic, and his subsequent dismount which was suppose to appeal to the skateboarders in the audience looked like the promo for some average Sony Playstation game. And Aragon's confrontation with the ghosts of a disgraced army looked like it was cut and paste from Jackson's previous film, The Frighteners.

Also notable was the amount of blue screen images used in the finale. Aragon in front of the army at the Black Gates or Frodo's gaze into the fires of Mount Doom looked terrible when compared to some of the film's other effect achievements.

Then there is the ending. All of them! In a DVD world where extended versions are widely accepted as superior to the original cut, I would have enjoyed ROTK more had the last 30 minutes be struck from the record. After sitting through 3 hours, I had run out of popcorn and was restlessly waiting to use the restroom, but Peter Jackson marched each of his characters out for a curtain call of hugging, bowing, kissing and crying that I thought was completely unnecessary (Do we really need to see Sam get married?).

However, for all its faults, ROTK is intended as one long film adventure and at that, it is exceptional. Peter Jackson had an incredible undertaking in front of him, and unlike the Star Wars or Matrix franchises, The Lord of the Rings was able to maintain a constant tone and feel through its multiple components. For that alone, I take my hat off and salute you.

So it is finally time to take a breath. Or is it? Next year there will be the DVD release of Return of the King followed by the theatrical extended version, then the DVD extended version, then the DVD box set, then the DVD box set with all the extended features. Maybe if we are lucky, someone will rifle through the old house of J.R.R. Tolkien and find the unpublished works of Sam the Hobbit:Journey to Neverland Ranch.
2003-12-20
One Movie to Rule them all
The anticipation leading up to this culminating epic only made it that much more spectacular when this movie delivered on it's amazing hype. This is undoubtedly one of the most powerful and well-directed epics I have ever seen. I was amazed with the cinematography and the brave journey into the psyche of Gollum/Smeagol. Mortensen was a lot better in this movie than the other two, and the same can be said about Elijah Wood and Sean Astin. The development of their relationship is particularly moving. The only complaint I have about the movie is the drawn out ending. I'm not familiar with the books so I'm not exactly sure if this was necessary. Oscar gold should finally come to Lord of the Rings in the major categories (Director & Picture) & it should reprise it Cinematography win from 2002. This is an absolute must see.

-James
2004-01-01
In many ways grander in scale than the first two installments of the trilogy.
The hobbits approach the slopes of Mount Doom, preparing to dispose of the cursed Ring, while the forces of good and evil are rallied in anticipation of the ultimate battle. The film won the Academy Award for Best Picture, the only time in history a fantasy film has done so.

The Return Of The King is the longest of the three films, which suffers from having to cut between disparate story strands, and - in its final half-hour - stacks up endings one after the other, like jet planes waiting to land, the director visibly reluctant to let these characters go. Most audiences will forgive Peter Jackson for that, for this is a fitting conclusion to a series of films made with tremendous artistry and affection for their subject; thrilling spectacle is underscored with palpable human drama, and it finally becomes clear why J.R.R. Tolkien's books continue to ring such bells so loudly in the lives of so many.
2010-07-05
The best 17 endings of all times!
I think that almost everything that can be said about this trilogy has been said already, but still I will try. There are so many films that destroyed the beauty and perfection of the novels they have been built upon, not this one. In front of an amazingly beautiful scenery, Peter Jackson was able to create a fantasy-movie, which unlike so many others before did not deal with old clichés and thus is far away from any trash-movie a lot of people had expected it to be beforehand.

Although I am sure that the cast of this film will soon be forgotten, The "The Lord of the Rings"-trilogy will stand the times and be one of the most renowned pictures of the las decade.
2006-12-07
A change of my top 5 movies
This movie is the best of everything, the charaters are the best with each other and their environment. You have to love the pros, as well as the antags. This movie as one reviewer once said of this movie, it is the best movie of this generation! The saddest part, it is the last movie. The only thing I have to say that was a downer, it needed more epic battles! So, my top 5 have now changed: 5=Scarface,4=Matrix,3=Lord of the Rings 3,2=Godfather,1=Citizen Kane.

2004-01-17
This is The Movie
What can I say? I've read a lot of what other people said about this movie. Some positive reviews but other not so appreciative. This is why I've decided to write a review myself, even after so many years since this movie was released... I felt I owe to it at least that...

I did not grew up with Celtic tales as I'm not from that part of the world. However, as a kid, I've read a lot of tales, from my own folklore but also from other regions as well: European, Far East, Middle East, American, South American, you name it. The Lord of the Rings was not one of them and I didn't knew anything about it until I saw The Fellowship of the Ring. From that moment on, I just couldn't wait for the next release each Christmas. When finally I found the book translated, I bought it and read it. All three movies were already seen by then but I've still read it.

For all of J.R.R Tolkien fans, yes, the movie doesn't respect the tale in every aspect. Yes, Bombadil is missing. Yes, the swords of the hobbits are not carried by Aragorn and we could keep on this way for hours BUT... what would be the point for that? I'm speaking about the movie, not the book.

LOTR (the whole trilogy) is The Movie. Even after I read the book, I cannot think of a better way to put this huge story on screen. For all those who are upset because the movie does not respect 100% the book: guys, we are speaking about 9 hours of film to put the whole story in a coherent form! Something had to be cut, something had to be "adapted" to make this movie enjoyable and not boring. My opinion is Peter Jackson and his entire crew did the best job it could have been done.

The cast is almost perfect, starting from Frodo and Gandalf and ending to the last elf, orc or hobbit. Very good acting using an excellent script, giving to the movie a touch of Shakespeare drama. Breathtaking landscapes and cinematography, superb costumes and design, a music that surely will be subject of study by film music composers for many years! Great CGI, I have to say it because I've seen a lot of movies where CGI ruined everything! Here is not the case! Each of the three part made me to be there, in the middle of the story. I was Frodo, Gandalf, Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, even Saruman or Gollum. I felt like I could ride Shadowfax, shake hand with Elrond or take a tour of Minas Tirith on foot. I've lived every single battle, slaying orcs aside Theoden or Faramir. After three hours, the only thing I wished for was to continue the adventure for another three hours.

11 Oscars? I guess this tells us everything about the movie...

Maybe it's not the perfect movie. For me, however, it's the best I've ever seen so far! Thanks to all the LOTR crew for this precious gift!
2017-06-19
Excellent movie
The best part of the trilogy.

I enjoyed as I watched this movie. It's so good I can watch over and over again. Definitely the most emotional part of the trilogy of the series. It's too bad the movie is permanently ended.I wish to record another part of this film.
2017-04-01
This Christmas The Journey
The Fellowship makes its final path through war and wilderness. The story comes to an 11 academy award winning climax. The movie has a stunning power unlike the other two. Peter Jackson uses incredible insight into sstories and themes and character study. The Return of the King culminates its three story lines unimaginably. As the characters finish what is a three year journey you see exactly why Peter Jackson made the fellowship and the two towers because he wanted to arrive at this incredible finale to what is a career trilogy. I enjoyed this film for two main reasons action and intimacy. The action is stunningly realized by weta workshop. But even though the action is great at the center of it is what is a wonderfully intimate story. As Frodo and Sam make their way to Mount Doom we really get to see them both rise to the occasion. We see the real power of friendship as Gollum continues to try to break it. When Aragorn and Gandalf arrive at over 600.000 orcs and yet they stand as strong as they were at Helm's Deep. I become more amazed as the tale goes on we see how difficult and at what price will either side win. The feelings of community within us. This is a classic and whoever watches will not be disappointed. 10/10
2006-09-09
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