The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

  • 12
  • Peter Jackson (2003)
  • NZ / US / Ger
  • 192 min
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
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Film Review
Reviewed By
5 out of 5

Peter Jackson deservedly won the best director Oscar for this powerful and enchanting concluding episode to his massively ambitious adaptation of JRR Tolkien's trilogy. It also became the first fantasy film to receive the best picture Oscar and won awards in all the categories it was nominated for, equalling the record haul of 11 set by Ben-Hur and Titanic. One staggeringly beautiful sight follows another as the brilliant ensemble cast brings Tolkien's fantasy masterpiece to life, and Jackson mixes man, myth and magic together with astonishing scope and intoxicating invention. The action picks up from The Two Towers with Frodo crawling to Mount Doom to finally destroy the ring, while Aragorn enlists an army of the dead to help Gandalf defend the besieged city of Minas Tirith from the Witch-king and his armies. Jackson's loyalty to Tolkien's over-stuffed text means certain characters get little screen time and the ending does drag on with its series of teary farewells. But these are minor gripes considering his towering achievement in creating a timeless, literate and passionate masterpiece that will live for ever. The Minas Tirith battle sequence in particular will surely go down as one of the greatest in cinema history.

Plot Summary

The Oscar-winning final part of Peter Jackson's adaptation of JRR Tolkien's fantasy adventure. The hobbit Frodo continues his journey to destroy the ring before the evil Lord Sauron can seize it. He is accompanied deep into Mordor by Gollum, who has a darker motive for keeping the "precious" ring close.

Cast and crew


Frodo Baggins
Elijah Wood
Gandalf the White
Ian McKellen
Arwen Undómiel
Liv Tyler
Aragorn / Strider
Viggo Mortensen
Samwise "Sam" Gamgee
Sean Astin
Cate Blanchett
John Rhys-Davies
King Théoden
Bernard Hill
Peregrin "Pippin" Took
Billy Boyd (1)
Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck
Dominic Monaghan
Legolas Greenleaf
Orlando Bloom
Hugo Weaving
Eowyn of Rohan
Miranda Otto
David Wenham
Karl Urban
Denethor, Steward of Gondor
John Noble
Sméagol / Gollum
Andy Serkis
Bilbo Baggins
Ian Holm
Sean Bean
Marton Csokas
Voice of the Ring
Alan Howard
Jackson, Peter
Mercenary on a boat


Peter Jackson

Other Information

Theatrical distributor: 
Available on video, DVD and BluRay
Released 19 Dec 2003
Certificate 12