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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Reviewed by Alex Strickland

We come to it at last . . . the great film of our time. It's kind of a bittersweet moment, when you think of it. The journey is over . . . the ships have sailed into the West. It has ended. But we are left with, perhaps, the most amazing series of films ever to grace the silver screen. I believe these movies, like the books that inspired them, will be remembered long after we're all gone. They will be passed down to future generations as an example of what the medium of film can truly accomplish, what you can do if you're dedicated and passionate enough.

They will stand proudly alongside, and perchance outshine, all the other films that touch us and move us and become part of our collective culture . . . an image of the splendor of the Kings of Men in glory undimmed before the breaking of the world.

What more can one say? At this point in our travels, we know that this is a work of such utter magnitude and quality that praise almost becomes redundant. The direction, the writing, the cast, the music, the effects . . . we know they are superlative. It would take too much time to talk about what's right with this movie, how dead-on all of the scenes are, the emotional resonance in each of them . . . suffice it to say that they are all done superbly. From the Battle of the Pelennor Fields to Eowyn's confrontation with the Witch-King to the Cracks of Doom to the End of All Things to the Grey Havens to so many more too numerous to mention here . . . they are all done so very, very right.

The other night, a friend asked me why I loved The Lord Of The Rings the way I do. One might as well ask why one loves a sunset - it is not easy to answer. All I could say was that it was Tolkien's themes and ideas and morals that make the story what it is, and that is also what makes these films so special. Peter Jackson and Company have captured the very essence of Tolkien. While not always completely "accurate" to the text, the important messages from Professor Tolkien shine out, and I believe that will always be the important part.

Love, friendship, sacrifice. . .Jackson gets them perfectly.

All I can say is thank you. Thank you so very much, PJ.

 

Related Links:
Alex's reviews of Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers
theonering.net - the best fan-based website

 

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Director
Peter Jackson

Screenplay
Philippa Boyens
Fran Walsh
Peter Jackson

Released
December 17, 2003

Cast
Elijah Wood
Sean Astin
Ian McKellen
Viggo Mortensen
Orlando Bloom
John Rhys-Davies
Dominic Monaghan
Billy Boyd
Hugo Weaving
Liv Tyler
Andy Serkis
Miranda Otto
Karl Urban
David Wenham
John Noble
Bernard Hill

Full Credits at IMDb

Available on DVD and Blu-Ray (theatrical editions only at this time)