The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

The final battle for Middle-earth begins. Frodo and Sam, led by Gollum, continue their dangerous mission toward the fires of Mount Doom in order to destroy the One Ring.

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Release Date: December 17, 2003
DVD Release Date: May 25, 2004
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Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
94%
Flixster
User Score
86%

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Critic Score: 94% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Visually breathtaking and emotionally powerful, The Lord of the Rings - The Return of the King is a moving and satisfying conclusion to a great trilogy.

David Germain
Associated Press

With The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Peter Jackson delivers a decent ending to his fantasy trilogy -- actually, about 12 endings.

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Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader

Standing out amid an excellent cast is Elijah Wood, stymied by tweeness in the earlier films but here convincingly developing the character of Frodo as the embodiment of valor and self-sacrifice.

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Antonia Quirke
London Evening Standard

Viggo Mortensen's Aragorn is the good king of the title, and while the actor may look fetching in a crown and cloak, he doesn't have half of the gravitas of Sean Bean's Boromir in the first film.

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Keith Phipps
AV Club

The Return Of The King ultimately proves up to the series' increasingly difficult task: making movies that echo legends, making legends that reflect life, and reconciling it all with the fact that both legends and lives all eventually meet their ends.

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Tom Charity
Time Out

Some story strands are crudely abbreviated; others fail to develop elements that were already well-established.

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Sean Nelson
The Stranger (Seattle, WA)

Ultimately, the chief difference between this film and its two predecessors is the presence of resolution. The story ends, just like we all knew it would. And there's something inherently disappointing about that.

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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal

Yes, the running time is long, and yes, those many endings in a slow, dreamy coda left me feeling spent -- better spent than I can ever remember.

Peter Travers
Rolling Stone

Pops your eyes, excites your senses and brings you in as close as a whisper for scenes of startling emotion.

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Tim Evans
Sky Cinema

This is the crowning glory -- a cinematic feat that satisfies at every level.

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Flixster Audience Score: 86% Flixster User Reviews
Phil Hubbs
The final chapter in this epic story and its an all out conquest that most probably gave all Games Workshoppers a joygasm. The last film was for battle whores… More
Bruce Bruce
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… More
Dan Schultz
A thrilling final chapter to the Lord of the Rings trilogy concerning the epic conclusion to Peter Jackson's enthralling look at temptation, greed, power,… More
Directors Cat
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Christian C
Wonderful on every level. Love the characters and special effects. One of the biggest, most massive battle scenes ever put on the silver screen. A great end to… More
Kase Vollebregt
The epic saga's final installment may prove to be its best, due to the amazing battle sequences (of which there are many), the return of an enticing plot,… More