The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Reviews

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out
Top Critic
February 9, 2006

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

Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic
December 16, 2003

Like all the other installments in the saga, The Return of the King is part of a good movie, but only mediocre on its own, full of awkward pauses and redundancies.

James O'Ehley
Sci-Fi Movie Page
January 5, 2004

Overlong, takes itself way too seriously and a case of much ado about nothing . . .

Peter Lowry
Film Threat
January 6, 2004

Eye-candy and grand events with no real substance.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Thomas Delapa
Boulder Weekly
February 5, 2004

Almost nothing in this ultimate J.R.R. Tolkien episode rings true, least of all its empty spectacle of digital effects. The sum total is Two Towers and more of babel.

Daniel M. Kimmel
Worcester Telegram & Gazette
December 31, 2003

In spite of the fact that the film will likely bust box office records, this reviewer is duty bound to report that it fails in almost every aspect.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Michelle Alexandria
Eclipse Magazine
December 17, 2003

Is a seriously flawed piece of work that is missing that certain element called "believability." It's visual eye candy without the chocolate center.

Full Review | Original Score: C
Jake Euker
F5 (Wichita, KS)
March 10, 2004

When we talk about Jackson's directorial style, what exactly are we talking about? The ability to juggle a production this size is a feat, but what else does he bring to it?

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Jean Lowerison
San Diego Metropolitan
December 19, 2003

Take earplugs, food, maybe even No-doze if you plan a last foray to Middle-earth.

Bill Chambers
Film Freak Central
January 7, 2005

An incurable film until such time as Peter Jackson is moved to shorten its deadening coda

Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor
December 18, 2003

An uneven movie with yawns aplenty.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
David Elliott
San Diego Union-Tribune
December 16, 2003

I was more impressed by the first chapters, The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, on DVD than I was in theaters .... Back in a multiplex for No. 3, I felt blitz-bombed again.

Cynthia Fuchs
Nitrate Online
December 26, 2003

The bad guys are, as usual, marked by incessant ugliness and vague non-whiteness.

Todd R. Ramlow
February 13, 2004

It is precisely Jackson's pandering to fans' expectations that repeatedly drags The Return of the King to a halt.

Dan DeMaggio
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
November 19, 2013

In Return of the King, the battle for the very survival of Middle Earth and all its fantastical creations will be fought, and unless you are a congenital buzz-kill, you will feel the urgency, terror, and sweeping import of it all.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Jason Zingale
July 5, 2005

Return of the King is a worthy addition to this already legendary series, tying up any loose ends with imaginative filmmaking and an all-star cast that deserves some recognition.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Josh Bell
Las Vegas Weekly
December 18, 2003

King is ... the final touch of an undeniable masterwork.

Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Jonathan W. Hickman
Entertainment Insiders
December 21, 2003

This is a glorious film and I gave my entire self to it whole-heartedly without reservation.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic
December 17, 2003

The thrilling conclusion to what has become the film event of our time -- the definitive screen fantasy -- features more spellbinding moments, bigger battles, more emotion and more poetry than the terrific first two films in the trilogy.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Steven Snyder
Zertinet Movies
December 15, 2003

Here, in scenes of quiet emotion, devastating violence, sweeping chaos and tranquil hope,is a profound conclusion to an unforgettable trilogy-the best American trilogy ever made.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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