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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers Reviews

Anthony Lane
New Yorker
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When Gandalf arrives with reinforcements, descending a near-vertical slope using horses where you or I would use snowboards, the spirit of triumphant rampage is something rarely glimpsed since the days of Olivier and Henry V.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

November 19, 2013
Keith Phipps
AV Club
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To live up to expectations, The Two Towers only had to be as good as its predecessor -- and, astoundingly, it's better.

Full Review Source: AV Club

November 19, 2013
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
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The battle for Gollum's mind also provides a fitting teaser conclusion to the second act of a story I'm beginning to wish would never end.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News

November 19, 2013
David Germain
Associated Press
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Part two is more a straight-ahead action flick, substituting brawn and brawling for the pastoral radiance of the first film.

Full Review Source: Associated Press

November 19, 2013
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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An army of filmmakers led by the director, Peter Jackson, has made the trilogy's central section a ringing testament to the power of motion pictures.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

May 7, 2011
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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More graphic in its violence and more fantastic in its imaginings than the first film.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

March 5, 2008

Time Out
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In size and scale, Jackson has redefined the word 'epic' -- but his attention to the small things really gives this series its awesome stature.

Full Review Source: Time Out

February 9, 2006
Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
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This second installment in the trilogy ends with Gandalf intoning that the battle for Middle-Earth is about to begin. I'm pumped.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

August 7, 2004
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
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A brilliantly conceived adventure that has the capacity to take your breath away.

| Original Score: B+

January 25, 2003
David Ansen
Newsweek
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What's remarkable is how immediately, after a full year, The Two Towers seizes your attention, and how urgently it holds you through three seamless, action-packed hours.

January 14, 2003
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
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A thrilling work of film craft.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

January 13, 2003
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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Spectacular in every sense of the word, even if you don' t know an Orc from a Uruk-Hai.

Full Review Source: Rolling Stone | Original Score: 3.5/4

January 9, 2003
David Edelstein
Slate
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The movie is a monument to a talented fan-boy's passion: You emerge into the light with your heart pounding, ears ringing, head swimming, and gasp, 'That's entertainment!'

Full Review Source: Slate

December 23, 2002
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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This film doesn't change my review of the original, but it does have me eagerly looking forward to the final installment. I liked it a lot!

Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper

December 23, 2002
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
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One fabulous Middle-earth show.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

December 20, 2002
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
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Convincing, gripping, whole and nourishing.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

December 20, 2002
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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George Lucas should watch this and hang his head in shame.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 4/4

December 20, 2002
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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This is what the fans were really waiting for when they envisioned Tolkien's world on film.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 5/5

December 19, 2002
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
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A few sloggy spots aside, The Two Towers is an outstanding effort that maintains the integrity and purpose that distinguished The Fellowship of the Ring.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

December 19, 2002
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Though Jackson doesn't always succeed in integrating the characters in the foreground into the extraordinarily rich landscape, it must be said that he is an imaginative filmmaker who can see the forest for the trees.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3/4

December 19, 2002
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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The first film was good. The Two Towers ... is much better.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 4/5

December 19, 2002
Jonathan Foreman
New York Post
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An amazing feat of imagination.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3/4

December 18, 2002
Russel Swensen
L.A. Weekly
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Although Jackson is doubtless reserving the darkest hours for The Return of the King, we long for a greater sense of urgency in the here and now of The Two Towers.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

December 18, 2002
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
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The Two Towers is both a triumph of design and cinematic engineering and, at the same time, long, repetitious and naive.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

December 18, 2002
Susan Stark
Detroit News
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Once again, director Jackson strikes a rewarding balance between emotion on the human scale and action/effects on the spectacular scale.

| Original Score: 3/4

December 18, 2002
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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One of the great film experiences of the millennium.

Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press | Original Score: 4/4

December 18, 2002
Steven Rosen
Denver Post
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What Jackson has accomplished here is amazing on a technical level.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 2.5/4

December 18, 2002
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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It is not faithful to the spirit of Tolkien and misplaces much of the charm and whimsy of the books, but it stands on its own as a visionary thriller.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

December 18, 2002
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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The acting is magnificent.

Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Original Score: A-

December 18, 2002
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
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Jackson has accomplished the near-impossible, surpassing the first chapter - The Fellowship of the Ring - with a sweeping, visually magnificent work of epic proportions.

December 18, 2002
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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Peter Jackson, in the second installment of his Lord of the Rings trilogy, has confounded expectations and crafted a film that's both livelier and darker than the first one.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 17, 2002
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is the Tolkien trilogy's middle passage through Middle earth, and the middle is a bit of a muddle.

Full Review Source: San Jose Mercury News | Original Score: 2.5/4

December 17, 2002
Charles Taylor
Salon.com
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Yes, there are some 'middle-chapter' problems, but Peter Jackson's Tolkien adaptation hasn't lost its devastating humanity, its heart-stopping cinematography or its epic sweep.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

December 17, 2002
Elvis Mitchell
New York Times
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The most incredible accomplishment of Towers is that at its heart it is a transition film that lasts nearly three hours and holds the viewer's attention.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 4/5

December 17, 2002
Manohla Dargis
Los Angeles Times
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If the second film never reaches the highs of the first -- we have met the players before and there are no new worlds of wonder -- it nonetheless invests moviegoing with a sense of adventure.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3/5

December 17, 2002
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
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Though Frodo's quest remains unfulfilled, a hardy group of determined New Zealanders has proved its creative mettle.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: A

December 17, 2002
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
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Not since Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa's Ran have the savagery of combat and the specter of death been visualized with such operatic grandeur.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B+

December 17, 2002
Paul Clinton (CNN.com)
CNN.com
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The Two Towers does not disappoint. This film is a fitting companion to the astounding The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

Full Review Source: CNN.com

December 17, 2002
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
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Peter Jackson and company once again dazzle and delight us, fulfilling practically every expectation either a longtime Tolkien fan or a movie-going neophyte could want.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 4/4

December 17, 2002
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
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Fans of the first movie will not be disappointed; neophytes may find the endless mixing it up with digital hordes a bit wearisome, even if the combatants are horrific hyena-riding orcs.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

December 17, 2002
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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Epic battles, spectacular effects and multiple story lines make The Two Towers a most excellent middle chapter in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 17, 2002
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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The Two Towers is crammed with so much adventure and incident, so much derring-do and visual wonder, it makes the talky Fellowship feel like the homework assignment you couldn't get out of doing, with the new movie as your reward.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 17, 2002
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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In nearly every way that counts, The Two Towers is The Fellowship of the Ring's equal.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 4/4

December 17, 2002
Todd McCarthy
Variety
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Has a sharper narrative focus and a livelier sense of forward movement than did the more episodic Fellowship.

Full Review Source: Variety

December 6, 2002
David Hunter
Hollywood Reporter
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A cinematic flood of spectacular proportions.

December 5, 2002
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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A visual pageant of sorcery and action, all but surpasses The Fellowship of the Ring.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B

December 5, 2002
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