The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

2003

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Critics 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.

93%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 273

86%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 34,679,773
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Movie Info

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.

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Cast

Elijah Wood
as Frodo Baggins
Sean Astin
as Samwise Gamgee
Ian McKellen
as Gandalf
Andy Serkis
as Gollum/Sméagol
Billy Boyd
as Peregrin `Pippin' Took
Dominic Monaghan
as Meriadoc `Merry' Brandybuck
John Rhys-Davies
as Gimli/Voice of Treebeard
Liv Tyler
as Arwen
Bernard Hill
as King Théoden
Miranda Otto
as Eowyn of Rohan
David Wenham
as Faramir
Karl Urban
as Éomer
Cate Blanchett
as Galadriel
Ian Holm
as Bilbo Baggins
Joel Tolbeck
as Orc Lieutenant No.1
Sean Bean
as Boromir
John Noble
as Denethor
Noel Appleby
as Everard Proudfoot
John Bach
as Madril
Richard Edge
as Gondorian Soldier No.1
David Aston
as Gondorian Soldier No.3
Lawrence Makoare
as Witchking/Gothmorg
Bret McKenzie
as Elf Escort
Paul Norell
as King of the Dead
Alexandra Astin
as Eleanor Gamgee
Sadwyn Brophy
as Eldarion
Marton Csokas
as Celeborn
Jason Fitch
as Uruk No.2
Ian Hughes
as Irolas
Sarah McLeod
as Rosie Cotton
Shane Rangi
as Harad Leader No.1
Todd Rippon
as Harad Leader No.2
Peter Tait
as Shagrat
Alan Howard
as Voice of the Ring
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Critic Reviews for The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

All Critics (273) | Top Critics (52)

  • The sense of closure is exquisite, but I'm not sure I'm able to forgive Peter Jackson for the three years that he has taken to put it on the screen. The wait has been excruciating.

    Feb 27, 2018 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Dec 13, 2017 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Nov 19, 2013
  • 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.

    Nov 19, 2013 | Full Review…

    Keith Phipps

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • 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.

    Nov 19, 2013 | Full Review…
  • 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.

    Feb 6, 2007 | Full Review…

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

  • Jul 21, 2016
    A fantastic ending to the amazing adaptation of the Lord of the Rings books. This final chapter in the trilogy easily surpasses the previous entries with amazing battle scenes, amazing oscar winning performances, and very beautiful scenery. The best features in this movie are its emotional depth and its battle sequences. This emotional epic ends the trilogy on a very satisfying note that will leave you in tears and applause.
    Tyler H Super Reviewer
  • Jun 08, 2014
    As I was watching a NBA Playoffs game with my dad the other night, a commercial for the Warcraft movie came on. He asked me "Why is your generation so obsessed with the fantasy movie genre?" This is why. Return of the King is my personal favorite of the LOTR franchise. It has the same strengths as its predecessors - powerful film score, solid performances across the board from an ensemble cast, and incredible visual effects that still hold up to this day. What sets this movie apart from the others is the finality of it all. Yes, there are 3 or 4 end scenes in the last 20 minutes, but I look at that as a celebration of the accomplishments of this series. Not only is this movie solid from beginning to end, but it has some of my favorite moments in cinema history (SPOILER WARNING): the shot of Aragorn leading the undead army into battle, Faramir's troops charging into battle with Pippen singing in the background, and, of course, "You bow to no one." If you haven't seen LOTR, you're doing yourself a disservice!
    Ben B Super Reviewer
  • May 25, 2013
    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 a monumental epic.
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • May 24, 2013
    An epic masterpiece that runs long, but holds sufficient attention.
    Jason 123 D Super Reviewer

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