Up 78 this week

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

PG-13  |   |  Adventure, Fantasy  |  17 December 2003 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.9/10 from 1,119,751 users   Metascore: 94/100
Reviews: 3,146 user | 329 critic | 41 from Metacritic.com

Gandalf and Aragorn lead the World of Men against Sauron's army to draw his gaze from Frodo and Sam as they approach Mount Doom with the One Ring.



(novel), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

Top Rated Movies #9 | Won 11 Oscars. Another 150 wins & 101 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

While Frodo and Sam edge closer to Mordor with the help of the shifty Gollum, the divided fellowship makes a stand against Sauron's new ally, Saruman, and his hordes of Isengard.

Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen
Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

A meek Hobbit and eight companions set out on a journey to destroy the One Ring and the Dark Lord Sauron.

Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Orlando Bloom
The Matrix (1999)
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers.

Directors: Andy Wachowski, Lana Wachowski
Stars: Keanu Reeves, Laurence Fishburne, Carrie-Anne Moss
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 9/10 X  

When the menace known as the Joker wreaks havoc and chaos on the people of Gotham, the caped crusader must come to terms with one of the greatest psychological tests of his ability to fight injustice.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Christian Bale, Heath Ledger, Aaron Eckhart
Forrest Gump (1994)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

Forrest Gump, while not intelligent, has accidentally been present at many historic moments, but his true love, Jenny Curran, eludes him.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Tom Hanks, Robin Wright, Gary Sinise
Inception (2010)
Action | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

A thief who steals corporate secrets through use of the dream-sharing technology is given the inverse task of planting an idea into the mind of a CEO.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page
Gladiator (2000)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

When a Roman general is betrayed and his family murdered by an emperor's corrupt son, he comes to Rome as a gladiator to seek revenge.

Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Russell Crowe, Joaquin Phoenix, Connie Nielsen
Batman Begins (2005)
Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

After training with his mentor, Batman begins his war on crime to free the crime-ridden Gotham City from corruption that the Scarecrow and the League of Shadows have cast upon it.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Ken Watanabe
Fight Club (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

An insomniac office worker, looking for a way to change his life, crosses paths with a devil-may-care soap maker, forming an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more...

Director: David Fincher
Stars: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham Carter
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Eight years after the Joker's reign of anarchy, the Dark Knight is forced to return from his imposed exile to save Gotham City from the brutal guerrilla terrorist Bane with the help of the enigmatic Selina.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

The lives of two mob hit men, a boxer, a gangster's wife, and a pair of diner bandits intertwine in four tales of violence and redemption.

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Stars: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Samuel L. Jackson
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Blacksmith Will Turner teams up with eccentric pirate "Captain" Jack Sparrow to save his love, the governor's daughter, from Jack's former pirate allies, who are now undead.

Director: Gore Verbinski
Stars: Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, Orlando Bloom


Cast overview, first billed only:
Noel Appleby ...
Elanor Gamgee (as Alexandra Astin)
Sadwyn Brophy ...
Richard Edge ...
Jason Fitch ...


While Frodo & Sam continue to approach Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring, unaware of the path Gollum is leading them, the former Fellowship aid Rohan & Gondor in a great battle in the Pelennor Fields, Minas Tirith and the Black Gates as Sauron wages his last war against Middle-Earth. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

orc | epic | ring | battle | king | See All (255) »


This Christmas the journey ends. See more »


Adventure | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for intense epic battle sequences and frightening images | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 December 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Return of the King  »

Box Office


$94,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£15,021,761 (UK) (19 December 2003)


$377,019,252 (USA) (28 May 2004)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Extended Edition) | (Widescreen)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Great caution was taken for the scene where Faramir is dragged back to Minas Tirith on his horse. The filmmakers were afraid that the horse might suddenly start to run, dragging David Wenham behind it so a release system was built into the saddle. Wenham held a handle in his right hand, and if the horse started to run, he could simply pull it and be released from the stirrup. Fortunately, they ended up not needing it. See more »


There is no stairway or other form of entry to the roof of Orthanc. This is most evident in the extended edition of ROTK: Grima's sudden appearance behind Saruman when moments before an all revealing overhead shot didn't show him or any means for him to get there. See more »


[first lines]
Deagol: Smeagol, I've got one! I've got a fish, Smeag. Smeagol!
Smeagol: Pull it in. Go on. Go on. Go on. Pull it in.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Peter Jackson's and Fran Walsh's children are listed in the credits as 'Cute Gondor children'. In the Fellowship of the Ring, they were 'Cute Hobbit children' and in The Two Towers, they were 'Cute Rohan children'. See more »


Spoofed in Achmed Saves America (2014) See more »


The Edge of Night
Music by Billy Boyd
Lyrics by J.R.R. Tolkien
Performed by Billy Boyd
Adapted by Philippa Boyens
Orchestration by Howard Shore
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

17 December 2003 | by (Las Vegas, NV) – See all my reviews

Peter Jackson has done it. He has created an all-encompassing epic saga of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings books, and after coming away from the final chapter, how does this rate not only as a film on its own, but as a part of the whole?


I've never seen a series like this. A trilogy of movies created with such love and care and utter perfection of craft that you can't help but walk away and wonder how did Peter Jackson make this possible? I have always loved the original "Star Wars" and "Indiana Jones" series for their epic storytelling, and just for just fitting in as a great moment in cinema. This should be, will be, remembered with as much revered fondness for generations to come. They do not make films like these anymore.

As a stand alone film, it picks up immediately where "Two Towers" ends, so brush up before seeing it. I've read the books, and the anticipation of seeing some of the more profound moments in this film made me kind of view it with a rushed sense of perspective. I wanted to make sure everything in this film was done "right". And when it happened, it was. I will need to see this again to enjoy everything on a more casual level.

The cast comes through once more. The musical score retains its beauty, elegance and power. The special effects, notably Gollum again, are nothing less than breathtaking, and simply move the story along. The battles are monumentally huge and exciting. There are some liberties taken with the story, especially during the end with the homecoming, and yet, everything that needed to be covered regarding the main characters was handled. After the greatest moment of the series resolves itself, the story provided a breather. And gives a good-bye to friends seen on screen for the last three years. It was truly a bittersweet feeling in realizing that there will be no "Rings" movie in 2004. I will miss this talented group of actors.

As with the first two, the film is very long, but goes by without you ever truly realizing it. This film is so much more than a simple "fantasy" epic. It's a story about strength of character, friendship, loyalty and love. And while every member of the Fellowship has their part to play, I finally understood why some critics have said this series is a story about Sam. It's his unwavering resolve that led the quest to its victory. Sean Astin is a true credit for adding the inspirational heart to this epic. As as far as the ending goes, they ended it the way that it had to be ended. Jackson ended this film the way it should have been.

I will miss looking forward to a new "Rings" movie, but these movies provide hope that high-quality films can still be made without special effects taking over a story, bathroom humor, or a "Top 40" soundtrack. George Lucas could learn a lot from these films about how not to alienate the fanbase.

Each film has earned a "10" from me for the last two years, which for me to give is a rarity. This one, however, is as equally deserving as its two predecessors. The Academy had better not look over this film for "Best Picture" of 2003. To do so would be greatly disrespectful of the craft and care that anyone involved with these films put into them.

944 of 1,134 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
If Frodo was wearing the mithril shirt the whole time... opheliac306
Does anyone like Gollum? shushkka
"overrated" is an overrated word dijomaja-382-516639
Very Overrated jordywalnuts
I think the real hero is... cjm81499
Gandalf a god? TheMajesticPhoenix

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: