3,201 user 325 critic

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

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 »
442 ( 52)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

Top Rated Movies #8 | Won 11 Oscars. Another 174 wins & 113 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Adventure | Drama | 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 | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

A meek Hobbit from the Shire and eight companions set out on a journey to destroy the powerful One Ring and save Middle Earth from 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: Lana Wachowski, Lilly 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
Gladiator (2000)
Action | Adventure | 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
Inception (2010)
Action | Adventure | 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 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
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 X  

After the rebels have been brutally overpowered by the Empire on their newly established base, Luke Skywalker takes advanced Jedi training with Master Yoda, while his friends are pursued by Darth Vader as part of his plan to capture Luke.

Director: Irvin Kershner
Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
Fight Club (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.8/10 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, Meat Loaf
Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A reluctant hobbit, Bilbo Baggins, sets out to the Lonely Mountain with a spirited group of dwarves to reclaim their mountain home - and the gold within it - from the dragon Smaug.

Director: Peter Jackson
Stars: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage
Forrest Gump (1994)
Comedy | Drama
    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
Action | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

Luke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a wookiee and two droids to save the galaxy from the Empire's world-destroying battle-station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader.

Director: George Lucas
Stars: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher
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


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


The final confrontation between the forces of good and evil fighting for control of the future of Middle-earth. Hobbits Frodo and Sam reach Mordor in their quest to destroy the "one ring", while Aragorn leads the forces of good against Sauron's evil army at the stone city of Minas Tirith. Written by Jwelch5742

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

orc | epic | ring | battle | middle earth | See All (263) »


The eye of the enemy is moving. See more »

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


| (Blu-Ray Extended Edition) | (Special DVD Extended Edition) | (DVD Widescreen Edition)

Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


One of only three films to win 11 Academy Awards with the other two being Titanic (1997) and Ben-Hur (1959). It is however the only film of the three to win every single award it was nominated for. See more »


When Pippin replaces the Palantir with a jar as Gandalf was sleeping, Merry cries for help and the jar is no longer with Gandalf. 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

At the end of the credits, a very long list of names from the Lord of the Rings Fan Club whom the authors want to thank to is displayed. The name of Elijah Wood is in that list. 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

Pretty much outstanding
9 March 2011 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I admit it, I love all three Lord of the Rings films. People may say Return of the King is the best of the trilogy, some may say it is the worst. I personally think Two Towers is the best for its scope and better exploration of some of the characters, but while it is still great Return of the King is better than Fellowship of the Ring.

My only slight disappointment is the ending, it does feel overlong and bloated for me, almost as if there was more than one ending filmed. That said, what does make the ending at least watchable for me is the way it is shot, the marvellous score and the performance of Gollum.

Despite this minor discrepancy, Return of the King is extremely good and in my view one of the better Best Picture winners last decade. Peter Jackson's direction is very impressive here, and the scope is massive and just dazzling to watch. All three films of the trilogy are very well made, but Return of the King defines the term epic. The cinematography is mind-blowing, the scenery is superb, the costumes and make-up are well tailored, the effects are superb and don't distract too much and the lighting is authentic.

The score is phenomenal. Fellowship of the Ring had some ethereal, rousing, haunting and charming themes, whereas Two Towers was somewhat darker and more complex. Return of the King merges these together and the result is a perfect mixture of charm, darkness, etherality and complexity. The story is compelling with themes of friendship, strength and loyalty, the screenplay is well-written and literate and while the film is very long the three hours or so fly by seamlessly. The characters are engaging, Aragorn is even more interesting here than he is in the previous films while Gollum continues to steal every scene he appears in.

The acting is very good. Orlando Bloom(who I can find dashing yet uncharismatic and bland) and John Rhys-Davies are given less to do but do carry their parts very well, and Elijah Wood is likable enough. Sean Astin captures Sam perfectly and provides the heart of the picture, and Viggo Mortenssen is at his charismatic best here. Ian McKellen is perfectly cast, while the design of Gollum is still superb and Andy Serkis is equally phenomenal. I was slightly disappointed by the lack of any Sarauman, but I was more than I was satisfied with the final result.

All in all, an outstanding entry to a great trilogy. 10/10 Bethany Cox

14 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
I get the popularity among viewers, but among critics? antilect
Besides Frodo, a complete snoozefest Blf1523
Why the ending works dijomaja-382-516639
Is it a goof? deadseamonster
OT, I'm new to this board. any convo's going on about The Silmarillion? Beren44
Most rewatchable film? maximumcomedy

Contribute to This Page