8.9/10
1,211,890
3,186 user 328 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.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
Popularity
354 ( 17)

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Amazon Video

ON TV
ON DISC
ALL

IMDb at Comic-Con 2016

Visit our Comic-Con section to see what's trending, watch celebrity interviews, follow event coverage, browse cosplay photos, take our Fan IQ quizzes, and more.

Browse IMDb's Guide to Comic-Con

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

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Adventure | Drama
    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
Action | Adventure | Drama
    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: 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
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
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
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
Gladiator (2000)
Action | Drama | Romance
    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 fight to free crime-ridden Gotham City from the corruption that Scarecrow and the League of Shadows have cast upon it.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Christian Bale, Michael Caine, Ken Watanabe
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, with the help of the enigmatic Selina, is forced from his imposed exile to save Gotham City, now on the edge of total annihilation, from the brutal guerrilla terrorist Bane.

Director: Christopher Nolan
Stars: Christian Bale, Tom Hardy, Anne Hathaway
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)
Drama
    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 alter-ego 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
Edit

Cast

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

Storyline

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 (261) »

Taglines:

There can be no triumph without loss. No victory without suffering. No freedom without sacrifice. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Release Date:

17 December 2003 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Return of the King  »

Box Office

Budget:

$94,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£15,021,761 (UK) (19 December 2003)

Gross:

$377,019,252 (USA) (28 May 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

| |

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Filming was progressing on The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) in the location of Queenstown when suddenly the town was hit with massive floods and exterior filming had to be suspended. The only available indoor facility that could be used for a studio set was the squash court in a local hotel. Thus, the next day the next scene to be filmed was the intense moment from The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) when an obsessed Frodo sides with Gollum and sends Sam on his way. Both Elijah Wood and Sean Astin baulked at having to do such a pivotal scene without preparation (Andy Serkis had not been cast at this point so someone from the crew filled in for Gollum) but filming went ahead as planned. Astin's scenes were all successfully completed. The next day, however, the sun came out and the floods abated so exterior filming could resume. The intent was always to return to the squash court (where the set remained standing) to do Elijah Wood's scenes, but, for the next five weeks there was no rain to interrupt exterior filming. At the end of that period, the crew had moved to a new location. Elijah Wood finally got to do his side of the scene one year later in the same location - the squash players of Queenstown had been without a court for that whole amount of time as the set had remained in place on the court the entire period. See more »

Goofs

Right before Legolas jumps onto the Oliphant, he is counting kills as he shoots arrows from his quiver. As he is counting, however, he clearly is not pulling any arrows out of his quiver. He is just faking the motion. See more »

Quotes

[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

In the theatrical version Sean Bean receives a major on- screen credit at the end of the film, even though he only appears on screen momentarily in a flashback from the first film. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Fry's Planet Word: The Power and the Glory (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

The Green Dragon
Music by David Donaldson, David Long, Steve Roche (as Stephen Roche), and Janet Roddick
Lyrics by Philippa Boyens
Performed by Billy Boyd and Dominic Monaghan
Courtesy of Mana Music
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
A monumental film
17 December 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Feeling weary and battle-worn, I have just staggered out of the cinema after three and a half hours of special effects creatures fighting other special effects creatures. I had taken refreshments but barely touched them - probably because the film I had watched is one of the most mesmerising, evocative, inspiring, and awesome I have witnessed of any big adventure epic. Not to mention superb ensemble acting, moods that shift effortlessly between mediaeval battles of colossal proportions and convincing bloodshed, beauty and wonderment, fantastic natural and artificial landscapes and cityscapes, touches of humour, well-paced dramatic tension, and human bonding that is moving enough to just let you dry your eyes as the unassuming credits flash by.

Return of the King is the greatest of the Tolkien trilogy by New Zealand director Peter Jackson. Although I've seen the other two and read the book, I felt it would also stand alone well enough for people who hadn't done either.

The storytelling is much more professional that the first one - which maybe laboured to introduce so much information - or the second one - which has little let up from the tension of long battle scenes. In Return of the King, there is an emotional sting at the start, as we watch the transformation of Gollum from warm, fun-loving guy to murderous, mutated wretch. The movie then moves deftly between different segments of the story - the sadness of the lovely soft-focus Liv Tyler as fated Arwen whose travails and woman's love succeeds in having the Sword that was Broken mended, the comradeship of Sam and Frodo (Sean Astin & Elijah Wood) that is tested to the limits, the strong commanding presence of Gandalf (Ian McKellen) who keeps an eye on things whilst turning in an Oscar-worthy performance, the ingenious and very varied battle scenes, and the mythical cities of that rise out of the screen and provide key plot elements.

This is a fairy story of human endeavour, the defeating of power cliques and the triumph of the human spirit that could almost be compared to Wagner's Gotterdammerung. It is a fairy story without any sugary sweetness, a fairy story the likes of which hasn't been told so well before, and is even unlikely to be done so well in the future. The haunting scream of the Nasgul stays with you, the physical attractions are not airbrushed, and the battles are about as far from pantomime characters waving wooden swords as you can get. The ingenious monsters keep you on the edge of your seat. The whole narrative maintains the spirit (if not archival, detailed accuracy) of the original and makes you want to read the book (or read the book again!)

The worst I can say about it is that it is maybe a tad long - but not that you'd notice . . .


278 of 356 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Besides Frodo, a complete snoozefest Blf1523
OT, I'm new to this board. any convo's going on about The Silmarillion? Beren44
Most rewatchable film? maximumcomedy
Lord of the Rings: Complete Recordings Canucklehead-31
Where did they all (Gandalf, Frodo, Galadriel and Bilbo) go shushkka
Will a movie ever win 11 Oscars again? KyleH87

Contribute to This Page