The Lord of the Rings:... (2003)

# 01188 IMDb TOP250 #7 PG-13 

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

taglineThe eye of the enemy is moving.

Director: Peter Jackson

Stars: Cate Blanchett, Orlando Bloom, Ian McKellen, Sean Astin, Ian Holm

Adventure, Drama, Fantasy (3h 21min)

New Zealand New Zealand, USA USA

Rated 8.9 after 1,455,480 votes, 94% postive reviews on 23-Jan-19.

Won OscarWon OscarWon OscarWon OscarWon OscarWon OscarWon OscarWon OscarWon OscarWon OscarWon Oscar
Won 11 Oscars. Another 198 wins & 122 nominations


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.


Peter Jackson (director) Ali Astin Sean Astin David Aston John Bach Sean Bean Cate Blanchett

Noel Appleby (Everard Proudfoot), Ali Astin (Elanor Gamgee (as Alexandra Astin)), Sean Astin (Sam), David Aston (Gondorian Soldier 3), John Bach (Madril), Sean Bean (Boromir), Cate Blanchett (Galadriel), Orlando Bloom (Legolas), Billy Boyd (Pippin), Sadwyn Brophy (Eldarion), Alistair Browning (Damrod), Marton Csokas (Celeborn), Richard Edge (Gondorian Soldier 1), Jason Fitch (Uruk 2), Bernard Hill (Theoden), Ian Holm (Bilbo), Bruce Hopkins (Gamling), Ian Hughes (Irolas), Lawrence Makoare (Witchking / Gothmog), Ian McKellen (Gandalf), Bret McKenzie (Elf Escort), Sarah McLeod (Rosie Cotton), Maisy McLeod-Riera (Baby Gamgee (as Maisie McLeod-Riera)), Dominic Monaghan (Merry), Viggo Mortensen (Aragorn), John Noble (Denethor), Paul Norell (King of the Dead), Miranda Otto (Eowyn), Bruce Phillips (Grimbold), Shane Rangi (Harad Leader 2), John Rhys-Davies (Gimli), Todd Rippon (Harad Leader 1), Thomas Robins (Deagol), Andy Serkis (Gollum / Smeagol), Harry Sinclair (Isildur), Peter Tait (Shagrat), Joel Tobeck (Orc Lieutenant 1 (as Joel Tolbeck)), Liv Tyler (Arwen), Karl Urban (Eomer), Stephen Ure (Gorbag)...

From the same director


J.R.R. Tolkien (novel), Fran Walsh (screenplay), Philippa Boyens (screenplay), Peter Jackson (screenplay)

Produced by

Peter Jackson (producer), Michael Lynne (executive producer), Mark Ordesky (executive producer), Barrie M. Osborne (producer), Rick Porras (co-producer), Jamie Selkirk (co-producer), Robert Shaye (executive producer), Fran Walsh (producer), Bob Weinstein (executive producer), Harvey Weinstein (executive producer)



Saying that this film starts where `Two Towers' left off is somewhat misleading, for the film starts a great distance from the walls of Helm's Deep. `Return of the King' opens with a flashback of Smeagol (Andy Serkis) obtaining the one ring of power and an origin of his deterioration into the creature Gollum. This opening recaptures an emphasis that was somewhat lost within the epic battles of `Two Towers,' at that's the ring. The first installment, `The Fellowship of the Ring,' provided heaps of exposition on the ring's importance and influence, and in `Return of the King,' we see it pay off, big time.

After the armies of Isengard have been defeated due to an allegiance between Theoden (Bernard Hill), the king of Rohan, and the elves, the main threat to middle earth is now concentrated in the kingdom of Mordor, controlled by the dark lord Sauron. Sauron has turned his eye towards the realm of Gondor, the last free kingdom of men, and the wizard Gandalf (Ian McKellan) must warn Denethor (John Noble), Steward of Gondor of the impending attack, while Aragorn (Viggo Mortenson), heir to the throne of Gondor, and Theoden gather men to aid against the armies of Mordor. The dark lord Sauron needs only to regain the one ring of power to conquer all of middle earth, and two hobbits, Frodo (Elijah Wood) the ring-bearer and Sam (Sean Astin), must continue their journey, directed by Gollum, to Mount Doom, the only place where the ring can be destroyed. Got all that? If not, you need to bone up on your `Lord of the Rings' before expecting to follow this film.

Since all three epics were filmed simultaneously, each individually has the feel of being part of a larger picture - except for this one. `The Return of the King' is just too big, the most epic of a set of epic films. Now that director Peter Jackson has brilliantly constructed the characters and plotlines throughout the first two films, he puts them to use.

All of the characters have their best moments within this film. The pair of mischievous hobbits, Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd), are no longer the tree ornaments they were from `Two Towers,' but are split-up, and take their characters in completely new directions. Aragorn, played with an unmatched sense of honor by Viggo Mortenson, is about to meet his destiny as the future king of all men, while Andy Serkis continues his expert portrayal of Gollum (Serkis' provided not only the voice of Gollum, but also assisted during production by acting out the scenes of the computer-generated character with his fellow actors).

However, the real acting triumph of the film is Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins. He continues his descent into corruption with an incredible talent that many could not pull off. Wood's performance is so critical to the film because it determines the ring's power to corrupt, which, needless to say, is absolute.

The first two films established Jackson as an incredible visionary, shooting vast landscapes from his native New Zealand. With `Return of the King,' Jackson really gets a chance to show off. With, hands down, the most beautiful visuals of the trilogy, Jackson makes `Return of the King' a gorgeous feast for the eyes, while never resorting to McG level over-the-topness. Jackson stays very grounded in his characters, not letting the effects tell the story, but only assist the wonderful dialogue and characters. Think of `Return' as a mix of `Fellowship' and `Two Towers,' with enough action and character development worthy of ending a film event of this magnitude.

The bottom line, fans of the films will not be disappointed. Hardcore Tolkien lovers might be upset by plot changes and interpretations made by Jackson and the other writers, however, it is unrealistic to expect a completely true adaptation of the novels, being that film is an entirely different medium. Despite the alterations, Jackson consistently stays true to the major themes and ideas from the original text, while adding some of the finest filmmaking ever put to screen. `The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King' is one of the most finely tuned and cinematically perfect films ever made. Not only the best of the trilogy, but a crowning achievement in epic filmmaking.

Memorable quotes

Aragorn: Hold your ground, hold your ground! Sons of Gondor, of Rohan, my brothers! I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of men fails, when we forsake our friends and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields, when the age of men comes crashing down! But it is not this day! This day we fight! By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you *stand, Men of the West!*

182 total 


The dead oliphant carcass used in this movie is reportedly the largest prop ever built for a movie. According to members of the prop department, director Peter Jackson still thought it could have been bigger.

183 total 


Won 11 Oscars. Another 198 wins & 122 nominations 
Academy Awards, USA • Golden Globes, USA • BAFTA Awards • Screen Actors Guild Awards • Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA • AFI Awards, USA • African-American Film Critics Association (AAFCA) • Amanda Awards, Norway • American Cinema Editors, USA • American Society of Cinematographers, USA • Art Directors Guild • ASCAP Film and Television Music Awards • Austin Film Critics Association • Australian Film Institute • Awards Circuit Community Awards • Awards of the Japanese Academy • Bodil Awards • Bogey Awards, Germany • Boston Society of Film Critics Awards • British Society of Cinematographers • Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards • Central Ohio Film Critics Association • Chicago Film Critics Association Awards • Cinema Audio Society, USA • Costume Designers Guild Awards • Dallas-Fort Worth Film Critics Association Awards • Directors Guild of America, USA • Directors Guild of Great Britain • DVD Exclusive Awards • Empire Awards, UK • Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards • Florida Film Critics Circle Awards • Gold Derby Awards • Golden Schmoes Awards • Golden Trailer Awards • Grammy Awards • Hollywood Makeup Artist and Hair Stylist Guild Awards • Hugo Awards • IGN Summer Movie Awards • International Cinephile Society Awards • International Film Music Critics Award (IFMCA) • International Online Cinema Awards (INOCA) • International Online Film Critics' Poll • Iowa Film Critics Awards • Irish Film and Television Awards • Italian Online Movie Awards (IOMA) • Jupiter Award • Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards • Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards • London Critics Circle Film Awards • Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards • Motion Picture Sound Editors, USA • MovieGuide Awards • MTV Movie + TV Awards • National Board of Review, USA • National Society of Film Critics Awards, USA • New York Film Critics Circle Awards • NRJ Ciné Awards • Online Film & Television Association • Online Film Critics Society Awards • People's Choice Awards, USA • PGA Awards • Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards • Robert Festival • Rondo Hatton Classic Horror Awards • San Diego Film Critics Society Awards • San Francisco Film Critics Circle • Satellite Awards • Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America • Seattle Film Critics Awards • SFX Awards, UK • Southeastern Film Critics Association Awards • Teen Choice Awards • The Stinkers Bad Movie Awards • Toronto Film Critics Association Awards • USC Scripter Award • Utah Film Critics Association Awards • Vancouver Film Critics Circle • Village Voice Film Poll • Visual Effects Society Awards • Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards • World Soundtrack Awards • Writers Guild of America, USA • Yoga Awards • Young Artist Awards

Other titles

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ((original title); Canada (English title); USA) • El señor de los anillos: El retorno del rey (Argentina; Panama; Peru; Spain) • O Senhor dos Anéis: O Retorno do Rei (Brazil) • Властелинът на пръстените: Завръщането на краля (Bulgaria (Bulgarian title)) • Le seigneur des anneaux - Le retour du roi (Canada (French title)) • Gospodar prstenova: Povratak kralja (Croatia) • Pán prstenů: Návrat krále (Czech Republic) • Ringenes herre: Kongen vender tilbage (Denmark) • Seyed alkhavatem 3: Awdat almalek (Egypt (Arabic title)) • Sõrmuste isand: Kuninga tagasitulek (Estonia) • Taru sormusten herrasta: Kuninkaan paluu (Finland) • Sagan om konungens återkomst (Finland (Swedish title); Sweden) • Taru Sormusten Herrasta - Kuninkaan paluu (Finland (video box title)) • Le seigneur des anneaux: Le retour du roi (France) • Der Herr der Ringe: Die Rückkehr des Königs (Germany) • O arhontas ton dahtylidion: I epistrofi tou vasilia (Greece (transliterated ISO-LATIN-1 title)) • Ο άρχοντας των δαχτυλιδιών: Η επιστροφή του βασιλιά (Greece) • A Gyűrűk Ura: A király visszatér (Hungary) • Hringadróttinssaga: Hilmir snýr heim (Iceland) • Arbab-e halgheha 3: Bazgasht-e padeshah (Iran (Persian title)) • Sar Hatabaot: Shivat Hamelekh' (Israel (Hebrew title)) • Il Signore degli Anelli - Il ritorno del re (Italy) • Rôdo obu za ringu - Ô no kikan (Japan) • Žiedu Valdovas: Karaliaus sugrižimas (Lithuania) • El señor de los anillos - El retorno del rey (Mexico) • In de ban van de ring: De terugkeer van de koning (Netherlands (informal literal title)) • Ringenes herre: Atter en konge (Norway) • Władca pierścieni: Powrót króla (Poland) • O Senhor dos Anéis - O Regresso do Rei (Portugal) • Gospodarot na prstenite: Vrakjanjeto na kralot (Republic of Macedonia) • Stapanul Inelelor: Intoarcerea Regelui (Romania) • Властелин колец: Возвращение короля (Russia) • Gospodar prstenova - Povratak kralja (Serbia) • Pán prsteňov: Návrat kráľa (Slovakia) • Gospodar prstanov: Kraljeva vrnitev (Slovenia) • El senyor dels anells: El retorn del rei (Spain (Catalan title)) • Yüzüklerin Efendisi: Kralin Dönüsü (Turkey (Turkish title)) • Володар перснiв: Повернення короля (Ukraine) • The Return of the King (USA (short title))



Rated PG-13 for intense epic battle sequences and frightening images


Argentina:13 / Australia:M / Brazil:12 / Canada:14A / Canada:14 / Canada:G / Denmark:11 / Finland:K-15 / Finland:K-15 / Finland:K-11 / France:Tous publics / Germany:12 / Germany:16 / Greece:K-13 / Hong Kong:IIB / Hungary:14 / Iceland:12 / Ireland:12 / Israel:PG / Italy:T / Japan:PG-12 / Malaysia:U / Netherlands:12 / Netherlands:16 / New Zealand:M / Norway:11 / Norway:12 / Peru:14 / Philippines:PG-13 / Portugal:M/12 / Russia:12+ / Singapore:PG / Singapore:PG13 / South Korea:12 / Spain:12 / Spain:13 / Sweden:11 / United Kingdom:12A / United Kingdom:12 / United States:PG-13


New Line Cinema (presents), WingNut Films (as A Wingnut Films production), The Saul Zaentz Company (licensor) (d/b/a Tolkien Enterprises)


Added on


16,864 movies | 11,397 in HiDef | 250 of TOP#250 | 16,864 posters | 91,701 photos | 241,723 biographies