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

Director: Peter Jackson Cinematographer: Andrew Lesnie
 The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) on IMDb

One of the most critically and commercially successful films of all time, the conclusion of Peter Jackson’s Tolkien trilogy sees the Dark Lord Sauron launching the final stages of his conquest of Middle-earth. While it’s epic fantasy with huge battles some of the action is undermined by the supernatural elements and many of the characters lost amongst the massive effects. Jackson also struggles to come up with one fitting ending and yet the film with its colossal scale, surprising detail and emotive soundtrack, remains a visually stunning and powerfully compelling triumph of large scale entertainment and a satisfying ending to a landmark achievement in studio film making.

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  • Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins: a young hobbit who continues his quest to destroy the One Ring.
  • Ian McKellen as Gandalf the White: a wizard (one of the Istari) who travels to aid the Men of Gondor, acting as a general at the Siege of Gondor.
  • Sean Astin as Samwise “Sam” Gamgee: Frodo’s loyal hobbit gardener and companion.
  • Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn II Elessar: a Dúnedain ranger with claims to the throne of Gondor.
  • Billy Boyd as Peregrin “Pippin” Took: a hobbit who came along with his cousin Frodo and is now caught in the wars.
  • Dominic Monaghan as Meriadoc “Merry” Brandybuck: another cousin of Frodo’s who becomes an esquire of Rohan.
  • John Rhys-Davies as Gimli: a dwarf warrior and companion to Aragorn along with Legolas. Rhys-Davies also voices Treebeard: the ent leader.
  • Orlando Bloom as Legolas Greenleaf: an elven prince of Mirkwood and skilled archer who aids Aragorn in his quest to reclaim the throne.
  • Andy Serkis as Sméagol / Gollum: a wretched and treacherous hobbit-like creature who kept the Ring for centuries and now guides Frodo and Sam into Mordor.
  • Bernard Hill as Théoden: the King of Rohan who, after triumphing at Helm’s Deep, is preparing his troops for the Battle of the Pelennor Fields.
  • Miranda Otto as Éowyn: Théoden’s niece, who wishes to prove herself in battle and starts to fall in love with Aragorn.
  • Liv Tyler as Arwen Undomiel: Elrond’s daughter and Aragorn’s true love.
  • Hugo Weaving as Elrond: the Elven-King of Rivendell and father of Arwen.
  • David Wenham as Faramir: a prince of the Stewards of Gondor and Captain of the Rangers defending Osgiliath, who seeks his father’s love in vain.
  • Karl Urban as Éomer: Éowyn’s brother, who serves as Chief Marshal of the Riders of Rohan and heir to his uncle’s throne.
  • John Noble as Denethor II: the Steward of Gondor and father of Faramir and Boromir, whose grief over Boromir’s death and despair over Mordor’s superior numbers drive him into madness during the Siege of Gondor.
  • Cate Blanchett as Galadriel: the Elven-Queen of Lothlórien and Arwen’s maternal grandmother, who is aware the time of the elves is at an end.
  • Lawrence Makoare as Witch-King of Angmar: the lord of the Nazgûl, who leads Mordor‘s assault on Minas Tirith. Makoare also plays Gothmog: an Orc commander, who is voiced by Craig Parker.
  • Ian Holm as Bilbo Baggins: Frodo’s elderly uncle, who has rapidly aged after giving away the Ring.
  • Paul Norell as the King of the Dead
  • Marton Csokas as Celeborn: the Elven-King of Lothlórien.
  • Thomas Robins as Déagol: Sméagol’s cousin.

Directed by Peter Jackson
Produced by Barrie M. Osborne, Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh
Screenplay by Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson
Music by Howard Shore
Cinematography Andrew Lesnie
Edited by Jamie Selkirk
Running time 193 minutes
Country New Zealand, United States
Language English

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