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Oscars Challenge #86: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003) Movie Review

Throughout film history, there have been a lot of successful movie franchises. Franchises like Star Wars, Star Trek, Fast And The Furious, and many more have marked history with their blockbuster sales and favorable reviews from many people. It isn't easy to feature multiple films that people may not like or appreciate.

But if we're going to talk about a franchise that is so successful and deserves a lot of recognition, The Lord of the Rings trilogy should be on top of that list.

The only Best Picture winner with a perfect 11 wins out of 11 nominations.

Plot Overview

The end of this momentous trilogy begins with a backstory of Smeagol and his cousin Deagol who discovers the One Ring while fishing. Smeagol becomes entranced with the Ring and kills his cousin. He retreats to the Misty Mountain and soon becomes Gollum.

After winning the Battle of Helm's Deep, Gandalf leads Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, and King Theoden march toward Isengard to reunite with Merry and Pippin. Gandalf retrieves Saruman's crystal ball, and the group returns to Edoras. Pippin looks at it and sees Sauron and a burning tree, leading to Gandalf deducing that the enemy plans to attack Minas Tirith, Gondor's capital. He takes the hobbit there and warns Deneathor, who becomes severely depressed because his favorite son, Boromir, died. Pippin lights the beacons to trigger help from Rohan.

Meanwhile, Frodo and Sam continue their march toward Mordor. They are unaware that Gollum, their guide, plans to betray them and take the Ring for himself. One night, Gollum throws away their rations and blames Sam for eating them. Frodo tells Sam to go home while getting more and more influenced by the Ring's power. After getting captured by the Orcs, Sam saves him, and the two continue their march toward Mount Doom.

Elrond visits Aragorn and tells him that Arwen is dying. He gifted the sword, Anduril and urged him to become the King of Gondor. Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas leaves and goes on a journey to the Path of the Dead to help their battle against Mordor's armies.


The Lord of the Rings franchise's success transcends even compared to today's standards. It is such a marvelous spectacle that it is easily enjoyable. From its astounding visual effects that use massive digital doubles to create an army to its wide array of shots, this film has the qualities of what a movie should be.

Guided by its star-studded cast and crew, The Lord of the Rings ended its trilogy with an absolute banger of a film. For many years, it is still widely respected as the one that stamped the standard for epic movies.

You can't deny that it is an excellent film without mentioning the musical score. The mix of orchestral sounds that features many instruments matched by the film's action and moment sequences make it more heart-wrenching.

But the formula of this movie is not always because of its effects or soundtrack but because it has a well-crafted story designed to bring joy and excitement to the viewers. It may not be close to the book's actual tale, but it still pays the utmost respect to the author.

I understand the Academy's notion to award Best Picture to the last of its trilogy as if to pay respect to the other films. The previous two are still great ones, and you cannot watch this without first viewing them.

Overall, there is no doubt about the legacy this franchise brings. A true spectacle that deserves every recognition. It is what every Lord of the Rings fan wants and more.

A perfect 5 out of 5 stars.

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