9/10
Better than TTT, but not quite up to FOTR (spoilers)
22 December 2003
Warning: Spoilers
There's no pulling punches - ROTK feels rushed. It's certainly the best movie of 2003, and it makes the entire trilogy the best movie series ever, but as a third part and conclusion, it has some flaws.

Most of these relate to the ending(s). Let's face it - the end of ROTK in the books wasn't the strongest part, either, and neither is the end of Jackson's film. It goes way overboard when Frodo leaves for the Grey Havens - the scene seems to take as long as Trinity's death in "The Matrix Revolutions," though it certainly works better.

On the bright side, the battles are spectacular, the acting (especially Sean Astin, who deserves at the very least an Oscar nomination) is spot on, and the finale works well. I definitely liked how they changed the final encounter with Gollum in the Cracks of Doom - it's more dramatic, and it makes more sense than having Gollum simply fall off by himself. In this case, Jackson, Walsh, and Boyens improved on Tolkien IMHO.

9/10
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