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

17 December 2003

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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King concludes the compelling journeys at the heart of J.R.R. Tolkien's revered trilogy. At a time of frightening uncertainty, amid an epic struggle between good and evil, a band of individuals must reconcile their fates. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King tells the story of these men, their relationships and rivalries, and how through courage, commitment, and determination even the least of us can change and even save the world

Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) struggles with his future role as king while Gandalf (Ian McKellen) faces the impossible task of taking on Lord Sauron's vast army. Separated, friends Merry (Dominic Monaghan) and Pippin (Billy Boyd) must each make great sacrifices to help the Fellowship. And traveling across treacherous enemy lands, Frodo (Elijah Wood) must rely increasingly on his loyal friend Sam (Sean Astin), whom he casts out, as the Ring continues to test his allegiances and ultimately his humanity.

As they grapple with questions of duty, loyalty, and circumstance that are as timeless as they are relevant on the path to their individual destinies, all share the same sense of urgency and fear that they may not be up to the task before them.

It is this juxtaposing of the intimate against the immense that connects J.R. Tolkien's classic novel to our hearts and gives it such enduring power. It is also what makes this final installment of Peter Jackson's epic trilogy a landmark in cinematic achievement.

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