A/V Room









The Return of the King - US reaction

Compiled by: Jack Foley

US critics were unanimous in their praise for the final film in the Lord of the Rings trilogy.

Entertainment Weekly led the way, describing it as ‘passionate and literate, detailed and expansive... it's conceived with a risk-taking flair for old-fashioned movie magic at its most precious’.

While the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote that ‘Viggo Mortensen achieves true movie-stardom in Jackson's epic, playing the brooding mystery man Aragorn, son of Arathorn, who gains his rightful place as King Elessar in a coronation that makes the pomp and circumstance of 'Star Wars' look cheesy’.

The Houston Chronicle, meanwhile, wrote that ‘this film is everything a fan could want and possibly more. For three-plus hours, it entertains, enthralls and awes’.

The Los Angeles Times noted that ‘as a model for how to bring substance, authenticity and insight to the biggest of adventure yarns, this trilogy will not soon, if ever, find its equal’.

While the New York Times felt that ‘King is the product of impressive craft and energy’.

Variety noted that ‘Peter Jackson's final installment in his monumental The Lord of the Rings represents that filmmaking rarity - a third part of a trilogy that is decisively the best of the lot’.


And the New York Daily News wrote that ‘with The Return of the King, New Zealand director Peter Jackson has completed his trilogy of J.R.R. Tolkien's mammoth The Lord of the Rings, and can lay claim to one of the greatest achievements in film history’.

Many even thought it surpassed the achievements of the first two movies, with the New York Post writing that it ‘towers above its predecessors with cleaner storytelling and a more satisfying balance between terrific acting and eye-popping effects’.

The San Francisco Chronicle, meanwhile, described it as ‘a grand adventure with lots of fun things to look at’.

While the Hollywood Reporter opined that it is ‘a masterfully entertaining final installment’.

The Washington Post noted that ‘Tolkien and his representative on Earth, [Peter] Jackson, really know how to get a tale roaring down the tracks’.

Time Magazine, meanwhile, declared it to be ‘the film event of the millennium’, while CNN found it to be ‘utterly breathtaking’.

And the Boston Globe wrote that ‘audiences who don't have halberds to grind and who possess rear ends of steel and a taste for declamatory heroics will find themselves rewarded’.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution raved: "With The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Peter Jackson brings his epic series to a glorious finish. And in doing so, he's made the greatest movie trilogy in cinema history."

But the final word goes to USA Today, which concludes this round-up, by declaring it to be ‘the jewel in the crown of the masterful trilogy’.

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