#19. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King : Each installment of Peter Jackson’s adaptation of the Lord of the Rings trilogy could have been listed separately on my list. As such, this is in some ways a reference to the trilogy as a whole. I mention Return of the King as the third and final installment in the trilogy because it is- at least in my estimation- the best of the three. The film is the most action-packed and its the easiest to understand.
Return of the King finds Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) and Samwise Gamgee (Sean Astin) as they make their way to Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring that “controls them all.” The trilogy as a whole is aided by strong performances from Viggo Mortensen who plays the King Aragorn, Ian McKellen, and Cate Blanchett. The story line does not disappoint either as it stays largely true to J.R.R. Tolkien’s brilliant novel.
Overall, the trilogy is quite an advancement in film making. Jackson’s use of special effects set a new standard for science fiction films. Particularly, the use of computer generated imagery (“CGI”) to create characters such as the sympathetic but villainous Gollum.
As far as science fiction films go, the Lord of the Rings trilogy is about an 11 on the geek scale. Yet, it ranks up there (not quite, but close) with the Star Wars trilogy in terms of scope and ambition.