Director: Peter Jackson
This final leg of the cinemarathon Rings Trilogy, Tolkien's magical saga, signals filmdom's spectacular new cure for audiences with low attention spans. At 3 hours, 21 minutes, The Return is, in every sense, a monster epic. Seen in boxy movie halls with inadequate legroom, it could lead to much cramping of gluteus muscles. But Peter Jackson's riveting recreation of the final standoff between Middle-earth's assorted inhabitants and the forces of darkness makes for the most fantastic journey you will undertake.
The Return's narration picks up from where The Two Towers ended: Hobbits Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood) and Samwise Gamgee (Sean Austin) press on into enemy territory on their mission to destroy the One Ring—and release Middle-earth from the threat of enslavement by Sauron, the evil Lord of Mordor. Their progress is rendered the more perilous by their guide Gollum (Andy...