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

The words I keep coming back to, the ones that seem to fit this most astonishing of films best, are ‘terrible’ and ‘awful.’ The old-fashioned senses of the words are what I’m talking about: Peter Jackson has given us a grandly eloquent film that inspires more terror and more awe than anything I’ve seen in a long time. I can compare my reaction to it only with the moviegoing experiences of my childhood, when the hugeness, the all-encompassing-ness of movies in all ways — emotionally, viscerally, visually, aurally — first astounded me, when ‘Night on Bald Mountain’ and Darth Vader’s stormtroopers horrified me to such a degree that I can still feel it.