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.

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (review)

Other critics have already dragged out the $10 words to describe this film — some of the ones I’d chose myself are ‘seductive,’ ‘masterful,’ ‘majestic,’ and ‘elegant’ — and you must believe what they say because they say True Things. But the one thing that strikes me most about LOTR: FOTR, besides its seductively masterful and majestic elegance, is simply how utterly right it is.