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All 3 Lord of the Rings Movies, Ranked

One ranking to rule them all.

Over the past year or so, I've been watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy for the first time, and I just watched Return of the King last night. I've tried to read the book in the past, but have never been able to get into it, so I just decided to pull the plug and watch this classic trilogy. Obviously, being a movie nerd, I had very high expectations for this trilogy. So did it live up to them? Well let's find out with the ranking below.

3. The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

The Two Towers is very clearly the weakest of the trilogy, but it's still a very good movie. This film feels like it does most of what it's trying to do right; it expands Middle-earth and splits our characters up for them to all go on their side quests before Return of the King joins them all together in Mordor. I think the strongest part of the film is Frodo and Sam's journey as they encounter Gollum and have trust issues with him. I also think the final battle here is absolutely incredible. Not only is it jaw-dropping in scope and action, but it also delivers on character moments, as we truly see Aragorn take charge and become this coveted leader. I do feel like The Two Towers suffers from feeling like it doesn't really move the story forward. Sure, we increase the tension and develop the characters, but the main plot feels like it doesn't really advance all that much. Still, a very, very strong middle chapter.

2. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

Fellowship nails what any great fantasy franchise kick-starter should nail; establishing the world of Middle-earth. This movie had the monumental task of adapting Tolkein's classic book to the big screen for the first time in live-action, and it pulls it off entirely. Peter Jackson deserves all the credit in the world for bringing Tolkein's vision to life in this epic, beautiful way. Middle-earth feels like this immersive, lived-in fantasy world with a rich history that you just want to explore more. We also are introduced to our batch of incredible characters, from Gandalf to Frodo to Aragorn to just does it all so well. It doesn't hit as hard as Return of the King, but this is still a great movie.

1. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Do I think this film is too long? Yes. Do I think it could've been split into two movies? Yes. Is it one of the most ground-breaking and epic movies I have ever seen? Yes. Return of the King feels like it got everything that it was going for. This film is truly epic in every sense of the word. It has a titanic runtime filled with these long, ginormous battle sequences. You feel the weight of this battle for Middle-earth, which just makes the payoff of everything that's been set up throughout the trilogy so satisfying. This movie feels like every other great finale I can think of: Endgame, Deathly Hallows - Part 2, Return of the's just wraps up a great story in the perfect way. So, because of that, it has to come in at number one.


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