Released Year: 2003
Directed by Peter Jackson
Elijah Wood as Frodo Baggins
Viggo Mortensen as Aragorn
Ian McKellen as Gandalf
John Rhys-Davies as Gimli
Orlando Bloom as Legolas
Sean Astin as Samwise "Sam" Gamgee
Billy Boyd as Peregrin "Pippin" Took
Dominic Monaghan as Meriadoc "Merry" Brandybuck
Andy Serkis as Sméagol/Gollum
Miranda Otto as Éowyn
David Wenham as Faramir
John Noble as Denethor
Liv Tyler as Arwen
Cate Blanchett as Galadriel
Hugo Weaving as Elrond
Gandalf leads Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, and King Théoden to Isengard where they reunite with Merry and Pippin, who helped the Ents destroy Saruman's forces. With Saruman himself defeated, Gandalf retrieves Saruman's palantír. Overcome by curiosity, Pippin steals a glance into the seeing-stone, and suffers an immediate mental attack from Sauron himself. From what Pippin was able to recount, Gandalf deduces Sauron will attack Gondor's capital Minas Tirith, so he rides ahead to warn them, and takes Pippin with him as 'punishment'. They meet Lord Denethor, steward of Gondor, bitterly grieving the death of his son Boromir. Pippin offers his service to Denethor after confessing Boromir died protecting him.
Meanwhile, Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee are led by Gollum to Minas Morgul where they witness the Witch-king of Angmar leading an Orc army to drive Denethor's younger son Faramir and his men from Osgiliath. At Gollum's urging, the three begin climbing a precarious stair carved in the cliff face that will take them into Mordor via a 'secret way'. But having overheard Gollum's plot to regain the Ring, Sam keeps a suspicious eye on him. In Gondor, Pippin follows Gandalf's instructions and secretly lights the beacon to signal Théoden to assemble the Rohirrim and come to Gondor's aid.
While helping Théoden gather his forces, Aragorn is approached by Elrond who says Arwen is dying. After seeing a vision of her son she refused to leave Middle Earth. Elrond then gives Aragorn the sword Andúril, Isildur's sword Narsil reforged, so he can reclaim his birthright while gaining reinforcements from the Dead Men of Dunharrow. Joined by Legolas and Gimli, Aragorn travels to the Paths of the Dead, recruiting the Army of the Dead with the promise to release them from their curse once they fulfil their oath to Isildur.
Faramir is gravely wounded after a futile effort to retake Osgiliath, and believing his son to be dead, Denethor falls into madness. Gandalf is left to command the city defences against the Orc army led by Gothmog. But as Gothmog's forces eventually force their way into the city, Denethor tries to kill himself and Faramir on a pyre. Pippin alerts Gandalf and they save Faramir, but Denethor leaps to his death from the top of Minas Tirith just before Théoden and the Rohirrim arrive. Initially the Rohirrim have the advantage at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, but are eventually overwhelmed by the Oliphaunt-riding Haradrim while the Witch-king mortally wounds Théoden. Though Théoden's niece Éowyn, having posed as a male soldier, battles and slays the Witch-King with Merry's help, Théoden dies of his wounds. Aragorn arrives with the Army of the Dead, they overcome the Orcs and win the battle. The Dead are released from their curse, and the wounded are tended to. In the Houses of Healing Éowyn meets Faramir, and they comfort each other. Aragorn and the other captains of Men decide to lead all who can march upon the Black Gate as a distraction, so Frodo and Sam can get to Mount Doom.
Meanwhile, Gollum manipulates Frodo into leaving Sam behind before they arrive at the tunnel leading to Mordor, and then tricks him into lair of the giant spider Shelob. After a terrible chase, she paralises and binds Frodo. Sam returns and drives Shelob away, but believing his friend to be dead takes Frodo's sword Sting and The One Ring for safekeeping. When he sees Frodo's body being taken by Orcs to Cirith Ungol he realises Frodo's still alive, and gives chase. Sam rescues Frodo from the Orcs, and returns the Ring to him. Aragorn's army draw out Sauron's forces and empty Mordor, allowing the exhausted Hobbits to stagger to the volcano, but they're attacked by Gollum when they reach Mount Doom. Frodo finally succumbs to the Ring's power and claims it as his own, and refuses to destroy it. Gollum attacks Frodo and bites his finger off to reclaim the Ring, but then (while holding the Ring) Gollum falls into the volcano where the Ring was made. Sam manages to save Frodo. The Ring and Sauron are both destroyed, causing a chain-reaction that consumes the mountain, topples Barad-dûr, and kills most of the fleeing Orcs as the ground crumbles beneath them. Gandalf flies in with eagles to rescue the Hobbits, who awaken later in Minas Tirith and are reunited with the surviving Fellowship members.
Aragorn is crowned King of Gondor and takes Arwen as his queen. They, and all others present at his coronation, bow before Frodo and the Hobbits. The Hobbits then return to the Shire where Sam marries Rosie Cotton. Frodo, unable to cope with the traumas of his journey, departs Middle Earth for the Grey Havens with his uncle Bilbo, Gandalf, and the Elves, leaving Sam the Red Book of Westmarch which details their adventures. Though saddened by Frodo's departure, Sam is gladdened by the warm welcome he receives on returning home.
L² Scored: 10/10
Finally I found a friend who own the Blu-Ray version of the extended version of this movie. If not mistaken, the whole movie is about 4 hours ++. After spending such a long hour in my friend's house, finally I complete watching the whole set of this movie series *applause :p
This movie jointly holds the record for the largest number of Academy Awards won with Ben-Hur & Titanic. Not sure whether there will be any epic movie as big as this, but Lord Of The Ring will always be one of my favorite :)