It's an improvement on "Two Towers" in the sense that the awkward comedy has been left behind. But when I watch this movie, I can't help but feel like the last 20-30 minutes are a perfunctory series of "Well, we've got to have this scene and this scene, etc." It gets from Point A to Point B and so on, but not in a manner I find particularly inspiring. Still, the trilogy was a monumental achievement.
Absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. Just a perfect movie for a perfect trilogy. Its the best of the three even though in my mind they are really one film and should be seen back to back. I couldn't ask for more in a film. Just incredible.
The cinematic capstone to Tolkien's romantic saga is an apposite finale in redemption, punishment and recovery of pristine purity. Competently directed and with some engaging set-pieces it raises the standards of mainstream entertainment though it bombards us endleesly with digitality. The Gollum/Sméagol character is further developed with a very interesting recall of his human-like form prior to tragic hybridity.
They're classics, but I still sometimes find the first two films tonally inconsistent, repetitive, overlong and overstuffed with exposition. This one has grown on me in its own right. The overabundance of endings aside, the action is swift and succinct; Gondor's socio-political turmoil is one of the series' best subplots. It gives McKellen a lot to do. He really shines here as a wise, vigilant, pragmatic hero.