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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
Though The Two Towers had its merits — the sequel was, after all, nominated for Best Picture — it also suffered from a slight case of Middle Child Syndrome: Towers was more setup than punchline, Andy Serkis’s iconic Gollum and the Battle of Helm’s Deep notwithstanding. By contrast, The Return of the King made good on everything that had been building since The Fellowship of the Ring, leading to an epic, emotional conclusion. And another. And one more for good measure. But multiple endings aside, there’s a reason that this was the LOTR film that actually won that preciousss Best Picture statuette. —Hillary Busis
May 3 2013 — 12:00 AM EDT
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