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Ranking the Lord of the Rings Films

Justac00lguy

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I want this thread to focus specifically on the films because I know opinions very much differ when it comes to the novels. So now that Peter Jackson has completed The Hobbit trilogy, that leaves us with six films in the series. How would you rank thees films? Feel free to explain why.

My ranking:
  1. Return of the King
  2. Fellowship of the Ring
  3. Desolation of Smaug
  4. Two Towers
  5. Battle of the Five Armies
  6. An Unexpected Journey
Bonus question: Do you think this is it for Tolkien's universe and where would you like to see a future hypothetical film take place within the mythology?
 

Jirohnagi

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I've not yet watched the Hobit Trilogy but out of the Lord of The Rings i'd say it's be Fellowship as 1 and Two Towers in the lowest place
 
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I haven't seen The Battle of the Five Armies yet, but as for the rest......

1. Return of the King
2. Fellowship of the Ring
3. The Two Towers
4. An Unexpected Journey
5. Desolation of Smaug
 

Dio

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I want this thread to focus specifically on the films because I know opinions very much differ when it comes to the novels. So now that Peter Jackson has completed The Hobbit trilogy, that leaves us with six films in the series. How would you rank thees films? Feel free to explain why.

My ranking:
  1. Return of the King
  2. Fellowship of the Ring
  3. Desolation of Smaug
  4. Two Towers
  5. Battle of the Five Armies
  6. An Unexpected Journey
Bonus question: Do you think this is it for Tolkien's universe and where would you like to see a future hypothetical film take place within the mythology?

1.The Fellowship of the Ring
2.The Return of the King
3.The Two Towers
All three are amazing films. Deciding how to rank them was difficult but I think the first really had that sense of adventure since you have the shire loving hobbits actually venturing out to see the world they had never experienced before. The film introduces the world of middle earth and presents it spectacularly. I find ROTK and TTT are pretty similar in quality but the final film just has better battles and is a great climax to the trilogy where two is still kind of building up.

4.An unexpected Journey
5.The battle of the five armies
6.The desolation of Smaug

I thought all three hobbit films were mediocre and used too much CGI particularly for the Orcs. The LOTR trilogy had nothing that looked fake in it but in the hobbit it was just too obvious and it detracted from the films. Apart from that they were pretty boring, the music paled in comparison to the original trilogy, there were hardly any memorable pieces of music. I was not impressed by them.

Is this the end for the Tolkein cinematic universe?...Hell no. They will milk this. Maybe we wont see anything for a few years but I would bet good rupees on them making another movie or three.
 

Vanessa28

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Okay movies only :P
FOTR
ROTK
TTT
Desolation of Smaugh
An unexpected Journey
Battle of the five armies

To me the first movie will always be the best because not only introduces you into the World of Tolkien but it also has some very epical moments. You get to know the main characters, you're taken along a long and very heavy road plus it has the epical Weather Top scene.
The Hobbit movies weren't as good as the LOTR movies but that was to be expected because the book is different than the LOTR trilogy.
 

Justac00lguy

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Until Christopher Tolkien dies at least they can't make any more films.
Yeah shame really, but I heard that a lot of movie companies treated him and his family like crap. Something about hardly giving them anything and leeching off them basically.



Also on the topic of a potential movie, I don't think anything post Lord of the Rings is a possibility. It seems like Tolkien intended for the timeline of middle earth to eventually follow something similar to our own world and where we ended up (normality). Sauron and all the evil were banished, the Elves left to the undying lands probably along with most of the Maiar and the rest of the mythological creatures and orcs alike would probably die out over time. I think a tale out of the silmarillion would be more fitting.
 

Mercedes

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  1. Fellowship of the Ring
  2. Return of the King
  3. Two Towers
  4. The Desolation of Smaug
  5. An Unexpected Journey
  6. Battle of the Five Armies
Fellowship and Return of the King did battle it out for top place; I think the other 2 movies have great individual parts, like Helm's Deep is awesome, but Fellowship is the overall better movie for me. Plus, Fellowship does boast the best moment of the entire trilogy, in Amon Hen when Aragorn faces down the entire army of Uruk-hai alone. Such a good part! Second favourite would be near the end of Return of the King, "I can't carry it for you, but I can carry you!"

As for the Hobbit movies, they definitely weren't anywhere near as good as the original trilogy, but it was never going to happen. Only the final movie was a little bit disappointing, and there was way way way too much CGI. Plus, I felt it suffered from being much more of a series; by that I mean, even though LOTR is a trilogy, every movie kind of had an ending. The Hobbit just kept going so, as individual movies, they came across as a bit worse I think.
 

Batman

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I had no idea you were an LotR/Tolkien guy JC. That's awesome.

How the hell did I miss this thread until now?

Anyway, first up is LotR. Choosing between the three of them is torture because to me they will always be one big movie so it's like choosing my favorite sequences in the movie, and all three parts are epic masterpieces of the likes that have never been equaled and likely will not be for a very long time. But if I have to choose, this is it:

1.) The Fellowship of the Ring
2.) The Two Towers
3.) The Return of the King

Oddly enough, they're in order. All three of them are so close that honestly a tie is the best way I could describe it, and in a few hours I could convince myself that it's a totally different order; I would have no qualms placing TTT or RotK at the top. But FotR just has more adventure and mystery qualities than the other two I guess; qualities I very highly value when it comes to fantasy. It's just the rawest and most uncertain part of the story; everyone is scared to death, often lost, and just unsure what to do. And the ultimate danger to the world is more of an abstraction at this point unlike in the other two when we get to see this danger up close and personal. The first time I saw FotR as a boy, I was haunted by the end sequence where Frodo and Sam walk on the Emyn Muil, with the glow of Mount Doom laying behind the Mountains of Shadow. I knew that the story had really only just begun and that really blew me away. I knew this thing was something very special. Oh, plus I like Gandalf the Grey better than the White. He smokes weed and chills with hobbits. Gandalf the White is more of a down-to-business military general with the fate of the world in his hands.

With TTT and RotK though, it’s pretty much impossible for me to justify why I like one over the other. The thing is, I don’t, but the thread makes us list them in order. Both are masterworks to me. Maybe I put TTT above it because it builds up the end, while RotK is the actual end. The buildup is often more interesting to me than the end itself I suppose. Nevertheless, the end is extremely well done and extremely powerful on several levels; RotK could easily be #1 of the list, as could TTT.


Next up is the Hobbit trilogy. While I don't think they quite match up to the level of the LotR trilogy, I still nonetheless really loved all three movies and think they are honorable prequels. You will find no Hobbit trilogy hate with me. The story is necessarily less epic than LotR as LotR is an epic fantasy with what's at stake being nothing less than the very survival of the world and its people. Goodness and beauty hangs in the balance against the ultimate forces of evil and ruin. Hobbit is more of a high/heroic fantasy where what's at stake is a band of travelers trying to reclaim their homeland from a dragon and a wizard against a mysterious necromancer in some dark corner of the woods. I personally love both kinds of fantasy and I think the Hobbit trilogy did its kind very well. But anyway, I thoroughly enjoyed this trilogy and I actually thought its music was almost as good as LotR's. My ranking for this one is much easier to decide on, even though I consider them all fairly close to each other still:

1.) The Desolation of Smaug
2.) An Unexpected Journey
3.) The Battle of the Five Armies

While UJ has wonderful adventure, mystery, and backstory elements that appeal to me, I think it's nevertheless overshadowed by the sheer epicness of DoS through and through. From Gandalf throwing down with Sauron to the whole Smaug sequence and the (rushed) TaurielxKili stuff, I just enjoyed that movie more. BotfA's White Council vs. Sauron and the Nazgul sequence, as well as the build up to the Battle of Five Armies and the battle itself were both incredible and didn't let me down. I think a good job was done of putting information from the Appendices of LotR into the movies and I like what they made up for the Dol Guldur stuff. The casting of the dwarves was really great as well.

So, together it's:

1.) The Fellowship of the Ring
2.) The Two Towers
3.) The Return of the King
4.) The Desolation of Smaug
5.) An Unexpected Journey
6.) The Battle of the Five Armies
 

Emma

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Well I don't actually think I should rate them individually. All three Lord of the Rings films are just three parts of one continuous movie. And the same goes for the Hobbit. I still can't figure out why, but there is just something about the Hobbit that didn't quite recapture the spark of the first trilogy. But it's still good. So there it is with the first trilogy being better than the Hobbit trilogy, but all the films being very good on their own. But none of them should EVER be watched independently. You HAVE to go through each trilogy in one raging marathon. And the extended versions only. That means, once the final extended version of BotFA is released, a LoTR fan is obligated to marathon through the whole thing in one go. If you have not done this yet, even with just the first trilogy, you have not truly lived.
 

InsomniacAttack

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1) The Return of the King
2) The Fellowship of the Ring
3) The Two Towers
4) The Battle of Five Armies
5) The Desolation of Smaug
6) An Unexpected Journey.

Really hard list to make since I love all the films so much.
 

Justac00lguy

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I'd have to agree with the Dol Goldur scenes in all the movies. I know some fans were annoyed by that side story, but it really helped tie The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings together and especially Sauron. Seeing Galadrial in action was ****ing amazing as well since she's been around since before the first age. My only real gripe with the trilogy was the whole love triangle thing. It was rushed, it felt like it didn't matter and the end of it didn't make me feel any emotion.
 

misskitten

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I may the odd one out, but my ranking is this:
1) Two Towers - maybe it was the Scandinavian influences on Rohan, but I felt more compelled by Rohan's story than Gondor's, I was really moved by the Elves marching to their aid just in the nick of time. The battle was epic, really touched on the hopelessness felt. Another part I really loved was the Ents taking on Isengard. Being in the middle it didn't need the slow build-up like in the Fellowship, and it didn't have a dragged out ending, like in the Return.

2) Return of the King - an epic conclusion for sure, but the ending felt really dragged out. Still loved it, though, plenty of epic moments, like Rohan marching to Gondor's aid, the green beacon, the battle itself. I just enjoyed the story of the Two Towers more.

3) The Fellowship of the Ring - it was the slow build-up to the other two, but still great, plenty of story, a little more light in it than in the other two.

I'm a little less decisive on how to order the Hobbit trilogy, though. I love LotR more, so none of the Hobbit movies will outrank that trilogy, but I guess if I had to order them, it would be this way:

4) The Desolation of Smaug - Apart from the fact that I love dragons and this one most heavily featured one, I felt this portion of the trilogy held the most captivating story. It wasn't as playful and light as Unexpected Journey, but also wasn't mostly battle-oriented as Five Armies was.

5) An Unexpected Journey - As much as I enjoyed Five Armies, I think I just prefer this one a little bit more. It tells more of a story, was fun to watch, very adventurous, and I enjoyed the back story told in it.

6) The Battle of the Five Armies - Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this final instalment, but I didn't feel it offered much in terms of story, as most of it was very battle-oriented. We went straight from the slaying of Smaug to armies marching on Erebor, and even the side-story was mainly battle-oriented.
 

Iridescence

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only saw the first 3. i liked two towers the best probably, though the first one FOTR left a big first impression on me. ROTK was still good but it was drawn out by excessive combat. and i tend to like characters and atmosphere over just combat.
 

Spiritual Mask Salesman

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1. The Return of the King
2. Fellowship of the Ring
3. The Two Towers
4. The Hobbit: Desolation of Smaug
5. The Hobbit: Battle of the Five Armies
6. The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey

---

Personally I'd like to see maybe a distant prequel to the Hobbit set during the Second Age.
 

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