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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

New Zealand, USA

2002

Rated PG-13 • 2h 59m

Director Peter Jackson

Starring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin

Genre Adventure, Fantasy, Action

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Frodo and Sam are trekking to Mordor to destroy the One Ring of Power while Gimli, Legolas and Aragorn search for the orc-captured Merry and Pippin. All along, nefarious wizard Saruman awaits the Fellowship members at the Orthanc Tower in Isengard.

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WHAT ARE PEOPLE SAYING?

Eddie Godino Profile picture for Eddie Godino

As the middle child of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Two Towers has the difficult task of following up on the first installment while also setting up the third -- and it doesn't miss a beat. While Fellowship had a single party of adventurers with a clear goal, in Two Towers, the group is split, providing a much more complex but no less engaging story. The branching narrative style introduces viewers to more of Tolkien's world, but also keeps audiences keenly aware that the moving parts are all connected, and each member of the fractured Fellowship still has a role to play. Two Towers takes the franchise to new heights with some of the most epic battle scenes ever put to film, and Peter Jackson's bold strategy of filming the entire trilogy as one, long project pays off, as the characters look exactly the same as when we left them. Overall, Two Towers is the heart of the trilogy -- and the entry that most deserves to be watched in its extended edition.

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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

90

The New York Times by A.O. Scott

Never has a film so strongly been a product of a director's respect for its source. Mr. Jackson uses all his talents in the service of that reverence, creating a rare perfect mating of filmmaker and material.
88

USA Today by Claudia Puig

Epic battles, spectacular effects and multiple story lines make The Two Towers a most excellent middle chapter in The Lord of the Rings film trilogy.
100

New York Daily News by Jack Mathews

The Two Towers moves faster, covers more ground, has more action and -- with the introduction of the marvelous character Gollum -- packs some much-appreciated laughs.
89

Austin Chronicle by Marc Savlov

God forbid this should ever play on an IMAX screen -- the concussive soundtrack and relentless visuals would likely strike viewers deaf and blind (but what a way to go!). Simply breathtaking.
100

Time by Richard Corliss

Towers, while not quite so varied as Fellowship in its moods and settings, has a grave gusto that energizes every moment...a thrilling work of film craft.
75

Chicago Sun-Times by Roger Ebert

A rousing adventure, a skillful marriage of special effects and computer animation, and it contains sequences of breathtaking beauty. It also gives us, in a character named the Gollum, one of the most engaging and convincing CGI creatures I've seen.
90

Variety by Todd McCarthy

Has a sharper narrative focus and a livelier sense of forward movement than did the more episodic "Fellowship."
100

Boston Globe by Ty Burr

The miracle is that 'The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers is better: tighter, smarter, funnier.

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