Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings adaptation is nothing short of a miracle. The trilogy redefined blockbusters and what could be done with a literary adaptation, and that’s very much reflected in the nigh-universal praise. The reception was so strong; the films hold a truly unique honor.
Of course, you don’t need us telling you about The Lord of the Rings. Many of you probably watch the Lord of the Rings movies in order as much as we do (if not moreso). Truly, between the incredible practical effects and the pitch-perfect The Lord of the Rings cast, they’re endlessly rewatchable.
It’s apt, then, that The Lord of the Rings is the only trilogy where all three entries are in the top 20 of IMDb’s 250. There are many great three-parters – Nolan’s The Dark Knight trilogy, the Iron Man films, Richard Linklater’s Before – but Lord of the Rings trumps all of them in terms of consistency. The best fantasy movies, for sure.
I can’t say I’m surprised. Between critical consensus and awards attention, at time of release it was clear The Lord of the Rings had done something special. Rare is it that something so resolutely genre-based garners such mainstream attention, and keeps it.
People the world over have their personal lists of the best Lord of the Rings characters. Sauron and the One Ring are ubiquitous symbols, and the likes of “You shall not pass!” and “PrEcIoUsssSSSSss” cross many language barriers. Marathons of the three extended editions – because we need every scene feasible – are a fixture in pretty much any cinema worth its salt as well.
Of course, the legacy of Middle-earth stretches quite far beyond Jackson’s interpretation. We’ve had The Hobbit trilogy (conspicuously absent from the top 250), and Rings of Power, one of the best fantasy series of the last years. There’s more coming too, with the War of the Rohirrim release date and such.
That definitely has the potential to be one of the best anime movies of the decade. Check out our Rings of Power season 2 release date guide for when that’ll return, as well as our piece on the new Lord of the Rings movie. Our new movies and best movies lists are essential for more cinematic greatness, too. For a different kind of fantasy, here’s what we know about House of the Dragon season 2.