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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Blu-ray

United States
Extended Edition / Blu-ray New Line Cinema | 2003 | 251 min | Rated PG-13 | Aug 28, 2012

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (Blu-ray)

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC (30.47 Mbps)
Resolution: 1080p
Aspect ratio: 2.41:1
Original aspect ratio: 2.39:1

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 6.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)
Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1

English SDH, Spanish, Portuguese

50GB Blu-ray Disc
Five-disc set (2 BDs, 3 DVDs)
UV digital copy (expired)
Digital copy (expired)

Slipcover in original pressing

Region free

List price: $34.99, Price history

Amazon: $28.26 (Save 19%)
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Buy The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King on Blu-ray Movie

Movie rating
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

Blu-ray rating
Video 4.7 of 54.7
Audio 5.0 of 55.0
Extras 5.0 of 55.0
Based on 4 user reviews

Movie appeal 

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King


The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Blu-ray delivers stunning video and reference-quality audio in this must-own Blu-ray release

The final battle for Middle-earth begins. Frodo and Sam, led by Gollum, continue their dangerous mission toward the fires of Mount Doom in order to destroy the One Ring. Aragorn struggles to fulfill his legacy as he leads his outnumbered followers against the growing power of the Dark Lord Sauron, so that the Ring-bearer may complete his quest.

For more about The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and the The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Blu-ray release, see the The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Blu-ray Review published by on where this Blu-ray release scored 5.0 out of 5.

Director: Peter Jackson
Writers: Peter Jackson, Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens
Starring: Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen, Sean Astin, Orlando Bloom, Sean Bean

» See full cast & crew

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Blu-ray, Video Quality

  4.5 of 5

The stars are veiled. Something stirs in the East. A sleepless malice. The eye of the enemy is moving.

The Return of the King makes a triumphant entrance, stealing past The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers on its way to the throne. Reports, vague as they tend to be, indicate Warner's third 1080p/AVC-encoded transfer has been created using a new master; not that there are any major differences between the 2010 theatrical and 2011 extended presentations, at least not as far as I can tell. Regardless of its origins, though, there's very little to complain about. The presentation offers a rich palette of wondrous colors, stalwart contrast, enticing blacks, and rewarding delineation. Detail is excellent and filmic softness only invades when dictated by the original photography. Gandalf's beard, Aragorn's stubble, Frodo's grimy finger nails, Sam's rustled mop, the imperfections on Legolas and Gimli's weapons, Eowyn's tangled locks, stunning glimpses at the cityscape of Gondor, the dank caverns of Dwimorberg, Dickson's impeccable costumes, WETA's marvelous CG battles, the clashing armies of Pelennor Fields... everything from intimate closeups to sweeping shots of towering castles is blessed with excellent clarity.

Several special effects still show their seams -- a strange black blob briefly hovers in the bottom right corner as Gandalf arrives at Isengard, the Hobbits may as well be standing against a green screen when the Gondorian crowd bows to them in the third act -- but any such shortcomings are hardly the fault of the technical presentation. Significant artifacting, aliasing, aberrant crush, and aliasing don't rear their unsightly heads (thankfully, the film is generously spread across two BD-50 discs), and the slight ringing that still appears, though apparent on only a handful of occasions, isn't gaudy at all. If anything, the tiniest bit of Jackson-and-Lesnie-instituted noise reduction hinders the fun (rest assured, it's fleeting, infrequent and altogether negligible) and small white flecks prick the print throughout (even though they never amount to a problem of any sort). As it stands, The Return of the King looks fantastic. Not pixel-perfect, but about as close as it could.

Over the course of the film, my score moved freely from a 4.25 to a 4.5 and back again, making the 4.5 I settled on an all too easy number to award Jackson's showstopper.

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Blu-ray, Audio Quality

  5.0 of 5

There was no lie in Pippin's eyes. A fool... but an honest fool, he remains. He told Sauron nothing of the Ring. We've been strangely fortunate. Pippin saw in the Palantir a glimpse of the enemy's plan. Sauron moves to strike Minas Tirith.

No need to break down each individual release here. Like the 2010 theatrical cut releases, the Extended Editions of The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers, and The Return of the King charge the fields of Blu-ray with a trio of powerful DTS-HD Master Audio surround tracks, all of which allow Jackson's Lord of the Rings trilogy to storm every home theater, no matter how grand in scale. Dialogue, whether whispered or shouted, is crisp, clean, and intelligible; voices, whether human, beast or ethereal warrior, ring true across the soundfield; and creature cries, whether spittled roars or high-pitched screeches, are sharp and stable. LFE output deserves a score of its own, aggressively supporting every charging legion, splintering gate, looming weapon of destruction, volcanic debris, marching armies and collapsing tower the various members of the Fellowship encounter. Close your eyes as the Rohirrim clash with lumbering Mûmakil. Listen intently as fell beasts swoop down and snatch helpless soldiers. Try to lift your jaw off the floor when Sam, Frodo and Gollum find themselves in the heart of a very volatile Mount Doom. Environmental ambience never relents (the Paths of the Dead!), directionality is impeccable (the Battle of the Pelennor Fields!), and pans are as transparent as Frodo when he slips on the One Ring (the stones slung at Minas Tirith hurtle past with alarming precision). Best of all, the experience is as immersive as they come. Howard Shore's masterful score is perfectly prioritized beneath the film's soundscape, gut punch revelations are as pitch-perfect as they are emotional, restless armies will make viewers turn their heads, and the terrifying clamor of orcs, ghosts, beasts of burden, war trolls and more will unsettle the most steely listener. And dynamics? Prepare yourself. The Return of the King, and really The Lord of the Rings trilogy as a whole, is a sonic powerhouse.

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The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Blu-ray, News and Updates

Individual Blu-rays for The Lord of the Rings Extended Editions - June 25, 2012

This summer, New Line and Warner Home Entertainment will bring the individual extended editions of the three films in director Peter Jackson's Academy Award-winning The Lord of the Rings Trilogy to Blu-ray. These releases mark the first time the extended cuts ...

The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King Blu-ray, Forum Discussions

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