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The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
Academy Award® Winner
Follow the continuing quest of Frodo Baggins and the Fellowship that has joined together to destroy the One Ring and stand against the evil of the dark lord Sauron.

Starring Elijah Wood, Ian McKellen, Viggo Mortensen...  View more >

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Reviews Summary

Please Note: Reader Reviews are submitted by the readers of The BigScreen Cinema Guide and represent their own personal opinions regarding this movie, and do not represent the views of The BigScreen Cinema Guide, or any of its associated entities.

Dec 18, 2002
TREMENDOUS a MUST SEE cinema event.

For fans of The Lord of The Rings Triology it leaves you desperately wanting Dec of 2003 to be next month. While there are deviations from the book they do not detract from the movie itself. I think that oscar nominations will come for many areas of the movie but best picture will not be among them until the final installment arrives.
Dec 18, 2002
In a word, amazing. It was difficult to believe that a second installment could match up to the first. But this film not only stands toe-to-toe with The Fellowship of the Ring, it exceeds it in many areas.

Much has been made of the siege of Helm's Deep (which is nice to see that it lives up to the hype), but I would have to say that the creature Gollum was the best part of the film. First of all, he looks great. A tribute to Peter Jackson and WETA's use of light and shadow mixed with bleeding edge CGI to make a VERY realistic Gollum. I use the word realistic, because it is Andy Serkis's portrayal of Gollum that makes him believeable.

The new characters fit in as nicely as the returning ones. I think Miranda Otto was the most impressive. Her part seemed a bit small, but I am hoping to see more of her in the next film (I haven't read the book, so I don't know if she is or not).

The review by James Berdanelli says that this trilogy is heading for a place in cinematic history. I couldn't have said it any beter.
Dec 18, 2002
This movie was well done and needs to be seen in the theater. Lots of action with a little comedy tossed in.
Dec 18, 2002
I absolutely loved the entire movie. At first I was upset from the deviation from the books, but I think Peter Jackson did an excellent job.

The battle at Helms Deep held my breath, and he added the perfect blend of comedy to releive some tension. I was astounded at the realism of the CGI character Gollum. The whole movie was exciting, and I didn't want it to end! I cannot wait for the third installment, and I hope to be just as thrilled and envolved with it as i was with The Two Towers.

It is by far the best movie I have seen in a long time, and I say that with complete honesty (not because I love the Triology, but because the movie was high quality). Any one who has not seen the movie definitely should. The big screen adds so much more.
Dec 19, 2002
Awesome. Totally awesome. (Okay, mostly awesome.)
Dec 20, 2002
Here's my one-word review:

Here's my one-sentence review:
Amazingly, they managed to make it as good if not better than the first one.

Here's my full review:
First off, you *must* see the first movie (Fellowship of the Ring) or have read it in book form before you go see the second one. Most Hollywood sequels take pains to make sure the story is still understandable to those who missed the first installment. This movie does not, so be warned. If you want to see Two Towers and haven't seen Fellowship of the Ring, go rent that and watch it first. The Two Towers jumps right into the action right away without any sort of prologue.

Being a fan of the books, I was worried that the changes they would make in the movie would "ruin it", but they don't. They do change the personality of a few of the supporting characters a bit (Faramir and Gimli), making them a little less heroic than they were in the books, but they leave the main characters alone and let them be who they should be.

The character Gollum was done much better than I expected, both with the technical challenge of making a computer-rendered character look "real", and with the acting challenge of bringing Gollum's insane mentality to life, making him a villian both scary and pitiful at the same time.

But my favorite was the Ents. They were done really well. If you know the story already, then you know what "Ent" means and I'm not spoiling it for you. If you haven't read the story, then you probably don't know what "Ent" means and I'm not spoling anything for you by mentioning it.

Having read the books several times, one thing I was worried about with The Two Towers was whether or not the two seperate storylines in parallel would translate well into movie form. In the book, you are literally reading two independant storylines, the first half of the book following one group of people, and the second half following a different group. In the movie they switch viewpoint back and forth between the two groups frequently and I think this worked a lot better.

And of course, more New Zealand scenery in every shot.

I'll have to see this movie again one or two hundred times.
Dec 21, 2002
First off, let me say that I did not read the trilogy of LOTR books, only "The Hobbit" which was required reading in my high school English class. Even so, that awesome tale alone was enchanting enough to draw me into the movie theatre for The Two Towers.

I start with that preface because after watching "The Two Towers" I found that I enjoyed it somewhat less than I did "The Fellow of the Ring". I think this had something to do with the fact that I had not previously read any of the Tolkien books that followed "The Hobbit". I also think that a year is too long to wait between movies and this dampered the effect of 'Towers' for me, somewhat. Then there is the fact that Jackson had the deck stacked against him by the fact that he was showing his 'middle' movie, which is hard to succeed with in a genre like this.

With all that said, I think the movie was still one of the best I have ever seen, and it represents fantasy in it's finest form. I had several criticisms with the film, but the praises by far outweigh those. If you're a fan of film you will notice it's shortcomings, yet you will also be awed by it's superlative genius of filmmaking, especially the special effects and cinematography.


Dec 23, 2002
Last year I rated "Fellowship of the Ring" with a "Good," something which I now regret. I've seen it twice since, and each time I've liked it better. So naturally, I was pretty pumped for the second installment.

This movie nearly brought me to tears. Not because it's sad (it's not, particularly), but because it is so close to pure cinematic perfection. This movie continues to build on the beautiful world established in "Fellowship," adding great new characters (like the very, very realistic Gollum) and more creatures, like giant wolf/bear thingies and walking, talking trees called Ents. So after this wonderful world is finally fully realized, it is threatened with destruction. That's when "Two Towers" really starts kicking in.

Unbelievable action sequences (highlighted by the much talked-about Battle of Helm's Deep, which really IS that good) special effects don't take over the movie, though (which has been the problem with the "Star Wars" prequels). Instead, the characters, plot, and general feel of this movie are placed at the foreground. Everything else is secondary.

The only problem I had with this movie was the seeming pointlessness of the Ents. It seems that they (or at least the one that is shown the most, Treebeard) have nothing to do for the first two and a half hours but walk through the forest and wheeze out their lines. This complaint becomes fairly moot towards the end of the movie when the giant trees do the arse-kicking a creature like that is supposed to do.

My bottom line: any self-respecting movie-goer has to see this. It's the second part in the biggest, best, most spectacular series of movies since the original "Star Wars." When I walked out, my hands hurt from clapping during the credits, I was out of breath from the incredible action sequences, and I had one huge smile on my face.
Dec 26, 2002
Dec 27, 2002
Amazing-love it.
Jan 2, 2003
The Two Towers is excellent. I understand that the movie is an adaption and I have to admit I didn't like some changes from the books to the screen. But, it's still a good movie and one I'm sure I'll see many more times to come.
Jan 5, 2003
Great movie, can't quite give it the "See Now!" rating though. Not as good as Fellowship of the Ring was, but still a very good movie.
Jan 5, 2003
I hope George Lucas watched this movie to remind him how to make a truly epic movie.

"Two Towers" is a great combination of CGI effects, scenery, elaborate sets and costumes. Even though the movie exists in a fantasy world, it always felt real to me. Peter Jackson truly shows how much he respects and loves Tolkien's books. If anyone deserves "Best Director", he does.

In comparing "Fellowship" and "Two Towers", I feel that they are both equally excellent. I must admit that the acting was better in the first movie. Ian McKellen was more of a force in "Fellowship". Surpisingly, the best acting is done by a CGI character in "Towers"....Gollum/Smeagol. Andy Serkis is brilliant and really gives the character even more depth then the book did. The first CGI character to look totally real!

The Strengths of the Movie: Gollum, Helms Deep (one of the greatest filmed battles ever) , Special Effects ( Ents are cool and the scene with Gandalf and Balrog...too cool!) Liv Tyler (the hottest elf maiden)

Weak Points of Movie: Acting (most noticeable is Frodo and Sam...boring and annoying dialog) Movie is a little longer then it should be (could have cut out some of the long horseback and hiking scenes)

In reference to the book, Jackson didn't change much. The addition of the elves I didn't mind, even though they were nonexistant in the book. Ending the movie earlier then the book really gave him alot of material for the "Return of the King"

If you don't mind a movie that is a little violent and dark, this is a MUST SEE!
Jan 7, 2003
New hideous beasts join the Balrog and Orcs as audience members return to Middle Earth during Director Peter Jackson's The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. Frodo Baggins (Elijah Wood), Gandalf the White (Ian McKellen), Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen), and five other members of the original Fellowship continue their arduous journey to Mordor to destroy the Ring. Conditions are often intolerable. Powers clash and collide. The battles are fierce and unrelenting. Friendships and alliances are tested. Innocent people and brave warriors lose their lives. Love is found and lost and unreturned. The world is simply a darker place. But even this enormous amount of conflict and drama does not engender a superior sequel to The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring.

The team of screenwriters (Frances Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Stephen Sinclair, and Peter Jackson) undeniably undertook a difficult task in reproducing J.R.R. Tolkien's epic in script form, but this fact does not excuse the film's slow pace and occasional incomprehensibility. Both major and minor characters are introduced too quickly and little or no time is invested in many of these people, which prevents audience members from connecting and sympathizing with the characters. Théoden (Bernard Hill) orders elderly men and young boys to fight an impossible war, but one cannot connect with the weeping women or terrified men as leaders outfit them in helmets and swords and send them off to a likely death. The writers have not given audience members the time or reason to care.

The overriding theme in The Lord of the Rings is that the good in the world is worth a tremendous fight and that evil cannot prevail despite its overwhelming force, but other themes evolve through various characters and subplots. Few people can miss the dominating theme; Sam Gamgee (Sean Astin) even states this Truth at the end of The Two Towers just in case it has eluded anyone in the story's first six cinematic hours. Unfortunately, many other themes are lost not simply because of exclusion from the original text, but again, because the writers did not invest enough time in explaining the details and significance of certain events. Allowing Galadriel (Cate Blanchett) to return momentarily to clarify certain points and clever monologues by Gollum (voice of Andy Serkis) avoid complete disregard for intelligibility, but more of these not-entirely-innovative but nonetheless helpful techniques would have benefited the film.

Gollum embodies the possibility that any inherently good creature can be transformed into something evil. The entire cast delivers laudable performances once again, but this computer generated character steals the spotlight in every one of his scenes. He appears deformed and acts maliciously, but the writers gave him a tremendous amount of depth and so his deformities and deviance is forgiven. Gollum is complicated, and he is endearing. He has become a slave to the desire for power, but traces of his former Sméagol self penetrate his dominating ugliness--especially in an intense but entertaining forest monologue.

Unfortunately, Gollum also represents the most disturbing reality of the second part of this film series: The Two Towers relies too heavily on its computer generated characters and special effects and not enough on the story and the abilities of its human actors. Legolas Greenleaf (Orlando Bloom) prances off boulders and dramatically flies onto a horse during battle, which elicits laughter during serious moments and detracts from Bloom's natural ability to play the part. The Fellowship of the Ring is not entirely void of these non-human creations, but the focus is on the nine-member Fellowship. The actors are responsible for the overall success or failure of each scene in the first film, but the exact opposite is true for the second film and pure spectacle does not afford cinematic greatness.

Jackson's talented cast is not as present in The Two Towers, but they make a valiant effort to carry the film even through too numerous sweeping landscape scenes. Still, few of the actors exhibit flawless or even nearly flawless performances. Wood and John Rhys-Davies, who plays Gimli, occasionally overreact with melodramatic reactions and facial expressions, though it is admittedly the exception to Wood's otherwise skillful and intriguing performance. Rhys-Davies is particularly guilty of this amateurish act, however, and these poor acting choices coupled with a script that portrays him as a fool cheapens the overall story and discredits the Fellowship. The most troubling acting problem, however, is the lack of chemistry between the lead male characters excluding the hobbits. Every single leader is captivating in his individual monologues and scenes, but their camaraderie seems forced and unauthentic. The camera does most of the work, and the actors rely on background music and other visual effects to compensate for their collective inefficiency. Thankfully, the believability of all other relationships balances this inadequacy, and newcomer Miranda Otto as Éowyn shines.

The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers lags behind its predecessor, but Jackson and his cast and crew have created another film well worth the price of a movie ticket. The story begs for more explanation and the actors are undermined by technology, but the special effects and computer generated characters will keep audience members content through the three hour duration. One Ring was forged to bind all creatures in the darkness of Mordor--despite the film's faults, don't be the only one to miss this continued journey that will determine if the dark prophecy will come true and send Middle Earth into catastrophic ruin.
Jan 9, 2003
"The Lord of the Rings:The Two Towers," is a worthy three hour epic continuing the trilogy. This time around the fellowship has been divided into three parts as they continue to journey to the spot where the ring will be destroyed. Middle Earth is more like Europe in the dark ages with monsters being added.

One of the best scenes of the film is the huge battle scene and the tensions that led up to that scene. The music score by Howard Shore is beautiful. If anyone is going to put the three-part trilogy together, it would be Director Peter Jackson. Two down and one to go.
Jan 11, 2003
its a must see if u dont see it ur life time oppurtunity to be reallly really really really really reallly really really really really entertained.its worth more then u pay go see it now!
Feb 9, 2003
A fantastic film, a sweeping epic, and a great follow-up to the first film. Not too many "sequels" can hold that honor, and I think one of the reasons that it does is that you know that it's continuation of a greater story, not a movie made simply because the previous one did well at the box office.

Being the middle film of a trilogy, the movie doesn't necessarily have a beginning and an end. Much like the second film of the Star Wars trilogy, it continues the themes and sub-plots established in the first movie, allows the audience to follow familiar characters through new adventures, and entertains us along the way.

If you haven't yet seen Fellowship of the Ring, you will find it difficult to watch The Two Towers and understand what's going on. Except for a brief flashback to a major turn of events from the first film, The Two Towers picks up where we left everyone at the end of the first and it hits the ground running.

The one sub-plot that does have a beginning and an end in this film is the plight of the people of Rohan, and the danger they face from the evil forces of Saruman. The climactic battle of Helm's Deep, the fortress that the people of Rohan used as a place of refuge in past battles, is an incredible spectacle to behold!

Of the dozens of characters present in The Two Towers, the best acting nod must go to the character of Gollum. Even though he is computer-generated, his movements and mannerisms were captured from a live actor (Andy Serkis). Anyone impressed with a CGI Yoda in Star Wars: Attack of the Clones will be blown away by Gollum! This is the most depth of character a CGI element has ever been given in recent memory.

Due to its length, it's difficult for most people to see this movie more than once, due to the time requirements involved in the process. I would like to see it a second time in theaters, but I'm sure after many weeks, the print is in poor condition and waiting for the DVD is probably a better route to go. If you haven't seen this film yet, and you enjoyed the first, what are you waiting for?
Feb 15, 2003
Must See!!! This is by far the greatest movie of the year. If you truly want your money\'s worth, then go and see this NOW!!! You don\'t have to be a LOTR follower to love it. You should see Fellowship first though since it is a continuation. What can I say except that I can hardly wait for December 2003!!!
Feb 18, 2003
When one goes on an adventure, one expects to FEEL something, to be involved with the action and engaged by the ideas. Adventures inspire the imagination, juice up the adrenals. This movie plods.

Good scripts produce memorable dialogue, memorable characterizations. This movie has Gollum. Gollum vs. Gollum. It should be called the Gollum movie; it would be much shorter and get right to the point.

This movie is like Spiderman: all look, no feel, and ultimately boring.

I could not believe how many children attended with their parents, who no doubt thought they were introducing their youngsters to important literature. The poor dears. Hopefully they will still open the books when they learn to read.
Feb 19, 2003
Feb 24, 2003
Mar 27, 2003
Very Adventrous! A MUST SEE! :)
Apr 4, 2003
Dec 9, 2003
Two Towers is better than Fellowship. The newly added footage makes some of the finer pointer of Tolkien\'s universe a bit more clear. If you haven\'t seen Two Towers yet, give thanks for making it out of that coma, and see it now.
Oct 13, 2012

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