“The Lord of the Rings” trilogy is among the most perfect movie trilogies of all time. Against all odds, Peter Jackson’s meticulous adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved trilogy of novels lived up to the significant hype, pleasing both fans of the books and complete newcomers. Tolkien spent years crafting the languages, characters, creatures, history, and mythology of Middle-earth, and Jackson showed a similar attention to detail when he brought the sprawling story to the big screen. The films were shot back-to-back in Jackson’s home of New Zealand, where the incredible crew took on the challenge of bringing Middle-earth to life.

It’s tough to determine which of the three films is the best. “The Fellowship of the Ring” is a wonderfully patient beginning that shows how the innocent characters are forced to adjust to the dangerous quest. “The Two Towers” is a war epic showing the human and political binds of conflict. “The Return of the King” is a jaw-dropping conclusion that wraps up all the story threads in a satisfying way. Upon release, the entire trilogy received critical acclaim and broke box office records, and remains a favorite to this day.

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