Compensating for the intermittent longueurs and narrative convolutions of the first two entries, the final chapter of Peter Jackson’s adaptation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s trilogy ties everything together with a dazzling synthesis of pagan animism, heroic quest mythology, orientalism, Pre-Raphaelite imagery, 1950s sci-fi creature features, and Hollywood war epics. Standing out amid an excellent cast is Elijah Wood, stymied by tweeness in the earlier films but here convincingly developing the character of Frodo as the embodiment of valor and self-sacrifice. Credit is due also to Andrew Lesnie’s cinematography and Jamie Selkirk’s editing, particularly in battle scenes, like the jaw-dropping attack on the city of Minas Tirith.