THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE TWO TOWERS (Peter Jackson)
This is the movie that millions have been anticipating for a year. The title, The Two Towers, refers to Isengard, stronghold of the wizard Saruman (Christopher Lee), and Barad-dúr, Sauron's stronghold in Mordor. The first film in the trilogy proved that director Jackson understands Tolkien. This second one creates two spectacular possibilities for large-scale action sequences: the defence of Rohan at the Battle of Helm's Deep, with an army of 10,000 orcs for the CGI folk to develop, and the attack of the ents, essentially giant walking trees, on Saruman's stronghold at Isengard. There is the possibility that the new Lord Of The Rings will suffer from middle-film slump -- Frodo's (Elijah Wood) mostly off spinning his wheels trying to get to Mordor while Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) carries the dramatic load. On the other hand, The Empire Strikes Back is the best Star Wars movie. 178 minutes.