Bad:  If you’re making a movie about the war against good and evil, you have to have creatures that embody that dark side, Jackson has created that level of darkness in his movies. The ugly, grotesque creatures are frightening in looks alone, but even more so when they are in battle climbing over the walls, riding giant elephant-like beasts or swooping down on dragon-like beasts the size of a 747 and grabbing soldiers off horses and city walls. Since war is going on throughout this movie, great numbers of men and creatures are stabbed and killed with swords. One man is burned alive on an altar of fire. A giant, grotesque spider spins her victims in a web, so we see bodies hanging from her den. This is definitely a complicated story with numerous characters and several subplots to follow. That, and the combination of numerous battle scenes with hideous creatures, make this movie best for mature teens and adults to enjoy. If I was a child and saw this movie, I would have nightmares for weeks. So parents should keep impressionable, young children at home.

Bottom Line:  Tolkien’s tale is a parable perfect for all generations and times. His rich symbolisms and metaphors are perhaps even more important and relevant today than when they were written. This final epic and body of work is Oscar worthy in every way, and I only hope the Academy recognizes its value. There’s a reason why the first two are listed in the top 10 box office films of all time -- Oscar or no Oscar.