THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE RING (2001)
Had there really been a medieval fantasy film this good before? Jackson and his amazing team made us believe that Middle Earth exists. They took Tolkien's work seriously and delivered a masterpiece. Most astonishing is how good they made everything look with the relatively small budget they had. Considering what major blockbusters cost, this was like an independent blockbuster at half the price. Yet, that didn't stop them from making everything look authentic and gorgeous.
From the wizard battle, to the Cave Troll & Balrog sequence, everything feels epic and convincing. Smart choice to have the forest skirmish and Borimor sacrifice at the end of the film (as opposed to the beginning of Two Towers, like in the book). Naturally, it helped that they had a cast full of stellar actors bringing such passion to the roles. The extended cut is superior thanks to more fleshing out of the characters and Howard Shore's score is exemplary. Well done, Jackson & co. It would only get better.
Director: Peter Jackson