"Normally a champion of arty, independent fare, the New York Film Critics Circle on Monday chose "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" as the top film of 2003.
The three-hour-plus epic, which is the final part of the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy based on J.R.R. Tolkien's fantasy novels, is a sweeping spectacle of computer-generated imagery - and it couldn't be more different from the rest of the films the group honored.
The critics group, composed of writers for the city's major newspapers and magazines, usually recognizes films that stand as an intellectual counterpoint to the Oscar voters' more traditional choices."
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