While Im at being critical about a movie that deserves little (if any) criticism, the love-life of Aragorn and his elf princess could have been lessened to make room for longer battle scenes. Oh, and the whole un-dead, ghost warriors could have saved the battle a bit more slowly (surely there was some way to fight those guys? If there wasnt then really they only needed one). What else? Nothing really. If Jackson had to keep the lengthy ending and the truly less than important human/elf relationship in there, the least he could have done was make the movie half an hour longer so that the battles could be longer. I mean, this movie was about battles but somehow the battle for Helms Deep (which was the climax of the Second movie) seemed more intense than the battle for Minas Tirith (which, on one level, was the climax of the entire movie).
In case you are reading this and you are one of the ten people in North America who have not paid to see this movie in the theatre, go see it in the theatre. At least go see it on someones large screen television with full surround sound. If you like battles and the struggle that good must go through to defeat evil you owe it to yourself to see this movie.
If you are at all interested in pop culture you owe it to yourself to see this movie as it is not only pop culture on its own as a movie phenomena but is also the story that really started all the fantasy culture of the last 20 or 30 years (Dungeons and Dragons, etc). Tolkiens novels created a whole world and that world spawned and influenced others. The makers of this movie did a fantastic job of bringing the story that started it all to the big screen.
This is a remarkable piece of cinema that, to me, really goes a long way towards bridging the gap between movie and film (it is still more of a movie). I am thrilled that it has been rewarded so well at the box office and I hope it is equally well rewarded in awards and acknowledgement. Whether you like this sort of movie or not, I think you definitely woe it to yourself to get a taste of what the phenomena is about and you could not find a better example than The Lord of The Rings movie.
Before I finish rambling: I predict that this movie will effect the teens of today in much the same way as Star Wars affected those growing up in the late 70s and early 80s. So, if you want insight into your kids, you should know something about this movie and how it portrays good and evil. Obviously, if I am correct, the leaders of tomorrow will have much more complex views about good and evil than we Star Wars kids do. Both movies share supreme good pitted against supreme evil, but while one has a much harder struggle to a much more final conclusion the other has basically an easier fight with a victory that is far less certain.
You can choose which one is which.