Dirty Little Secret: Except for the few mouth-breathing Tolkien geeks whom I know, everybody else who's seen Lord of the Rings agrees that it's a really long, pointless, albeit pretty, movie where nothing happens for any apparent reason, and then it just abruptly, mercifully ends.
And yes, I'm well aware that Everything Happens For A Reason, and this is all setting up the other six hours left in this particular trilogy. But that doesn't matter. We are, uniformly, underwhelmed. David Sterritt echoes my thoughts well:
Instead of launching the picture with a burst of excitement, Jackson instantly bogs down in a wordy introduction, giving more background than you need (or want) so early in the story.
We're just not telling you geeks because you'll just rant at us in your mouth-breathing voices about the Magick and Trolls and Paladins and all that other swords-and-sorcery horseshit some more. And, the thing is, you see, we really don't care. No, honestly! Your pewter figurines? Your twenty-sided dice? All the rambling about hit points and orcs and wizards? We just don't care!
I just wanted you to know. Happy New Year.