I am not a LOTR zealot, and barely remember the previous episode. Perhaps that made it difficult to place this story or appreciate it in the larger context. On it's own merit, I found it boring, scene after scene. I was longing for the end, could not predict it, and it never came. No sense of satisfaction other than leaving the theater. My 20 year old liked the special effects. My wife has read the book but had difficulty relating the movie to her memory. She feels the book as background is important. IMHO that makes it a poor "movie".