The acting, too, is pretty much without flaw, and there’s not a misstep in the casting anywhere. Nothing like the Harry Potter movies where the inexperience of some of the actors really jumps out at you; these are all dyed in the wool professionals, easy in their roles, in command.
The obvious sore point must be the common problem to any movie like this, when a long book or series of books are adapted for the screen. Choosing among storylines, balancing conflicts, leaving details go or emphasizing others. But even in this most difficult of areas, they did very well indeed.
A few things I could have done without: the jaunt into the mountain to recruit the dishonored soldiers (I won’t say anything more here, except, it was an addition, and one that distracted, I thought, rather than adding to the story); and the long, long, long treatment of What Happened Next to the Hobbits. Really, we didn’t need to see it all in such excruciating detail. I for one would have much much more interested in seeing The King settled down with (well, okay, I won’t go into it. But it would have been good to see more of that, and less of tearful goodbyes).
I do like this trilogy, but it’s not something I’m in a hurry to see again. Simply because it’s hard to sit still for so long and retain a congenial frame of reference.