A Christmas present! It’s just what I’d hoped for in the Lord of the Rings series: a telling of the story that focuses on characters first, and uses effects as embellishment. Sure some battles are longer than they need to be, but we also get songs and dialog that will be too long for some, but I relish.
I watched the 2D version with friends due to timing. I might go back for a 3D review, or make a point to try it for the next one.