I am a newbie to LOTR. I saw all three movies, and then decided, after one of my friends told me that so much of the books is left out of the movies, to begin reading the trilogy.
On the other hand, I saw ROTK about a month ago, and was completely blown away. I find it hard to imagine that a better movie will ever exist. Usually, when I have seen the actors in a movie in other contrasting movies, I find it difficult to conceive them acting in any other roles, especially fantasy roles like in LOTR. Yet, even Liv Tyler held my interest and was entirely believable as Arwen.
The movie was grandiose on every level, with sweeping battle scenes like I have never before witnessed. The musical score that underlined every scene provided validity and color to the characters’ emotions and journeys. I felt myself being lifted during the Riders of Rohan scene and at the last stand before the Gates of Mordor, saddened when Eowyn lost Theoden, and hopeful for the hobbits whose quests were interlaced with extreme peril. I left the theater disturbed in that way in which it was almost depressing to realize that a fantasy world like that of Middle Earth exists only in books and the imagination.
All in all, I can easily say that this was the best movie I have ever seen!