Peter asks for initial reactions.
The movie does not contain Aragorns reply to Eomer that I mentioned in a previous post as being essential for preserving the integrity of Tolkiens moral vision. However, they make up for it with an original speech by Sam at the end of the film that makes the same moral argument, and it is quite effectively done. I suspect this was consciously done by the writers.
The movie took more liberties with the book than it should have, in my mind, a couple for the better, but most for the worse. But on the whole it is a success.
Gollum steals the movie.