FOTR is my favorite standalone movie. It has the most emotion as a lone film cause most of the emotion in the sequels stems from your investment in the characters. The deaths are so much more tragic. I admit I cried in the moment after Gandalf died. I liked the small scale not a zillion orcs therebye more personal battles. The last half-hour is near-perfection I really preferred the design since in the sequels(with the exception of Rohan) there really is a "war-torn" look that cheapens the beauty of middle earth. I really loved the Eye of Sauron and I'm still annoyed by the redesign of Sauron's eye for the sequels Though it is missing Gollum and Wormtongue and has a slow start. When you look at all three as a thrree act film the third act or ROTK is my favorite but as a standalone FOTR is definitely preferred.