The movie was fun, but not nearly as good as any of the LOTR movies. I would say it's because the plot isn't as extreme as the Lord of the Rings. Where in the LOTR, the characters set out to destroy evil; here, they're simply trying to reclaim the homeland of several of the characters. A noble goal to be sure, but pales in comparison to the battle of good vs. evil.
Nevertheless, it is a fun movie to experience. It sets up its connection to the LOTR very well, and it was cool seeing familiar faces and characters. I didn't think the action was as well done in this movie as in LOTR, but still impressive nonetheless. I am looking forward to see what the next two chapters in this series hold - especially how The Hobbit trilogy concludes and how they tie it to the LOTR.