Here's the story summarized by the official movie site.
"In a time before history, in a place called Middle-earth, a dark and powerful lord has brought together the forces of evil to destroy its cultures and enslave all life caught in his path. Sauron's time has come and he needs only one small object - a Ring that has been lost for centuries - to snuff out the light of civilization and cover the world in darkness."
Elijah Wood did a great job as Frodo Baggins, the Hobbit who ends up with the responsibility of overseeing the magical ring of power. I felt that this character could have been more Hobbit-like and less cute kid-like. Aside from having big hairy feet he looked like the boy next door.
The other characters were better cast and made up. Especially Ian McKellen as Gandalf and John Rhys-Davies as Gimli the dwarf. Liv Tyler and Cate Blanchett could make anyone consider leaving all their worldly troubles behind and joining their Elvin brethren in the woods for the remainder of their days.
I can't wait for the remaining two movies to be released. They will be automatic huge successes on the order of Star Wars. I can say with certainty that the three movie box set will have a prominent place in my DVD collection when it comes out in a couple years.
Out of a possible 100 points this movie gets a solid 91.