My suggested MPAA rating: PG-13 for realistic epic battle-scenes and some scary images.
Positive Messages- 4/5 Frodo is a very curious, self-rewarding hobbit as he knows when to strengthen his character when there is danger. Sam is a thoughtful and gentle, friendly hobbit who always watches out for Frodo Baggins. The Hobbits may not be the most rewarding species of Middle-Earth (also said by the narration) but they intend to live in peace and quiet, and seem very colorful on their art-craft/nature feeling, though not as reverent as the Elves. Aragon is brave and a good worship to the fellowship. Legolas is stout, skilled, and keen to his senses. Gandalf is very wise, sense able, and thoughtful, and tells Frodo "All it matters is what the time has given you."
Positive role models -4/5 Gandalf leads and helps as best as he can in order to destroy the one ring, Frodo is mostly fearless, and always looks out for the right answer. Boromir is a fool and a trader. Aragorn is brave, and very worshipping to the fellowship. Sam is reluctant but whole-hearted and thoughtful.
Violence-4/5 Lots. To enormous battles to orcs getting impaled and deceptated and beheaded. A tooth-like squid tries to eat the herons. Peril is mentioned by the Nazguls following the hobbits. Two characters die. One by a cliff and one impaled by three arrows. A troll tries to attack the hobbits. A scene shows a creature called gollum being tortured by orcs (camera doesn't see the full body, and is very brief). Swords and arrows and knifes are used as weapons.
Sex-0.5/5 in a brief scene is Rivendell, land of the elves, a nude statue is barely visible.
Language-0.5/5 mild insults, such as "fools" "idiot" and "stupidity".
Alchohol/drugs/tobacco - 2/5 Hobbits drink ale and smoke a pipe called "pipe-weed" usually the hobbits in their journey smoke pipe once in a while. Same with dwarves. Characters make smoke-rings.
Why I like the movie: A good reason why. The director intends not only for "oh, guys, you know what? Let's make this movie attuned to character!" Yep, he does, and he tried really hard from that, but a hint of reverence and perceive nice hides the dangers forced into the character. Now that is top-notch fun with your friend. The cinematography was excellent. It even won an Oscar for best Cinematography. The beautiful scenery would make your head want to turn straight on the screen, instead of tilted sideways a little. The music by Howard Shore is pretty and memorable. It seems like it would be stuck in your head forever because it is pitched rightly. Makeup and hair-styling was very effective, and the visuals were fun to watch (all of those 4 academy's won oscars). And for little Frodo Baggins, his character is believable anytime he intends to show expressions of wonder, anger, and fear. Ian McKellens Gandalf was great. His expression and body movement has tuned your eye on. Good job for an Oscar nomination! (and speaking of which) the movie is well timed, the entertainment society was done with intelligence, skill, and passion.
The Nazguls of evil seem like they were born before Satan was (before the world came). It has such inventive detail it seems like you've seem to notice what would happen inside of you.