Based on the other review here, I feel compelled to offer (1) some comments on this installement in the NIV series, (2) and on the nature of the NIV series itself.
This commentary is excellent for its intended purpose. None of the commentaries in the NIV Application Commentary (NIVAC) Series is intended to be a bastion of exegetical detail. The NIVAC was intended to fill a gap in the commentary market; namely a commentary that busy pastors, beginning students and lay people could access. Accordingly, in each of the NIVAC, as in this volume on Matthew, follows three-fold pattern.
First, the author attempts to discern the original meaning; that is, what would a 1st century reader have understood the text to mean. Second, the author attempts to determine and describe the important cultural and historical difference between their (1st century world) and out 21st century world. Finally, the author suggests some specific applications in our lives today that derive from the section of text presently being dealt with.
The first two goals, original meaning and historical differences, are the real grunt work of exegesis. This is where the commentaries can be set apart. Some are far more detailed, and at times excruciatingly detailed than others. A commentary's intended audience will determine the level of detail that the author takes the reader. NIVAC is not really meant to inform scholars. It is an entry point for others less schooled or with less time. Therefore, it misses the point to say that it is "better" or "worse" than another commentary; better or worse at what?
This volume weighs in at around 1000 pages--not a lighweight! It does a fantastic job giving a brief sketch of the important issues and decisions that the reader of Matthew must make. It gives an unparralled insight into the ongoing discussion of Matthew's intended meaning that is accessible to those with less money, time, or training than those in academia. And finally, the volume does what many of the other NIVAC do so well: suggest real life applications for the text. Very few commentaries acutally do this...because most other commentaries weren't created with that goal in mind.
If you want a super detailed, painstaking look at Matt. that covers the Greek and all its possible variations, then see: either of the folloiwng: (1) W.D. Davies & D. C. Allison, Jr. A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Gospel according to St. Matthew (International Critical Commentary, rev.), 3 vols, about; or (2) Donald Hagner, Matthew (Word Biblical Commentary), 2 vols. Dallas: Word, 1993-95 Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1988-97.
If you want a medium level approach at Matt. using the English translation with some footnotes on the Greek text, then see (1) Craig Blomberg, Matthew (NAC). Nashville: Broadman, 1992; or (2) Craig Keener, A Commentary on the Gospel of Matthew. G.R.: Eerdmans, 1999.
If you want a good overview of the grunt work covered above with a speical emphasis on application to your life, then this volume on Matthew is an excellent choice.