I won't go into the details of what this film is about - its been summarised perfectly by the other reviews. I saw this at the cinema when it was first released, and found myself surrounded by people fidgeting, talking, and walking out. Granted, if you're not interested in something, then three hours is going to seem like an eternity, but I couldn't for the life of me understand why people were getting so bored. Watching this film, the time just flew by for me. I didn't once find myself looking at my watch - it was that engrossing.
The acting in this film is superb - especially by Hopkins. The soundtrack is also beautiful, and if you love the film I strongly urge you to buy that too, as it also plays a large part in the film's success.
This is one of my top 10 films, and in terms of its impact, its up there with the likes of Good Will Hunting and Brief Encounter.