Undone posted a screen cap and commented: "Yep, all he did was act numb and lost and have one expression throughout all three films."
And primula_baggins replied: "You might be referring to an article I saw that 'rated' the best movies (of all time?). I think ESOTSM got 4th place (yeah!) and LOTR trilogy was number 21. And the guy made some crude remark about Elijah's acting ability. Geesh, that made my blood boil. Ignoramous. I think ESOTSM was good, but better than LOTR?!! If I read one more stupid reviewer slam Elijah's acting, I'm gonna....well I'm not gonna anything. But it makes me mad!"
My oh-so-deep thought on it is:
I don't really understand it either. Two things come to mind: first it has been scientifically shown that (in general) women can percieve much more subtle facial expressions than men, and much of what we see and admire is indeed subtle. Second, some people (like my husband) simply can't see certain things - he can't tell when he looks nice, for instance, puts all the wrong things together. Kind of like colorblindness for shapes.
Or it may be that film critics simply prefer being hit over the head with overacting. Back in silent movies, a person was considered a better actor when the facial expressions were overdone, so that the context was obvious.