I read the graphic novel before seeing the movie, whereas my wife did not. She's still confused about certain elements in the film, and I don't blame her. They did try to sum it all up in under 3 hours.
Background: I like the overall tone of the opening that showed the "masks" over the years, especially their rise and fall. It was eerie to have Silohuette's death to the tune of Bob Dylan.
Nixon: I really think that he would have caused WWIII if he had not resigned. He made Reagan look like a communist.
Silk Spectre I: Not much depth in the acting, except for the slight turn-on of being beaten and forced by the Comedian.
Silk Spectre II: Not much depth in the acting. This is Malin ("27 Dresses", "The Heartbreak Kid") after all. No shit, she looks hot in Prada, leather, or nothing at all.
Night Owl I: I wish we could have had more of him. The character was great as an old and pure link to masks from the 1940s (compared to the perverted link of the Comedian).
Night Owl II: My wife commented on the Chevy Chase look that Patrick Wilson adapted. So true. He played impotence very well (whether physical or mental). The superhero who was helpless or afraid to do anything in the end. Though the less I think about the gut, the better.
Adrian Veidt: Max Zoran and Lex Luthor in one. A classic element in a villain is the tendency to look down upon humanity. Whereas Dr Manhattan views the human race with apathy, Ozymandias views it with slight disgust. Being the smartest man on the planet does not satisfy him: in the end, he is pathetically alone.
Dr. Manhattan: Very accurate from what I read. Trying to figure out what better way that could have filmed his perception of time and space. Can't think of one. You still feel sorry for him in the end.
The Comedian/Rorshach: As I watched them perform, I remind myself of "The Dark Knight" and how Alan Moore was first in stressing the theme of moral ambiguity and nihilism that would become the qualities in Heath Ledger's Joker. I wonder had "The Dark Knight" and "Watchmen" been released in the reverse order, would their fates have changed? Life's a joke, and then you croke. Those two characters, wonderfully played, were the twisted mirror of American life.