Not ground breaking but still a great show
First things first I watched the movies I don't think this really matters though since from what I hear the first two movies are literally the show (even down to the animation) put into movie form. The show as a whole is great it's short, sweet, and to the point.
Plot and Characters: The shows best aspect by far, At first it seems like your typical Magical Girl show then the depression hits you about as subtly as a truck going 90 in a 20 MPH zone. As for the characters let me run down the list Madoka: She is technically being the main heroine doesn't really do much though this makes a lot of sense since she's seeing how everyone else is faring with being a magical girl she now has a very tough choice Become a magical girl and go through the inevitable cycle of hope and despair for the sake of helping her friends or stay normal and watch her friends get hurt or worse. Mami: Well she had a good head on her shoulders and was the best damn head of command I've ever seen in an anime. Also her power of infinite guns is awesome. Sayaka: I liked her character, her idealism is a nice contrast from the next 2 characters I'll be talking about, and her infinite sword power is also awesome but her fall from grace as it were seemed a lot more teen angsty compared to the problems the other characters have to deal with. Kyoko: A hot tempered red head, yeah she's by far the most generic...at first anyway. Her lance power is pretty cool. Homura: The true main character of the story, Cool, collected, stoic, and so emotionless at points that not even she considers herself human. What is her purpose and why does she want the very thing that gave her her powers dead? I can't tell you guys what her power is because of spoilers...still pretty cool though. Kyubee: The cute little animal thing that gives the girls their powers, too cute or unbearably creepy you decide. What is his purpose and why is he giving the powers to prepubescent girls of all people?
Animation: The character designs can either enhance or take away from the tone of story, the backrounds are great, and the witch fights are well...I won't spoil the wierdness.
Music: To be honest not too many peices grabbed my attention while watching the show but going back and listening to them it's a great soundtrack.
So overall I really like this show though I can see why others wouldn't.