3.5 - basically the series, a few minutes changed - I really like the idea behind puella magi - the sailor moon had it been real plot - and having rewatched it now I felt, it had not lost it's catchy effect on me. the witches mazes still are among the coolest animations I know from animes of this kind. nothing for fans of deep, psychological studies, rather for those looking for a fun ride and some amazing graphics
The first Madoka movie compresses the first half of the series into two hours and ten minutes. Compared against the running time of the episodes less their own opening and credits, there's not much content that actually needs to be cut. A new opening song aside, you don't lose or gain much by choosing to watch this instead of the individual episodes, which is a wasted opportunity for such a talented studio.