I thoroughly enjoyed the movie and rated it excellent. I thought Abrams was brave in making Spock the emotional heart of the story, and I really appreciated his relationship with his parents. Spock's inner turmoil makes perfect sense.
As for all the changes from canon, I only have this to say:
For many years, many have complained about the lack or originality, the paucity of fresh ideas, and the overall stagnation of the Star Trek brand. JJ Abrams wasn't just charged with directing a new Trek feature. Rather, he was charged with expanding the Trek brand, and reinvigorating the franchise.
In order to do that, change was inevitable. I applaud all of the changes from canon. Frankly, I think it's about time. Departing from canon will allow Abrams to shape the Trek world to suit his needs, and it will inject a bit of uncertainty (i.e. dramatic license) that will keep us fans on our toes, not knowing exactly what to expect. So bravo to Abrams for departing from canon, and for doing it in a way that will allow him to tell fresh, new stories.
Just my two cents!
Live long and prosper!