My girls took me to see the movie for Mother's Day and I have tried to catch up with this thread to see other's opinions and takes before posting - don't want to be too repetitive. In a nutshell, we all loved it!!
We have different points of view - my 16 YO has never watched scifi and, god bless her, she is the quintessential blonde cheerleader stereotype, although she is an honor student - my 32 YO is a science/math geek who has marginally enjoyed Trek, especially Kirk & Co., since she was a kid - and I am a somewhat geeky fan who got hooked on TOS in 1966 when I was 12. But, in the end, we really agreed on what we enjoyed about the movie.
Maybe it's a chick's point of view, but we really connected to the character development, the humor, the coming-of-age journey of both Kirk and Spock, the idea of finding your true friends in life, and low-key portrayal of Nero. The special effects, space battles, etc. were exciting, but not overdone, and by no means the central function of the movie, although the younger said some bits made her feel like she was in science class (not her favorite subject).
The elder daughter and I felt that the new cast gave us the essential elements of our favorite characters, and then spun some great new twists on them - we like these newer versions mucho grande. The younger had no frame of reference, but likes the characters very much - she really liked Chekov and was impressed that he is only 17. Since my family name is Pike, and my brother named his son after Capt. Pike, we have a fondness for the great portrayal of Pike by Greenwood. I liked the ordinariness of Nero with his random fits of maniacal madness. I don't like many of the over-the-top villians that are so common and overdone in movies so often.
I like the differences in this universe, especially those for Spock. There is tremendous potential to give these characters amazing new adventures. We agreed on keeping Vulcan destroyed, and although you might consider it a stretch that all these young officers ended up on the Enterprise, there is no more suspension of disbelief asked of the viewer than in almost any Trek movie or episode, or many other stories for that matter. Really didn't impact my enjoyment in any way.
We noticed the Spock/Uhura undercurrents from their first scene together. I thought the scene in the turbolift (when she tried to comfort him and got his Vulcan 'stiff upper lip' in response) showed a deep connection, caring, and understanding between these two - an extreme rarity in Trek to date, and a very welcome addition. We totally loved Kirk and Scotty responding to the kiss on the transporter pad.
So many things about Kirk's developing character that we found interesting - I'll just mention that one of the most telling for me was his diving off the platform after Sulu ('I don't believe in no-win scenarios'). And I loved that Vulcans and Romulans could totally whip his ass - one thing I hated about ENT was that Archer could always beat up any stronger alien.
In the end, when you pay your money to see the movie of your choice, you hope that the (fictional) story entertains you to your money's worth. We felt completely entertained BEYOND our money's worth, and that is what matters.