Gave it an excellent.
First Contact is still my favorite, this is second now.
It's a very interesting way to change some things in the Trek Universe up, I didn't mind the changes. Vulcan getting blown away, is a terrible blow.
Despite all that they did, later on they contributed little to the major battles in the DS9 series. We can get along without the planet Vulcan but not the race of Vulcans.
Spock's trigger for emotion is his mother, he has a very soft spot for her.
I count three time when his emotions flared up when his mother was criticized.
1) As child when he was bullied by the three vulcans.
2) In front of the Vulcan council, he was seething mad, his "live long and prosper" salutation had the tone of "screw you, you bunch of old fools"
3) When Kirk taunted him about Vulcan and his mother.
I found this to be more about Spock than Kirk really, both Spocks seemed more emotional, although maybe because of his home planet getting blown up that is to be expected.
The battlefield commission handed by out by Pike, may have seemed strange
but it's in keeping with sci-fi tradition, Captains suddenly promoted to Admirals in other series for example. Also these were all newbie cadets Pike picked a disqualified cadet, with great leadership abilities, who else was he going to pick Sulu, he couldn't even get the ship going.
At the end of the movie, you really do want to see the next adventure this particular group will encounter as they go to warp. And that is what makes this movie the best success, you want to see the sequel.
Only the best movies can do that.
For those that hated it, Star Trek has outgrown you, now. It's sad but true. This level of success equals more movies and a new and larger fan base.
How is that bad?