Rather than mirroring what I said in the other thread, I'll just say that Saito
basically states my thoughts, more or less.
It's hard to overstate how pleasantly shocked I was during and after the movie. I went in expecting a trainwreck and I got one of the best of all 12 films.
One thing that I truly loved in particular was how well they used some of the things FROM XI, most notably Kirk getting knocked down after the Nibirian incident and Spock talking about his feelings about death. I also feel that for the first time, I'm watching Chris Pine play Jim Kirk. In this movie we see a bit of intelligence, planning, and in general a bit more growth.
If the inevitable Star Trek XIII is as good as this, I await it with open arms.