Have seen the movie twice now, both times with my 8 year old son who likes a bit of Star Wars in his life and the first with my partner as well so this review is based on the shared enjoyment we've had together as much of as being a straight review of the movie itself.
The first viewing (2D) was in a relatively small, dated independent type cinema which I'm guessing doesn't have the most up to date "banging" sound system or the latest projector. On reflection I'd still give the experience an 8 and it would be higher if I wasn't taking the second viewing into account. The movie is fantastic. Yes if your being pedantic you can pick holes in it here and there but I'm sure you can do that with any movie ever made if you so desire. So what if there is long list of coincidences to bring the main characters together, it's a fantasy movie set in space with aliens and robots and stuff so hardly trying to be a fly on the wall documentary and based in reality in the first place! At no point did I think that the story suffered in any shape or form because of them. There is one scene in the whole movie which I though could have been left out/shortened because I didn't think it added anything and the story could have progressed by simpler means but even then it wasn't unenjoyable in it's own right. The only thing that genuinely irked me was Carrie Fishers lack of facial expression leading to her's being the weakest and least believable of the characters. I'm guessing that in a galaxy far, far away someone is making a killing on botox! The new characters are all very good and interesting even if it's hard to see how one of them came from either parent!! The funny bits are just that, the visuals are spot on and it does what any good movie does and left us wanting for more. We also noted that a decent crowd on the night added to the enjoyment of the movie overall.
The second viewing this afternoon was at our local Imax cinema and was the first time either of us had been to an Imax screening. All I can say is that if your only going to get one chance to see it at the cinema then do yourself a favor and pay the extra as a very solid 8 overall has jumped to a 9.5. The extra assault on the senses that the Imax experience brought is totally in keeping with the movie, it's literally blown us away. The only thing stopping the whole experience from being a 10 (apart from Carrie fishers face) was a slightly subdued audience at the front where we were sitting, it sounded like the people at the back where far more into it and would have been far more fun to share it with. The movie itself was as good the second time as it was the first and I can see us watching it a lot when we get it on bluray. We just can't wait for next chapter and the side projects!!