When we left and started talking about it, Peetie thought I didn't like the movie. This is not accurate. I quite enjoyed Avatar, it just had some issues. Few movies lack issues. But I still liked it.
I don't have a lot of criticism that's unique; other critics have all said it before. The story is thin, 100% predictable and with sub par dialogue. None of these are dealbreakers, especially in an action movie, which is what this is. It just dropped this from being an excellent movie to a very good movie.
The visuals are amazing. Cameron claims it will change the way you think about movies, which it doesn't. Really, I don't know what would change the way I think about movies unless the characters started asking me about how my shift at the hospital went. But certainly, the CG is the best I've ever seen, and there wasn't a single "that's a special effect" moments, which is extremely rare. The 3D was done very well, though personally, it sometimes knocks things out of focus just so they can have something else pop out at you, which isn't ideal.
The characters, despite the sub par dialogue, despite being CG, were very personable. There wasn't a lot of depth to them despite being 3D, but they were effective and evocative. They were simple archetypes, doing their archetypal thing, but doing it well and making it look pretty.
So, the moral of the story is that you should go see Avatar. If you're a nerd and have been hearing the hype for the last half decade, it's not going to live up to your wildest expectations. But if you're just looking for something in the theater this weekend, it'll rock your socks. And pony up the 10 bucks to see it on the big screen, because you'll get more out of it. And pony up the 15 to see it IMAX and/or 3D because that's how it's meant to be seen. And maybe it will change the way you think about movies. Or at least about Smurfs.