It will come as no surprise that this movie is visually breathtaking. And the film makers made full use of the intensely three dimensional world they created. Up, down, every direction there is something to see, something to take in. It is quite a roller coaster and I didn't even see it in 3D with the glasses or in an iMax theater. I can only imagine how much more engaging it might feel in one of those formats.
The alien characters are wonderfully rendered. Facial expressions are so realistic, body language, the translucency of skin, costuming, and a deep, rich culture. Which is to say not nearly enough about the wildlife they created. There is such a sense of a complete biosystem from the freaking enormous trees to the tiniest bioluminescent algae. All of which seems so very alien and yet so well thought out. It is so easy suspend disbelief and feel like you're there in this beautiful, hostile world.
The story is formula driven with many familiar elements and scenes. But I am not holding it against the movie. It needs a set up, a middle, and a climatic end. What makes the story fun is how they go about weaving these common themes into this uncommonly well made setting.
I highly recommend it and I have every intention of seeing it again, hopefully in iMax 3D.