Yes- I give it 9/10.
Its probably the 2nd best Trek movie, next to Wrath of Khan.
A list of the best things about the movie:
They nailed it. Especially for the incidental and supporting characters. Sarek and Pike are extremely well-cast. In the reg. crew, McCoy is spot-on perfect, it was inspired to cast Sci-Fi expert Simon Pegg as Scotty, and Sulu/Chekhov/Uhura are all satisfying. Quinto is not as physically imposing as Nimoy, but otherwise really nails Spock, playing him w/a little more anger under the surface. Pine was GOOD as Kirk, not Shatner good, but good. I wonder if Matt Damon would have brought more to the part. But he has some good moments and I sense will grow into the part. He is good enough its not a distraction or problem.
Wow. If you have this vision of Trek movie effects as gussied-up versions of the lame CGI used in all post TNG Trek TV Shows, well-- no more. They go the Battlestar Galactica route here and really pay attention to the physics of things in space and really show detail in movement-- a person gets sucked out of the hull and her scream stops when she gets into space-- nice touches like that are throughout the movie.
I wasn't sure how I'd like this- but they handled it perfectly. Basically
24th Century Romulan Nero blames Spock/the Federation for not saving Romulus from a Supernova (fascinating in itself) and has the opportunity to go back in time to avenge his people- so he goes back in time and the first thing he does is kill Kirk's father while Kirk is a baby, so Kirk grows up fatherless. The next thing he does is blow up the plant Vulcan (yes, dear, you heard right) killing Spock's mother Amanda (a well-cast Wynona Ryder), extinguishing all but 10,000 or so Vulcans. Kirk ends up Capt. but under different circumstances than in original canon (only a trek fan would know this). This means that we pretty much get a redo of the entire TOS mission, because nothing is as it was before. It also gives Spock especially with a heavier emotional burden.
This thing is action-packed AND cerebral. Even the action sequences have meaning for character (think Wrath of Khan's space battles)- people don't just fight and shoot for no reason. There is literally not one moment you want to take your eyes off the screen.
MINOR ISSUES-- A list of my minor issues w/the movie:
1) Not a fan of the Macguffin (Red Matter- creates a black hole inside planets, blowing them up). I wonder if they could have made things more menacing by, like in Galactica, just having the threat be that Nero has 50,000 nukes and will lay nuclear waste to the planet Vulcan? It would be just as dramatic and have the same impact- and be more believable. They do keep technobabble to a minimum, which is good.
2) A few discrepancies with canon are not explained away by Nero-- where is Number One? What about Kirk's first officer from Where No Man Has Gone Before? Doc Piper? If I really think about it, I guess Kirk didn't make friends with him because he's a different person here, and he's on the Enterprise a year before he should have been- after Number One may have been transferred. How can you see Vulcan blow up from Delta Vega unless Delta Vega is in the Vulcan system?
3) What happens to Spock? He can't go back to his own time, because the timeline has changed. I wish Spock had used the guardian of forever for his time travel-- woulda been a nice touch, but I guess Harlan Ellison was being a dick and wouldn't allow them to use the story element.