This movie is absolutely a visually stunning movie.
Unfortunately, the praise ends there. Had my ticket not been gifted to me, I might have asked for my money back. Avatar is the singularly worst big budget popular film I have been subjected to view. The first and most obvious annoyance being, they spent all this money to write a new language, develop new peoples, yet they used Papyrus font for the subtitles.
While discussing the film, one associate quipped, "It's like Ferngully in 3-d". I must add, however, that this associate liked Avatar. I'll also point out here, that 3-d loses it's interest after about 5 minutes. To appreciate it, you have to continually take your glasses off and desensitize yourself.
The acting was mostly atrocious. I spent most of my time trying to determine the ethnicity of the actors portraying the blue cat people. For no other reason than to test my ability to recognize variations in patterns even through computerized makeup.
The acting was basically on par with an episode of Battlestar Galactica. The plot however, well, that was on par with a b-movie from the 70's. Though I'm not sure I want to be that kind. The first action sequence is stolen right from Jurassic Park.
If you could think of the most generic plot about invading an otherwise peaceful people, throw in some love, and then...oh wait, don't bother thinking, Pocahontas was a true story.
Which brings me to the fact that this was basically a cheap propaganda film. Part of me wants to say, "Well, the message needs to be brought to the idiots that are attracted to shiny, colorful, aliens in 3-d". Because I do believe we should pay more attention to what nature has to tell us, and that, hey, maybe we shouldn't rape and pillage third world countries just because we can! But does this make an entertaining movie? Surely not. Especially if you're already on their side, especially if you have a higher standard for dialogue, especially if you aren't amused by the kind of drivel an imaginative 4th grader could spout out during story time.