Avatar. I highly recommend seeing this in 3D.
I loathe and avoid reading reviews that explain a movie and being subjected to trailers and stills that skim the best moments and use them to tease you into the theater. All I knew about Avatar was that it is supposedly visually fantastic. I was skeptical. Would I feel anything for animated blue aliens and more rampaging dino-beasts? Surely, I'm not the most jaded of movie-goers, but I am not easily pleased as an audience member.
First of all, Sam Worthington, who plays Jake Sully, is, in or out of his wheelchair and in or out of his blue skin, HOT.
I am also very pleased to report that Avatar is not a slavish borrower of venerable sci-fi lore and gimmicks. There are very few referential moments. The giant flexible robotic body armor suit is the one big exception. Lifted from Aliens, I kept wanting to shout out to the screen "Let Sigourney Weaver (who plays a scientist in Avatar) get into it! She knows how to work it!".
After five minutes in the forests of Pandora I wanted to live there forever.
Some people may find the story line tiresome. Indigenous folks being threatened. An evil military team. A seemingly doomed romance. I had no problem with any of this. It was all just an adequate substrate for the real business of the film: the spiritual communion shared by all living things. I was especially intrigued by the spiritual matriarchy of the blue people.
My ordinary concerns about good writing and acceptable plot became inconsequential as I surrendered to the visual beauty of Avatar. Again, see this in 3D.