I went to this film without great expectations and out of a sense of obligation. I've gone this far with these characters, and knew I'd have to see it to get the final film.
I was greatly and pleasantly surprised. Although this is a long film (almost 2 1/2 hours), full of exposition, and essentially a treasure hunt, it was well paced and exciting. The concentration is on Harry, Ron, and Hermione, and they are far from Hogwarts. The wonderful English actors make only brief appearances, but very effective. (How I want to strangle Imelda Staunton's Delores Umbridge, how much I enjoy watching Alan Rickman's Snape just walk across a yard.) Fortunately, Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson, and Rupert Gint have become very good actors. Mr. Gint is especially good in this film, probably because he's called upon to be more than the sidekick.
I saw a lot of trailers before the movie. THE GREEN HORNET looks like a great idea done badly. GREEN LANTERN doesn't appear to bring anything new to the comic book adaptation field. But COWBOYS AND ALIENS appears to be exactly what it title says--aliens descend in the West. It's Spielberg produced, and has two big stars in Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig. This may be something.
Patcat, there was a collective, let-down sigh at our theater when the title went up for the Aliens vs. Cowboys movie. It was like just knowing that it's another one of *those* movies had assured the aud (most of whom had been looking excited) that this movie would be utter crap ;D But, yeah, Craig and Ford are in it, so hopefully it's something more than the last two "Aliens vs." movies were.
I agree with you about the film and Rupert Grint in particular. I thought he was wonderful. For the first time I ached for Ronald Weasley. Really, he was so good that he made Radcliff's attempts at angst and woe look almost comical.
There were, of course, things that I thought were woefully missing, like the torn letter and photo in Regulus' room, and things added that were a waste of time, like Harry and Hermione's dance.
But it was also refreshing to see a really frightening Voldemort and super creepy Death Eater in the snatcher, Scabior, played by Nick Moran. I always find Helena Bonham Carter's Bellatrix to be cartoonish. Maybe the character was a bit cartoonish in the books, but so was Lucius Malfoy, and the way Jason Issacs performs him, he's anything but.