I'm just going to say right off the bat that this movie is fucking awesome. Really great for the new generation of children. (Despite the abysmal prequels ending a decade prior, they say it's for a new generation of Star Wars fans. I mean, I know we want to forget those movies, but you really can't if you plan on saying this.)
The new cast is fantastic and really cool, and I like the fact that the resident Jedi is Rey (Ridley) who is a female and is actually rather badass. Finn (Boyega) is pretty cool, too, and I like his origin story as a First Order (basically the new Empire) deserter. Despite Poe Dameron (Isaac) not having as much screen time as I would've hoped for, he's still pretty damn cool. The main villain of the story, Kylo Ren (Driver) rivals Vader and Maul in Star Wars badassery. He fucking STOPS A LASER BOLT WITH THE FORCE before we even know him that well or the signature Star Wars plot twist surrounding his character; he's Han Solo's (Ford) son. And then there's BB8. BB8 is just... fucking awesome. For a soccer ball droid, that is.
The cool part is that they actually brought back the old cast from the original trilogy. While Mark Hamill literally just stands there and stares as Luke Skywalker, Han Solo and Leia Organa (Fisher) have significant roles in the narrative- and not just because they're the parents of Kylo Ren. Leia Organa is the leader of the Resistance, which keeps watch on the activities of the oppressive and evil First Order, and the faction our heroes fight for. Han Solo has gone back to his hard ass, smuggling ways after losing the Falcon (which, of course, reappears in the story) and is easily one of the best parts of the film. Unfortunately- and a major spoiler alert- Kylo Ren kills him, so no more best-part-of-original-trilogy-man. But the death of Han Solo was what he wanted, as it would make his son happy. It also shows just how ruthless Kylo Ren is. Killing your own father is just fucking heartless and brutal. And besides, Harrison Ford's getting old and didn't want to do it anymore anyways.
People have complained that the plot is a carbon copy of A New Hope, which isn't entirely the case. The plot has some originality to it, despite Starkiller Base being just a bigger and more powerful Death Star, and the death of Han Solo being a copy of the death of Obi-Wan, and how the heroine is captured on said superweapon... actually, forget it. It's a lot similar to New Hope, yes, so that doesn't make it very enjoyable for people who remember the old trilogy. But there IS a lot of originality in the characters, and despite the main synopsis being so similar to New Hope, there are a lot of original and enjoyable moments that most people will love. And with the lore of most of the Extended Universe still remaining despite what happened after Return of the Jedi being canonized (plus a lot more lore that surfaces with the new story) and you have an enjoyable story that will entertain easily.
Everything behind the scenes is really good as well, with realistic CGI and detailed sets. JJ Abrams does a great job at directing the film, but because he directed the new Star Trek films, it's really not surprising. A lot of people didn't see this movie because Disney was involved. However, I think Disney actually did a pretty good job, and you'd be surprised that Disney had any involvement with how dark and violent it could get.
Overall, this film is great. Fantastic new characters, old characters with new roles in the narrative, great plot, leaves a lot of lore intact and even creates some of it's own, and everything behind the scenes was above par. I would recommend this film to anyone- younger audiences who are starting to get into Star Wars, older audiences nostalgic for the feeling they got watching the original trilogy, even people who don't like science fiction. Everyone would like this film.
Unless you're one of those pricks who hates every movie for shitty reasons. But then I wouldn't recommend anything to you. Prick.
Overall Score: 98/100