NOTE: this is not a full review. I have only seen the movie once and very recently and while it is fresh in my mind, I would like to give my first impressions and personal thoughts on it. I'll try to keep this as spoiler-free as I can.
I have been a Star Wars fan ever since I was a kid and it always will have a place in my heart. But that is irrelevant to me when it comes to a movie. My childhood does not blind me to what I see as a flaw nor does it make me ignore what I would consider a merit even if it defies my expectations. I see movies for what they are and not what I expect them to be, and to be honest, I don't think that The Force Awakens is all that great.
Does that mean that I hate it or think it's bad? No. But still, I feel that it is an incredibly flawed movie that needed a lot more work. It suffers from a lot of problems, one of which was the pacing. It felt all over the place in this film. Many parts felt incredibly rushed, especially during the first third of the movie. It moved way too fast and didn't take it's time to establish characters and plot points nearly as much as it should have. Also some parts feel padded and many moments dragged on for way too long. This felt really noticeable during the final third of the movie which was chock full of moments like that. Needless to say, in my opinion, the pacing really could have used a lot more work.
Another problem that I think plagued the film was the abundance of borrowing from the first trilogy. I can understand the desire to reference and homage the original trilogy, especially A New Hope (My favorite of all of the films so far). But there is a difference between a homage and a blatant rehash. In my opinion, The Force Awakens is the latter. It does very little to establish it's own identity and tries way to hard to remind everyone that this was a Star Wars film, down to the very plot elements. I think that references should be subtle and clever and in The Force Awakens it feels contrived and constantly in your face. It all felt cheap and lazy in the end.
There are other smaller issues from here to there and plenty of them but for the sake of keeping this as spoiler-free as possible I will not address them here. Besides, some of them might be nitpicks anyways.
But I will admit that I did feel the movie had a good amount of merits in spite of it's issues. I really like the new characters even though some of them they feel a little shallow and generic, I also really liked the humor. I found myself smiling and chuckling from time to time and I'll always enjoy that. I also really have to give props to the breathtaking animation and excellent action scenes. The movie looks great and is very pleasing to the eye. And the action is also very thrilling and awesome to see. I love myself some good Star Wars action and The Force Awakens definitely delivers. It was also nice to see some of the cast return to their original roles, it really does feel like I'm seeing older versions of returning characters.
So overall, I have overall mixed feelings about The Force Awakens. While it does have some good things about it and I don't think that it is by any means terrible or even bad, it has too many problems that bog it down from being a good film and in my opinion it fails to live up to the hype that surrounded it. Hopefully the creators can learn from their mistakes and improve for the next film. I still have faith in them and will remain optimistic until then.
Good luck creators! And may the force be with you!