Personally, I thought the film was fantastic. And I also thought the film was better than Raimi's, which were good, but didn't have characters that reached out and grabbed me.
This film, because it has less going on, especially with villains, allowed time for a more nuanced characterization of Peter in particular. I liked the way that he didn't automatically start using his powers selflessly after Uncle Ben died, because he's human; of course he wants revenge. In fact, he gets a little scary at some points as he goes too far. But that works, because he has that potential, even as a vigilante hero. Peter is grieving and angry, so it's much more realistic, and it also adds depth to his character. Also, I like that he's not such a Hollywood Nerd
, because as a nerd myself, that's stereotypical, and distracting. But Garfield did a great job of seeming geeky, especially with body language, smart, and awkward; it's a more modern and normal geeky. I also loved the quips.
I especially loved the Gwen/Peter relationship. I went in worried I wouldn't like Gwen Stacey, but the film sold me on her entirely. She is very smart, possibly smarter than Peter, witty, and capable. She isn't just a damsel in distress, which I love, especially at Oscorp near the climax. And her relationship with Peter is adorable, because they're both sweet, nerdy, and a bit awkward with each other. And that's realistic. I also like that unlike in the Raimi films, she wasn't the popular girl in the "in" group who ended up falling for the very nerdy Peter, because that's done a lot, and it's trite. This resounded a lot better. (They also managed to keep Peter's behavior from reaching into creepy with Gwen).
Dr. Conners is a more dynamic villain than I expected for a giant lizard. He's a good man, who wants to do great things, but his desires are also selfish, and while he goes insane, he's still driven by some of his own desires and it's interesting. Also, the motion-capture and special effects here are amazing.
The rest of the supporting cast was great, too, especially Aunt May and Uncle Ben.
This film has a lot of tragedy, but also a lot of moments that just make you smile (Peter experimenting with his abilities, scenes with Gwen). Great emotional ambiance and poignancy. See it.