Awesome Music: The score by Patrick Doyle may only feature one main tune, but it's a great tune.
Cliché Storm: While the books were already strongly criticized (and kind of infamous) for having an intensely unoriginal plot, cast and development, this film is a great example of the downsides of play it even straighter. Nothing is added to make the story stand out, even although the director was clearly not afraid of making changes uncalled for left and right.
Hilarious in Hindsight: Some of the back covers for the movie describe it as the first film in "the InheritanceTrilogy". During the writing of the third book, Christopher Paolini decided the story was too complex for one book and so split the stiry between two books, making it a four-book series.
Saphira's dialogue mostly consists of over-explaining things that were usually already explained or don't need to be, often disrupting the pacing of the scenes. Rachel Weisz' emotionless delivery doesn't help matters.
So Okay, It's Average: Those who haven't read the books can at least see this movie as a fun and harmlessly mediocre fantasy adventure movie, with some great-even-if-weird effects and dragons.
Tear Jerker: The scene where Saphira lets a dying Brom fly with her so that he can truly be a Dragon Rider one last time is, despite the film's mixed reception, genuinely moving.
They Changed It, Now It Sucks!: Largely the reason it's disliked by many fans. In fairness, many of the changes they complain about aren't just nitpicking; so many things which become important in the sequels were drastically altered or cut out that it would've made adapting the rest of the books pretty difficult.
Ed Speelers in the title role. You can tell that he wants to do a good job so badly, but his delivery combined with an atrocious script makes for Narm heaven.
Jeremy Irons plays Brom in a genuinely convincing way despite the scriptwriters best efforts to the contrary (and there are also indications that he seems to have taken Ed Speelers under his wing). Tragically, all he really accomplishes is making everyone else look even worse in comparison.
WTH, Casting Agency?: Sienna Guillory's casting as Arya raised some eyebrows, mostly because she looks absolutely nothing like the character in the books (the latter is said to have green eyes, black hair and dresses in black leather, while her movie version is a blue-eyed redhead clad mostly in white or lighter colors). Although Guillory's performance isn't generally one of the things most criticised in the film, some fans disliked how little she resembles the original both appearance and personality.
A few characters are clearly wearing off-the-shelf blue jeans.
Arya is explicitly an elf in the books, but lacks pointed ears or other such elf features in the film, to the point where some people even wondered if she was meant to be an elf in this adaptation. The same happens with the dwarves.