First off; i liked it. I liked it a LOT. It was goddamn beautiful, inventive and simply chock full of concepts you just want to start peeling away and digging into in more detail. Where is trips up, imo, from being 10/10 is the plot mechanics...
Without going into any detail or spoilers, for that matter, I found the actual plot itself to serviceable enough. Nothing particularly complex or twisty (more on that in a moment) but enough to frame an original movie around.
where the movie fails, i think, is that it doesn't rise above the tropes, in either selection or execution. Practically no development comes as a surprise in the movie.
I found every little scene to gorgeous and well executed. Even the acting, although never reaching stratospheric heights, wasn't horrible at any point, either.
But its very obviousness lent it a (very) thin sheen of dullness.
For my money, where I think it could have improved to make it standout movie to critics, casuals and everyone in between would have been to tightened up the web of court intrigue.
What we got wasn't court intrigue so much as playground intrigue. Seriously, it was all I could not to shout out "Listen to the music, he's evil!".
It could have been far more gripping if the viewer wasn't 10 steps ahead of everyone in the movie.
But beyond that, its a rich, fantastic world and in some ways, I feel robbed that what we saw of it was actually so superficial.
Redmayne is continuing our proud British tradition of absolutely psychotic bad-guys who are simply hypnotic to watch. Seriously. Couldn't take my eyes off him. Its like someone spliced Zorg and Joffery into some nutjob sci-fi Game of Thrones character. and the movie was already a little bit GoT-ish... :p
I'm certainly hoping for a second movie in the universe! Or maybe a TV series set around those Aegis guys...