Story: Punching is the answer; FX - mindblowing, fanboy level 9 1/2
As a parent of a 7 year old, one of the biggest goals of watching movies w/the wife, is discussing it's effect on our kid, and what is it's underlying value.
This movie is geared towards 17 yr. olds and up. Hearing the small kids & tweens during the movie made me feel uncomfortable. Here's why: the messages behind the movie, that connects the watcher is basically, beat your opponent senseless until they see the light, if you kill a few people who disagree with you, or who have persecuted others, then the moral barometer is in your favor.
Does that negate the experience? Well, for me, no. I can experience the film, and be moved by the struggles of the characters, as they find their own way.
As a fanboy of all things X-men, I have some minor issues w/the character development that strays from the comics, and the animated series from the 90's- but, appreciate where the movie goes.
The production for this film, is beyond amazing- and to say it's mesmerizing is to put it mildly.
I'd say, if you've never seen an X-Men film, this could stand on it's own as a great movie w/ people w/supernatural abilities. I would also say that for the X-Men franchise, this movie could be a springboard for the next 15 years.