My brother and I saw this on Sunday. We liked but didn't love it, and I feel no need (as with Man of Steel) to see it again or bother with it on disc later.
Below is all strictly imho.
-Outstanding special effects work
-Exciting action set pieces
-Appealing performances from Matt Damon and Alice Braga (you'll remember her best from I Am Legend and Predators)
-Thin story and characters that don't surprise you and don't evolve. I'm not talking rocket science. To me, even just Spock and Kirk's relationship evolving a bit in Star Trek Into Darkness was appealing. The characters in this are set up early as Stereotypes (noble do gooder, psycho bad guy, scheming administrator lady on Elysium, sweet nurse friend of do gooder etc.), no shades of grey, not much interesting back story.
-Sharlto Copley seems wasted as a one note psycho. Why's he such a psycho? Why's he want to kill everybody? What's his motivation? PTSD? Something in his past? I had no more idea at the end of the movie than the beginning. He's just painted as psycho bad guy and it seems a waste of Copley's peculiar charms as actor.
Yeah I know Heath Ledger's Joker turn was maybe "just a psycho," but this particular psycho agent isn't cunning or charming. He's just a brute, didn't find him a compelling villain.
-Jodie Foster's character similarly feels one-note. Maybe she just isn't cut out to play villains. It seems like a waste of her talent as well.
-While I find Alice Braga charming, she clearly has proven she can look sharp using firearms and kicking butt. Maybe this was her idea of a role-stretch but she never really gets a chance to do anything but act scared in this.
So all in all, even if I claim to "like" it, I found it disappointing after District 9. I don't think that means we should write off Neil Blokamp. But I do get the feeling that maybe he was a bit full of himself after District 9's meteoric success. And, I dunno, sometimes directors do better work with smaller name stars and smaller budgets, than when they hit the relative big time (this had a $115M budget I think, compared to $30M for District 9).