1. Weasel factor: I like that this movie has the guts to have its main character start out as a scumbag. His cowardly attempts at draft dodging are engaging, because you can relate to someone who’s terrified of being shot to pieces in battle.
2. Tom Cruise. I think he might actually be getting better as an actor. He does simple things well. Oblivion and War of the Worlds were average, but he was oddly watchable in them. He’s good in this too.
3. Paxton Squad: they were a little weak. Not terrible, but casting Bill can’t help but make you compare it to Aliens. It actually has a decent stab at doing the Sulaco Squad thing, but it’s not quite confident enough.
4. Rita Vrataski: The Director might have been slightly in love with Blunt, but that’s fine - he hasn’t tried to smother the script with romance. Refreshingly her character’s not defined solely as love interest.
5. Hollywood Ending. It’s a harsh thing to say about what is a very strong script with a much better sense of humour than most of its peers - but I think they might have had a bit more fun with the last five minutes.