My wife and I gave in and saw Avatar.
For special effects and imagery, I give it 2 thumbs up. For everything else, I give it one finger up.
The special effects were amazing. The scenery they built with CGI, the action scenes, colors, etc were incredible. The plot and message, not so much.
I do think the charges of anti-Americanism are being a little overblown. I think it was implied but I don't think it was overt. Besides, there was so much more to be upset over about the film.
The plot was weak and un-original. It was cowboys and indians except the cowboys had bigger guns and the indians were blue. Other than that it was every movie of that genre ever made rolled into one.
It was incredibly predictable. Nearly every scene in the first half of the movie set up something else later and you saw it coming way ahead. There were no plot twists whatsoever. Everything that happened at the end was foreseen.
As far as the anti-Americanism, like I said there was so much more to be critical of. It was a liberals dream movie. It had environmentalism. It had a power hungry military commander running over poor innocent natives. It had a greedy corporation that sacrificed lives to make a buck. It even had the corporate leader feeling guilty at the end when he saw the error of his ways. It had a mother-Earth type of deity that controlled the balance of things on the planet. It had animal rights portrayed in a logical manner, we only kill what we need.
The anti-military message was probably the most prevalent of the causes in the movie. They did make it clear at the beginning that the troops were mercenaries and not an official standing army. They also did have the lead character disgusted at the actions of the mercenaries because they did not uphold the honor of his Marine corps. The rest of the depiction of the troops and especially the commander were way over the top.
It was obviously the vision of troops a liberal sees when they look at them. The bloodthirsty men and women had no cares for the native people. They killed men, women, and children all alike. They rejoiced in the misfortunes and enjoyed the destruction they caused.
Finally the commander was so over the top he was caricature instead of a remotely accurate portrayal of the worst American military officer. He even had scars for God's sake.
The whole depiction of the troops was so ridiculous that it actually wound up making the director look silly. It was so obvious he was trying to shed a bad light on the men and women of uniform that it was bordering on being a parody of movies that make fun of the troops.
So, the imagery was great but the movie itself was not nearly as good as the hype it is getting.