i didn't see any threads specifically dedicated to this, so here goes.
overall, i thought the movie was fantastic. the cast was amazing. the kids knocked it out of the park. they're going to be going places. tim curry did well with what he had to work with at the time, but bill skarsgard knocked this out of the park. It/pennywise was the scary monster we've always wanted to see, creepy and insane.
it's hard to pick a standout with the kids, because they all did great. richie and eddie had the humor. eddie was markedly more sassy in the movie than in the book, but he was still his hypochondriac self, and i have to say, i enjoyed this version of eddie. ben and bev had a pretty great running gag with the NKOTB thing. jaden as bill gave an intense and powerful performance. beverly was sweet and endearing, as was ben. stan and his lack of composure around all things unnatural was conveyed well. they kind of missed the mark on having anything stand out about mike, but the actor still put forth a great performance and played off the others. they switched a few things around, i think partly for the sake of pacing, ben being the historian, led to them figuring some stuff out. we didn't get nearly as much of them playing versus just handling the problem of It, but this being a movie, they had to work within their limited time frame, and the kids still conveyed that camraderie very well.
It - we didn't get most of It's traditional forms from the novel, but we did get some shifting, and most of it was done well. Pennywise was the demonic and demented clown we always wanted to see. some shaky CGI, but for the most part things were done well. that first scene with georgie, that first trip to the neibolt house, both well done. for the climactic battle, at first it threw me off, them basically just beating the stuffing out of It, rather than magicking it to death, but then, realizing that in movie form, the ritual wouldn't really come off that well, i got over it quickly, and in the end, i was satisfied with the final battle.
the bullies - here the ball was definitely dropped. no reason given for henry being after ben, and henry went from zero to bugs*** in no time at all. we did get a brief glimpse into his fathers abuse to showcase why he might be the way he is, but sadly not much. that being said, the kid playing him did great, and the fights were done pretty well. the rock fight came off good, if a bit more rushed than in the book. my main problem would be how victor and belch disappear at the end with no explanation and how henry is unceremoniously dropped deep down the well without us getting any confirmation of what happens to him. hopefully they didn't just kill him, considering the part he plays in the adult part of the book. i didn't expect them to really delve far into patrick's back story (again, too much internal/flashback to pull off well), mainly he was there to be a sacrificial lamb.
the individual encounters started off slowly, building steam. mike's and stan's for instance, were kind of mild, nothing happened with them. ben's was a little more intense, eddie's was probably one of the most intense for me. bill's basement encounter with his brother was definitely good. bev's took the concept of the blood coming from the drain and upped the ante by a few buckets worth. once they gathered together, the projector scene really ratcheted up the tension, and that first neibolt street trip kicked it up even further. pennywise slobbering all over eddie was pretty intense. that little version of richie in a mini coffin was pretty cool. one thing they did that got me was when they went down into the sewers and stan got separated and It was literally chewing on stan's face. even knowing he survives i was thrown a bit. very crazy.
there were a few hollywood tropes thrown in. the one that stuck out the most for me was the whole "protagonists argue/separate, and then we have a music montage until they pull together again" . . . that was a departure from the novel. it didn't ruin it or anything for me, but i was a little disappointed with how resistant they all were to going after It to begin with.
i'd rate this a solid 8 or 9 out of 10. many changes, but they held together pretty well, and we got plenty of nods to the novel even if we didn't get events from it. the spirit of the novel was there, the companionship and friendship were there, the terrifying nature of It was there.