Usually my favorite movies are those that I hear very little about before seeing them. That way I don't have any expectations and I don't know too much of the storyline. Serenity I had seen the trailers a few times on TV and I read the synopsis on CinemaMontreal.com. I saw that it got good ratings from people who saw it, but it's the general public and we still did not know much about the story. Ironically by recommending it, I may be getting up your expectations.
We really enjoyed this movie. I would describe it as a mix of Raiders of the Lost Ark and Star Wars Ep 4. It has the humor of Raiders, the futuristic look and feel of Star Wars, with the action of both. I really want to see it again partly because we were up front and I missed a few things.
The cast is largely unknowns which is also a plus (just like Star Wars). Plus my wife and I agree the cast were easy on the eyes. The two cast members that I had seen before include Ron Glass and Adam Baldwin. Ron Glass I remember from the Barney Miller TV show. Adam Baldwin was the hero, Ricky Linderman, from one of my childhood favorite movies, My Bodyguard. The film was shot near my home and we had it on tape so I saw it dozens of times. It was also the second major film of Matt Dillon and Joan Cusack.
Back to Serenity, the storyline also has quite a few parallels to Star Wars. Underdogs, faith, and moral character. I really enjoyed the cinematography. They played with the focus a few times where the primary speaker was out of focus in order to keep your attention on the person in focus. One observation is that the movie is full of Asian references (they even swear in Chinese), but there are very few Asian actors in the film. In summary, the film is well balanced between the humor, action, drama, and horror. I look forward to seeing it again and hope for a sequel. I am also anxious to see how it plays out in the general public. Will it fade away as a good film, be a largely forgotten film, become a cult classic, or become the start of a new series of films? I consider it the best movie I have seen this year and would give it 9.3 out of 10.