The fight scenes and animations are a joy to watch, the story itself, not so much.
The true strength of the movie lies in the animation, music, and fight scenes. The animation and CGI effects are top notch, surpassing the standard set by FFX and FFX-2. Words simply cannot describe the visual effects other than amazing. Awe-inspiring is another.
The voice acting was above average. Top nods in this movie goes to Steve Burton (Cloud), Quinton Flynn (Reno), and Rachel Leigh Cook (Tifa), who put on the best showing for this film. For the most part, each voice actor and actress pulled off their characters and their personalities believably. Though with the strength of some voice actors came the weakness caused by others, namely the voices of the three main antagonist.
The fights scenes were really the true gem of the movie. While some may think of them (especially the final fight) as over the top, I saw them as a great fan service. Cloud virtually becomes a human stunt man, pulling off moves that literally had me going "ohhh and awwwe".
While all of these factors due help to strength the movie, they're are extremely dampered by the nonsensical story. It would seem that this movie trades up a good storyline for terrific fight scenes and amazing CGI's. The story is rather weak, especially with Cloud taking a step back in characterization. His character growth has a been there, dont that feel, do to this same growth from "an angsty, aloof loner growing into a more warm likable person", was already done in the original FF7. The trio of villians fail to live up to the standards set by Sephiroth , with their plot to bring Jenova back to life pretty weak. The fact that anatagonist were only place holders for the eventual return of Sephiroth only makes them weaker as villians even more.
Aside from the weak storyline however, the movie was pretty entertaining while it lasted. I can really only recommend this to established fans of the FF7 universe, anybody else will not understand the movie.