This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Matt Kraus’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Did not expect to like it more the second time, and yet here we are. I think movies like this might actually play better when you're no longer constantly worried about what will happen next. Viewing #1 you find yourself invested in each story development, which isn't exactly this movie's strong suit. Viewing #2 you let the experience happen to you a bit more, and you find little subtleties in the universe, the performances, and the rather effective ways Abrams stages the big moments.
In particular, I found myself even more impressed with Han's death scene the second time. It's all fairly obvious, particularly how Abrams plays with the lighting, but it's a terrific moment and a perfectly heartbreaking way to send out potentially the best character to come out of the series.
It's still, in terms of plot, more television pilot than movie, but that actually plays more to J.J. Abrams' strengths. He did a terrific job of getting the car started, and now he's left it in the more-than-capable hands of Rian Johnson. And then... (gulp)... Colin Trevorrow. But ignore that. Things are good now!