Let's start with the good, in the usual PowerPoint-esque bulleted format, in a section cornily called:
The AutocoolnessThe Robots: Michael Bay raped my childhood, but only because the Transformers movie robot designs are so much cooler, more detailed, and more realistic (if you can call transforming cars "realistic") than the classic, blocky "shellformer" designs. I'm unable to look at the old designs the same way again. I know I'll get a lot of flack for that from Transformers traditionalists, so feel free to flame away.
Also, the transforming effects were amazing (emphasis on the "maz"). Any time the robots were on the screen made the movie worth the price of admission. And needless to say, the action scenes were awesome. The robots' designs and movements lent themselves well to solid fast-paced action.
Shia LaDouche: Despite his Nickelodeon-reject persona, Shia was able to pull it off. I had serious reservations about him, but Sam Witwicky turned out to be a strong, funny, and relatable character.
The Cheese: There was a heaping amount of cheese in this movie. Both the Autobots and Decepticons acted cheesily with super-cheesy dialogue, but strangely enough, that cheese worked well. Maybe this is because the overall toy-centric concept of Transformers is absurd in and of itself and playing the characters too seriously would just make them seem all the more absurd. Superhero movies, for example, often spend so much time psychologically analyzing the motivation of the hero, trying to superimpose deep character development on an overtly absurd concept, that the movie loses what makes the hero cool in the first place. Transformers bucks this trend, creating cheesy heroes that aren't too deep. This is something that might rub people the wrong way, but it certainly rubbed me the right way (if you know what I mean).
But that's not to say that this is a perfect movie. Far from it, as expounded upon in a section I'll call:
The DecepticrapThe Obligatory Government Control Room Plotline: A relatively significant portion of the movie was devoted to a storyline covering the Pentagon control room and how it reacts to the attacking Decepticons. The stuffy government suits try to keep the Decepticons from hacking government systems alongside (you guessed it) a rag-tag bunch of hippie hackers whose unorthodox tactics are in stark contrast to those of the government, which is hopelessly mired in its own impotent procedures. Way to stick it to the man, hippies.
This subplot was modified slightly from its stupid counterpart in Independence Day. It sucked 11 years ago, and it still sucks today. Strangely enough, the subplot really wasn't all that relevant to the movie and should have been cut entirely. Which leads me to the next point...
Yet Another Epic Movie: At 2 hours, 20 minutes, this movie follows the current epic-movie trend (started by Lord of the Rings) that totally disregards editing in favor of a needlessly bloated movie length. This crap needs to stop. Yes, I'm talking to you, Michael Bay, Sam Raimi, and Peter Jackson. Stop smiling, it's not a joke. Please leave. The party's over.