Saw it last night, I enjoyed it a lot but ultimately it struck me as less pure Abrams and more of a Spielberg/Abrams mash-up. (Which makes sense given the dual production credits) It was very well done, and a solid summer movie for sure, but it left me wanting somehow.
I think overall I was hoping for something a bit darker, more like Cloverfield, which is my favorite thing he has ever done. (Sequel already!)
The kids were all great for sure. I just wish we could have seen more/better shots of the actual creature. It was even harder to see what it looked like than Clover. I always have that problem with CGI things, they move too fast for the human eye to really process the image. Whereas creatures done with actual physical suits/costumes looks so much more realistic (IE: The Predator). IMHO.