Brave was not all I’d hoped it would be, but it also wasn’t what I feared it would be, so I think I broke even on the "expectations" front.

The Prologue and Act I were so powerful, so delightful, I thought the film might displace The Avengers at the top of my summer list. Act II was a little disappointing, though. I wanted a threshold crossing into wilds of epic adventure, and what happened had more of a situation comedy feel to it. Oh, there was a threshold crossing, certainly, and we glimpsed the wilds of epic adventure on our way to play in the stream, but it lacked the impact of the first act.
Act III was better, and the conclusion was great, but by that point I felt like the film’s momentum was half gone. For all my complaints, however, it's one of my favorites for the year.
This is definitely a “Your Mileage May Vary” sort of piece. I loved the portrayal of the leading ladies, but Sandra found their strengths to be exactly the sorts of stereotypical stuff she was hoping to move away from. I found believability and heroism, Sandra found tropes that stung, at least a little. I suspect I enjoyed this movie less for the fact that my wife had problems with it. Be warned: this film may present conversational landmines for many of you. 
(Note: Sandra and I have talked about this, and the explosives have all been located and defused. Also, it’s summer, and the couch downstairs is cool and comfy at night!)
The myriad children in the audience loved the movie, though I suspect the theme and moral may be lost on many of them. I’d say more about all the things I enjoyed (and some of the things I didn't) but I don’t want to spoil any of the neat stuff that Disney and Pixar wisely left out of the trailers.