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Mixed or average reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

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5.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 569 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Set decades before the original "Star Wars" series, in the era of the Republic, The Phantom Menace is a prequel which introduces many of the major characters.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 36
  2. Negative: 6 out of 36
  1. 91
    Phantom may not be the best entry in the series, but it's the most technically accomplished, and it makes you as hungry for the next film as you've been for this one.
  2. 88
    Not a masterpiece, but it's an example of how imagination, craftsmanship, and technological bravura can fashion superior entertainment out of something that is far from flawless.
  3. 75
    Let the killjoys squawk. Lucas has proved he has the Naboos to pull it off again. And again. And again.
  4. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    60
    Phantom is easily consumable eye candy, but it contains no nutrients for the heart or mind.
  5. Reviewed by: Sean Means
    50
    It earns an "Incomplete'' -- because we won't know the results until we see Lucas' next chapter.
  6. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    40
    Story. Character. They used to mean something to George Lucas.
  7. Reviewed by: Calum Marsh
    Feb 5, 2012
    0
    It's difficult to discern precisely where this all went wrong, and even more difficult to speculate about possible improvements.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 84 out of 158
  2. Negative: 43 out of 158
  1. Nov 1, 2010
    10
    George Lucas's epic masterpiece before the dark times.
  2. Jan 4, 2015
    10
    The real score for this movie is an 8, but I score with a 10 because here are many people mad about the original trilogy of Star Wars thatThe real score for this movie is an 8, but I score with a 10 because here are many people mad about the original trilogy of Star Wars that want to feel as the were 17 again... and that's not possible. I feel sorry for the people that see the original trilogy at the right age and the see the second trilogy been so unfairly critic with it.

    The real problem with this people is that they want to feel in Disneyland as they was 17, but the reality is that you have no 17 and you will never had. If you return to Disneyland with 40 sorry, you will not feel the same, the attractions doesn't change a lot, you are the one that change, you are harden to surprise, you are not a child, you are not an adolescent.

    The film is below Star Wars and The Empire Strike Back, but is better than the Return of the Jedi for example, and the lightsaber battles are the best of all the two trilogies. The bad guy are good (valid me the contradiction), Jar Jar Binks are annoying is true, but they are kinds in the cinema that love it, I understand George Lucas position.

    I understand the demand of the people of unaltered version of the original trilogy, and I am sure George Lucas or Disney will decide to release soon or late. But that is no a reason to make a documentary exaggeratedly criticize George Lucas and his legacy. Is no so awesome than the original trilogy, but is awesome. I know persons that see the second trilogy with the right age that really love it and think that the special effects of the original trilogy are poor.
    Expand
  3. YashS
    Mar 17, 2009
    8
    Darth Maul and Qui-Gon-Jinn are the BEST Obi-Wan went crazy at the final battle scene That was the best battle scene of the series I hate Darth Maul and Qui-Gon-Jinn are the BEST Obi-Wan went crazy at the final battle scene That was the best battle scene of the series I hate that Darth Maul died He is so cool Same with Qui-Gon Everything else was okay Expand
  4. Jan 26, 2014
    6
    I really like this movie, and I seem to be the only one in a 500 mile radius who does. I love the lore and I love the story. The dialogue isI really like this movie, and I seem to be the only one in a 500 mile radius who does. I love the lore and I love the story. The dialogue is what brings it down to a 6. It is nigh impossible to have a story without dialogue, and this movie may as well have not had any. I really like the story and I really like the lore, though. Expand
  5. Oct 9, 2011
    5
    Cast your mind back to May 1999. You may remember quite a buzz of excitement in the air. The world was awaiting the release of a new editionCast your mind back to May 1999. You may remember quite a buzz of excitement in the air. The world was awaiting the release of a new edition to the Star Wars saga, 16 years after it ended. To put it mildly, The Phantom Menace had a lot to live up to. It may yet go down in history as the most divisive film of all time. As often parodied, it split Star Wars fans down the middle. No one could deny that the effects were superb, flawless even. But what bothered many was the clunky dialogue, the wooden acting and the fact that it didn't seem to belong in quite the same world as the series which shares its name. My main problem with the Phantom Menace is that I'm relatively indifferent to it. It's not awful by any means, in fact it has many redeeming features (but no where near enough to make it a great film). The visuals were the best in the world at the time of the film's release, and still hold up today. The realisation of Coruscant, the "capital of the galaxy" in the form of a planet-wide city is an interesting idea, as is the Gungan's underwater "bubble city" and both look sensational. The film also has two stand-out action sequences - the pod-race, a creative, heart-thumping Ben-Hur tribute, and the "duel of the fates" which forms the finale of the film. This three-way lightsabre battle between a young Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and his master Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) against the formidable Darth Maul (Ray Park) wielding an iconic double-bladed lightsabre. This has to be among the finest fight scenes of all time - the choreography is extremely creative and the execution flawless - it's a real testement to the stunt crew working on the film. Brilliant visuals and two memorable scenes cannot save a film, however. The story isn't up to much, and you don't have the high stakes of the original films - you know who's going to survive, it being a prequel to the original series. Lucas has never been great at dialogue, but during his Star Wars prequels, he seems to become worse at it over time. In the Phantom Menace you can look forward to such gems as Obi-Wan's "do not defy the council master, not again", young Anakin's "Are you an Angel?" speech, Yoda's classic "how feel you?" and pretty much everything said by Jar-Jar Binks. Ah Jar-Jar Binks - no other three words send shivers down the spine of a Star Wars fan so effectively (accept maybe a debate into who shot first). He's a truly irradeemable character - narratively unnecessary, insulting, and very, very annoying. The other actors and their characters are either unremarkable (MacGregor, Lloyd and Portman) or look thoroughly embarrassed to be on screen (I'm talking about you, Mr Neason). The Phantom Meanace is a disappointment, but in truth, it could never live up to Star Wars fans' high expectations, but it's good for providing the odd cheap thrill. And John Williams' scoring for the series is still great. Expand
  6. Jan 1, 2014
    3
    Yes it does have impressive action and visual effects to spare, but Star Wars: The Phantom Menace fails to match the original trilogy's uniqueYes it does have impressive action and visual effects to spare, but Star Wars: The Phantom Menace fails to match the original trilogy's unique blend of characters, moments and scale. Expand
  7. Jun 15, 2014
    0
    Everyone knows it,
    Anyone who pardons e1PM is simply in server denial,
    It will always be known as one of the great disasters in cinematic
    Everyone knows it,
    Anyone who pardons e1PM is simply in server denial,
    It will always be known as one of the great
    disasters in cinematic history.
    Sad but oh so true.
    Expand

See all 158 User Reviews

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