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5.9

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  1. May 22, 2015
    5
    Median film, the story is not very engaging or interesting, the special effects are good, but the film at some points gets to be tiring, but it's a film that you can watch quietly most of the time.
  2. May 22, 2015
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. So the movie isn't as golden as the original trilogy. So Jar-Jar binks is annoying. This movie is still very enjoyable to watch and it's still a great entry to the saga, in my opinion. I don't care if Anakin is annoying, he's a little kid who will grow up to be evil! Is he supposed to be completely loveable? I think that the backstory on the original films is great and the lightsaber duel at the end (Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon vs. Darth Maul) was one of the best fihgt scenes in the saga. Ultimately, I find this movie to be rather entertaining not only as a piece of backstory to the original films but also as its own movie. The ending is massive-scale, the CGI was great at the time,a dn it's just a pretty fun movie all-around. Expand
  3. May 19, 2015
    1
    One of the worst movies I have ever seen. With dull writing, dull characters, and a dull plot this movie makes starring at a wall more fun and exciting
  4. May 18, 2015
    4
    If this is a kids movie why does most of this film take place in senate meetings? If your going to have a talking scene make it useful and non boring. Darth Maul is easily the best part. The ending fight is really the only good part but that does help when your movie is 2 hours and 10 minutes. This movie just isn't very good
  5. May 13, 2015
    7
    It was good, however, it could have been so much more. George Lucas just needed some more help with this movie, and it would have been better. If you haven't seen the original trilogy this movie is just better.
  6. May 9, 2015
    5
    "Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace" is occasionally cloying, utterly goofy and doesn't have much in terms of plot or characterization, but it's so fun. With that being said, I don't think it's a masterpiece, but it's not a terrible movie by any means. Definitely worth a watch, if you like sci-fi films.

    Final Score: 5.5/10.

    P.S: Dat race scene though...
  7. May 3, 2015
    4
    George Lucas dissappointed most of his audiences! this movie was boring and just stupid! I am ashamed to like star wars with this movie being technically the starting point
  8. Apr 28, 2015
    6
    The worst addition to the series, this movie suffers throughout from its failure to evolve from the original trilogy. The acting, editing and special effects are only marginally improved from the original franchise, but this stands more as a testament to the original movies than a failure of this one. Where this movie really falls down is the weak attempt to form a connection between theThe worst addition to the series, this movie suffers throughout from its failure to evolve from the original trilogy. The acting, editing and special effects are only marginally improved from the original franchise, but this stands more as a testament to the original movies than a failure of this one. Where this movie really falls down is the weak attempt to form a connection between the characters and the audience, and the stilted direction of the actors on the set. The curse of the child actor really hurts this movie as well, along with the cringey additions of characters like JarJar Binks and Nute Gunray. The movie saves itself some semblance of credibility through a few stellar action sequences, notably the pod racing on Tatooine and the dual between QuiGon Jinn, Obi Wan Kenobi and Darth Maul. The plot is also superior to any of the original trilogy, and sets up a solid story arch. Again however it suffers from excessive exposition, leaving no mystery to intrigue those watching. Expand
  9. Apr 25, 2015
    9
    -----REDONE REVIEW-----

    Despite some flaws (particularly the overly kiddy Jar Jar Binks and the distracting Neimoidians), The Phantom Menace proves to be a fun romp that I didn’t find boring at all. It definitely does its action scenes best but the moments on Tatooine and Coruscant didn’t bother me one bit. The movie provides convincing and mysterious villains like Darth Maul as well as
    -----REDONE REVIEW-----

    Despite some flaws (particularly the overly kiddy Jar Jar Binks and the distracting Neimoidians), The Phantom Menace proves to be a fun romp that I didn’t find boring at all. It definitely does its action scenes best but the moments on Tatooine and Coruscant didn’t bother me one bit. The movie provides convincing and mysterious villains like Darth Maul as well as great chemistry from heroes Qui-Gon Jinn, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and Anakin Skywalker.
    9.1
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  10. Apr 24, 2015
    4
    Things get off to a cold start with the much parodied credit crawl. Where Episode IV goes for the in media res jugular – “It is a time of civil war!” - problems in Episode I are not quite so pressing. Events are “alarming” perhaps, there’s certainly plenty of “turmoil” and we all know “taxation” is a thorny issue but the context is clear: like Anakin, this conflict still has some growingThings get off to a cold start with the much parodied credit crawl. Where Episode IV goes for the in media res jugular – “It is a time of civil war!” - problems in Episode I are not quite so pressing. Events are “alarming” perhaps, there’s certainly plenty of “turmoil” and we all know “taxation” is a thorny issue but the context is clear: like Anakin, this conflict still has some growing up to do. The menace is still phantom.

    An inexcusably lazy establishing shot - the Jedi shuttle cruises past the camera - and lethargic opening sequence hardly help pick up the pace. In A New Hope’s famous opening salvo the bad guys fire first and ask questions later, in The Phantom Menace the Jedi are ushered into a meeting room while the semi-bad guys go into video conference with Darth Sidious about whether an invasion of Naboo is legal or not.

    This arse-numbing inactivity recurs throughout The Phantom Menace: because the battles lines are not yet drawn and sides are still being taken there is always much explaining to be done, characters are forever having update meetings or being introduced to one another. The plot machinery lumbers through the gears, hampered further by the strange declarative dialogue and by an apparent disinterest in making these scenes visually interesting.

    Critics complained that Lucas had got yet worse at writing for humans in the twenty-two years since Star Wars, in fact it is simply that, beyond Alec Guinness talking about the force, the plot of A New Hope requires no exposition - The Phantom Menace on the other hand is all explanation, much of it, like the midichlorians, unwanted and unnecessary. (To be fair, Lucas waited a generation before spoiling his enigmatic myth with background material, the Wachowski’s jumped that particular shark in film two.)

    And yet there is still much pleasure to be had watching our full-blown Jedi guides in action. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan quickly discover that things are mercifully worse than the credit crawl predicted, a robot invasion force is being unpacked, Naboo is under actual threat. Sadly, we never actually see any of the massacres that are apparently taking place, instead we land somewhere that looks suspiciously like the woods near Leavesden and meet one of the galaxy’s more annoying comedy sidekicks (although not as annoying as fans frantically searching for a scapegoat would have you believe). After all, this film has at its hero a small boy – it cannot visit the dark 12A places.

    Tatooine turns out to be a total bust. They leave Obi-Wan behind, Amidala pretends to be Padme for no good reason, Anakin whines a lot, there’s some mumbo jumbo about a mystical birth and at absolutely no point does Han Solo turn up. Bastard. This is a section so flabby that even the electrifying pod race goes on for one lap too long.

    But hell, we meet Vader Jnr. and he says goodbye to his mother, which is the only essential action of the movie, so it’s almost worth the trip.

    Lucas probably imagined that Anakin’s goodbye would be the real heartbreaker but he couldn’t write it and Jake Lloyd couldn’t act it. The irony is, we don’t need it. Given where he is destined to end up, Anakin doesn’t need to be innocence personified when we meet him. Indeed, we are told that the kid is too old to be trained and that the Jedi council fear him, facts that are utterly lost on an audience who see only a bowl-headed brat.

    Perhaps best of all, we have the death of Qui-Gon. Liam Neeson has manfully carried the action on his shoulders throughout (the subsequent prequels desperately miss him) and his final words – “Obi-Wan, promise... Promise me you will train the boy” - provide the movie with its only real weight.

    And yet if only Lucas could have stopped thinking like a fearful father and acted more like the fearless myth-maker of old, there’s a quick fix that would change everything. Imagine for a moment a street urchin orphaned by the Clone Wars, a scoundrel scamming to survive, already using the force without even realising it. Imagine a cocky fifteen-year old robbing Qui-Gonn, competing with Obi-Wan and flirting with Padme. Imagine, for a second, an Anakin invested with the spirit of a young Han Solo…

    The most disappointing film of all time it remains, but with the galaxy of hype now far, far away Menace seems much less of a public menace than it did in the summer of 1999. Alongside the obvious action highs, the ability to consume the saga in a single sitting has created a veritable feast for those fans still keen to mine for irony, with Palpatine’s Shakespearean scheming particularly delectable here.
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  11. Apr 20, 2015
    7
    There are two major issues with this film. Jar Jar and some excessive CGI that doesn't always look the best but other than that the plot is essential ground work to the rise of Palpatine. It may not be the best Star Wars film but it is undeserving of all the criticism. A couple of the actors are less than stellar but it's a passable movie.
  12. Apr 20, 2015
    0
    Utterly and completely disappointing. So much CGI has been crammed into this movie that it makes your eyes hurt from watching it. Everything looks fake. There is no charm no emotions as they have been to the original trilogy. The plot is just boring and lame, all characters are annoying and forgettable. The boy playing Anakin is just an awfully terrible actor. If you compare it to otherUtterly and completely disappointing. So much CGI has been crammed into this movie that it makes your eyes hurt from watching it. Everything looks fake. There is no charm no emotions as they have been to the original trilogy. The plot is just boring and lame, all characters are annoying and forgettable. The boy playing Anakin is just an awfully terrible actor. If you compare it to other young actors (see Game of Thrones) you will notice that at least with a somehow decent acting choice some part of the movie could have still been saved.
    But then there is this terrible terrible Jar-Jar CGI abomination. It fails at everything, it fails at humor, it fails at having any benefit to the movie.
    While the old trilogy had a clear story line, some very memorable scenes and characters. This has nothing. I can't remember a single scene that was interesting or that I liked.
    George Lucas should have better listened to his advisors instead of trying to do everything himself.
    I know he is a big fan of modern computer imagery / CGI and so on. It does not really make the movie any better. It actually makes it much worse. The carefully crafted models used in the old trilogy look way more realistic and better even after many many years.
    Expand
  13. Apr 19, 2015
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Things get off to a cold start with the much parodied credit crawl. Where Episode IV goes for the in media res jugular – “It is a time of civil war!” - problems in Episode I are not quite so pressing. Events are “alarming” perhaps, there’s certainly plenty of “turmoil” and we all know “taxation” is a thorny issue but the context is clear: like Anakin, this conflict still has some growing up to do. The menace is still phantom.

    An inexcusably lazy establishing shot - the Jedi shuttle cruises past the camera - and lethargic opening sequence hardly help pick up the pace. In A New Hope’s famous opening salvo the bad guys fire first and ask questions later, in The Phantom Menace the Jedi are ushered into a meeting room while the semi-bad guys go into video conference with Darth Sidious about whether an invasion of Naboo is legal or not.

    Critics complained that Lucas had got yet worse at writing for humans in the twenty-two years since Star Wars, in fact it is simply that, beyond Alec Guinness talking about the force, the plot of A New Hope requires no exposition - The Phantom Menace on the other hand is all explanation, much of it, like the midichlorians, unwanted and unnecessary. (To be fair, Lucas waited a generation before spoiling his enigmatic myth with background material, the Wachowski’s jumped that particular shark in film two.)

    nd yet there is still much pleasure to be had watching our full-blown Jedi guides in action. Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan quickly discover that things are mercifully worse than the credit crawl predicted, a robot invasion force is being unpacked, Naboo is under actual threat. Sadly, we never actually see any of the massacres that are apparently taking place, instead we land somewhere that looks suspiciously like the woods near Leavesden and meet one of the galaxy’s more annoying comedy sidekicks (although not as annoying as fans frantically searching for a scapegoat would have you believe). After all, this film has at its hero a small boy – it cannot visit the dark 12A places.

    Tatooine turns out to be a total bust. They leave Obi-Wan behind, Amidala pretends to be Padme for no good reason, Anakin whines a lot, there’s some mumbo jumbo about a mystical birth and at absolutely no point does Han Solo turn up. Bastard. This is a section so flabby that even the electrifying pod race goes on for one lap too long.

    But hell, we meet Vader Jnr. and he says goodbye to his mother, which is the only essential action of the movie, so it’s almost worth the trip.

    Despite the unspeakable Yoda puppet, more endless politicking and some iffy CGI, the arrival on Coruscant and the subsequent battle of Naboo provide most of the lasting excuses for forgiving The Phantom Menace. At last there are new worlds to explore, new creatures to encounter and new wrinkles to the Star Wars myth. On Coruscant we are free to marvel at the work of Doug Chiang’s design department - every bit the equal of the original trilogy. And during the saga’s very best lightsaber battle John Williams adds another classic theme (Duel Of The Fates) to his masterpiece. The final act is a mess of conflicting ideas and we are forced to root for a tweenage space pilot but you certainly can’t fault it for pace.

    Perhaps best of all, we have the death of Qui-Gon. Liam Neeson has manfully carried the action on his shoulders throughout (the subsequent prequels desperately miss him) and his final words – “Obi-Wan, promise... Promise me you will train the boy” - provide the movie with its only real weight.

    Lucas probably imagined that Anakin’s goodbye would be the real heartbreaker but he couldn’t write it and Jake Lloyd couldn’t act it. The irony is, we don’t need it. Given where he is destined to end up, Anakin doesn’t need to be innocence personified when we meet him. Indeed, we are told that the kid is too old to be trained and that the Jedi council fear him, facts that are utterly lost on an audience who see only a bowl-headed brat.

    One of the most disappointing film of all time it remains, but with the galaxy of hype now far, far away Menace seems much less of a public menace than it did in the summer of 1999.
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  14. Apr 17, 2015
    8
    The Phantom Menace definitely has it's flaws, Jar Jar Binks, podracing, and the like, but it is still Star Wars. Liam Neeson is the acting stand-out of this movie. It probably is the worst (live-action) Star Wars movie, but even the worst Star Wars movie is great in my book.
  15. Mar 22, 2015
    6
    Though it has stretches where the dialogue borders on awful and the humour falls flat, TPM is saved by amazing performances by Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, and Natalie Portman, the epic final showdown between Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon Jinn, and Darth Maul, and the breathtaking score composed by John Williams.
    .
  16. Mar 11, 2015
    5
    It's not a bad movie, just heavily flawed. Its acting and dialogue can be cringe-worthy, but its high points still make it an enjoyable cinematic experience. It is overall a visually-dazzling film with a stunningly complex plot and heart-pounding action sequences.
  17. Feb 16, 2015
    5
    Phantom Menace could have been so much better. What ruined it was the needless long pod race, the Gungans, and the laughable kid actor who played Anakin. It's one of those films I'd love to see remade because it truly could have been a masterpiece.
  18. Feb 4, 2015
    10
    I know people won't agree with me but this is the best Star Wars IMO. The story was good, the acting than people give it credit for, and the amazing effects and music. Great from start to finish
  19. Jan 26, 2015
    6
    [Portuguese] O filme é um pouco chato, só o final é interessante, porém este filme introduziu o começo de toda história de Star Wars, então é um filme importante.
  20. Jan 23, 2015
    0
    This is a fantastic thriller fantasy action adventure! Please watch, much good. Experience incredibly developed characters - like Jar Jar Binks (my favourite). A cold hearted thriller.
    0/10 - Ben Hazelden
  21. Jan 20, 2015
    5
    Rewatched it recently on BD. Its an average mostly boring and annoying sf movie. The effects and fighting scenes are fantastic but the story and acting are horrible.
  22. Jan 19, 2015
    0
    Star Wars I: the Phantom Menace is abysmally structured. I'm honestly having a very very hard time figuring out where all three Acts begin and end. Perhaps, it was meant to be that way. One can ask, is that ambitious or flawed? I vote for flawed. Not simply because I feel Lucas severely lacks the writing capabilities to write an abstract narrative but also because it's nothing like anStar Wars I: the Phantom Menace is abysmally structured. I'm honestly having a very very hard time figuring out where all three Acts begin and end. Perhaps, it was meant to be that way. One can ask, is that ambitious or flawed? I vote for flawed. Not simply because I feel Lucas severely lacks the writing capabilities to write an abstract narrative but also because it's nothing like an abstract narrative. The problems start right from the opening shots and this is a problem in all the Star Wars movies. It starts off with backstory, with lines of narrative, scrolling up as John Williams' soundtrack plays along, serving as exposition for the upcoming events. Why couldn't they create a quick montage - a series of rapidly edited shots or just a basic sequence of still photos or simply start off before that. The entire purpose of film is to convey a story through the wonderful language of images. And when Lucas throws narrative at us, just as it appears in the script, let's just say it's a very underwhelming opening. Terrence Malick was able to briefly portray evolutionary progression and natural selection from the most elementary to the most multiplex of creatures, all in about 20 minutes in the Tree of Life. Lucas was asked to carry no such burden.Ewan McGregor is a decent actor but his role is so poorly written in the movie. For the most part, his job consists of 3 basic exercises. He walks alongside Liam Neeson stating the obvious, he looks up when he enters rooms and he keeps questioning Liam Neeson's "high intellectual Jedi converse" so that Liam Neeson can start explaining the plot. The entire Jedi counsel exists so that Lucas' characters can sit around and explain the plot to the audience. Jar Jar Binks may be the most annoying character I've ever had to witness on screen. But there are so many versions of him in this movie. It's intolerable.
    Since, all of us have already seen Lucas' pantomime 1977 original, we should all agree that he's the master of oversimplification. The characters are all so black and white. There's not a single character even remotely leaning towards the second dimension. And in fact, this is a problem with all the Star Wars movies. They all show us distinctly, which characters are good and which characters are evil but none of them tell us why. In fact several movies like Apocalypse Now, Rashomon, Taxi Driver and in more recent years, Pans Labyrinth and the Dark Knight, have explored this idea of the relativity of morality so brilliantly. But of course Lucas doesn't bother with interesting objectives of that sort. The entire "dark side of the force should rule the galaxy" is as cliched as it gets. How many movies have been made where the bad guys want to take over the world? Too many to count.
    But the part where I began to despise it, was the last 45 mins, which was literally jam-packed with mind-numbing CGI action. I found it amusing that Lucas thought he had the ability to juggle multiple story lines (rather I should just use action sequences instead of storyline) from the "epic" battle between the droids and Jar Jar's, to Anakin's random "attempts" to destroy the "what-ever the hell that was" all accompanied by a triumvirate lightsaber dual between Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor with the man with the double ended light sabre. And then on top of all that, we have the dialogue. Now this is something that I am infuriated by. Lucas' writing skills are pre-school. A 10 year old could write better lines of dialogue and convey more emotion. Greeting Cards have exuded more passion than Lucas' raw use of words. It's as bad as I've ever seen (and that's not in any way an exaggerated statement).
    The Phantom Menace is a disgrace to everything that contributed to the world of cinema and it opened the door for several other mindless action movies. It's over-filled with computer imagery and is completely hollow within. There's no psychology, no philosophy, basically no ideas in it whatsoever. It's the work of a machine rather than an artist and it was as entertaining as filling out your Income Tax forms. It may be appealing to adolescent boys who grew up with those characters but to me this is just a sad money making practice targeted at a series run out of control.
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  23. 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 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
    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 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.
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  24. Jan 2, 2015
    6
    I hate when people say the prequel films are terrible, they do still have some great scenes! With ep1, there were some definite let-downs, such as Jar Jar Binks and Anakins very average performance (but he is a kid i suppose), but they provided many other great things. The pod racing is a hella a lot of fun to watch, and The enviroments vary nicely in the film. Then also, they introduceI hate when people say the prequel films are terrible, they do still have some great scenes! With ep1, there were some definite let-downs, such as Jar Jar Binks and Anakins very average performance (but he is a kid i suppose), but they provided many other great things. The pod racing is a hella a lot of fun to watch, and The enviroments vary nicely in the film. Then also, they introduce possibly the most badass character in the Star Wars lore: Darth Maul. He is scary, awesome and just great to watch in this movie! And let me say, the end battle is possibly one of the best and well paced fights ever. Qui-gon and Obi against Darth Maul in those red laser barriers, that's how to rack up some brilliant tension. Many scenes in this film do save it from how bad people say it is, and i'd say watch it all the way through even if you do not like it just to see that final battle! Expand
  25. Dec 21, 2014
    9
    I love The Phantom Menace. It is one my favorite films. This is life changing film of dream, destiny, will, love, and truth. I don't care what die hard fans says, I really admire this motion picture. It may not be perfect, but I think the story is great, the acting is fine, th cg fine, and writing is fine. And what did you expect about the pod racing?
  26. Dec 2, 2014
    10
    A very good and fantastic movie. A very good screenplay good acts and good special effect. It is the best movie from Star Wars sries. I like this movie more than the others.
  27. Nov 23, 2014
    4
    Phantom Menace isn't as bad as some people make it out to be and it has some really good ideas. Unfortunetely, it fails to live up to it liscense

    Pros -Music by John Williams is at best -Despite a weak script, Liam Neeson and Natalie Portman do well with their material -The pod race is exciting -Darth Maul leaves the biggest impact a supporting character has left since Boba Fett
    Phantom Menace isn't as bad as some people make it out to be and it has some really good ideas. Unfortunetely, it fails to live up to it liscense

    Pros
    -Music by John Williams is at best
    -Despite a weak script, Liam Neeson and Natalie Portman do well with their material
    -The pod race is exciting
    -Darth Maul leaves the biggest impact a supporting character has left since Boba Fett
    -The fight choreography, especially the duel between Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon, and Darth Maul near the end
    -Interesting World
    -Special effects are well done for the most part

    Cons
    -Jar Jar Binks
    -Any villains that aren't Darth Maul
    -Jar Jar Binks
    -The Tatooine section drags on forever
    -Jar Jar Binks
    -Ewan McGregor as Obi-Wan is wasted
    -Jar Jar Binks
    -Anakin Skywalker is useless to the plot and shouldn't even be a child. Jake Llyod didn't do very well with the material
    -DID I MENTION JAR JAR
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  28. Nov 18, 2014
    6
    For the most part, Phantom Menace has an exciting backdrop on an invigorating adventure so atmospheric you visit at least double the planets you would normally see in any of the original films. Episode 1 surfaces the beginning and Lucas' vision is sure-fire beaming in fun. For kid's this movie is a sucker-punch of awesomeness, for everyone else it comes off as a classic, but we all knowFor the most part, Phantom Menace has an exciting backdrop on an invigorating adventure so atmospheric you visit at least double the planets you would normally see in any of the original films. Episode 1 surfaces the beginning and Lucas' vision is sure-fire beaming in fun. For kid's this movie is a sucker-punch of awesomeness, for everyone else it comes off as a classic, but we all know it's nowhere near a high level of cinema. Expand
  29. Nov 9, 2014
    7
    As a child this was always my favourite star wars film. And while now I can see that it is riddled with faults, it still has some fantastic scenes, and contains the best lightsaber duel of the entire series. I know Jar Jar Binks was a mistake, but if you put that to one side this is quite a good film.
  30. Oct 18, 2014
    7
    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.
  31. Sep 5, 2014
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I should probably have broken my promise to myself and gotten **** after watching this tripe. 'The Phantom Menace' is easily the worst 'Star Wars' movie, and a terrible film in general. Some lowlights:

    Jar Jar. Just the most obvious of this movie's myriad artistic miscalculations, he's unfunny and stupid.

    Acting. Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor are the only two actors in this movie who actually seem to be trying to rise above the material.

    Pointless call-forwards. Actually, 'Attack of the Clones' is worst with this, but they're there and visible in 'The Phantom Menace' too.

    Characterization. Whiny little Anakin is very true to how most little kids are; I should know, as, to my eternal chagrin, I used to be one. But this movie seems to be promulgating the notion that youthful pettiness makes one evil. No, no, it doesn't. Hopefully, once you turn fifteen or sixteen, you realize 'God, what an **** I've been' and resolve to be better than that.

    Pod racing. Um...scratch that, counterproductive padding! From a narrative standpoint, it's obvious Anakin is supposed to win that race and win his freedom from...Watto (is that his name? I don't remember it being mentioned during the movie). From a logical standpoint, however, he should NOT win that race, since he's young and green as a conifer.

    Midichlorians. Yes, I gathered from the original trilogy that the Force was an invisible forcefield which Jedi could manipulate to their own ends, but which bound every organism in the GFFA. So they have something in their blood which makes them one with the Force or something? That has either unfortunate implications or it's just an outright contradiction in the plot.

    Action. As in, there's not nearly enough of it until the last fifteen minutes or so, and while it is exciting when we get it, by then it's too little too late.

    Overall, this is easily the lamest Star Wars movie, never thought-provoking or even accidentally funny, though I will give a point for Darth Maul's double lightsaber. That was literally the only memorable part of the film that was thus for a good reason.
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  32. Sep 4, 2014
    2
    This film is a travesty. The first Star Wars release for over a decade and after the epic trilogy that is A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of The Jedi, you would expect this movie to be much better. In the age of advanced special effects and storytelling, it's a shame that this movie turned out how it did. A mixture of bad CGI and unrealistic story points (Such as an 8 yearThis film is a travesty. The first Star Wars release for over a decade and after the epic trilogy that is A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of The Jedi, you would expect this movie to be much better. In the age of advanced special effects and storytelling, it's a shame that this movie turned out how it did. A mixture of bad CGI and unrealistic story points (Such as an 8 year old winning a pod race, after he breaks down and takes about 30 seconds to start up again) just to explain how he can get out of slavery. The writing is lazy, and it comes off more as a childs fantasy film, rife with happy colours and the awful mess that is Jar Jar Binks, a character who mispronounces words and is really the jester of the movie, less funny more sad. Sad that in this age of cinema, a film series as epic as Star Wars has to stoop down and dumb down to appeal to children. Expand
  33. Aug 28, 2014
    7
    The original trilogy of Star Wars will always be classic. Nevertheless, The Phantom Menace does kick-off a compelling prequel trilogy. The visuals are better than ever--and because of our love of the original films we are easily invested in the exploration that will lead into the age of Luke and Leia.
  34. Aug 24, 2014
    5
    La historia es... Muy simple, de echo no explican casi nada, según parece hay un ejercito separatista que quiere... No tengo idea, ¿un nuevo gobierno? por alguna razón quieren acabar con la republica un gobierno que ya estaba desde hace... Quien sabe cuanto, hay muy poca información. En fin, al inicio unos embajadores de la republica que son Jedi llegan para negociaciones y las cosas salenLa historia es... Muy simple, de echo no explican casi nada, según parece hay un ejercito separatista que quiere... No tengo idea, ¿un nuevo gobierno? por alguna razón quieren acabar con la republica un gobierno que ya estaba desde hace... Quien sabe cuanto, hay muy poca información. En fin, al inicio unos embajadores de la republica que son Jedi llegan para negociaciones y las cosas salen mal. Desde hay vemos como intentan salvar un planeta de la colonización separatista mientras encuentran a un nuevo Jedi y un personaje muy tonto que en ves de dar buen humor llega a molestar un poco, hay diálogos tontos y cosas sin sentido. Por ejemplo: según parece se puede medir el poder de la fuerza que alguien tiene por la sangre. Yo pensaba que la fuerza era una manifestación espiritual y sobrenatural que se podía manifestar en formas físicas de ves en cuando, pero no al punto de que tienes que tener células. Entonces ¿todas las especies del universo tienen las células necesarias para usar la fuerza? Y de ser así entonces ¿los humanos de la tierra en ese universo también podrían usar la fuerza? y si no es así entonces ¿solo una galaxia tiene ese poder? y si es así entonces ¿como se obtuvo eso? ¿fue algo especial o?.... Mejor lo dejo así, y algunos actores (tal ves la mayoría) tienen actuaciones malas y mediocres aparte de cosas tontas que decir. Lo que mejor tiene la película son los efectos, las escenas de acción y... Y creo que ya, no es una gran precuela pero tampoco puedo decir que sea del todo mala. Sin embargo esta muy cerca de eso, le doy un 05/10 un poco mejor que lo mediocre. Expand
  35. Aug 17, 2014
    9
    It's not like the original trilogy I admit that, but aside from the critical viewpoints every Star Wars fan like me have, I really think this prequel thing was a great idea. And it's an epic start into the Star Wars universe.

    The Phantom Menace is an spectacular, exciting and awesome movie that truly is packed with unique action, wonderful actors, great music and a fantastic story! This
    It's not like the original trilogy I admit that, but aside from the critical viewpoints every Star Wars fan like me have, I really think this prequel thing was a great idea. And it's an epic start into the Star Wars universe.

    The Phantom Menace is an spectacular, exciting and awesome movie that truly is packed with unique action, wonderful actors, great music and a fantastic story! This movie is a great start into the Star Wars universe, although the tempo is a bit to slow at some places, but it's still a spectacular movie that really is touching. The negative aspects with this movie is that the CGI is a bit vague at some places and when I saw the podracing, it just felt a bit to sporty and to little "Star Wars". But I actually had a great time with it. The best thing with this movie must be the first and last 30 minutes, so entertaining!

    And to all of you that hate Jar Jar Binks because he's so annoying, the movie wouldn't be the same without him.

    Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace get a 9.4/10
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  36. Aug 2, 2014
    9
    Some may wonder why i have rated it so highly im comparison to the average user score, well its just because of my age, it was the first star wars film i watched and its always stuck in my head as the favourite, however i dont believe its better than the older ones its just this is a special memory from my childhood and i really do rate this film highly.
  37. Jul 30, 2014
    2
    "The Phantom Menace" features some good scenes, such as the pod race and the final battle sequence, but is overall a unworthy successor to one of the most prominent franchises in film history. It disappoints with its childish looks, it tires with its extravaganza and it irritates with its empty characters. Casting choices are not bad, there are advanced visual effects that stun the viewer,"The Phantom Menace" features some good scenes, such as the pod race and the final battle sequence, but is overall a unworthy successor to one of the most prominent franchises in film history. It disappoints with its childish looks, it tires with its extravaganza and it irritates with its empty characters. Casting choices are not bad, there are advanced visual effects that stun the viewer, but in general it is hardly as interesting as the fuss about it. Expand
  38. Jun 30, 2014
    0
    George Lucas ruined star wars with this terrible film.........................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
  39. Jun 30, 2014
    0
    Jar Jar Binks. That's all I need to say...............................................................................................................
  40. 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 history.
    Sad but oh so true.
  41. Jun 13, 2014
    10
    For me this is the perfect family action film. All of George lucas' film making led to this point where lucasfilm could seemlessly integrate the first full screen cg character jar jar. I love jar jar! I love the complex political plot this new trilogy enabled and anyone who takes issue with jar jar need only look at mordern animated film like despicable me to see how forward thinking thatFor me this is the perfect family action film. All of George lucas' film making led to this point where lucasfilm could seemlessly integrate the first full screen cg character jar jar. I love jar jar! I love the complex political plot this new trilogy enabled and anyone who takes issue with jar jar need only look at mordern animated film like despicable me to see how forward thinking that character design was. The perfect example of a perfect cinematic 'ride' encapsulating everything previous star wars worked to show at a digestable pace wrapped in high art. Expand
  42. Jun 8, 2014
    4
    The problems that comes with this movie is that everything lacks grip...

    Why are all the characters so dull and boring? I really can't imagine why made everyone so robotic; is hard to describe the characters because of their lack of personality, I just can't imagine the actors in my head trying to play out the lines in the script without any kind of passion in it or maybe the directing
    The problems that comes with this movie is that everything lacks grip...

    Why are all the characters so dull and boring? I really can't imagine why made everyone so robotic; is hard to describe the characters because of their lack of personality, I just can't imagine the actors in my head trying to play out the lines in the script without any kind of passion in it or maybe the directing was non-existing. The special effects haven't aged well, I can tell that almost everything in this movie is CG and if I look closely I am sure I can find some texture raptures (Although I am not fully sure of that myself)... The general story is so boring that I can guarantee you that you will not care at all about what it's going on, stiff acting and odd concepts for the expansion of the star wars universe.

    I can honestly say however that the soundtrack is great; with memorable tunes like "Duel of the Fates" that you won't get out of your head and the well choreographed fight scenes that are just fun to watch. The Phantom Menace has too many flaws to just be a passable flick but it's at least fun to enjoy thanks to it's few saving graces.
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  43. May 23, 2014
    1
    An awful mess that shouldn't have been made in the first place...
    Great actors wasted, plot that makes no bloody sense, unlikable bland characters that are completely unrelatable and **** JAR JAR. BINKS. Do I need to add more?..
  44. May 18, 2014
    6
    I'm not sure which makes me feel more incomplete - the disbelief that an innocent little boy is destined to suffer and become profoundly evil, or the disappointment involved in watching a movie with the skeleton of a beautiful Shakespearean tragedy without the flesh that makes a film what it is. George Lucas did most of the things wrong in this film. Jar Jar Binks is an annoying, comicI'm not sure which makes me feel more incomplete - the disbelief that an innocent little boy is destined to suffer and become profoundly evil, or the disappointment involved in watching a movie with the skeleton of a beautiful Shakespearean tragedy without the flesh that makes a film what it is. George Lucas did most of the things wrong in this film. Jar Jar Binks is an annoying, comic piece with no role in the film except frustrating viewers to the point of desperation. Young Anakin Skywalker apparently is not only good at fixing things, flying and being with the force, he's also good at being a bad actor. Combine this with the yawn-inducing main premise of intergalactic trade federation disputes, and you brew the recipe for disappointment. Although many pan this film as being lackluster, I perceive it as simply disappointing seeing the film shine in parts and show its true intention, only to be ruined by small mistakes that don't allow the film to truly express itself. It is clear (to me) that George Lucas had a fantastic vision for the prequel trilogy - darker themes, sombre tones and intense moral philosophy issues. Unfortunately his vision hasn't translated well to the screen. Perhaps J.J. Abrams won't make the same mistake again in 2016. Expand
  45. May 4, 2014
    8
    Though it lacks the epicness and lovable qualities of the original trilogy, The Phantom Menace still has a story to tell, as it gets through the journey against those setbacks and offers hope for improvement with the episodes that will follow it.
  46. May 3, 2014
    4
    Pathetic and down right embarressing. it barely gets a 4 just for effects, music, and some cool fights. aside from that this movie is BAD. Most people do not count it as part of the saga
  47. Apr 28, 2014
    1
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The Phantom Plot!
    What was the point? I was concerned about who would slap Ani's face the soonest, but as he turns into Vader anyway, I'm not sure how to care about a loud-mouthed, impudent child that is supposedly a slave. Mitochloreans (sp - I don't give a hoot enough to even check) are not a force, but are cells now: this destroys the whole point of faith and super-human justice: only those with enough correct cells are good enough Jedi. The first three movies established that faith - yeah, FAITH - prooves one's mettle. Oh well.

    CGI swamped the movie and were accompanied by cardboard performances. The notion that any of this movie as being part of reality 'long, long ago' evaporated with GPUs. The first three movies still engage me, but this one was devoid of reason and extremely irritating. Ja-Ja say no more. I'm begging you.

    Final Verdict: Eiw.
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  48. Apr 22, 2014
    6
    Episode I is a decent effort in the series. It's not the best, but it's not the worst. This is more of a "connecting movie" then an independent story.
  49. Apr 22, 2014
    8
    I feel like people are far too harsh on The Phantom Menace. Sure the movie had its flaws (especially Jar Jar Binks and the Gungans) but I feel like the film had many great moments as well and did a great job of setting up the prequels. Qui Gon Jinh and Darth Maul were both great characters who rank among my favourite of all current films. The Medichlorian thing was strange but it doesn'tI feel like people are far too harsh on The Phantom Menace. Sure the movie had its flaws (especially Jar Jar Binks and the Gungans) but I feel like the film had many great moments as well and did a great job of setting up the prequels. Qui Gon Jinh and Darth Maul were both great characters who rank among my favourite of all current films. The Medichlorian thing was strange but it doesn't bother me that much. I also believe that Episode 1 thankfully lacked the painful dialogue (except for Gunguns) that plagued the second and third films. Ultimately a great film Expand
  50. Apr 21, 2014
    2
    While living up to the brilliance of the revolutionary original trilogy could not be expected. The first instalment of Lucas's 'Prequel Trilogy' really sets the tone for how low star wars would sink. This tale, unlike the first three, contains a story no human could understand and fails at its job to keep even the hardest of fans from shedding a tear at what star wars has become. The onlyWhile living up to the brilliance of the revolutionary original trilogy could not be expected. The first instalment of Lucas's 'Prequel Trilogy' really sets the tone for how low star wars would sink. This tale, unlike the first three, contains a story no human could understand and fails at its job to keep even the hardest of fans from shedding a tear at what star wars has become. The only reason I have rated the movie above 1/10 is simply due to John Williams once again incredible score, with 'Dual of the Fates' being a soundtrack masterpiece. Expand
  51. Apr 12, 2014
    0
    Worst movie of all time. It is so bad that I went back in time and shot myself to not see it. Na i'm just kidding the word is tone. It sucks like your mom last night.
  52. Mar 1, 2014
    6
    Entertainment Monthly; 67% 6.7The computer-driven effects are impressive, but the adventure is hampered by a flat screenplay, dull acting, and just a hint as to why the dark side of the Force will eventually transform cute little Anakin into the evil Darth Vader. This movie lacks interest and entertainment but there are a couple of cool scenes.
  53. 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 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.
  54. 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 unique blend of characters, moments and scale.
  55. Dec 30, 2013
    5
    Not having watched the original "Star Wars" series, I thought that "The Phantom Menace" did not quite turn out as well as I expected. I mean, it has some cool scenes with the sabers and all that, but was quite boring and dull at times. I'm not even gonna mention some of the terrible acting.
  56. Dec 27, 2013
    0
    George Lucas dumped all over this travesty of a movie. How can you not compare it to the original Star Wars episodes 4, 5, and 6? And in comparison I cannot sit through this entire movie and watch the painful train-wreck that it is. Like watching a computer generated video game that frequently throws miserable one-liner humor at you.
  57. Dec 24, 2013
    6
    There is Star wars, and then there's the Phantom menace. At first glance, this film has good visual effects especially for it's time good music and a lot of star wars fun. However then you begin to realise once you take away the lightsabers, the film has very little in common with the original series. That being said, I still believe this film brought an entirely new and pretty awesomeThere is Star wars, and then there's the Phantom menace. At first glance, this film has good visual effects especially for it's time good music and a lot of star wars fun. However then you begin to realise once you take away the lightsabers, the film has very little in common with the original series. That being said, I still believe this film brought an entirely new and pretty awesome universe to Star wars which it expanded, and that's what I like about this film. I love the clones, what can I say.
    On the other hand, I do have to say the delivery of this not so bad story can be better, the acting is not great, but compared to Jar Jar, everyone else looks Oscar worthy. And then you have the politics....the one good thing that about star wars was that there was no bureaucrat BS, no matter where you go now however there's politics everywhere. If they removed it then this film would be 100x better!
    George Lucas turned his sci-fi master piece into a visually appearing chick flick really, lacking in the areas of good performance but boosting up his Space battles and Lightsaber duels. I mean he couldn't have made it any less obvious that palpatine was the Emperor, Padme was the queen, and Anakin was an I just hated that kid so much, I get the idea that he was not suppose to seem like evil but he was just so annoying and wooden. I almost hated him more than Jar Jar, but its far to say I might not hate Jar Jar compared to most people.
    Above all else though, I did like how they brought up the return of the evil sith. The possibility of more than 1 dark lord and that fact the Jedi order will be the only ones to bring balance to the force once more. All in all, I admire for what George Lucas did to try and expand the Star Wars universe, I just wish he could have heard the music. It does leave me wanting more, I really want to know how this war will turn out and it leaves me wanting to see the others.
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  58. Sep 28, 2013
    7
    A good start to the Saga. The Podraces are awesome, Darth Maul is awesome, and the lightsaber fights are cool. I see everyone whining, moaning and complaining about this film just because for what it is, there is no reason for any of the hate. F*** the haters. Score: 3/5.
  59. Jul 15, 2013
    9
    It may not be as fun or funny as the original trilogy was (instead this new trilogy takes on the more serious tone), the film is still awesome. The action is epic, the visuals are top class and eye popping, the music is awesome (John Williams does great here again). My only criticisms would be that Jar Jar Binks needed to die. HATED HIS CHARACTER. Also Natalie Portman really needed anIt may not be as fun or funny as the original trilogy was (instead this new trilogy takes on the more serious tone), the film is still awesome. The action is epic, the visuals are top class and eye popping, the music is awesome (John Williams does great here again). My only criticisms would be that Jar Jar Binks needed to die. HATED HIS CHARACTER. Also Natalie Portman really needed an acting lesson. Other than those two things, this film is a great installment to the series. Expand
  60. Jul 13, 2013
    6
    Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace is nostalgic, silly and campy fun filled with cheesy dialogue and hit-and-miss performance. It may not be as good as the originals, but it still manages to entertain, especially in the film's third act.
  61. Jul 5, 2013
    4
    "Star Wars: Episode 1 The Phantom Menace" suffers alot from its technology, as it seems to a different level than the first films, and it feels odd in the movie's tone with the original trilogy. The movie suffers the most from its story, as it's not that fresh and deep from the original trilogy, and the story does lag off at parts. The visuals are great, but they sometimes get in the way"Star Wars: Episode 1 The Phantom Menace" suffers alot from its technology, as it seems to a different level than the first films, and it feels odd in the movie's tone with the original trilogy. The movie suffers the most from its story, as it's not that fresh and deep from the original trilogy, and the story does lag off at parts. The visuals are great, but they sometimes get in the way as its too different from the original trilogy's technology on so many levels. With putting so many characters onto its pallet, the movie doesn't work as it just feels strange with the branches of characters added onto its belt. Overall, it's average, and does suffer a lot when compared and connected with its original trilogy films. Expand
  62. Jun 10, 2013
    4
    My dad brought me to see the first Star Wars movie (A New Hope) when I was 7 years old, back in 77, and it created a magical memory that will remain through the rest of my life. When this 'prequel' hit in 99, I took my elderly father to see it with me. If only there could have been some magic in that experience. Instead, there was only confusion for my dad, and embarrassment for me.My dad brought me to see the first Star Wars movie (A New Hope) when I was 7 years old, back in 77, and it created a magical memory that will remain through the rest of my life. When this 'prequel' hit in 99, I took my elderly father to see it with me. If only there could have been some magic in that experience. Instead, there was only confusion for my dad, and embarrassment for me. With an overemphasis on cartoon-like characters (and voices) and multi-zillion dollar animation and CGI, and an underemphasis on character development and coherent plot storytelling, the whole thing felt like one big mess (although a mess within a fireworks show, if that makes any sense quite nice to look at most of the time). It's amazing to see actors like Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman so absolutely rigid and cardboard-like. There is no equal to any of the characters of the original Star Wars series, no wet-behind-the-ears Luke to cheer on, no Leia to secretly lust for, no Han Solo to crack us up. Instead there is the inclusion of the most annoying characters ever to grace a screen, a character who constantly reminded me that, at 30ish years of age, I had no business being there at that movie, let alone taking my father to it. A far cry from the kind of mass appeal the first set had with all kinds (and ages) of people. I truly feel that these 'prequels' will go down in history as the most unnecessary movies of all time. And yet I own them, I am THAT connected to the franchise, that I own movies I probably won't watch again, purely in honor of the original series and the hope that maybe, just SOMEHOW, some kid somewhere felt the magic like I did when I was a kid. In this age where all action and sci-fi movies look and feel like these 'prequels', I find that unlikely, but I can hope. Expand
  63. Jun 7, 2013
    2
    From the stupid Podrace plot to the terrible, boring story set on a forest world and featuring stereotypical characters, all what this movie does is not only ruins the backstory, but also turns Star Wars into an annoying kiddie movie with racist stereotypes, annoying dialogue and stupid characters. And apparently it was Darth Vader who made C3PO, a 9 year old kid. Star Wars Episode I TheFrom the stupid Podrace plot to the terrible, boring story set on a forest world and featuring stereotypical characters, all what this movie does is not only ruins the backstory, but also turns Star Wars into an annoying kiddie movie with racist stereotypes, annoying dialogue and stupid characters. And apparently it was Darth Vader who made C3PO, a 9 year old kid. Star Wars Episode I The Phantom Menace is a complete embarrassment towards the Star Wars fans and Star Wars itself. And Lucas tries to entertain us with that outrageous "Jar Jar Binks" trying to be funny, and guess what? nobodies laughing. Expand
  64. Apr 28, 2013
    7
    Despite all the fanboy hate, Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace was a decent sci-fi adventure film. There are some impressive scenes like the pod race and the climactic light-saber duel. The political maneuvering of Palpatine is also fun to watch. The movie is overlong, though, and slips in to tedium now and again. Still, nowhere near a bad movie.
  65. Apr 27, 2013
    3
    The Phantom Menace may be one of the biggest cinematic disappointments of all time. Although it would have been almost impossible for this film to live up to the ridiculously high expectations that the fanboy's had but upon it, the final product is so monstrously dull it has unearned the dubious honor of one of the worsts films I have seen. Although the pod race and final duel scenes wereThe Phantom Menace may be one of the biggest cinematic disappointments of all time. Although it would have been almost impossible for this film to live up to the ridiculously high expectations that the fanboy's had but upon it, the final product is so monstrously dull it has unearned the dubious honor of one of the worsts films I have seen. Although the pod race and final duel scenes were quite enjoyable, I can't shake the feeling that the only reason they stand out is because of the awfulness that surrounds the picture. Expand
  66. Mar 24, 2013
    7
    Well written and amazing effects.
  67. Mar 19, 2013
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The locations and scenery are beautiful and exotic; the extremely well-done overall design of each planet and the specific places we are taken to is proof of that. From the lush and delectable beauty of Naboo to the vast and overwhelming city-planet of Coruscant, the environments are simply wonderful to behold. I simply don't understand why the use of CGI in the film is ridiculed as it is-CGI is something created by humans, just like animatronics-I don't believe CGI is "less human" than animatronics. The CGI enhances the visual quality of the environment and the characters that are CGI; this was what CGI was created to do, after all. The action sequences are amazing to behold, especially in the film's 20-minute climax; the pacing was perfect-the quick cuts between the three major conflicts matched the intense, fast-paced style of the battle-George Lucas' mastery in the visual arts was evident in the film. The symbolism and mythology-a Star Wars hallmark-is still a force to be reckoned with. Darth Maul's image, the duality in characters like Palpatine, and the symbiosis between prevalent organizations are all compelling, as well as the character types. Speaking of characters, I enjoyed Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, Padmé, and Anakin. I was interested by each of their journeys, and where they began and ended. I cared about them, as well; they weren't "wooden" and "boring," and nor were the performances behind them. The writing was good-not written by a 5-year-old-Lucas kept me interested in the characters and the story. I liked the politics involved in the story, as I am very interested in politics. The pacing for the story was good, as well. The supposed "plot-holes" are easily explained and/or easily ignored, and are more like nit-picks than actual criticism. I realize the problems both certain fans and critics alike have with this film-I understand their criticisms, but, to me, they either hold no water, or aren't significant enough to undermine the film, as I see it. I thought at least some of Jar-Jar Binks' antics were funny; he didn't annoy me, and I'm willing to bet he didn't annoy most of the kids who watched the film. Not only was Jar-Jar a character for kids, but he represents a "wise fool" in the film. Additionally, I hope people realize that this film isn't "universally hated;" look at this site-62% of fans gave this film a 3.5/5, and 57% of critics, just 3 points under "fresh" status, gave the film a positive review. All in all, Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace is an excellent film, and a more than worthy beginning to the saga; if you haven't seen it already, it is at least worth watching once. Expand
  68. Mar 8, 2013
    6
    Not as good as the prequel trilogy, but this film is far more enjoyable than Attack Of The Clones. The Podrace was the highlight of the film, and the lightsaber battle at the end was good as well. Some of the film is a bit predictable and the jokes a bit, and Jar Jar is very annoying, but the movie is still enjoyable.
  69. Feb 26, 2013
    1
    Jar Jar, midi-chlorians, droids, The Trade Federation, C3PO built by Darth Vader are just a few reasons why I have a mirror shatteringly bad feeling about this.
  70. Jan 8, 2013
    3
    Okay, let's face it: If episode I would have been the first star wars movie, there would not have been a episode II. If the only (good) thing everybody remembers about a movie are some eye-candy scenes (and I am talking of course about the pod race and the double light sabre duel), you know your movie is in trouble, because it fails on all other levels: storytelling, character development,Okay, let's face it: If episode I would have been the first star wars movie, there would not have been a episode II. If the only (good) thing everybody remembers about a movie are some eye-candy scenes (and I am talking of course about the pod race and the double light sabre duel), you know your movie is in trouble, because it fails on all other levels: storytelling, character development, acting, pacing and tone. This movie feels like a well-calculated commercial product that should deliver to all audiences, but it's all about a shiny surface and nothing beyond that. And let's not forget about Jarjar, the most annoying character ever to be put in a movie. Expand
  71. Dec 29, 2012
    4
    Although it's certainly accomplished from a technical level, the characters, dialogue, and story are certainly lacking, and this is a major fall in quality for a Star Wars movie.
  72. Dec 6, 2012
    5
    Problems: Death mauls death (should have kept him alive.), Jar Jar Binks (awful character), two pointless battles. Bad attempt at trying to funny.
  73. Dec 4, 2012
    3
    I absolutely loved the original trilogy as a kid. 17 years waiting in anticipation for the prequels (since Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977 stated it was "Chapter 4") raised expectations very high that almost no movie could live up to it. But I didn't expect something as horrible as Episode I. A poorly rendered and annoying Jar Jar Binks ruins almost every scene with his clumsy anticsI absolutely loved the original trilogy as a kid. 17 years waiting in anticipation for the prequels (since Star Wars: A New Hope in 1977 stated it was "Chapter 4") raised expectations very high that almost no movie could live up to it. But I didn't expect something as horrible as Episode I. A poorly rendered and annoying Jar Jar Binks ruins almost every scene with his clumsy antics bordering on racist (he behaves the way African-Americans were portrayed in old racist shows in the past and he's based on a Jamaican Rasta-man type character too!). The acting by Anakin was boring too, but it might not be his fault, after-all George Lucus somehow manages to take amazing actors like Ewen McGregor and Samuel L. Jackson and make them look mediocre. I saw this movie once in the theater and never wanted to see it again. Once it was on TV and I muted it while talking on the phone and noticed the visuals are absolutely beautiful, it is too bad the story and directing sucks so bad. However, there is a version of this movie out there called "The Phantom Edit 1.11" which is an edit of the movie by a Star Wars fan that cuts most of Jar Jar's annoying antics out of the movie along with all of the redundant scenes where the characters are explaining to other characters what you have just witnessed happening in the scene before. The Phantom Edit 1.11 is much more watchable and enjoyable, do yourself a favor and watch that one instead, it is way better than the official version. Expand
  74. Dec 4, 2012
    3
    And so begins the terror of the prequels. Poorly made, not to mention some of the worst acting on the planet. Lucas could do way better than that. Sadly we need the prequels to know the beloved Star Wars began. Until next time Lucas you suck
  75. Dec 4, 2012
    5
    A clumsy attempt at creating the impetus for one of the greatest movie franchises of all-time. The film is very basic, but falls short of other titles in the series in every way imaginable. A shameful cash-in attempt that is still being milked through merchandise to this day.
  76. Nov 12, 2012
    6
    Phantom Menace is easily the worst of the six Star Wars films, but is it really as bad as everyone says? No, it's not. They're all just pissed they had to wait 15 years to see it.
  77. Oct 31, 2012
    3
    For the start of a new trilogy in the Star Wars universe The Phantom Menace sure does show people how not to do it. This is the start of a trilogy to highlight the young Anakin and his inevitable journey to the dark side of the force and become Darth Vader and father to Luke Skywalker. This is Star Wars gone kiddy though, with the kid who plays a child Anakin being annoying as **** andFor the start of a new trilogy in the Star Wars universe The Phantom Menace sure does show people how not to do it. This is the start of a trilogy to highlight the young Anakin and his inevitable journey to the dark side of the force and become Darth Vader and father to Luke Skywalker. This is Star Wars gone kiddy though, with the kid who plays a child Anakin being annoying as **** and having a stupid sub plot with a race of toad like people called Gungans who make painfully unfunny jokes. Good CGI but poor execution and Liam Neeson being the only saving grace. Expand
  78. Aug 18, 2012
    8
    Holds a special place in my list as the first movie I can remember seeing in a theatre with my father. It's a good movie, but the prequel trilogy is no comparison to the original films.
  79. Jul 16, 2012
    4
    The story is alright, but there are several plot holes, the script is bad and wooden, there isn't enough great action but the duel between Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon, and Darth Maul, and the acting is also bad, and Jar Jar Binks is annoying to the Star Wars Universe.
  80. Jul 12, 2012
    6
    The first of the three Star Wars prequels. The story and character development are mediocre, making this a considerable downgrade from the original Star Wars movies, but on the good side the special effects add more depth to battle scenes and make them all the more impressive.
  81. Jun 9, 2012
    6
    The Phantom Menace is one of the worst movie in the whole Star Wars saga. It has uneven pacing, wooden acting, weird screen play; on the other hand, it has some of the best set pieces in the whole saga. Lucas seems to be paying more attention to ILM compared to his actors and it really shows. I still watch it regularly from time to time, but it shows how the master is starting to get leftThe Phantom Menace is one of the worst movie in the whole Star Wars saga. It has uneven pacing, wooden acting, weird screen play; on the other hand, it has some of the best set pieces in the whole saga. Lucas seems to be paying more attention to ILM compared to his actors and it really shows. I still watch it regularly from time to time, but it shows how the master is starting to get left behind in the type of films (blockbuster movies) that he 'created' more than thirty years ago. Expand
  82. May 21, 2012
    5
    Star wars: episode I: the phantom menace is kind of okay. A lot of it is boring politics, but some of it is exciting action. The good: some good action, good music, okay acting (mostly). The bad: boring politics, jar jar binks (I know it's a name and names have capitals at the start of them, but this character doesn't deserve a capital.), not much of Darth maul (he's an alright enemy),Star wars: episode I: the phantom menace is kind of okay. A lot of it is boring politics, but some of it is exciting action. The good: some good action, good music, okay acting (mostly). The bad: boring politics, jar jar binks (I know it's a name and names have capitals at the start of them, but this character doesn't deserve a capital.), not much of Darth maul (he's an alright enemy), it's really cheesy. Expand
  83. May 21, 2012
    0
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Far from being a successor to the original trilogy, 'The Phantom Menace' (what were they thinking?) is boring, nonsensical and would, in fact, have been better if they had just gone all out with it being a child's cartoon so there was no implication that adults who enjoyed the original films were meant to enjoy this trash. It's clear this is meant to appeal to kids; you've got Jar Jar providing unfunny slapstick, an annoying brat who has no idea what's going on and somehow magically figures out how to pilot a ship in the end to save the day and simple one dimensional characters that any adult would recognise as cardboard cut outs of people. I don't think there's a single likeable character in this film. Obi-wan is whiny and does nothing for the whole film, Qui-Gon is just a flat boring character, Padme is similarly devoid of character, Jar Jar is a cartoon character and Anakin is just an annoying kid. The sure-fire best way to ruin the character of the fearsome Darth Vader was to make a new film that showed him to be a stupid kid who says "BOOM- they blow you UP!".

    The plot doesn't make any damn sense, the characters are just awful and after watching this I'm left feeling like I just banged my head against a wall for half an hour because I feel about 50 IQ points dumber.
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  84. May 21, 2012
    10
    Awesome movie, haters gonna hate. Awesome movie, haters gonna hate. Awesome movie, haters gonna hate. Awesome movie, haters gonna hate. Awesome movie, haters gonna hate. Awesome movie, haters gonna hate.
  85. Apr 6, 2012
    10
    Alongside seething anticipation and mountains of specific expectations for something this movie absolutely wasn't, people hated it. Lucas' problem was in make a movie in a franchise that wasn't comprised of 95% material presented in previous films. Lucas wanted to go beyond what he did before, when people were expecting the same. People wanted a movie that had some happy characterAlongside seething anticipation and mountains of specific expectations for something this movie absolutely wasn't, people hated it. Lucas' problem was in make a movie in a franchise that wasn't comprised of 95% material presented in previous films. Lucas wanted to go beyond what he did before, when people were expecting the same. People wanted a movie that had some happy character development that reinforced their happy little lives, but they got way more than that, and all it did was piss them all off.

    Episode I has high political commentary including the nature of politics and warfare, nearly unmatched special effects, depth of world and lore that only great sci-fi's have, and much more. Next time you want to not like this movie, really consider if it's based on what your friends say or how you felt while watching the movie.
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  86. Apr 2, 2012
    5
    Soy muy joven, pero puedo decir cuando una pelicula es decepcionante. Despues de ver The Phantom Menace vi la trilogia anterior y tengo que decir que comparada con las viejas es desastrosa. Alguna de las cosas que no debieron ser añadidas fueron a un Jar Jar, un master Yoda computadorizado y a un joven Anakin con personalidad de niño aventurero. Hubiese sido mejor unSoy muy joven, pero puedo decir cuando una pelicula es decepcionante. Despues de ver The Phantom Menace vi la trilogia anterior y tengo que decir que comparada con las viejas es desastrosa. Alguna de las cosas que no debieron ser añadidas fueron a un Jar Jar, un master Yoda computadorizado y a un joven Anakin con personalidad de niño aventurero. Hubiese sido mejor un niño con serios problemas de conducta o "raro", pero al final tenemos a un jovencito nada parecido al super-villano que seria...Vader. Expand
  87. Feb 13, 2012
    2
    Why George Lucas? Why? Way to completely ruin the backstory to Star Wars with these awful prequel films. Yes, every single one is bad. Each film lacks a decent plot, lacks good characters, and lacks any emotional involvement that made the original films so great. If you think these movies are good, then I suggest you go on to Youtube and type in "Red Letter Media" and watch their in depthWhy George Lucas? Why? Way to completely ruin the backstory to Star Wars with these awful prequel films. Yes, every single one is bad. Each film lacks a decent plot, lacks good characters, and lacks any emotional involvement that made the original films so great. If you think these movies are good, then I suggest you go on to Youtube and type in "Red Letter Media" and watch their in depth reviews of these terrible films. Expand
  88. Feb 8, 2012
    3
    This movie is a train wreck in slow motion. This is easily the worst of the franchise, mainly because Jar Jar and Anikan are insufferable and pollute the film with every uttered line. There are some strong moments. I particularly enjoy Darth Maul and the podracing sequence, but these elements are fleeting, and the film stumbles along at a miserable pace. George Lucas has a wildly creativeThis movie is a train wreck in slow motion. This is easily the worst of the franchise, mainly because Jar Jar and Anikan are insufferable and pollute the film with every uttered line. There are some strong moments. I particularly enjoy Darth Maul and the podracing sequence, but these elements are fleeting, and the film stumbles along at a miserable pace. George Lucas has a wildly creative imagination, and some of his ideas are brilliant beyond measure, but he does not know how to direct or write. This movie could have been something great, but instead it is mediocre. Expand
  89. Feb 6, 2012
    6
    Im a Star Wars fan from since the beginning and in my opinion George Lucas should have let Episode I been were it was before ... in a drawer! But we cant go backwards in time so Im writing a review for this. For a movie on its own its a medium done work. The acting is good and for its time the special effects are good as well. The plot is important for the Star Wars Saga but all the restIm a Star Wars fan from since the beginning and in my opinion George Lucas should have let Episode I been were it was before ... in a drawer! But we cant go backwards in time so Im writing a review for this. For a movie on its own its a medium done work. The acting is good and for its time the special effects are good as well. The plot is important for the Star Wars Saga but all the rest is rubbish. Its way to much a kids movie - cant even try to mess with the originals. Expand
  90. Feb 5, 2012
    4
    When people say this movie is good, they can't back themselves up with the story, only with the effects. The movie continuously adds on to the characters character, we always question their decisions, and don't understand why anyone doesn't act like a normal person.
  91. Jan 19, 2012
    0
    This film broke my star wars loving heart. I totally agree with this movie critic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FxKtZmQgxrI . The 50 minute long roast of this scar on the star wars universe is by far more enjoyable than the movie.
    Only redeeming feature was Darth Maul who was without a doubt the most interesting character.
  92. Jan 7, 2012
    4
    The lack of story and horrible characters make this into the worst of the saga (although its sequel was not far behind). Jar Jar, medichlorians, and a general lack of any true plot makes for a terrible movie, and the fact that it is Star Wars and has Liam Neeson as the closest thing to a lead role makes it into an average, albeit mediocre adventure.
  93. Jan 3, 2012
    10
    It begins as a great film, Liam Neeson is absolutely amazing!! But then comes in jar jar and Annakin, all at once this film becomes a kid's movie. I may be a hippocrit because I watched it when I was 5 and thought that jar jar was my favourite character from the new trilogy (Obi wan still is #1). The beggining and the end are amazing, but other than the car race, Annakin is waaaay tooIt begins as a great film, Liam Neeson is absolutely amazing!! But then comes in jar jar and Annakin, all at once this film becomes a kid's movie. I may be a hippocrit because I watched it when I was 5 and thought that jar jar was my favourite character from the new trilogy (Obi wan still is #1). The beggining and the end are amazing, but other than the car race, Annakin is waaaay too cutesy and jar jar's failed attemps at being funny make me face-palm. Expand
  94. Dec 19, 2011
    8
    In 99, I didn't much care for Episode 1, but now, after watching it on blu ray in 2011, it's not as bad as I remembered. It's just the first chapter of the saga, and like many character introduction pieces, they can be a little dry. I just think that expectations were very high, and we all had our own version of how this was going to play out in 99. Don't close your mind to it, but justIn 99, I didn't much care for Episode 1, but now, after watching it on blu ray in 2011, it's not as bad as I remembered. It's just the first chapter of the saga, and like many character introduction pieces, they can be a little dry. I just think that expectations were very high, and we all had our own version of how this was going to play out in 99. Don't close your mind to it, but just rewatch and judge it removed from the anticipation. Expand
  95. Dec 9, 2011
    4
    If you loved the original trilogy, prepare to be shocked by the disaster that is 'Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.' Bad acting and an annoying Jar Jar Binks cause excited Star Wars fans to lose the will to live when watching this film. Despite the messiness of the film, it is not a bad film as such, and I recommend you watch it before judging it by its lack of originality.
  96. Nov 21, 2011
    10
    IMO the best Star Wars film. I thought it was great from start to finish. The acting was good, The story was far more interesting this time around as well.
  97. Nov 17, 2011
    5
    This film has no tension, drama, suspense, focus, excitement, development, and most importantly, it has no story to tell. For what it is, it's a joyless ride of random nothingness filled with flat, undeveloped, boring stereotypical characters that none of us would care about. Why didn't George Lucas hired others to direct the prequels just like he did in The Empire Strikes Back, andThis film has no tension, drama, suspense, focus, excitement, development, and most importantly, it has no story to tell. For what it is, it's a joyless ride of random nothingness filled with flat, undeveloped, boring stereotypical characters that none of us would care about. Why didn't George Lucas hired others to direct the prequels just like he did in The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi? Why didn't he? If he did, the prequels could have ended up way better. But no, he himself had to direct all the prequels, and for that he has destroyed his godlike reputation. Expand
  98. Nov 16, 2011
    8
    It may feel stretched out too long and the story may not be too powerful compared to episodes IV, V, and VI, but it still does have a strong tale to tell.
  99. Oct 21, 2011
    6
    The Star Wars saga according to many a fan took a lot of hits with this instalment but in my opinion it took more from the Return of the Jedi (a overly long, preachy pile of hogwash). Phantom of the Menace is entertaining to say the least and while it doesnâ
Metascore
51

Mixed or average reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 36
  2. Negative: 6 out of 36
  1. 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.
  2. 40
    The Empire strikes out.
  3. Reviewed by: Janet Maslin
    80
    It's up to snuff. It sustains the gee-whiz spirit of the series.