Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation | Release Date: May 19, 1999
5.9
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Mixed or average reviews based on 1061 Ratings
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476
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389
Negative:
196
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4
EpicLadySpongeJan 3, 2017
For every detail that needs to be corrected in this film, it's the way how it focuses on little Anakin's trip to become a Jedi. Nevertheless, George Lucas manages to make his new start to the trilogy before the originals seem off and boring to watch.
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10
TheQuietGamerFeb 19, 2011
This is just as good as the entries in the original trilogy, it has an enjoyable plot and characters, and great actors, and really gives you a feeling of excitement for the rest of the trilogy, a must see for Star Wars fans.
3 of 9 users found this helpful36
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6
MovieGuysApr 22, 2014
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.
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7
beingryanjudeAug 28, 2014
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 inThe 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. Expand
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5
grandpajoe6191Sep 24, 2011
"The Phantom Menace" is a decent movie that I would overall recommend only to those obsessed with the franchise because the film is a explanation film that connects what happened before the age of Luke, not amazing CGI or powerful quotes like"The Phantom Menace" is a decent movie that I would overall recommend only to those obsessed with the franchise because the film is a explanation film that connects what happened before the age of Luke, not amazing CGI or powerful quotes like the other ones did. Expand
9 of 16 users found this helpful97
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6
cameronmorewoodNov 12, 2012
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.
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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5
imthenoobFeb 16, 2015
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.
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6
TokyochuchuApr 28, 2013
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 alsoDespite 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. Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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5
marcmyworksDec 27, 2015
When I first saw this I was impressed with the action and CGI but having Jake "Yippee" Lloyd cast as Anakin Skywalker was piss-poor. I also just don't think this film aged well. Overall not bad, but need a lot of tweeking.
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6
CineAutoctonoMay 9, 2016
"Star Wars: Episode 1: The Phantom Meneace " was a movie like this say, disappointing, precisely because of the very little action, and by no taste that left me, and that also left me if emotions, but it was good after completely.
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8
ZilcellNov 16, 2011
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.
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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3
JacobNov 28, 2015
The Phantom Menace is a great tech demo for what CGI and ILM can accomplish. Some of the worlds created with CGI are stunning. The vehicles all look and sound great. The moments where the visuals and sound take over like in the Podrace andThe Phantom Menace is a great tech demo for what CGI and ILM can accomplish. Some of the worlds created with CGI are stunning. The vehicles all look and sound great. The moments where the visuals and sound take over like in the Podrace and final dull are when the movie is fun and Podrace feels like Star Wars. Unfortunately, once the characters start talking the movie is terrible. The story is weak with poor pacing, low stakes, and no clear threat. None of the characters are interesting ranging from dull to annoying and all of which are underdeveloped given dull/cheesy dialogue. In short the movie is either dull or boring and for the most part doesn’t feel like Star Wars. I loved this film a lot as a kid but that time is long gone. Regardless of how bad The Force Awakens may end up being it can’t be any worse than this. Expand
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10
MovieLonely94Nov 1, 2010
George Lucas's epic masterpiece before the dark times.
22 of 71 users found this helpful2249
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7
TheApplegnomeDec 25, 2015
The only dialogs and characters 'The Craptom Menace' successfully did manage to deliver are the droid's. The rest are awful as they are **** But this **** is what I grew up to love and still does (somewhat).

In the end of the past
The only dialogs and characters 'The Craptom Menace' successfully did manage to deliver are the droid's. The rest are awful as they are **** But this **** is what I grew up to love and still does (somewhat).

In the end of the past millennium came several big blockbusters that eventually changed the movie industry. The CGI-era was introduced with several big blockbusters like 'Jurassic Park' and 'Independence Day'. But in 1999; 'Star Wars' was back and it arrived with glamorous effects that was way ahead of its time. But was the man named George Lucas still up for the job? Fans of the original films were disappointed and still are, even though it's been more than 15 years since. But it still managed to inspire a new generation of fans, like myself, to this universe that takes place in a galaxy far away.

Today; I'm still not sure if this is a somewhat good or a bad movie. I grew up with this space-opera and it still got a place in my heart. 'Star Wars: The Phantom Menace’ is still a movie full of stupid and hilarious flaws. The plot isn't simple, thats a big flaw right there. It's not that subtle, it keeps going, and it therefore often is very unpredictable (which is a good thing). But much of the story is vaguely written. Add a stupid amount of plot-holes and tonnes of silliness too; then you got this flick. George Lucas got a great feel for adding stupid and non-important subplots that just do more harm than good. The cool and entertaining podrace is one example. This is 'Star Wars', and I’m watching a race. Not a race to death but as in sport. Sure it’s the story of Anakin Skywalker and we see him in his younger age as a skilled and powerful pilot, but it’s still a race. Is this really a prequel to the 'Star Wars' George Lucas once invented? As mentioned; it’s a very messy and high-paced flick, which is noticeable near the third act. We see events take place on the ground, up in space and so on. The story is so spread out on different characters that no emotion nor empathy to them get’s real. Other disturbing aspects with the plot are the stupid and illogical decisions many characters keeps making over and over. It doesn't make anything better that many of the dialogs are expressed when the characters are sitting down, talking and debating; rather than during intense moments like what we saw in ’The Empire Strikes Back’.

The center of the film isn’t on one specific character and because of that; the whole movie is more of a ’previously’ than an origin story. ’The Phantom Menace’ should have been so much better if the center of the plot was on one character and one alone, and then develop and focus a great story on that specific individual. Not to add more non-important ones like Jar Jar Binks. Our main characters are on the other hand very well presented, and a very good performance from Liam Neeson! Nathalie Portman however; is very one-dimensional and dry with her dialogs. When it comes to the characters, are there not that much depth nor backstory to them. We don't really know that much about them and they don't impress that much if you must compare to the original films. The plot is as mentioned very high-paced, which I’ve grown up to love with its space-opera and action. But it might be a ”too plot centered” movie. There's no time to get to know our characters nor get to understand them. Our main protagonist Darth Maul is another example. He’s a very cool and badass villain, but how much do we know about him? How much does he say -- he’s just a baddie.

One aspect of these prequel-films are the incredibly forced moments where characters must show their emotion and what they see and think; through dialogs. Many dialogs are unnecessary, we know stuff, but they say it anyway. Look at the main protagonist and antagonists when they are confronting each other; how much interaction do they have on an emotional level? Do they really interact?

This was supposed to be the origin story of legendary characters like Darth Vader and Obi-wan Kenobi, but is it? It’s definitely a movie of many flaws, but it still got some positivity. I’ve always loved all the action, space-opera, battles, sound effects, music, cinematography and of course the overall adventures of the main antagonists. The main lead from Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan are somewhat solid but of course not that deep or relatable. The CGI are on the other hand very mind-blowing for a movie that came out over 15 years ago. I’ve always loved this movie, and I still do. Yes, I'm overly entertained by a ****ty movie that shouldn't be okay to like at all. But this was my first entry to the galaxy far away, and it still got a place in my heart. But it still is a pretty awful movie from a critical viewpoint; with horrible dialogs, one-dimensional characters and a very vague story. Add childish humor with fart and poop jokes and too-many-to-mention accidental save the day-moments; welcome to ’The Craptom Menace’.

Personal rating: 78/100
Critical rating: 42/100
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3 of 8 users found this helpful35
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5
HalfwelshmanOct 9, 2011
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 edition to the Star Wars saga, 16 years after it ended. To put it mildly, The Phantom Menace had a lot toCast 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
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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5
homer4presidentMar 11, 2015
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 andIt'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. Expand
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4
Movie1997Dec 22, 2015
Having not experienced Star Wars as a kid, I thought that I should watch all of them starting with "The Phantom Menace". Unfortunately, this did not kick things off to a good start. Right off the bat you get a lame and pathetic story aboutHaving not experienced Star Wars as a kid, I thought that I should watch all of them starting with "The Phantom Menace". Unfortunately, this did not kick things off to a good start. Right off the bat you get a lame and pathetic story about tax federations, weak characters and even worse performances. The visuals are completely overblown and suck you out of the movie. I don't think I need to say anymore about Jar Jar Binks. While I didn't find him to be the biggest abomination in cinema, he does leave a bad taste in the mouth of viewers. But it's a not a flat out terrible movie. There are some great light saber fights (even if they are too well choreographed), and there are even some (not many) but some moments of promise. However it doesn't fulfill the way that it should be use of George Lucas' direction. The problems this movie has are because George Lucas doesn't know how to write characters let alone get real performances out of his actors. You can tell he's more about style than substance. Overall, while not a terrible movie, it's boring storyline and dull characters make "The Phantom Menace" one to simply skip. I'm going to give it a C-! Expand
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5
diogomendesMay 9, 2015
"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"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...
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7
horcrux2007Nov 28, 2015
I suppose I should start calling this "Confessions of a Star Wars Virgin"... Anyway, I've finally come to the much-maligned prequel series and a movie that gets considerable hate, The Phantom Menace. Maybe because I don't esteem the Star WarsI suppose I should start calling this "Confessions of a Star Wars Virgin"... Anyway, I've finally come to the much-maligned prequel series and a movie that gets considerable hate, The Phantom Menace. Maybe because I don't esteem the Star Wars film as the greatest films of all time, or maybe I just have lower standards than most, but I found The Phantom Menace to be the most fun Star Wars movie yet. Yes, there are enormous flaws with Episode I, but like every other film in the series, the good moments don't just excuse the bad; they topple them. The Phantom Menace follows Jedi Knight Qui-God Jinn and his apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi as they escort Queen Amidala on her travels to the planet Coruscant, hoping to find a peaceful end to an interplanetary trade dispute. They also encounter Anakin Skywalker, before he became a Jedi, who appears to have unusually strong powers of the Force. I was definitely surprised by how much I enjoyed the movie based on how much hate it has received. Being the first movie in a trilogy, The Phantom Menace is going to feature a lot of exposition and many seemingly stock characters. I would hope many of the plotlines and character arcs are continued in the next couple of movies because, but I have to at least give it the benefit of the doubt for now. The movie's good moments made me completely forget many of the bad ones that came before it. The pod race in particular was stunning as well as the final fight with Darth Maul; showing the Jedi in their prime made the lightsaber fights more fast-paced and exciting. Even though I enjoyed the movie, I can completely understand the hatred it has accumulated over the years. If I was a big fan of the original series, and I had to wait sixteen years for this, I would be pretty disappointed as well. Maybe being a Star Wars virgin allowed me to enjoy Episode I more than I should have, but, at least for me, The Phantom Menace was the most visually impressive and maybe even the most fun Star Wars movie yet by continuing to showcase the series' creativity and imagination. Expand
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6
hoops2448Oct 21, 2011
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 andThe 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 Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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6
SEROJDec 14, 2015
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The first part of the prequel is really not that great. The characters are unique and amazing, the story (for this part) is decent and the action is good but nothing special. The best scene in the movie remains the rally. Expand
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5
OfficialDec 30, 2013
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'mNot 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. Expand
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4
BrandonBonaseraDec 15, 2015
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, though having impressive art design, a fantastic score by John Williams, and an entertaining sequence or two, is a subpar first instalment in the prequel trilogy that is tainted by poor CG (despiteStar Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, though having impressive art design, a fantastic score by John Williams, and an entertaining sequence or two, is a subpar first instalment in the prequel trilogy that is tainted by poor CG (despite some practical effects), a tonally confused and incoherent script, bad dialogue and performances, poor pacing, and lazy, half-hearted direction. This film might please some members of the audience, but die-hard fans will be left devastated at the missed opportunity that was this film. Expand
4 of 5 users found this helpful41
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5
aadityamudharApr 6, 2016
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, though having impressive art design, a fantastic score by John Williams, and an entertaining sequence or two, is a subpar first instalment in the prequel trilogy that is tainted by poor CG (despiteStar Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, though having impressive art design, a fantastic score by John Williams, and an entertaining sequence or two, is a subpar first instalment in the prequel trilogy that is tainted by poor CG (despite some practical effects), a tonally confused and incoherent script, bad dialogue and performances, poor pacing, and lazy, half-hearted direction. This film might please some members of the audience, but die-hard fans will be left devastated at the missed opportunity that was this film. Expand
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6
FuturedirectorMar 11, 2016
Star Wars "The phantom menace" tires to begin the Star Wars first saga. But is more violent, more story, but, sadly, very much characters, that kills the story. Star Wars I is almost illogical, putting more technology than the first ones,Star Wars "The phantom menace" tires to begin the Star Wars first saga. But is more violent, more story, but, sadly, very much characters, that kills the story. Star Wars I is almost illogical, putting more technology than the first ones, just for make the nowadays audience for enjoy more the film. The very much characters that appears in the film at for make the audience more interested, but it was poison for the critics. Expand
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4
MrMovieBuffDec 27, 2015
(I had to review this movie sooner or later, so here it is)

George Lucas returns in the director's chair for 'Star Wars: The Phantom Menace', the highly anticipated space opera prequel that will tell us the story of how the famous Darth
(I had to review this movie sooner or later, so here it is)

George Lucas returns in the director's chair for 'Star Wars: The Phantom Menace', the highly anticipated space opera prequel that will tell us the story of how the famous Darth Vader became...Darth Vader.

The movie stars Liam Neeson as Qui Gon Jinn, a legendary Jedi warrior with his accomplice Obi Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) who travel to find a young boy they believe will bring balance to the force and will one day, become a legendary Jedi fighter.

The movie starts with promise, still giving us the iconic crawl text sequence with the iconic theme composed by the great John Williams. Some of the action sequences here do look impressive, as you would expect from a movie made in the late 1990s. We also meet the female protagonist in the movie named Padme (Natalie Portman) who gets on really well with the young Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd) and they seem to have this strange romantic infatuation with one-another. I use the word "strange" simply because Anakin appears to be an eight-year-old boy, and Padme appears as a teenage girl...somewhere along the lines of 13, 14-years-old.

Director, George Lucas, who hasn't directed a well-known feature since "A New Hope" in 1977 clearly has shown how his skills as a filmmaker has somewhat fallen for the nearly 22 years he has taken between directing features. The story is an interesting story as we (mostly "Star Wars" fans) learn how one of the most iconic villains in motion picture history becomes the person we know them to be. Unfortunately, it's the execution of the movie and how the story is being told that comes off as a disappointment, which led many fans to react with outrage and hate towards this movie.

But we need to discuss the elephant in the room, or maybe the Gungan in the room, that is the ever so hated Jar Jar Binks (Ahmed Best). This character has gained some notorious hate because of his voice and antics on screen. Lucas clearly wanted to make a comic relief character similar to that of the Genie in 'Aladdin' (1992), where the jokes and obnoxious behavior would result in laughter, instead, the jokes result in frustration from the audience as we want to know, when will Jar Jar Binks shut up?

There are many moments where we see Binks constantly falling over, screaming, becoming the victim of slapstick, physical comedy and even just getting himself in danger so we could see him do something funny. Unfortunately, he is neither funny nor helpful, the movie wouldn't be any different without him, although, it would be slightly easier to watch.

Another trouble this movie faces is the dialogue, it is very expository where characters such as the legendary Qui Gon Jinn use very long words relating to "Star Wars" things and speaking like he is reciting poetry, or verses from the Bible. There is never a moment where we see the characters speak realistically, or even times where they are not trying to drill in your heads what the movie's plot is. The story execution is so thinly written, Lucas depends on dialogue to help the audience catch up.

The CGI here is the real deal, it is a very lush looking movie, in fact, that is pretty much the reason why it got made. Throughout the 1990s, with films like 'Terminator 2: Judgement Day' (1991) and 'Jurassic Park' (1993) have broke new ground with their almost realistic looking CGI as technology improves, even four years before "The Phantom Menace", an animated film called 'Toy Story' (1995) was released becoming the first ever CG-animated feature film.

We get many scenes where characters are in certain set-pieces standing before other CGI characters in a CGI hall-like room and we get many establishing shots and wide shots to showcase what a great looking movie this is. It is gorgeous and well-made, but that isn't enough to hide a bad script.

All in all, "The Phantom Menace" is only worth watching for the final fight between Obi Wan Kenobi, Qui Gon Jinn and the main antagonist, Darth Maul...this fight scene may look more like dancing due to the unnecessary flips and twirling of the lightsabers like they are batons...but it is pure eye-candy.
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5
TrilobiteGNov 7, 2015
An candy shop of visuals and lightsaber fights which is too easily consumed leaving a sick feeling of dry characters and the most tedious dialogue known to man. Jar Jar Binks you worthless excuse for comic relief. But, the visuals of battleAn candy shop of visuals and lightsaber fights which is too easily consumed leaving a sick feeling of dry characters and the most tedious dialogue known to man. Jar Jar Binks you worthless excuse for comic relief. But, the visuals of battle are always nice to see and the pod race was surprisingly intense...and you can appreciate how cheesy it is for that extra burst that doesn't make this movie complete garbage along with some added nostalgia. Expand
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4
MovieMasterEddyApr 3, 2016
The lure of "Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace" cannot be explained without cross-referential flow charts establishing connections among bison stampedes, impulse buying, the power of myth and humankind's pathological willingness toThe lure of "Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace" cannot be explained without cross-referential flow charts establishing connections among bison stampedes, impulse buying, the power of myth and humankind's pathological willingness to pitch tents at the slightest hint of hot tickets.
Put more simply: The joy of "Star Wars" is going to see "Star Wars." Which is why no one will – or should – listen to the early buzz that "Phantom Menace" does not illuminate the heavens, eclipse its predecessors or affect global weather patterns as promised.

Moviegoers need to discover for themselves that the film, starring Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman and about 15 quadrillion computer creations, is anything but the Second Coming. I'm not saying it's "Ishtar Wars," but it is likely to disappoint more people than creator George Lucas would have liked.

The story line – in which the treacherous Trade Federation's evil agenda becomes increasingly clear – is too complicated to outline. But the overall purpose of "Phantom" is to foreshadow the life of Darth Vader. The heavy breather, we discover, starts off as a sweet 9-year-old boy called Anakin Skywalker (Jake Lloyd), born into slavery on the planet Tatooine.

It is the destiny of Jedi Knights Obi-Wan Kenobi (McGregor) and Qui-Gon Jinn (Neeson), accompanying Queen Amidala (Portman), to discover this space-age Christopher Robin, who will eventually father Luke, Leia and a whole line of armor-plated fashion wear.

Unfortunately, it is also destined that our three wayfarers must be accompanied by Jar Jar Binks, an animatronic, underwater-dwelling, floppy-eared Gungan who functions as official comic relief.

Jar Jar's "funny" business consists of bumping into things and getting caught in the thruster engine of Anakin's air racer.

Picture a computer-created mixture of Dumbo the elephant, an Egyptian Anubis and Calista Flockhart. And imagine a strangled, sputtering patois that sounds goofy and backward.

Lucas has an extremely complex undertaking before him: to show the narrative Big Bang that started Darth Vader, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Luke Skywalker and the whole scary, quippy, fuzzy, Muppety, warp-speeding intergalactic family.

This means much expositional roadwork, as The Creator lays down track for all the themes, plot lines and characters who will appear and reappear throughout his 12-hour symphony.

Lord Lucas has said in press notes for "The Phantom Menace" that he decided to write this movie, the first in the early trilogy, after seeing the computerized possibilities in Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park." That is precisely the problem. Lucas is so busy trying to digitally blow everyone's mind that he forgets about his characters. The sacrifice of humanity for special effects creates an unfortunate disturbance in the Force.

"Phantom Menace" is to the original "Star Wars" trilogy what Roger Moore's Bond films were to the Connery originals: a pale imitation loaded down with cutting-edge bells and whistles. And in this industrial glare, the actors are caught like cosmic deer in the headlights.

Jake Lloyd seems more like a directed kid than a force to reckon with. As Queen Amidala, the whiningly ineffective Portman seems to be mimicking Katharine Hepburn. And McGregor – who imitates Alec Guinness's accent to match that of the older Obi-Wan Kenobi – sounds uncomfortably forced and tentative.

As Qui-Gon, Neeson makes a nicely understated mentor, the one who will mistakenly consider Anakin worthy of Jedi training. But "Phantom Menace" gives him little opportunity to do more than interact with computer beings, chase the plot and show off his light saber against a deadly, hooded opponent whose orange-and-black horned face is hard to take seriously.

If there is any magic partnership between Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan – at least, to rival the later link between Yoda (who makes an appearance here) and Luke in "The Empire Strikes Back" – it is in a galaxy far, far away.

The overall look and feel of the picture is always powerful. And the sound effects serenade your ears with palpable crispness. The prime scene – the real thriller, for my money – is an exhilarating spacecraft land race, in which Anakin Skywalker plays a youthful Ben Hur to Sebulba, a tentacled, cheating Messala who tries to destroy his space pod. Now that's a cool scene.

But after the movie's immediate effect has worn off, the shortcomings hover in the air. Obviously, this film will touch the lives and fantasies of millions of people. But I'd be surprised if a majority of "Phantom" fans – after sober reflection in a Jedi monastery, of course – place the movie at the top of the "Star Wars" pantheon. I think even Yoda would back me up on that.
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5
DanBurritoMar 24, 2016
With unimpressive acting, a poor script and an over-reliance on cgi, The Phantom Menace is a less-than-satisfying start to the infamous prequel trilogy. The pacing was painfully slow, and even Liam Neeson seems bored. Then of course, there'sWith unimpressive acting, a poor script and an over-reliance on cgi, The Phantom Menace is a less-than-satisfying start to the infamous prequel trilogy. The pacing was painfully slow, and even Liam Neeson seems bored. Then of course, there's the character of Jar Jar Binks, one of the most annoying characters in the history of cinema. Seriously, who thought HE was a good idea? Darth Maul was a cool villain, but he's barely even in it! The character development is practically non-existent, and much of the film is just a bunch of Jedi sitting around talking about taxation. The special effects were great, but the filmmakers seem to value them over story and characters. And just so you know, I am a HUGE Star Wars nerd. That's why this movie feels like a punch to the gut. FINAL VERDICT: This is a disappointing addition to a great franchise, and lacks the depth of previous instalments. 4.5/10. Expand
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10
asylumspadezNov 21, 2011
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.
5 of 10 users found this helpful55
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4
MovieManiac83Apr 24, 2015
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’sThings 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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6
dharmaJun 9, 2012
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 attentionThe 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
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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4
gameguardian21Mar 6, 2016
Why did this happen. George Lucas made the best movie trilogy of all time, how could he screw this up. We had our expectations so high, we thought we were going to have the best movie experience after many years of waiting. But we were all soWhy did this happen. George Lucas made the best movie trilogy of all time, how could he screw this up. We had our expectations so high, we thought we were going to have the best movie experience after many years of waiting. But we were all so disappointed in this mess. The acting was terrible and awkward. The characters are undeveloped. The story sucks, and the cgi is way too much. At least we got on hell of a lightsaber fight, so we could calm down for a few minutes. I was very disappointed in this film. Expand
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10
gm101Mar 28, 2011
Let me say a few things: 1. I love this movie just as much as the other five movies. 2. I actually like Jar Jar Binks. 3. I actually find the concept of midichlorians interesting. 4. I didn't think there was too much CGI, but rather, it wasLet me say a few things: 1. I love this movie just as much as the other five movies. 2. I actually like Jar Jar Binks. 3. I actually find the concept of midichlorians interesting. 4. I didn't think there was too much CGI, but rather, it was just the right amount. 5. I actually took interest in the Senate scene. 6. I didn't think there was a problem with Anakin being called "Ani" considering he was nine years old in the movie. 7. Acting was just as good as in the original trilogy.

You haters offended? Good, because you don't deserve any respect.
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4 of 12 users found this helpful48
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6
MasterRileyJul 20, 2016
While its got some great sequences; such as the pod race and the light saber duel, it falls far from the acclaimed original trilogy. Cheesy dialogue, poor acting, a sloppy script, poorly executed and downright awful characters (I'm looking atWhile its got some great sequences; such as the pod race and the light saber duel, it falls far from the acclaimed original trilogy. Cheesy dialogue, poor acting, a sloppy script, poorly executed and downright awful characters (I'm looking at you Jar Jar) cause The Phantom Menace to be mediocre. Not good, but not completely awful either. Expand
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5
oDjentoJan 2, 2015
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 theyI 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
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3
ArkonBladeMar 13, 2011
i loved the original trilogy and was so excited to see the new trilogy. it opens pretty good and i had a good feeling ... and then jar jar binks shows up and the horror starts . he can only be found humorous by 5 year olds any one older theni loved the original trilogy and was so excited to see the new trilogy. it opens pretty good and i had a good feeling ... and then jar jar binks shows up and the horror starts . he can only be found humorous by 5 year olds any one older then that will be preying dath maul takes his head off ASAP. it only keeps heading down hill after that. then we get to meet a young anikin skywalker and who ever this kid is who did his acting was horrendous and i dont put it all on this kid i give most of the blame to lucas who directed this mess. lucas pretty much abandoned one of the key features that made most of us love star wars so much . that being charicters we liked and rooted for . in this one there is no one outside of maybe obi wan and qui gon who i remotly thought where ok. lucus focases all his energy on special effects and nothing els . which yes do look good when i am not cursing jar jar and aniken. Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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6
Muskrat147May 31, 2016
The largely anticipated prequel of the epic saga, The Phantom Menace is definitely not what many fans expected. Though many could argue that the effects were decent, and that the Saber fights were well choreographed, the poorly writtenThe largely anticipated prequel of the epic saga, The Phantom Menace is definitely not what many fans expected. Though many could argue that the effects were decent, and that the Saber fights were well choreographed, the poorly written dialogue and heavy use of political talk made the film particularly boring. And, not to mention, Jar Jar Binks. Expand
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5
TheDude-Jun 13, 2015
The phantom menace is said to be the most disappointing film of all time which is true poor character development, bad dialogue and jar jar binks made that happen a true fall from grace
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3
Jack97Jan 1, 2014
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.
4 of 5 users found this helpful41
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7
bfoore90Sep 11, 2016
Phantom Menace gets alot of flack for being bad or the worst of the prequels, I'm here to tell you that its not. Phantom has its flaws but the acting from Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman carry the movie and its a decent originPhantom Menace gets alot of flack for being bad or the worst of the prequels, I'm here to tell you that its not. Phantom has its flaws but the acting from Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman carry the movie and its a decent origin story for Anakin on Tattooine. Not to mention, Phantom Meance gave us a truly awesome character in Darth Maul. Again, Phantom has its flaws like the fact that the CGI is still a bit much, Jar Jar is still a horrible character and Jake Lloyd couldn't act. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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3
BarneyOnMTJan 5, 2016
WHAT I LIKED: A prequel to the amazing Star Wars trilogy stands out mainly for it's spectacular final action scene, aided by the new-found modern effects. 'The Phantom Menace' succeeds in the bare bones of it's plot too - and it does creditWHAT I LIKED: A prequel to the amazing Star Wars trilogy stands out mainly for it's spectacular final action scene, aided by the new-found modern effects. 'The Phantom Menace' succeeds in the bare bones of it's plot too - and it does credit the originals thanks to the score and production design.
WHAT I DIDN'T LIKE: It was just delivered very badly: it takes ages to get going for a start, and then when you're into the meat of the story it gets bogged down with confusing politics that overwhelm any character development. This clearly isn't helped by the largely dull, monotone acting, plus some of the characters themselves are cringey and laughable too. All this means this is undoubtedly the worst Star Wars adventure of all.
VERDICT: This is a dull film throughout that only gets exciting in the last 20 minutes - sadly a poor effort from Lucas that fails to capture his success with the originals.
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3
CritiqueGirlMar 4, 2011
I was extremely disappointed. There was too much CGI and not enough story. Although the series was always conceived to have a trilogy prior to the trilogy, you would think it was written, acted and directed just to make some more money.
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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7
sil3nt_nickMar 24, 2013
Well written and amazing effects.
1 of 4 users found this helpful13
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4
jeff_reviewsJul 5, 2013
"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"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
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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2
ReubenIsAGodDec 16, 2015
Really bad film, probably oneofthe worst films ive ever seen. Bad dialog,annoying chara ters. **** even watch he prequls . dont watch it, tis **** 101
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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7
SythusRATINGSOct 18, 2014
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.
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4
YellowKirbyDec 12, 2015
Ugh... this movie basically is all about the visuals. There's absolutely NO story whatsoever. It has too many CGI characters, and no REAL characters. Some of the acting is wooden, Darth Maul is only in it for like, ten seconds and there's aUgh... this movie basically is all about the visuals. There's absolutely NO story whatsoever. It has too many CGI characters, and no REAL characters. Some of the acting is wooden, Darth Maul is only in it for like, ten seconds and there's a really, really, REALLY long and boring race. Absolutely terrible. Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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6
davenbettridgeOct 14, 2011
Metachlorines, Jar Jar Binks, Jake Lloyd, under developed characters, over reliance on special effects, awkward story pacing and weak acting - there will never be another movie more anticipated to then be so disappointing. Critics who claimMetachlorines, Jar Jar Binks, Jake Lloyd, under developed characters, over reliance on special effects, awkward story pacing and weak acting - there will never be another movie more anticipated to then be so disappointing. Critics who claim that there isnt some 'entertainment value' in this movie are not being honest but the Phantom Menace is mediocre, is the biggest missed opportunity in movie history, and people who think its a good movie are uncritically minded fan boys. With the privilege of making a movie comes the responsibility of making a good one, a responsibility to which has George failed. Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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7
PaxsterSep 8, 2010
As much as Jar Jar Binks is disliked I actually quite liked him. I know I'll probably be killed by most fans for saying this but I did think he was alright. I felt Liam Neeson had a good performance but McGregor needed some serious work. TheAs much as Jar Jar Binks is disliked I actually quite liked him. I know I'll probably be killed by most fans for saying this but I did think he was alright. I felt Liam Neeson had a good performance but McGregor needed some serious work. The Pod Race was way to long and the kid playing Anakin kind of annoyed me. A fairly good movie but no classic. Expand
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7
UrbanlistenerJan 12, 2016
While not being a terrible film, the first installment in Lucas' prequels just leaves audiences with an empty stomach. There is a lot to love in the film, cool characters, Darth Maul, good action sequences and a lot of eye candy (for 1999).While not being a terrible film, the first installment in Lucas' prequels just leaves audiences with an empty stomach. There is a lot to love in the film, cool characters, Darth Maul, good action sequences and a lot of eye candy (for 1999). But there is also a lot to hate, not a lot of substance, some bad acting (Anakin), some bad and awkward dialogue, terrible characters like Jar Jar Binks and effects while ok for 1999 that look extremely bad today. But if you love Star Wars, it is definitely watchable and enjoyable, most of the time. Expand
4 of 7 users found this helpful43
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6
MonsieurEamesJul 12, 2012
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 andThe 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. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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3
DavidTejadaDec 10, 2016
After so many years, Star Wars lovers got this?? Even as a HUGE Star Wars fan I have to say this is the worst and most disappointing movie of them all. The couple of things that I saw appropriate to highlight were the visual effects, whichAfter so many years, Star Wars lovers got this?? Even as a HUGE Star Wars fan I have to say this is the worst and most disappointing movie of them all. The couple of things that I saw appropriate to highlight were the visual effects, which definitely were improved, and the lightsaber battle. (30%) Expand
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3
nahtan1244Jan 7, 2017
I Love star wars. It's been a crucial part of my childhood and beyond. I fondly remember watching the prequels and thinking they were gods of a movie. It's not so much the case today. The thing about the phantom meance is Geroge lucas is aI Love star wars. It's been a crucial part of my childhood and beyond. I fondly remember watching the prequels and thinking they were gods of a movie. It's not so much the case today. The thing about the phantom meance is Geroge lucas is a great story teller. He has some excellent ideas that made the foundations of the story great but it was just executed very poorly. Too much exposition, Jar Jar, whoever thought he would make a great general? weird stereotyping in the voices, wooden acting all across the board. Seriously queen admadala barley cracks a smile and the way she delivers her lines make me want to go to sleep. The only good thing That makes this a 3 is the lifghsaber fight plus as I mentioned before the great outlying of the story. I think George lucas is a great story teller but he can't put his thoughts into action and make it a great movie. That's why the original trilogy was so good. Even though he inly made one star wars movie he wrote the story for all 3 and they were fantastic. I admire George lucas. I feel bad as he had to prepare for alot of backlash sense episode 1 and even if he is not a perfect director I thank him wholeheartedly for bringing star wars into my life and I am glad he was able to share it with his vision. all I have left to say is thank you lucas for not ruining my childhood but creating it. Expand
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5
Tessara_VejganJan 20, 2015
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.
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3
MoviebuffreviewJun 19, 2011
The reboot or return to the widely successful and acclaimed Star Wars saga was disappointing in just about every way. With the exception of the Ewan McGregor and Liam Nesson, the acting was underwhelming, the dialogue made me barf in myThe reboot or return to the widely successful and acclaimed Star Wars saga was disappointing in just about every way. With the exception of the Ewan McGregor and Liam Nesson, the acting was underwhelming, the dialogue made me barf in my mouth, the pacing was awkward and often slow, and the villains were not only unclear and underdeveloped, but lacked the threat and power that Darth Vader and the emperor had in the original trilogy. The ending was a little better, with some solid action, and throughout there were some decent effects, but many of the actions scenes had no real weight to them and felt like they were there just for the sake of being there. Episode I is disappointing, boring, and not worth your time if you are a Star Wars fan. Expand
3 of 4 users found this helpful31
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3
potatoes351Oct 31, 2012
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 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
0 of 3 users found this helpful03
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6
superbatJan 1, 2017
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Phantom Menace is not an excellent Star Wars film, but is not as bad as everyone says it is. The direction, visuals and story are mostly engaging, except for the boring race and the annoying Jar Jar Binks. There are some great performances, but the rest of the acting is wooden. Expand
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3
GreatbealloFeb 8, 2012
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 DarthThis 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
0 of 3 users found this helpful03
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9
DibbHansenJul 15, 2013
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 (JohnIt 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
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0
AkashVijayJan 19, 2015
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 forStar 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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7
DukeJonApr 7, 2016
Yes, this film had Jar Jar Binks and annoying little Anakin. But look again; it also had Darth Maul, Qui Go Jin, an epic pod race, a huge land and space battle, epic light-sabre combat, a great score, and lots of original ideas (unlike theYes, this film had Jar Jar Binks and annoying little Anakin. But look again; it also had Darth Maul, Qui Go Jin, an epic pod race, a huge land and space battle, epic light-sabre combat, a great score, and lots of original ideas (unlike the recent "Force Awakens", which was just a rehash of bits of the original trilogy). For me this is a much better film than people give it credit for, and was unfortunately very much a victim of its own hype when it was released. Expand
3 of 5 users found this helpful32
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6
devo-ncSep 1, 2015
One of the best visual films ever made, it pushed the limits with CGI when practical effects were still an urban thing. The pacing, music, adventure and action all comes together as an awesome summer-time ride of a blockbuster that hasOne of the best visual films ever made, it pushed the limits with CGI when practical effects were still an urban thing. The pacing, music, adventure and action all comes together as an awesome summer-time ride of a blockbuster that has resurfaced a world of new books, video games and toys in celebrating this epic work. The Phantom Menace dips however in being a video game's story in the midst of the highest standard of production quality you can get, they forget about telling a good story with interesting characters. It's a bit overblown. Expand
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5
ThatCooperGuyDec 1, 2015
So it all “begins” with The Phantom Menace. OMG THE WORSE SHTER WERSH MUVIE EVERRRRRR…

No. The Phantom Menace is not the worst in the series, I’d watch it without an issue, it’s really “Attack of the Clones” that I’m reluctant to watch
So it all “begins” with The Phantom Menace. OMG THE WORSE SHTER WERSH MUVIE EVERRRRRR…

No. The Phantom Menace is not the worst in the series, I’d watch it without an issue, it’s really “Attack of the Clones” that I’m reluctant to watch again.

I don’t think the movie is all that bad, it’s just boring. I also don’t hate Jar Jar, he’s not that annoying but he’s a really useless character… Doesn’t help that he’s mostly CGI and none of the digital effects in this movie hope up that well…
With some positives: I do appreciate that 20% of this movie uses practical effects, Ewan McGregor is a great Obi-Wan, and I like the light saber duels in this movie. The Phantom Menace is boring and led to a much worst second episode, but it’s far from being the worst movie ever made.

However, I rarely ever go back to watch this movie, the last time I saw it was in theaters in 3D. My dad took me and we showed up about 15 minutes after the movie started… I assume my dad was not eager to watch this movie again…
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4
skyminsterMay 21, 2012
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 aStar 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
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9
DBPirate1129Apr 25, 2015
-----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
-----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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3
NecromusDec 4, 2012
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 II 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
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6
hanneguacamoleJan 4, 2016
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. In what should have been a deliberate and riveting prequel to arguably one of the best trilogies, The Phantom Menace shows its age – in the CGI animation and the time since the last installment. The dots simply do not connect, and I'm not sure that Episode I would have any success if it were not for the beginnings of Darth Vader himself.

Darth Vader is obviously a vital character in the franchise, so the portrayal of Anakin Skywalker here is understandable, but feels forced. Because he is strong with the Force. Ha! With the introduction of many new characters, the same level of closeness were not attained with the likes of Jar Jar Binks and Qui Jon. Star Wars has always been innovative with its stories and locations, but at the same time it dwells too much on fighting with clones and the plot device of destroying the Death Star (on accident?)

As a Star Wars fan, I apprecaite seeing young Anakin Skywalker, but I am disappointed. I love seeing the similarities between father and son, Luke, yet Luke's journey can't help but cast a shadow over his father's. The Phantom Menace's enemy is not nearly as well developed as the original trilogy, and the film struggles with reconciling Anakin's journey through the ages. Obi-Wan pulls it out though. As the connective tissue between generations, it is good to see the Jedi teachings passed along, even without the blessing of Yoda. But why the CGI? The special effects may have been the most disappointing to me – I love the nostalgia.
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3
YorkManJan 2, 2016
TPM is George Lucas' imagination gone into CGI overdrive. With every single whim unquestioned we get the first part of the original Six episodes of Star Wars delivered to us 16 years after RotJ, and what did we get...?

We got a bloated,
TPM is George Lucas' imagination gone into CGI overdrive. With every single whim unquestioned we get the first part of the original Six episodes of Star Wars delivered to us 16 years after RotJ, and what did we get...?

We got a bloated, borderline nonsensical tale of how a Jedi Master, his apprentice, a 14 year old Queen and some obnoxious, CGI abomination of a sentient, bidepal creature end up accidentally finding the one who will bring balance to the Force. The one being a 9 year old kid who has absolutely no charisma.

Political machinations fly left and right as the villain of the piece (who we all know is the dastardly political leader of the planet on which the Queen is the ruler) begins to move his pieces on Lucas' chessboard, culminating in a three-way battle between some fighter craft in space, a CGI robot army vs a CGI bipedal creature army, and the two Jedi squaring off against a nasty Sith Lord.

At the time of the film's release it was praised by audiences (check out the video clips of people coming out of the cinema in 1999!!!), and even most contemporary critics were blown away. It was only in retrospect, relatively quickly afterwards it has to be said, that people began to actually think about the film and what it was about, and the hate and anger lead many to the Dark Side of the Force!!

As a popcorn movie, it's fine. As a piece of pop-culture, it's referenced as the point where George Lucas stopped being revered as the creator of one of cinemas most enduring masterpieces. As the start of a new 'prequel' trilogy, it's piss-poor.

Unfortunately, however bad this film was/is...... Worse was to come.
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1
LaGuertaFeb 26, 2013
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.
5 of 8 users found this helpful53
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5
JawsPapi87Aug 9, 2011
Jar-Jar Binks didn't bother me that much. The attempts at comedy were pretty rough though as was the rest of the script. But this movie had some incredible moments. The bad acting couldn't destroy all the genius battles and other entertainingJar-Jar Binks didn't bother me that much. The attempts at comedy were pretty rough though as was the rest of the script. But this movie had some incredible moments. The bad acting couldn't destroy all the genius battles and other entertaining sequences such as the podrace Expand
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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4
Aaron_WassermanMay 30, 2016
I don't flat out hate this movie entirely, it does have some awesome stuff to it. The pod race, the saber duel, the score, the planet designs, and the designs in general. But what makes this film weak is its bland one dimensial characters andI don't flat out hate this movie entirely, it does have some awesome stuff to it. The pod race, the saber duel, the score, the planet designs, and the designs in general. But what makes this film weak is its bland one dimensial characters and poorly acted and directed feel to this film. A far cry from the original trilogy. Expand
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4
FilmMasterEdJan 5, 2016
The actors are wallpaper, the jokes are juvenile, there's no romance, and the dialogue lands with the thud of a computer-instruction manual. But it's useless to criticize the visual astonishment that is Star Wars – Episode I: The PhantomThe actors are wallpaper, the jokes are juvenile, there's no romance, and the dialogue lands with the thud of a computer-instruction manual. But it's useless to criticize the visual astonishment that is Star Wars – Episode I: The Phantom Menace. With this epic and the trilogy that preceded it, George Lucas has built a pop-culture monument that packs all of history – war, religion, myth, art, science and those old reliables, good and evil – into a mystical grab bag that plays like a kiddie cartoon. There's a less fancy explanation for why Phantom Menace will inspire fetishistic worship: It's loaded with cool stuff. And reasonable facsimiles thereof are on sale at your local Force emporium.

Episode I is set thirty years earlier than the original saga, Episode IV: A New Hope, but some things never change. A royal babe is in trouble. Not Princess Leia; this time it's Queen Amidala (Natalie Portman). The Trade Federation sends battleships to her planet, Naboo, to persuade her to sign a dodgy treaty. To her rescue come two Jedi knights: old pro Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) and his apprentice, Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor). You'll recall that Alec Guinness played Obi-Wan the first time, and McGregor does a deft job of matching up with him vocally. ^Vhen Federation types send in droids for the kill, the Jedis link up with Anakin Sky walker (Jake Lloyd), a nine-year-old slave who will grow up to marry the queen, father the twins Luke and Leia, and turn from the Jedi cause to the dark side as Darth Vader. Got that?

Good; here's what else you should know: Phantom Menace, which cost $115 million, lacks the crude freshness that Lucas lavished on the low-budget ($10 million) original in 1977 and the fluid storytelling that director Irvin Kershner brought to The Empire Strikes Back in 1980 – still the best in the series. But Menace is light-years ahead of the uneasy mix of furry Ewoks and Freudian psychology in Richard Marquand's 1983 Return of the Jedi. As for Lucas' directing skills, his work with actors still belongs to the "Don't emote, just stand there" school. But in terms of visual sophistication, already discernible in 1973's American Graffiti, Lucas ranks with the masters. He has always been more articulate with images than with words. Harrison Ford, who played Han Solo in the original, has famously chided Lucas, "You can type this **** George, but you sure can't say it."

McGregor is saddled with lines like, "I have a bad feeling about this." And Neeson must answer, "Be mindful of the living Force, my young Padawan." Ouch! Is it a coincidence that Phantom Menace and James Cameron's Titanic – whose box-office record ($1.8 billion worldwide) Lucas is chasing – were made by men with a poet's eyes and tin ears?

Comic relief – and, boy, does this movie need it – arrives with scene-stealer Jar Jar Binks, a gangly, floppy-eared Gungan, voiced hilariously by Ahmed Best but otherwise a fully digital creation. Jar Jar is an alien amphibian who lives in an underwater city and speaks in a pidgin English that still gets the point across. "Mesa in bombad troubles," says Jar Jar as he nabs food off plates with his long tongue and guides the Jedis in a submarine that gets chewed by a killer fish. Digital marvels abound, along with appearances by old favorites such as Jabba the Hutt and Yoda, who leads the Jedi Council on the planet Cor-uscant, along with Mace Windu (Samuel L. Jackson). Lucas surpasses himself in the creature department. Jar Jar's nemesis, Boss Nass, is a wonderfully odious menace. And Watto, the slave driver, is a fat-slob fly who manages to levitate on tiny hummingbird wings.

The human element is hard put to keep up. Neeson has a natural warmth but too few opportunities for humor. Portman, a beauty and a gifted actress at eighteen, is stuck with an underwritten character – at least Carrie Fisher was allowed to bring her verbal snap to Princess Leia. And McGregor, a live wire in Trainspotting and Velvet Goldmine, spends the film's first half trailing Qui-Gon like a lap dog. Happily, McGregor comes into his own in the final scenes, suggesting that the next two episodes, due in 2002 and 2005, will let him cut loose.

For now, the human focus is on Anakin, and the demands of the role – a messiah and an anti-Christ – put undue pressure on Lloyd, who was eight at the time of filming. You will search Lloyd's face in vain for the Darth Vader to come or for the agony of a boy forced to leave behind his slave mother, Shmi (Pernilla August), to begin his Jedi training. Lloyd shines in the lighter scenes, especially when Anakin enters a Podrace so perilous that ordinary humans can't tolerate the speed. The race is pure exhilaration. "Whoopee!" yells Anakin. Indeed. In this virtual universe – the video game supreme – Lucas is the king.

Still remains the most disappointing films of all time. It's rubbish.
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0
tonyGreenJun 17, 2011
Incoherent, dull. No characterization. clunky dialog. Headache-inducing overly busy CGI. If the original Star Wars movies had never been made this would be a forgotten cult movie watched merely for the lulz.â
3 of 6 users found this helpful33
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4
JarodyJan 27, 2016
The phantom menace was one of the most anticipated movies ever, however it gets my lowest score yet. While George Lucas wanted the movie to be for kids, instead he added boring politics that hardly anyone cared about. Also as I said Lucas didThe phantom menace was one of the most anticipated movies ever, however it gets my lowest score yet. While George Lucas wanted the movie to be for kids, instead he added boring politics that hardly anyone cared about. Also as I said Lucas did add children's elements to the film which I would have been fine with but they just turn out as extremely annoying. Luckily the incredible last scene of this movie(lightsaber battle) is incredible and brings my rating up to mixed. My lowest rated movie yet which could of easily been negative. 4/10 Expand
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6
anshimanMay 18, 2014
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 ShakespeareanI'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
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8
OnAnarchyAug 18, 2012
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.
3 of 5 users found this helpful32
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4
Jedi_JettsonJul 16, 2012
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 StarThe 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. Expand
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8
NShep53Apr 17, 2015
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 worstThe 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. Expand
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8
OpinionatedGuyAug 13, 2015
While not as bad as what people say about this movie, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menance still however suffers from an interesting plot that fails to be engaging enough.

Rating: 7.5/10 Pros: +Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor are the
While not as bad as what people say about this movie, Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menance still however suffers from an interesting plot that fails to be engaging enough.

Rating: 7.5/10

Pros:
+Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor are the best parts of the movie.
+The special effects in this movie looks really impressive for a movie released at its time.
+The podracing scene took me on the edge of my seat.
+The Jedi battle scene makes me feel like I want to be a Jedi Knight!

Neutral:
.The plot is very interesting. However, it’s not engaging enough as it feels like it’s more of a set up for the next two movies of the prequel trilogy of Star Wars.

Cons:
-The acting of young Anakin Skywalker. Just terrible. It’s really hard to root for Anakin Skywalker because of this.
-Jar Jar Binks went from an interesting character to the most annoying character real quick. His comic relief humor is just terrible and unnecessary.
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8
Epik_NinnjaMay 22, 2015
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
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4
TimeOfTheChimpsFeb 8, 2016
Though it's at least a little salvaged by amazing performances by Ewan McGregor, Liam Neeson, and Natalie Portman, the miscast Anakin, the intolerable Jar Jar Binks, and the kindergarten level of writing destroys anything this had going for it.
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8
warrenworldMay 4, 2014
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.
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4
AaronWasserman2May 3, 2014
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
3 of 5 users found this helpful32
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3
jfrotylpe532Dec 4, 2012
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
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10
wesker2012Jun 25, 2012
classic.
4 of 8 users found this helpful44
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6
JaySupertrampFeb 6, 2012
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 aIm 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
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5
SpiderPlayerMay 22, 2015
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.
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8
mm007Oct 13, 2016
[8/10]
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PROS: 1.Liam Neeson, Ewan Mcgregor, and Natalie Portman did good jobs. 2.The cute little boy anakin skywalker. Watching him was a charm. 3.Super action packed climax.Though Qui-Gon (Liam Neeson) dies. 4.After
[8/10]
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PROS:
1.Liam Neeson, Ewan Mcgregor, and Natalie Portman did good jobs.
2.The cute little boy anakin skywalker. Watching him was a charm.
3.Super action packed climax.Though Qui-Gon (Liam Neeson) dies.
4.After watching the sequel triology, really wanted to know the back story (How and why Anakin Skywalker becomes Derth Vader).Back story started really beautifully.

CONS:
1. Boring race in the middle.
2. jar jar binks failed to be funny and just made it a long annoying movie.
3.Too much characters.
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4
ZegilgameshDec 29, 2012
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.
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7
SatiricalewokNov 9, 2014
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 aAs 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. Expand
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7
gdiego135Dec 5, 2015
I know a lot of people hated the star wars prequels, because of overuse of cgi, But i still love them as equally as the the originals. this movie does have it's flaws but it's not a horrible movie actually i find more interesting than theI know a lot of people hated the star wars prequels, because of overuse of cgi, But i still love them as equally as the the originals. this movie does have it's flaws but it's not a horrible movie actually i find more interesting than the original because there's more color, in "a new hope" it was mostly in spaceships or tatooine so it's either all grey or orange, this movie makes star wars a lot more colorful, and the lightsaber battles are way better then they were in the originals, in the older films it looked friggin ridiculous in the prequels they made them badass. This movie is not horrible, but's not a masterpiece either, some of the acting is wooden but still worth watching because it's STAR WARS for crying out loud. Expand
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4
waronassermanMay 3, 2015
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
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4
ReelViews94Mar 23, 2016
As the most widely anticipated and heavily hyped film of modern times, “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” can scarcely help being a letdown on some levels, but it’s too bad that it disappoints on so many. At heart a fanciful and funAs the most widely anticipated and heavily hyped film of modern times, “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” can scarcely help being a letdown on some levels, but it’s too bad that it disappoints on so many. At heart a fanciful and fun movie for young boys, the first installment of George Lucas’ three-part prequel to the original “Star Wars” trilogy is always visually diverting thanks to the technical wizardry with which it creates so many imaginative creatures, spaceships and alien worlds. But it is neither captivating nor transporting, for it lacks any emotional pull, as well as the sense of wonder and awe that marks the best works of sci-fi/fantasy.

Nonetheless, even if the film lacks the magic to endear it to audiences in the manner of the first series entries a generation ago, the Force will still be with the picture at the box office; pic will probably gross in the neighborhood of its $120 million budget in its first week of release beginning May 19, and double that by early June. Thereafter, much will depend upon repeat viewing, which will no doubt be frequent among kids but much less so with adults. In other words, though it’s an automatic blockbuster, it will become neither a classic nor the biggest moneymaker of all time — only one of the biggest.

Those most looking forward to the first new “Star Wars” installment in 16 years are mostly people — now in their 30s — who were kids when episodes four through six were released. If anything, Lucas has tilted “Phantom” away from this audience and aimed it directly at a new crop of children, who are familiar with the originals via video or the recent “Special Edition” hardtop reissues. So while the new picture may not deliver everything the original fans have been fantasizing about for most of their lives, Lucas may again assert his status as the shrewdest marketeer among filmmakers, if he can capture the new generation for his fresh trilogy while still taking the old-time fans along for the ride.

The extended layover on Tatooine includes, at roughly the film’s halfway point, what is arguably its action/effects highlight, the pod race, which is the sci-fi equivalent of “Ben-Hur’s” chariot race. Launched from an arena carved out of rock, this consists of a bunch of daredevil pilots, who are suspended in virtual buckets connected to giant jet engines, careening their rickety crafts at low altitudes through craggy landscapes, canyons and narrow spaces, anything to create a powerful visual dynamic. Effect is as comparable to a video game as to a movie sequence, but provides the best ride of the picture, even if the outcome is never in doubt.

As the story, in its maze-like way, zigzags through its second hour, even more characters and creatures are introduced, notably a villain, the red-eyed, red-and-black-faced Darth Maul (Ray Park), who doesn’t say much but proves to be a particularly dexterous opponent of the Jedis with his lightsaber dueling technique. After a series of confrontations and battles, a sense of tentative peace prevails at the end, and the young Anakin, despite some misgivings on the part of Jedi Master Yoda, is accepted as a Jedi apprentice. As the Republic’s Senator Palpatine with a wry sense of portentiouness says to the boy, “We will watch your career with great interest.”

There is certainly enough incident to keep the picture and the viewer going, but the bombardment of elements, names, worlds, creatures and dilemmas may prove somewhat daunting to casual observers unsteeped in “Star Wars” lore. Beyond that, the new CGI characters are notably lacking in charm or interest other than on the design level; they bring nothing new or special to Lucas’ universe, and in a sense overpopulate it.

This is a truly a world of extraterrestrial diversity gone berserk: There are hundreds of droid warriors, all manner of animal-like creatures, and enough spaceships, fighting machines and vehicles to supply an entire toy store. Except for the desert scenes and a few other landscapes, the world of the movie is virtually entirely artificial, and some of the more obviously fake backdrops remind one that this is just a computer-generated version of the sort of ambiance habitually created some 50 to 60 years ago by most Hollywood pictures.

Lucas places no less importance on the sound elements, and his experts in this field, in particular sound designer Ben Burtt and Skywalker Sound director and mixer Gary Rydstrom, have delivered again. John Williams’ score reprises the very familiar themes of the first trilogy while adding some new and complimentary strains.

But while the film hardly lacks for visual creativity, it lacks resonance, freshness and a sense of wonder. In a way, it suffers from there having been so many knock-offs and sci-fi imitators in the intervening years.

“Phantom” is easily consumable eye candy, but it contains no nutrients for the heart or mind.
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6
CriticMLTJun 5, 2016
This is probably the least pleasant star wars film. The story was quite ok but the acting in it is very bad compared to the other films. I am quite disappointed.
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3
Jailhouse_McGeeJan 8, 2013
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 theOkay, 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
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4
InlikeflynnJun 8, 2014
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
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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3
Longbottom94Apr 27, 2013
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 finalThe 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
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6
PachekoviskMar 17, 2016
MEDIOCRE
In my opinion it's not the worst in the series.
It has a terrible acting, excessive use of CGI and a dumb story.
But is better than a lot of other movies. Including the second one...
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0
heloheApr 20, 2015
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 justUtterly 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.
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