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Mixed or average reviews- based on 504 Ratings

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  1. Aug 17, 2014
    It's not like the original trilogy I admit that, but aside from the critical viewpoints every Star Wars fan like me have, I really think this prequel thing was a great idea. And it's an epic start into the Star Wars universe.

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

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

    Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace get a 9.4/10
  2. Aug 2, 2014
    Some may wonder why i have rated it so highly im comparison to the average user score, well its just because of my age, it was the first star wars film i watched and its always stuck in my head as the favourite, however i dont believe its better than the older ones its just this is a special memory from my childhood and i really do rate this film highly.
  3. Jun 13, 2014
    For me this is the perfect family action film. All of George lucas' film making led to this point where lucasfilm could seemlessly integrate the first full screen cg character jar jar. I love jar jar! I love the complex political plot this new trilogy enabled and anyone who takes issue with jar jar need only look at mordern animated film like despicable me to see how forward thinking that character design was. The perfect example of a perfect cinematic 'ride' encapsulating everything previous star wars worked to show at a digestable pace wrapped in high art. Expand
  4. Jul 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 (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
  5. Mar 19, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The locations and scenery are beautiful and exotic; the extremely well-done overall design of each planet and the specific places we are taken to is proof of that. From the lush and delectable beauty of Naboo to the vast and overwhelming city-planet of Coruscant, the environments are simply wonderful to behold. I simply don't understand why the use of CGI in the film is ridiculed as it is-CGI is something created by humans, just like animatronics-I don't believe CGI is "less human" than animatronics. The CGI enhances the visual quality of the environment and the characters that are CGI; this was what CGI was created to do, after all. The action sequences are amazing to behold, especially in the film's 20-minute climax; the pacing was perfect-the quick cuts between the three major conflicts matched the intense, fast-paced style of the battle-George Lucas' mastery in the visual arts was evident in the film. The symbolism and mythology-a Star Wars hallmark-is still a force to be reckoned with. Darth Maul's image, the duality in characters like Palpatine, and the symbiosis between prevalent organizations are all compelling, as well as the character types. Speaking of characters, I enjoyed Qui-Gon, Obi-Wan, Padmé, and Anakin. I was interested by each of their journeys, and where they began and ended. I cared about them, as well; they weren't "wooden" and "boring," and nor were the performances behind them. The writing was good-not written by a 5-year-old-Lucas kept me interested in the characters and the story. I liked the politics involved in the story, as I am very interested in politics. The pacing for the story was good, as well. The supposed "plot-holes" are easily explained and/or easily ignored, and are more like nit-picks than actual criticism. I realize the problems both certain fans and critics alike have with this film-I understand their criticisms, but, to me, they either hold no water, or aren't significant enough to undermine the film, as I see it. I thought at least some of Jar-Jar Binks' antics were funny; he didn't annoy me, and I'm willing to bet he didn't annoy most of the kids who watched the film. Not only was Jar-Jar a character for kids, but he represents a "wise fool" in the film. Additionally, I hope people realize that this film isn't "universally hated;" look at this site-62% of fans gave this film a 3.5/5, and 57% of critics, just 3 points under "fresh" status, gave the film a positive review. All in all, Star Wars: Episode I: The Phantom Menace is an excellent film, and a more than worthy beginning to the saga; if you haven't seen it already, it is at least worth watching once. Expand
  6. May 21, 2012
    Awesome movie, haters gonna hate. Awesome movie, haters gonna hate. Awesome movie, haters gonna hate. Awesome movie, haters gonna hate. Awesome movie, haters gonna hate. Awesome movie, haters gonna hate.
  7. Apr 6, 2012
    Alongside seething anticipation and mountains of specific expectations for something this movie absolutely wasn't, people hated it. Lucas' problem was in make a movie in a franchise that wasn't comprised of 95% material presented in previous films. Lucas wanted to go beyond what he did before, when people were expecting the same. People wanted a movie that had some happy character development that reinforced their happy little lives, but they got way more than that, and all it did was piss them all off.

    Episode I has high political commentary including the nature of politics and warfare, nearly unmatched special effects, depth of world and lore that only great sci-fi's have, and much more. Next time you want to not like this movie, really consider if it's based on what your friends say or how you felt while watching the movie.
  8. Jan 3, 2012
    It begins as a great film, Liam Neeson is absolutely amazing!! But then comes in jar jar and Annakin, all at once this film becomes a kid's movie. I may be a hippocrit because I watched it when I was 5 and thought that jar jar was my favourite character from the new trilogy (Obi wan still is #1). The beggining and the end are amazing, but other than the car race, Annakin is waaaay too cutesy and jar jar's failed attemps at being funny make me face-palm. Expand
  9. Nov 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.
  10. Jul 20, 2011
    This one isn't only my favorite Star Wars film, it is my favorite movie of all time. I know, the story can be boring sometimes, Jar-Jar Binks and Anakin are annoying and many characters are useless, but at the time I watched it, in 1999, I had not seen any Star Wars before. Because of this, I watched every Star Wars the week after and became a great fan until... now. Fans of the first trilogy were disappointed, but I had nothing to be disppointed about. 10. Expand
  11. May 10, 2011
    The Phantom Menace is an UNDERRATED MASTERPIECE!!!!!

    "The Phantom Menace" WOW! The audience went ape s-(well you know the rest) every time I saw it. I couldn't get it out of my head, I read the novel 3 times (after I seen the film) that summer, as well as the screenplay. Man I love this film, and the more I see it the more I love it. Qui-Gon, Darth Maul and Watto three of my top ten
    favorite characters. 8 times between May and Dec. of '99, and every time I seen it the crowd cheered, and at the end erupted in applauds. It was cool, very cool. For me I didn't want to see a rehash of ANH, and what I got was a new twist to and old universe. I was pleasantly surprised by the out come, of all three prequels.

    To this day I still LOVE this movie. It's just gets better and better!
  12. Mar 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 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.
  13. Feb 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.
  14. Nov 1, 2010
    George Lucas's epic masterpiece before the dark times.

Mixed or average reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 36
  2. Negative: 6 out of 36
  1. Reviewed by: Calum Marsh
    Feb 5, 2012
    It's difficult to discern precisely where this all went wrong, and even more difficult to speculate about possible improvements.
  2. 40
    The Empire strikes out.
  3. Reviewed by: Janet Maslin
    It's up to snuff. It sustains the gee-whiz spirit of the series.