Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation | Release Date: May 19, 1999
6.0
USER SCORE
Mixed or average reviews based on 1075 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
477
Mixed:
407
Negative:
191
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4
JBAug 12, 2006
Great special effects and music. Terrible acting, story, dialogue, characterizations and costumes. Anakin should never have been an enslaved toddler. There is no group cohesion, which is what made the exploits of the original trilogy's Great special effects and music. Terrible acting, story, dialogue, characterizations and costumes. Anakin should never have been an enslaved toddler. There is no group cohesion, which is what made the exploits of the original trilogy's cast so entertaining. Despite what may be said of the original acting in the first trilogy, I've always felt that it shined over poorly written lines ... not the case here. A poor work. Expand
0 of 2 users found this helpful
5
billJul 15, 2009
The problem with this one (for me at least) was that jar jar binks charactor. From start to finish he was so annoying I could not enjoy any of the scenes he was in, its to bad mr. Lucas didn't have the sense to kill him off. However, The problem with this one (for me at least) was that jar jar binks charactor. From start to finish he was so annoying I could not enjoy any of the scenes he was in, its to bad mr. Lucas didn't have the sense to kill him off. However, the pod race scene was well done and this star wars has possibly the best lightsaber fight in the history of star wars. Expand
1 of 5 users found this helpful
6
KipJun 14, 2009
By far the weakest of the Star Wars episodes. It only gets a 6 because it is Star Wars. Jar Jar Binks is perhaps the most annoying character ever created. Remove him and cut 80% of that damn pod race and I'd give it 7.5, maybe even an 8.
1 of 1 users found this helpful
4
Syn_againSep 28, 2010
The only reason this movie is not a 3 or lower is simply due to the fact that an interesting character - Darth Maul was introduced. Aside from this there are no good takeaways from this movie.
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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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
crstfrFeb 9, 2011
This was (regrettably) the first Star Wars film I saw. I was seven at the time and naturally I was enthralled by the undeniably good special effects. Several years on and I have fallen in love with the original trilogy as one should!! WhatThis was (regrettably) the first Star Wars film I saw. I was seven at the time and naturally I was enthralled by the undeniably good special effects. Several years on and I have fallen in love with the original trilogy as one should!! What separates the old trilogy from the new one is the distinction between good story telling, and good visual effects; George Lucas relied too much on effects in the prequels and forgot all about character development. Episode I does have some good aspects (Qui-Gon / Darth Maul) but the acting is so bland and the story so dull, not to mention the abomination known as Jar Jar - Lucas' defence is that it's a kid's film too but I think Jar Jar is even an insult to a three year old). The saddest thing about this film is the amount of hype that was created and the subsequent let down which has forever tarnished the Star Wars series. Yes it can be an enjoyable film, but it completely ruins the magic and heart of Star Wars. Expand
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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4
J42HmusicDec 9, 2011
If you loved the original trilogy, prepare to be shocked by the disaster that is 'Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.' Bad acting and an annoying Jar Jar Binks cause excited Star Wars fans to lose the will to live when watching thisIf you loved the original trilogy, prepare to be shocked by the disaster that is 'Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace.' Bad acting and an annoying Jar Jar Binks cause excited Star Wars fans to lose the will to live when watching this film. Despite the messiness of the film, it is not a bad film as such, and I recommend you watch it before judging it by its lack of originality. Expand
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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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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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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5
SnafuFrankNov 17, 2011
This film has no tension, drama, suspense, focus, excitement, development, and most importantly, it has no story to tell. For what it is, it's a joyless ride of random nothingness filled with flat, undeveloped, boring stereotypicalThis film has no tension, drama, suspense, focus, excitement, development, and most importantly, it has no story to tell. For what it is, it's a joyless ride of random nothingness filled with flat, undeveloped, boring stereotypical characters that none of us would care about. Why didn't George Lucas hired others to direct the prequels just like he did in The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi? Why didn't he? If he did, the prequels could have ended up way better. But no, he himself had to direct all the prequels, and for that he has destroyed his godlike reputation. Expand
0 of 3 users found this helpful03
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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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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
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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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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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
MudgetJun 10, 2013
My dad brought me to see the first Star Wars movie (A New Hope) when I was 7 years old, back in 77, and it created a magical memory that will remain through the rest of my life. When this 'prequel' hit in 99, I took my elderly father to seeMy dad brought me to see the first Star Wars movie (A New Hope) when I was 7 years old, back in 77, and it created a magical memory that will remain through the rest of my life. When this 'prequel' hit in 99, I took my elderly father to see it with me. If only there could have been some magic in that experience. Instead, there was only confusion for my dad, and embarrassment for me. With an overemphasis on cartoon-like characters (and voices) and multi-zillion dollar animation and CGI, and an underemphasis on character development and coherent plot storytelling, the whole thing felt like one big mess (although a mess within a fireworks show, if that makes any sense quite nice to look at most of the time). It's amazing to see actors like Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor and Natalie Portman so absolutely rigid and cardboard-like. There is no equal to any of the characters of the original Star Wars series, no wet-behind-the-ears Luke to cheer on, no Leia to secretly lust for, no Han Solo to crack us up. Instead there is the inclusion of the most annoying characters ever to grace a screen, a character who constantly reminded me that, at 30ish years of age, I had no business being there at that movie, let alone taking my father to it. A far cry from the kind of mass appeal the first set had with all kinds (and ages) of people. I truly feel that these 'prequels' will go down in history as the most unnecessary movies of all time. And yet I own them, I am THAT connected to the franchise, that I own movies I probably won't watch again, purely in honor of the original series and the hope that maybe, just SOMEHOW, some kid somewhere felt the magic like I did when I was a kid. In this age where all action and sci-fi movies look and feel like these 'prequels', I find that unlikely, but I can hope. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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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
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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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
1 of 3 users found this helpful12
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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.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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4
ryflemanJan 7, 2012
The lack of story and horrible characters make this into the worst of the saga (although its sequel was not far behind). Jar Jar, medichlorians, and a general lack of any true plot makes for a terrible movie, and the fact that it is Star WarsThe lack of story and horrible characters make this into the worst of the saga (although its sequel was not far behind). Jar Jar, medichlorians, and a general lack of any true plot makes for a terrible movie, and the fact that it is Star Wars and has Liam Neeson as the closest thing to a lead role makes it into an average, albeit mediocre adventure. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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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.
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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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
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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4
cowbell31Feb 5, 2012
When people say this movie is good, they can't back themselves up with the story, only with the effects. The movie continuously adds on to the characters character, we always question their decisions, and don't understand why anyone doesn'tWhen people say this movie is good, they can't back themselves up with the story, only with the effects. The movie continuously adds on to the characters character, we always question their decisions, and don't understand why anyone doesn't act like a normal person. Expand
7 of 9 users found this helpful72
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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
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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5
ObbiePR18Apr 2, 2012
Soy muy joven, pero puedo decir cuando una pelicula es decepcionante. Despues de ver The Phantom Menace vi la trilogia anterior y tengo que decir que comparada con las viejas es desastrosa. Alguna de las cosas que no debieron serSoy muy joven, pero puedo decir cuando una pelicula es decepcionante. Despues de ver The Phantom Menace vi la trilogia anterior y tengo que decir que comparada con las viejas es desastrosa. Alguna de las cosas que no debieron ser añadidas fueron a un Jar Jar, un master Yoda computadorizado y a un joven Anakin con personalidad de niño aventurero. Hubiese sido mejor un niño con serios problemas de conducta o "raro", pero al final tenemos a un jovencito nada parecido al super-villano que seria...Vader. Expand
0 of 7 users found this helpful07
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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
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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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
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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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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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
WhiteTalpaDec 6, 2012
Problems: Death mauls death (should have kept him alive.), Jar Jar Binks (awful character), two pointless battles. Bad attempt at trying to funny.
3 of 5 users found this helpful32
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