Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace Image
Metascore
51

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

User Score
6.0

Mixed or average reviews- based on 969 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Stranded on the desert planet Tatooine after rescuing young Queen Amidala from the impending invasion of Naboo, Jedi apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn discover nine-year-old Anakin Skywalker, a young slave unusually strong in the Force. Anakin wins a thrillingStranded on the desert planet Tatooine after rescuing young Queen Amidala from the impending invasion of Naboo, Jedi apprentice Obi-Wan Kenobi and his Jedi Master Qui-Gon Jinn discover nine-year-old Anakin Skywalker, a young slave unusually strong in the Force. Anakin wins a thrilling Podrace and with it his freedom as he leaves his home to be trained as a Jedi. The heroes return to Naboo where Anakin and the Queen face massive invasion forces while the two Jedi contend with a deadly foe named Darth Maul. Only then do they realize the invasion is merely the first step in a sinister scheme by the re-emergent forces of darkness known as the Sith. Expand

Trailer

Please enter your birth date to continue:
You are not allowed to view this material at this time.
Autoplay: On | Off

Where To Watch

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

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 84 out of 228
  2. Negative: 52 out of 228
  1. Nov 1, 2010
    10
    George Lucas's epic masterpiece before the dark times.
  2. Jul 15, 2013
    9
    It may not be as fun or funny as the original trilogy was (instead this new trilogy takes on the more serious tone), the film is stillIt 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
  3. Oct 2, 2015
    7
    There is a lot of hate for this and in my opinion it doesn't. It hasn't age well but it's still badass watching those fight scene and showsThere is a lot of hate for this and in my opinion it doesn't. It hasn't age well but it's still badass watching those fight scene and shows how much they improve since the older episodes. The story doesn't deserve any awards but its enjoyable. I can go on and on but that's all I have to say about this movie. Expand
  4. Nov 17, 2011
    5
    This film has no tension, drama, suspense, focus, excitement, development, and most importantly, it has no story to tell. For what it is,This film has no tension, drama, suspense, focus, excitement, development, and most importantly, it has no story to tell. For what it is, it's a joyless ride of random nothingness filled with flat, undeveloped, boring stereotypical characters that none of us would care about. Why didn't George Lucas hired others to direct the prequels just like he did in The Empire Strikes Back, 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
  5. Oct 9, 2011
    5
    Cast your mind back to May 1999. You may remember quite a buzz of excitement in the air. The world was awaiting the release of a new editionCast your mind back to May 1999. You may remember quite a buzz of excitement in the air. The world was awaiting the release of a new edition to the Star Wars saga, 16 years after it ended. To put it mildly, The Phantom Menace had a lot to live up to. It may yet go down in history as the most divisive film of all time. As often parodied, it split Star Wars fans down the middle. No one could deny that the effects were superb, flawless even. But what bothered many was the clunky dialogue, the wooden acting and the fact that it didn't seem to belong in quite the same world as the series which shares its name. My main problem with the Phantom Menace is that I'm relatively indifferent to it. It's not awful by any means, in fact it has many redeeming features (but no where near enough to make it a great film). The visuals were the best in the world at the time of the film's release, and still hold up today. The realisation of Coruscant, the "capital of the galaxy" in the form of a planet-wide city is an interesting idea, as is the Gungan's underwater "bubble city" and both look sensational. The film also has two stand-out action sequences - the pod-race, a creative, heart-thumping Ben-Hur tribute, and the "duel of the fates" which forms the finale of the film. This three-way lightsabre battle between a young Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor) and his master Qui-Gon Jinn (Liam Neeson) against the formidable Darth Maul (Ray Park) wielding an iconic double-bladed lightsabre. This has to be among the finest fight scenes of all time - the choreography is extremely creative and the execution flawless - it's a real testement to the stunt crew working on the film. Brilliant visuals and two memorable scenes cannot save a film, however. The story isn't up to much, and you don't have the high stakes of the original films - you know who's going to survive, it being a prequel to the original series. Lucas has never been great at dialogue, but during his Star Wars prequels, he seems to become worse at it over time. In the Phantom Menace you can look forward to such gems as Obi-Wan's "do not defy the council master, not again", young Anakin's "Are you an Angel?" speech, Yoda's classic "how feel you?" and pretty much everything said by Jar-Jar Binks. Ah Jar-Jar Binks - no other three words send shivers down the spine of a Star Wars fan so effectively (accept maybe a debate into who shot first). He's a truly irradeemable character - narratively unnecessary, insulting, and very, very annoying. The other actors and their characters are either unremarkable (MacGregor, Lloyd and Portman) or look thoroughly embarrassed to be on screen (I'm talking about you, Mr Neason). The Phantom Meanace is a disappointment, but in truth, it could never live up to Star Wars fans' high expectations, but it's good for providing the odd cheap thrill. And John Williams' scoring for the series is still great. Expand
  6. Dec 29, 2012
    4
    Although it's certainly accomplished from a technical level, the characters, dialogue, and story are certainly lacking, and this is a majorAlthough 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. Expand
  7. Dec 27, 2015
    0
    "Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was the most disappointing thing since my son[...]And while my son eventually hanged himself in the bathroom of"Star Wars: The Phantom Menace was the most disappointing thing since my son[...]And while my son eventually hanged himself in the bathroom of a gas station, the unfortunate reality of the Star Wars prequels is that they'll be around. Forever." - Plinkett, Harry Expand

See all 228 User Reviews

Related Articles

  1. Ranked: The Best and Worst Film Franchises

    Ranked: The Best and Worst Film Franchises Image
    Published: August 8, 2012
    Can an ongoing film franchise maintain high quality over many years and multiple movies? This week's new Bourne movie only confirms how hard a task that is, though our rankings of 25 major film franchises shows that it isn't impossible.
  2. The Best (and Worst) Movies of 2016 So Far

    The Best (and Worst) Movies of 2016 So Far Image
    Published: July 1, 2016
    We reveal the 50 best-reviewed films of 2016 so far ... as well as the 10 worst.
  3. What Movie Should I See This Weekend?

    What Movie Should I See This Weekend? Image
    Published: June 30, 2016
    Preview all of this weekend's new theatrical releases (including The BFG, The Purge: Election Year, The Legend of Tarzan, and more), with Metascores and trailers for each new film.
  4. DVD/Blu-ray Release Calendar: July 2016

    DVD/Blu-ray Release Calendar: July 2016 Image
    Published: June 29, 2016
    Find a complete guide to TV and movie titles heading to Blu-ray and DVD throughout the month of July, including an extended version of Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice plus Green Room, Everybody Wants Some!!, O.J.: Made in America, and more.
  5. 10 (or Maybe 11) Films to See in July

    10 (or Maybe 11) Films to See in July Image
    Published: June 28, 2016
    Our editors pick out the most interesting films headed to theaters next month.