Mixed or average reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 39
  2. Negative: 5 out of 39
  1. Attack of the Clones celebrates a certain youthful spirit in both moviemaking and movie watching; because it's as much phenomenon as movie, audiences will either ride with or reject it. I was happy to take the ride.
  2. 91
    Don't go if "Star Wars" isn't your bag: You'll only resist and resent it. But if you're a fan, it's hard to see how you'd be disappointed. Me? I can't wait for May 2005. "Episode III": Hot diggity!
  3. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    An exhilarating two hours of serious fun.
  4. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    George Lucas has reached deep into the trove of his self-generated mythological world to produce a grand entertainment that offers a satisfying balance among the series' epic, narrative, technological and emotional qualities.
  5. 88
    A technological landmark that couldn't look or sound better.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    As for the breathless 45-minute climax, no screen fantasy adventure in memory can match the showmanship.
  7. 88
    In a time when, more often than not, sequels disappoint, it's refreshing to uncover something this high-profile that fulfils the promise of its name and adds another title to a storied legacy.
  8. 88
    As the sequence builds, it accretes so many heroic and nightmarish associations it plays like a prelude to apocalypse, which of course will come in Episode III. Attack of the Clones is part soda pop, part witches' brew - and all visual ambrosia.
  9. The saga regains its grandeur with a complicated but easy-to-follow story. The characters are as satisfying as the effects.
  10. Mostly very good. It's exactly the big fix of Saturday-matinee adventure, blazing special effects, inside humor and sly self-references for which its fans have been lusting.
  11. Reviewed by: Chris Gore
    Clones is not a good movie -- but it is an incredibly awesome Star Wars movie! This is far from a perfect film, but the problems are almost dismissable based on the final result.
  12. Still, in its own Saturday-morning-serial kind of way, Attack of the Clones is a commendable example of the sort of movie we once loved and then outgrew. Of course, if it was even better, we wouldn't feel as if we'd outgrown it.
  13. 75
    A triumph of technology over humanity, and if it falls short of a completely fulfilling experience, it also achieves the kind of primal emotion movies were invented for: wonder.
  14. 70
    The dark fantasist in Lucas makes a comeback after years of once-over-lightly.
  15. Clones makes the Frodo-speak of "Lord of the Rings" sound like Noel Coward.
  16. Reviewed by: Renee Graham
    One roots for Lucas to get the next film sorted out, and to resurrect the humanity and soul that first made so many fall in love a long time ago with that galaxy far, far away.
  17. Reviewed by: Ron Wells
    You know, each and every person reading this right now will shell out their six bucks ($9-$14 in L.A./New York) to see this film no matter what I say. Hell, I feel ambivalent about it and I'm still going to pay to see it again.
  18. Sometimes it bounces along, other times it feels forced. Kids and hardcore fans will love it regardless, and those who don't will nonetheless be talking about it for the next three years.
  19. 60
    Lucas shifts back and forth between this kind of original invention and a dependence on pompous dead-level dreck, a grade-B cheapness that he's obviously addicted to. [20 May 2002, p. 114]
  20. Here we are again: not entertained, not nearly enough, by an installment of the ''Star Wars'' epic that, for the first time, exhibits symptoms of...nerves. And a chill, conservative grimness of purpose, rather than an excited thrill at the possibilities of cinematic storytelling.
  21. 50
    It is not what's there on the screen that disappoints me, but what's not there.
  22. The movie has a broader range of emotions and visual effects than any "Star Wars" installment since "The Empire Strikes Back," but the writing and acting are as stiff as R2-D2's metal torso.
  23. The overall effect of Lucas' digital mania has been detrimental to the saga. Where the first trilogy was mythological fantasy, the second is pure cartoon. The sad truth is, the more three-dimensional they look, the more two-dimensional they are.
  24. Lucas knows his fans are un-boreable, un-annoyable and inexhaustible. For an artist, that's more a curse than a blessing.
  25. 50
    And while it was always clear that Lucas cared more about special effects than acting, here his lack of interest has produced phenomenally wooden performances from newcomers and veterans alike: Only the imperious Christopher Lee, as baleful Count Dooku, emerges unscathed.
  26. Attack of the Clones' high-definition surfaces are certainly impressive, but they offer no lifelight, nothing to put your arms around.
  27. Only a teenage boy could find this kind of stuff continually diverting, and only a teenage boy would not notice flimsy emotions and underdeveloped acting. It seems George Lucas, like Peter Pan, has never really grown up.
  28. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    A decidedly mixed bag.
  29. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    The scale of the enterprise is thrilling; it's too bad the movie is so muddled on so many different levels.
  30. 40
    Attack of the Clones' final 35 minutes very nearly makes up for the preceding 105, featuring as it does the jaw-dropping spectacle of the entire Jedi Council battling it out with not only clones, but also lumbering monsters, space ships of all sorts, and each other.
  31. 40
    Without the mythical power or giddy adventurousness of the first two Star Wars movies, the impact is strangely numbing, like watching a two-and-a-half-hour ILM show reel in search of moneyed investors.
  32. It is not really much of a movie at all, if by movie you mean a work of visual storytelling about the dramatic actions of a group of interesting characters.
  33. There's nothing to stir us, no scene to savor for life -- such as the father-son battle between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in "The Empire Strikes Back." Back then, we were watching a classic, still the best film in the series. This time, we're watching just another "Star Wars" flick.
  34. Though the look aspires as usual to be both otherworldly and familiar, there's nothing that doesn't reek of southern California (as opposed to Hollywood) plastic, and this is as true of the characters as the decor.
  35. Watching Attack of the Clones is like getting rapped on the head with a rubber mallet -- no lasting damage (I pray and hope), but bad enough to bring on an acute bout of dizziness and disorientation. Definitely do not operate heavy machinery after viewing -- this behemoth is brutal.
  36. There is an odd cognitive dissonance at work between the obvious ingenuity dedicated to the film's visual details -- alien anatomies, industrial machinery, technological minutiae -- and the retarded intelligence quotient evident in its content.
  37. For all its video-game bedazzlements, Attack of the Clones suffers from severe digital glut, periodically relieved, if you can call it that, by amateur theatrics.
  38. 20
    I can't remember ever feeling so glad that a movie was finally over. Lucas may have held my imagination hostage for two hours, but reclaiming it afterward wasn't hard at all.
  39. It's too long, it's too dull, it's too lame.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 501 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 64 out of 226
  1. Sep 24, 2011
    George Lucas, similar to "The Phantom Menace", doesn't really give anything except for a high quality CGI battle in "Attack of the Clones".
  2. Apr 25, 2013
    Even with the reduced Jar-Jar Binks screen time, Lucas' grueling, emo space opera some how achieves the dubious achievement of being worse than 'The Phantom Menace'. Even Though episode 1 was a bad movie, it contained a couple entertaining scenes e.g. The Pod race and The final duel. Episode 2 has the infuriating dilemma of having absolutely no engaging, memorable or even slightly entertaining scenes. Even the Yoda light saber scene reeks of desperate fan pleasing Full Review »
  3. Mar 19, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. The locations are memorable and interesting; the craggy canyons of Geonosis and the torrential storms of Kamino were immediately imprinted in my head when I first saw them. The CGI strengthens the film-the action sequences look amazing, from the speeder chase at the film's beginning, to the ending confrontation between the Jedi and Count Dooku. Seeing Yoda finally whip out his lightsaber and fight was very exciting. I don't get why people complain about him jumping around during the fight, though; such acrobatics show an interesting contrast between Yoda's age, and his actual power in the Force, and skill in lightsaber combat. No one would expect a 874-year-old green troll to have such mobility. Each of the planets is a representation of what is happening on the planet. Coruscant is shrouded in fog, Kamino is shrouded in mystery, and Geonosis is shrouded in violence; each is part of the shroud of the dark side that is ever-present in the film-in one of the main characters, and in the events that move the story along. I liked the characters of Obi-Wan, Padmé, and Anakin, as well as each of the conflicts and struggles they faced in the film. Again, I didn't get the accusations of "wooden" acting and "boring" characters. When watching the film, I believed that the characters were the characters, not actors playing characters. Lucas delivered another good screenplay, with some help from Jonathan Hales, and the politics-as well as the machinations of the Sith, and the slow erosion of the Republic-are fantastically done. Not only that, but the characters are believable and realistic for the situations they are placed in. The romance between Anakin and Padmé has been ridiculed for being "cheesy" and "clichéd," but I think the moments and dialogue between them are perfect for their situation, as well as the universe that they live in. Besides, I love a romance between "star-crossed" lovers. Star Wars: Episode II: Attack of the Clones is a wonderfully-done film, and it is certainly worth your time to watch the second episode of the Star Wars saga. Full Review »