|Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation | Release Date: May 21, 1980||CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION|
It is expansive but more tightly time-framed in terms of plot. I wish it were a handful of minutes shorter, but this is my single caveat about another richly imaginative, engrossing and spectacular motion picture from the redoubtable George Lucas. [18 May 1980]
The best of three Star Wars films, and the most thought-provoking. After the space opera cheerfulness of the original film, this one plunges into darkness and even despair, and surrenders more completely to the underlying mystery of the story. It is because of the emotions stirred in Empire that the entire series takes on a mythic quality that resonates back to the first and ahead to the third. This is the heart. Read full review
The balance between action and mysticism in The Empire Strikes Back provides fascinating energy. It's as if the kids are given one set of delights, the bravado of battles and elaborate warships zooming through exotic space, and adults are given another, a layered explanation of what it all means in the grand scheme of things. [Special Edition] Read full review
It balances bloodshed with charm, spectacle with childlike glee. It's a near flawless movie of its kind.
Technical virtuosity and entertainment ingenuity.
A technological triumph. [19 May 1980]
Anyone planning to see The Empire Strikes Back should be warned right away that it is done as a two-hour chapter and ends in a cliffhanger, which is likely to leave an unsatisfied feeling, unlike “Star Wars,” which can be taken as a self-contained unit. This acknowledged, the movie nevertheless is a spectacular piece of work that carries the new “Star Wars” tradition forward. Read full review
The Empire Strikes Back is not a truly terrible movie. It's a nice movie. It's not, by any means, as nice as "Star Wars." It's not as fresh and funny and surprising and witty, but it is nice and inoffensive and, in a way that no one associated with it need be ashamed of, it's also silly. Read full review
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