User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 975 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 50 out of 975

Where To Watch

Stream On

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling

User Reviews

  1. Jul 25, 2011
    10
    The best Star Wars movie! It takes a movie that seemed to have perfect characters with perfect interaction face reality as the movie took a turn towards the dark side(excuse the pun). We get the most memorable faces of the franchise. Darth Vader, Boba Fett, Han Solo, and even Yoda. This is where Star Wars went from being a fantasy story and became a story to be loved by those of all ages
  2. Sep 24, 2011
    9
    Simply the best Star Wars movie created in the franchise. "The Empire Strikes Back" focuses not only on the graphics, but also a deep, profound story that pertains ready in movie quotes. Bravo!!!
  3. Aug 9, 2011
    10
    This is one of the best films of all time. It's way darker than A New Hope and even more brilliant. Everything about it is genius. It's thought-provoking, too. Not to mention "The Scene" near the end.
  4. Sep 26, 2010
    9
    I have almost complete praise for this movie. I have to praise the wide variety of locations used in the movie,especially Hoth and The Degobah System. Yoda is more excitable than in the prequel trilogy which isn't necessarily a bad thing and C3PO produces some great one liners. This is a great movie.
  5. Apr 25, 2011
    10
    The best film in the star wars saga because it's filled with action and has one of the most shocking scenes ever when you know happens. Yoda is first met in this film the best Jedi of them all.
  6. Apr 7, 2012
    10
    This is easily the best science fiction film ever created and I can praise it to no end. The Empire Strikes Back is also one of those rare sequels that exceed the original in terms of excellence which is a testament to it's brilliance.
  7. Aug 30, 2010
    10
    Possibly the greatest science fiction film of all time, The Empire Strikes Back put the spirit of adventure and drama back into action movies. Watching it even now is still an incredible experience. I will admit that the acting may seem corny at times, but consider what the actors are working with. It's a space epic bigger than themselves, with characters that will be remembered for allPossibly the greatest science fiction film of all time, The Empire Strikes Back put the spirit of adventure and drama back into action movies. Watching it even now is still an incredible experience. I will admit that the acting may seem corny at times, but consider what the actors are working with. It's a space epic bigger than themselves, with characters that will be remembered for all time. 10/10 Expand
  8. Mar 4, 2011
    8
    Very good. I really liked the battles. The earth shattering truth about who Darth Vader was was the best part of the movie.
  9. Feb 8, 2012
    10
    Star Wars steps it up a notch in Episode V. This is a captivating piece of cinema, with some of the most iconic characters and movie moments that ever have been, and ever will be. Other movies have tried to tap into what made this film great, but the majority have failed. This is one of the most quotable movies ever. Simply flawless.
  10. Apr 14, 2013
    10
    Honestly the 78 rating is wrong. The Empire Strikes Back is the best film of one of the most iconic trilogies of all time. It took all of the good parts from its predecessor and added a darker element to it. It is fun to watch Luke grow in his quest to become a jedi and Han Solo remains one of the greatest supporting characters of all time. This is a great film. A must see!
  11. Jan 4, 2013
    10
    This is my opinion is the best Star wars film. Not once did i ever myself bored, this film carries the story in an great direction. This film also creates and continues to develop some of the best characters seen in any star wars films.
  12. Jun 6, 2014
    10
    not only is "The Empire Strikes Back" the best Star Wars movie ever made, but it's also one of the greatest movies ever made! it has everything what made the original Star Wars a huge phenomenon, improving the first movie in every single way. like special effects are better here, the stakes are a lot higher, the characters are fantastic with perfect development and the story was absolutelynot only is "The Empire Strikes Back" the best Star Wars movie ever made, but it's also one of the greatest movies ever made! it has everything what made the original Star Wars a huge phenomenon, improving the first movie in every single way. like special effects are better here, the stakes are a lot higher, the characters are fantastic with perfect development and the story was absolutely top-notch! Darth Vader, Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Boba Fett, Yoda, C3PO, R2D2, every single character in this movie are phenomenal! i loved it when i was kid, i still love it today Expand
  13. Nov 18, 2013
    10
    The perfect sequel to a perfect film. Empire Strikes Back is narrowly the best star wars film, behind it's predecessor. The characters are incredible, none overplayed nor underplayed. This film really set the standard for what a sequel to a great movie should be like. It expanded on the star wars universe immensely, with lando calrissian, the ice planet of hoth, the swamps of dagobah andThe perfect sequel to a perfect film. Empire Strikes Back is narrowly the best star wars film, behind it's predecessor. The characters are incredible, none overplayed nor underplayed. This film really set the standard for what a sequel to a great movie should be like. It expanded on the star wars universe immensely, with lando calrissian, the ice planet of hoth, the swamps of dagobah and of course yoda make for the most quotable star wars film in the series. Luke finally harnesses his Jedi powers, which makes for his likability as a character much more involved.

    Perhaps the most compelling aspect of the film is that the good guys are actually challenged. No holes in convenient places in this film. And it doesn't inevitably end with the good guys on top, which films don't risk too often, however this film does it perfectly.

    Starting with a war and ending with a scene on a much smaller scale, the film is still enganging in the scenes that aren't packed with special effects.
    This film is the reason there were six films and not just an excellent first outing with a terrible sequel. Raising the bar for sequel standards even to this day.
    Expand
  14. Dec 19, 2013
    10
    one of the best films of all time, the best star wars film, amazes me that critics gave this a 78. definitely a master piece. darth vader is the best movie character of all time
  15. Dec 30, 2015
    10
    One of the famous sequels that's better than its predecessor, the Empire Strikes Back will excite you with dark, eye-popping moments that I'm totally running out of words to say.
  16. Aug 14, 2013
    10
    The Empire Strikes Back is an amazing film. It has likeable characters and engaging story and is topped off by a fantastic presentation consisting of a great score and special effects that still hold up flawlessly even thirty years later. Not only that but it surpasses the original creating one of those rare sequels that is better than the first one and is the best of the franchise. On topThe Empire Strikes Back is an amazing film. It has likeable characters and engaging story and is topped off by a fantastic presentation consisting of a great score and special effects that still hold up flawlessly even thirty years later. Not only that but it surpasses the original creating one of those rare sequels that is better than the first one and is the best of the franchise. On top of that this is one of those rare films that I have no problems with at all. My only gripes are the changes made in later versions of the film but those I can easily overlook. Alterations aside this is pretty much a perfect film that I have no problems with making this not only my favorite Star Wars movie but one of my favorite films of all time. I’ve watched the movie dozens of times and I am probably going to keep watching it for many years to come. Expand
  17. Dec 16, 2015
    10
    The Empire Strikes Back is better than its predecessor in every way. This sequel (and one of the best ever made) brings tension (something missing from Star Wars) with a great story supported by an even better script which is perfectly executed, with fantastic cinematography and arguably an even greater score (by John Williams) than the predecessor. The Empire Strikes Back is the essentialThe Empire Strikes Back is better than its predecessor in every way. This sequel (and one of the best ever made) brings tension (something missing from Star Wars) with a great story supported by an even better script which is perfectly executed, with fantastic cinematography and arguably an even greater score (by John Williams) than the predecessor. The Empire Strikes Back is the essential Star Wars film. Expand
  18. Sep 1, 2015
    9
    Very well written and the purest of value in the story. A well-made and well though out adventure into something we've never seen before, a sequel that does everything right in the opposite form in that of the original.
  19. Jan 7, 2012
    10
    One of the few sequels that surpasses the original in every way, Empire Strikes Back is one of the closest examples to a perfect film that there is, and anyone who disagrees is either an imbecile or (and most likely this) has formed a biased opinion that Star Wars is a nerd series that they are above (so an imbecile).
  20. Aug 18, 2012
    10
    One of the best films ever made. Taking the directors chair out from under Lucas allowed Kershner to craft this film into a masterpiece of cinema. Focusing not only on effects, the story is deep, dark, and profound. The standard 'hero always wins' ending is omitted and replaced with a realistic and logical progression to one of the great epics ever created.
  21. Apr 3, 2012
    10
    Le mejor de todas. Es dificil lograr superar a la anterior y The Empire Strikes Back logra mejorar en todos los aspectos posibles. Es mas detallada, mas elaborada, con una historia mas definida y con una mejor personificacion de los personajes. La escena de el final es simplemente la mejor escena de la ciencia ficcion. La mejor pelicula de ciencia ficcion que he visto en toda mi vida!
  22. Jul 12, 2012
    10
    My favorite of all the Star Wars movies. Full of unexpected twists and epic battle scenes. This is that rare sequel that exceeds, if not improves on, the standards of its predecessor.
  23. Aug 1, 2012
    10
    Still one of the best movies ever made, even though the original is better. The only complaint I could have is that Luke is not whiny enough and the Dagobah scenes are kinda boring, but overall an extremely good movie.
  24. Dec 4, 2012
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is one of those rare occurrences where the sequel to a movie surpasses the original. Once again we have great visuals, a great musical score by John Williams, great Actors and Actresses, a great story and great directing. I remember as a kid talking about how shocked we were that Darth Vader claimed to be Luke's father for years... A very dark movie with a cliffhanger that made you wait in anticipation to see the next Star Wars movie. Between the Yoda puppet voiced by Frank Oz was far superior to the CGI Yoda in the prequels imo (except for the Yoda fight scene was great which would have been difficult to do with the puppet). Expand
  25. Dec 6, 2013
    9
    This is hailed as the best work of science fiction out there, if not the best ever. Star Wars becomes a more serious franchise with this instalment. Some time seems to have passed during which Han Solo and Luke Skywalker have grown as thick as thieves. They now look out for each other more fiercely.

    The conflict escalates as the empire assaults the rebels' new base, forcing them to
    This is hailed as the best work of science fiction out there, if not the best ever. Star Wars becomes a more serious franchise with this instalment. Some time seems to have passed during which Han Solo and Luke Skywalker have grown as thick as thieves. They now look out for each other more fiercely.

    The conflict escalates as the empire assaults the rebels' new base, forcing them to flee. Luke along with his trusted squadron must engage the enemy while the civilians make their escape. A battle ensues in which Luke outsmarts several adversaries and then escapes himself. In the disorder, the three main characters are separated from the rest, and from each other. Luke embarks on a journey to learn to become a Jedi knight, an ancient order of knights that was mainly destroyed but still has one member from whom Luke must learn the trade. Darth Vader chases Leia and Han across the galaxy, anticipating their every move. Han and Leia, pursued by the Empire, seek to hide in an unusual place.

    We are introduced to a new character called Yoda, who teaches Luke everything he can to help him fulfil his destiny. We are also shown for the first time the face of the Emperor. A new city is introduced into the story that gets by on mining. It is there the climax of the movie takes place. A duel between our primary protagonist and antagonist takes place, culminating in a line of dialogue that has since its uttering fascinated fans for decades.

    Most of the alien creatures are in costume or mechanical, and are jittery at times. But the visual effects and set design seemed to improve the nearer we got to the end, especially when we get to see the Cloud City.

    Some of the elements distracted me from the story and prevented me from taking the movie seriously. All planets have atmospheres that humans, and every other being there is, can breathe in. Even in space, you can do without a helmet and suit but put on an oxygen mask just to be on the safe side. Mynocks, and one other creature, can live in outer space without the need for respiration. Lucas makes no attempt to show how this could be happening. His disdain for science becomes more apparent. At one point Luke lands on a planet that has snakes and lizards. If Star Wars takes place in a separate galaxy from the one Earth is in, how could our animals be a part of the ecosystem of this alien planet? Lucas should have stuck with his imaginary alien animals, no matter how ridiculous they looked, for the inclusion of earthly animals made me rethink the intro about this story taking place in some other galaxy.

    But you have to ignore serious debate about science fiction if you are to enjoy this film. Take it as you would any fantasy film. As this film expands upon the mythology of the franchise, it becomes clear that that is where Lucas had intended for us to take our thoughts, even if we are to swallow the whole notion of the Jedi and their supernatural abilities associated with the Force. The Force is a mysterious entity that often takes sides in a conflict and bestows power upon worthy individuals from time to time, but I can be wrong. Because there is Darth Vader to consider. Only Lucas would know the full answer, and he has chosen to use sparing words in order to keep the aura of mystery around it.

    The Empire Strikes Back is the most lauded instalment in the series, and rightly so. It has inspired and influenced many other works in the genre. For that reason it would forever remain in the minds of movie lovers. But if one is to consider it independent of its impact, and choose to scrutinize it with an eye to its value as a piece of art, it falls short in my opinion. Serious work involving logic and reason would always fascinate me more than an adventure tale where the story develops as you go along, and science can be sacrificed at every other turn for the benefit of entertainment.
    Expand
  26. Mar 8, 2013
    10
    The best Star Wars. Harrison Ford is great in this movie. The story, lightsaber battle, dialogue, special effects, and characters are all awesome. Review is done but i needed to more characters to post it.
  27. Dec 24, 2015
    9
    After getting absorbed into the world of Star Wars thanks to memorable characters and set pieces, "The Empire Strikes Back", delivers in almost every way possible. While the "Star Wars" was honestly nothing much more than pure fun, this one told a dark and intriguing story that really threw its characters for a loop. Since we've pretty much grown to love these characters, the turmoil theyAfter getting absorbed into the world of Star Wars thanks to memorable characters and set pieces, "The Empire Strikes Back", delivers in almost every way possible. While the "Star Wars" was honestly nothing much more than pure fun, this one told a dark and intriguing story that really threw its characters for a loop. Since we've pretty much grown to love these characters, the turmoil they face really drives a strong emotional connection that the last one didn't necessarily have. It even digs deeper into the mythos of the force. However, I felt I didn't get enough of it. I wished the second act was much more broad like its first and third acts. It could have added another 30 minutes for all I cared. And really, that's my only biggest gripe. This movie delivers in a way that was never seen before. By putting its characters at stake and giving the story more grit it made for a gripping Star Wars experience. I give "The Empire Strikes Back" an A! Expand
  28. Sep 5, 2014
    10
    Now, this is a classic movie. This is very rightly regarded as Star Wars' finest hour (um, two). Luke maturing, Obi-Wan proving wisdom's transcendence of the life-death barrier, even more thrilling action than its predecessor, not to mention The Big Reveal ... wow. Just, wow. I had to rethink the first movie a little bit before arriving on my 8/10 for it, but with 'Empire'? No compunctionNow, this is a classic movie. This is very rightly regarded as Star Wars' finest hour (um, two). Luke maturing, Obi-Wan proving wisdom's transcendence of the life-death barrier, even more thrilling action than its predecessor, not to mention The Big Reveal ... wow. Just, wow. I had to rethink the first movie a little bit before arriving on my 8/10 for it, but with 'Empire'? No compunction about the 10. Expand
  29. Sep 30, 2014
    10
    Much darker and grander than the original Star Wars, Empire succeeds in toppings its predecessor and creating a satisfying spectacle for all time while showing more character development.
  30. Oct 21, 2014
    10
    I'm not one to hang out 10's or perfect scores to any movie I like. In fact, I can't think of more than two or three movies that deserve a perfect score. Out of those three none is as deserving as Empire Strikes Back.

    The movie is perfection, there's nothing else to say about it.
  31. Oct 18, 2014
    10
    Three years after the events of "Star Wars," Imperial forces continue to pursue the Rebels. After the Rebellion?s defeat on the ice planet Hoth, Luke journeys to the planet Dagobah to train with Jedi Master Yoda, who has lived in hiding since the fall of the Republic. In an attempt to convert Luke to the dark side, Darth Vader lures young Skywalker into a trap in the Cloud City of Bespin.Three years after the events of "Star Wars," Imperial forces continue to pursue the Rebels. After the Rebellion?s defeat on the ice planet Hoth, Luke journeys to the planet Dagobah to train with Jedi Master Yoda, who has lived in hiding since the fall of the Republic. In an attempt to convert Luke to the dark side, Darth Vader lures young Skywalker into a trap in the Cloud City of Bespin. In the midst of a fierce lightsaber duel with the Sith Lord, Luke faces a startling revelation. Expand
  32. Mar 11, 2015
    10
    A darker, more mature, and more sophisticated Star Wars than the original. That doesn't necessarily make it a better film, as much of the freshness is gone and stripping Empire of its major revelation that is forever engraved in pop culture hurts its overall impact that it had back when it was released. It's still a fantastic movie and continues the Star Wars saga.
  33. Jan 3, 2016
    10
    It is hard to believe this movie was made in 1980. The special effects were amazing for the time and plot even better. This is the best Star Wars movie in the series.
  34. Sep 9, 2015
    9
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. By far the greatest sic-fi movie ever! The revelation that Darth Vader is Luke's father is epic, and the battle sequences are amazing considering it was made in the 1980s. And Bobba Fett is awesome! Expand
  35. Dec 19, 2015
    9
    "A new hope" was a great movie but this one surpasses it. It's not only the best in the original trilogy, it's the best Star Wars movie full stop. There is more focus on character development, the storyline is fast-paced and intriguing and we are introduced to the best of the Jedi-Yoda! Plus of course, the most epic plot twist in movie history. In short, this is an amazing film with"A new hope" was a great movie but this one surpasses it. It's not only the best in the original trilogy, it's the best Star Wars movie full stop. There is more focus on character development, the storyline is fast-paced and intriguing and we are introduced to the best of the Jedi-Yoda! Plus of course, the most epic plot twist in movie history. In short, this is an amazing film with memorable quotes, more great characters and a great villain. Great movie. Expand
  36. Jan 30, 2012
    10
    The twist at the end almost makes me wish that I was older when I first watched this. Maybe it would have impacted me more? But then I think, "it is mandatory for all children to see the Star Wars films". And I certainly wont be denying my future children the opportunity to see them just so they can "understand" them better. While I enjoyed all 6 (yes, ALL 6 films), I think that I'veThe twist at the end almost makes me wish that I was older when I first watched this. Maybe it would have impacted me more? But then I think, "it is mandatory for all children to see the Star Wars films". And I certainly wont be denying my future children the opportunity to see them just so they can "understand" them better. While I enjoyed all 6 (yes, ALL 6 films), I think that I've determined this one to be my favourite. When I first saw it at age 6 or 7, there was a point late in the film where I was terrified of what might come next... The film had such an impact on me, that I didn't watch it again for quite a while. This is a good thing. And yes, I kind of contradicted myself with the whole "impact" thing... but that's what Star Wars will do to you. Expand
  37. Oct 26, 2012
    10
    the best star wars movie of all time with a fantastic ending yeah!!!! but one thing is very akward in this movie, leia........why you kissed your brother???
  38. May 28, 2012
    10
    I don't consider it to be the best Star Wars but it is still among the best in the sci-fi genre. This Star Wars presents a lot of unanswered questions that are answered in episode VI. Its a ton of fun to watch.
  39. Dec 16, 2015
    10
    There is almost nothing I can say that hasn't been said before about 'Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back', it is a great sequel, and the best "Star Wars" movie of all time.

    The sequel is known for being darker and more personal than "A New Hope" (1977). This is a more character-driven installment than the previous movie, but still contains the non-stop high energy fun that we remember.
    There is almost nothing I can say that hasn't been said before about 'Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back', it is a great sequel, and the best "Star Wars" movie of all time.

    The sequel is known for being darker and more personal than "A New Hope" (1977). This is a more character-driven installment than the previous movie, but still contains the non-stop high energy fun that we remember.

    We see our young hero Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) return after destroying the death star in the previous movie. Little does he know that he has become the victim of the evil Darth Vader's (voiced by James Earl Jones) vicious plan as he has become obsessed with finding him. Luke travels far along to meet up with a master Yoda (Frank Oz) as he trains to become a true Jedi and stop Vader at his tracks.

    Meanwhile, Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford) attempt to hide in an asteroid field inside Han's Millennium Falcon which is where we see the romantic relationship between Han and Leia growing.

    During Luke's journey to becoming a true Jedi and attempting to stop Vader at his tracks, Vader lets Luke realize why he is so important to him, in a plot point that would count as a spoiler still, but by this time, you'd know what information that is. Luke then tries to escape Vader at every turn, but no matter what happens, something will always draw him back.

    This movie, like I said above, is more character driven than the original, it is also a little bit slower in pace than the original, but you are engaged more than ever simply because there seems to be more at risk here.

    The characters show more emotion and the drama rises, the special effects also improve slightly, offering a dizzying, albeit, electrifying visual experience for anyone who is a fan of complex filmmaking.

    All in all, 'Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back' truly is a sequel to end all sequels, and one cannot help but wonder what other adventure we will see these characters get up to, next.
    Expand
  40. Nov 2, 2010
    10
    great follow up to A New Hope.
  41. Nov 12, 2012
    9
    This is the best Star Wars film. It is more thought-provoking and the characters are more developed. There are also good sub plots; it doesn't just focus on telling a story.
  42. raVen
    Aug 16, 2004
    9
    Remember what it was like when George Lucas was trying to make movies, not money? ...Long, long ago... in a galaxy far, far away....
  43. MarkS.
    Jul 5, 2006
    10
    See, this is a perfect example of why you should always be wary of trusting critics. This is not arguably the best Star Wars film, it just is. One of the best films of all time. The fact that the first is rated so much higher is disgusting. Very few films truly deserve a 10. This is one of them.
  44. NA
    Sep 27, 2006
    10
    Best Star Wars of the whole series. Action packed from begining to end, very dark, and extremely unpredictable. I mean, there are very few people in the USA who don't know what "I am your father" means. Great battle at Hoth and really great chase in the asteroid scene. A perfect 10, Star Wars at its finest
  45. ChristopherE
    May 8, 2009
    9
    The greatest sci-fi movie of all time, and proof of how great Star Wars can be when George Lucas takes a step back.
  46. PaulM.
    Jun 5, 2004
    10
    The greatest Star Wars movie and arguably the greatest Sci-Fi movie of all time.
  47. DaveC.
    Jul 14, 2004
    10
    Sure, I know they're not "respectable" films and mayube it's just a sentimental thing with me but I'll be damned if I don't love these films and this one is the best of the bunch. Featuring more mind-blowing effects, more suspense and a more engaging story than the original, the Empire Strikes Back is terrific entertainment, a true example of creativity and imagination Sure, I know they're not "respectable" films and mayube it's just a sentimental thing with me but I'll be damned if I don't love these films and this one is the best of the bunch. Featuring more mind-blowing effects, more suspense and a more engaging story than the original, the Empire Strikes Back is terrific entertainment, a true example of creativity and imagination triumphing over a collection of b-movie and Saturday morninig TV show influences. Expand
  48. YoonC.
    Sep 26, 2004
    7
    Star wars series has some grand ideas and stunning visual designs. unfortunately, it has mainly catered to kids, and so the mythic material has been carbonated and sweetened into sodapop. empire has often been praised as the best in the series because of its emphasis on characters and story, and its foreboding of darkness and doom. while this is true, it also highlights the limitations of Star wars series has some grand ideas and stunning visual designs. unfortunately, it has mainly catered to kids, and so the mythic material has been carbonated and sweetened into sodapop. empire has often been praised as the best in the series because of its emphasis on characters and story, and its foreboding of darkness and doom. while this is true, it also highlights the limitations of the enterprise, for the main body of the movie is still kiddie happymeal. i dunno know, but i'd rather take pop as pop and shakespeare as shakespeare. when you strip apart and reassemble the world's myths, religions, and glories in art, literature, and cinema in the service of what is essentially a kiddie flick, the result is more than a little unclean. it's like 'arch deluxe', a misconception if there ever was one. eat gourmet or buy a bigmac but don't try to mix the two. considering THX 1138 and lucas's script of Apocalypse Now and the mythic scope of Star Wars, there's no question that lucas could have given us a genuinely astounding modern sci-fi myth. however, empire strikes back isn't such. that lucas opted for half-seriousness exhibits not so much integrity as timidity in the face of economics. not that i blame him as the public rejected THX 1138. Expand
  49. RD.
    Sep 1, 2007
    9
    Very good Star Wars movie. But falls short of the origin al by a few steps. however, special effects are excellent.
  50. MarkK
    Jan 9, 2009
    10
    Whoa! What's with all the low scores? This is a timeless classic and definitely the best of the original trilogy.
  51. jackb
    Jul 5, 2009
    10
    What is wrong with these critics? a 78? Empire strikes back is easily one of the greatest movies ever made and almost universally agreed as THE best Star Wars movie 10 out of 10.
  52. NicolasE
    Oct 15, 2004
    10
    The best of all the star wars films. It is a revolutionary film by the fact of its ever interesting and mind initiating storyline. It adds new characters that give the story depth as they provoke much further development on the main characters and the seriousness of the story. Lastly the special effects are unmatched. This what i call a flawless masterpiece.
  53. BitBurn
    Oct 8, 2004
    10
    My all-time favorite of the Star Wars package, so far! Dark, mysterious, marvelous!
  54. RichardV.
    Apr 8, 2005
    10
    Awesome.
  55. PaulM
    May 22, 2005
    9
    Was surprised (after reading some of the press reviews ) that I infact did enjoy this final Starwars film, alot. Darker than all the previous 5 films, and I'd rank this one along side the original and just a bit below Empire Strikes Back. It
  56. TF
    May 27, 2005
    10
    Excellent.
  57. DannyS
    Oct 10, 2007
    10
    The Empire Strikes Back truly was a masterpeice. Not only was it a necessary film for the trilogy, but it was (in my opinion) the episode that brought out that "star wars feel" more than any of the other 5 films. It displayed the truth power and nature of the dark side, and also the importance of the light side. With Yoda's teachings, came knowledge of the light side. With Vaders The Empire Strikes Back truly was a masterpeice. Not only was it a necessary film for the trilogy, but it was (in my opinion) the episode that brought out that "star wars feel" more than any of the other 5 films. It displayed the truth power and nature of the dark side, and also the importance of the light side. With Yoda's teachings, came knowledge of the light side. With Vaders presence (and lukes duel with him), we truly grasped an understanding of the Dark Side. I feel that this movie, as well as Revenge of the Sith, were the only two movies that taught us of "The nature of the dark side." Along with all of these revelations, came a storyline of unparalleled beauty. The chemistry of this movie is amazing and the characters' performances shall go down in history. I give this movie a 10/10. Thank you again George Lucas and Metacritic. Expand
  58. CoryB.
    Mar 15, 2007
    8
    Empire Strikes Back is a great movie, very much more involving and more mature than the last one, however the Degobah scenes get a little boring.
  59. JohnW
    Mar 31, 2007
    9
    The line "No, I am your Father" by Darth Vader was the greatest twist that nobody saw coming of any movie ever that is remembered. Sure other movies have twists but they get forgotten. Also it was a twist that made you wait three years till Yoda answered it in Return of the Jedi. Best cliffhanger ever. Many of us thought Vader was lying. A classic in it's own special way, with the The line "No, I am your Father" by Darth Vader was the greatest twist that nobody saw coming of any movie ever that is remembered. Sure other movies have twists but they get forgotten. Also it was a twist that made you wait three years till Yoda answered it in Return of the Jedi. Best cliffhanger ever. Many of us thought Vader was lying. A classic in it's own special way, with the best plot of all six movies. Expand
  60. MacM
    Feb 3, 2008
    10
    This is Star Wars! An shining example of the best in Sci-fi/Fantasy film-making..A quite immersive film experience with lots of depth and feeling. You can really feel the danger that the Empire poses to the Rebellion here. George Lucas's saga definitely benefited from the screenplay and direction being outsourced..John Williams's score is superb and flows perfectly with the This is Star Wars! An shining example of the best in Sci-fi/Fantasy film-making..A quite immersive film experience with lots of depth and feeling. You can really feel the danger that the Empire poses to the Rebellion here. George Lucas's saga definitely benefited from the screenplay and direction being outsourced..John Williams's score is superb and flows perfectly with the on-screen action. A wonderful film that is both fascinating and delightful. The trilogy is so legendary mainly from the strength of this film. The saga started to go downhill in Return of the Jedi, though that film still had some strong scenes. Expand
  61. AndrewM.
    Jun 24, 2004
    10
    I find Paul M's comment hard to argue with...this is probably the best of the Star Wars trilogy (the first three) but the first was something special also. This is truly amazing filmmaking, obviously a labour of love and an impeccably planned project. Three years had passed since Star Wars' release, but the end of that film and the start of this one blend so seamlessly it's I find Paul M's comment hard to argue with...this is probably the best of the Star Wars trilogy (the first three) but the first was something special also. This is truly amazing filmmaking, obviously a labour of love and an impeccably planned project. Three years had passed since Star Wars' release, but the end of that film and the start of this one blend so seamlessly it's as though the cast and crew had never left work at all! Maybe they hadn't... Anyway, this is the pinnacle of sci-fi adventure stories, bona-fide fantasy, and it exudes a perfect understanding of what the silver screen is all about. There are plenty more acclamations that I can mention, but this will suffice for all: just go see it! Expand
  62. mikek
    May 27, 2009
    10
    My favorite movie of all time and by far the best star wars film..the darkness is intense in this ..the characters are acted amazingly. the sets are unmistakable by any fan ..the snow battle on hoth is legendary and the final minutes between vader and luke are timeless....a must see for anyone with a little sense of that theirs more out their.
  63. MBM
    Jun 25, 2009
    10
    This film is a near masterpiece, it refuses to age and is capable of giving the most cynical viewer goosebumps if they give it a chance. It is a film that transcends genres, it's more than a kid's sci-fi yarn. For starters Kasdan's script is beautiful and makes the characters so much more than two dimentional cutouts. The look of the film is visual ambrosia from start to This film is a near masterpiece, it refuses to age and is capable of giving the most cynical viewer goosebumps if they give it a chance. It is a film that transcends genres, it's more than a kid's sci-fi yarn. For starters Kasdan's script is beautiful and makes the characters so much more than two dimentional cutouts. The look of the film is visual ambrosia from start to finish, especially the Bespin section of the film. The story evolves to mythological proportions. Mark Hamill's contribution is often underrated, his interaction with Frank Oz's Yoda helps give the puppet a heartbeat that the prequel version can't get close to. Of course John Williams tops it all of with a perfect moving score. In short, If you've ever wondered what the fuss is about the Star Wars franchise, all you need to do is watch this. On a personal note it is my all time favourite film, there is a time for Orsen Welles and Kirosawa, but there's always time for Empire. Expand
  64. MarkJ.
    Nov 16, 2008
    10
    I laugh at the low critics reviews for this movie. Even if they skipped the first one and had no idea what was going on, it would still be one of the best most complete sci-fi movies of all time. Think about the impact that Star Wars has made throughout the world. Almost everyone in every modern society knows about Luke Skywalker and his quest to understand the force, in order to save his I laugh at the low critics reviews for this movie. Even if they skipped the first one and had no idea what was going on, it would still be one of the best most complete sci-fi movies of all time. Think about the impact that Star Wars has made throughout the world. Almost everyone in every modern society knows about Luke Skywalker and his quest to understand the force, in order to save his family, friends, and without realizing it the galaxy. The environments, the vehicles, and the nature of rebellion are all impressive.... Most impressive! Expand
  65. Nov 21, 2011
    9
    Its just as good as the first film imo. Far more action as well and a lot of classic scenes. The acting has improved quite a bit as well. However there are a few boring scenes and it can make you lose interest through out the film.
  66. Mar 19, 2011
    9
    A great way to follow episode IV, it's enjoyable to watch and will keep you hooked, while it's not as good as the first it's still fantastic, a must watch.
  67. Nov 20, 2015
    10
    Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back is arguably the best film in the franchise. The plot is deeper, the tone is darker and the characters are more fleshed out. Not much more to say beyond that. I've seen this classic film many times. I will see it many times more, I think. That is the mark of a truly great movie!
  68. Dec 9, 2011
    9
    Without doubt, the best Star Wars film, which takes the struggles with the Empire now to a snow-laden planet, where we are bombared with thrilling action and further character development. The light-saber battle with Lord Vader at the end is epic, and it is a film that will leave you craving for the next development in the world of Star Wars.
  69. Jun 9, 2013
    8
    IMO Not as good as A New Hope but it's far darker and a lot more enjoyable imo. It's pretty rare to see a sequel live up to the greatness of the first film but Empire Strikes Back does that and more. I liked it.
  70. Aug 28, 2014
    8
    One of the most thought provoking films of the entire saga, The Empire Strikes Back twice as hard in this second installment and truly solidifies Star Wars place in film history.
  71. Oct 31, 2012
    9
    Simply put, the best Star Wars film in the franchise. As the title states, after the defeat of the Empire in A New Hope, they return to try to retake the galaxy from the Rebellion. With some epic battle scenes, great CGI and some amazing plot twists The Empire Strikes back is the ultimate family Sci-fi film.
  72. Feb 5, 2015
    10
    A far darker, more mature Star Wars. That 10/10 applies only to the theatrical version. Everything this film does works and works perfectly. I have nothing bad to say about its original form. The various Special Editions are still excellent, but I would rate them in the area of 8.5-9/10, with issues mostly being dialogue changes. See this film in any form, but the 1980 theatrical versionA far darker, more mature Star Wars. That 10/10 applies only to the theatrical version. Everything this film does works and works perfectly. I have nothing bad to say about its original form. The various Special Editions are still excellent, but I would rate them in the area of 8.5-9/10, with issues mostly being dialogue changes. See this film in any form, but the 1980 theatrical version is a must-see. Expand
  73. Jun 9, 2015
    8
    A major improvement from the first film, it appears as though the actors went to acting school in between filming, because the acting is much better. The cheesy dialogue and terrible choreography of the first film are also gone (though choreography is still not great, but still far from bad now). The special effects are also really good yet again, as is the score. As for the direction, itA major improvement from the first film, it appears as though the actors went to acting school in between filming, because the acting is much better. The cheesy dialogue and terrible choreography of the first film are also gone (though choreography is still not great, but still far from bad now). The special effects are also really good yet again, as is the score. As for the direction, it is much better in the sequel than in the original, as the story told here (though it suffers from middle story issues of course) is much, much better. It is far more involved and far more interesting. The religious undertones are also ramped up a couple notches in this one, which is very interesting. The writing of the characters was also much better. I still loved R2-D2 and C-3PO, but finally started to like Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia, and Chewbacca. Darth Vader also continues to be a great character and the introduction of Yoda in this one is a hugely positive addition. Overall, The Empire Strikes Back is leagues better than A New Hope as it corrects the problems of the first and continues to excel in the areas in which the first was successful. Expand
  74. May 26, 2014
    8
    Some consider this to be the best of the saga and it is very hard to disagree. Empire Strikes Back is witty, contains great action for its time and in overall was a huge leap in film making.
  75. Oct 2, 2015
    8
    Clearly one of cinema's classics, "The Empire Strikes Back" sets a standard for second-part folk films that numerous other franchises would attempt to recreate. It adds to and nuances its predecessor's world and characters, whilst also delivering one of cinema's greatest twists. Truly a filmic triumph.
  76. Dec 4, 2012
    10
    My absolute favorite movie of all-time. There's nothing I could say here to do this film justice in what it meant to me and how much I enjoyed it. Not because it's dark and foreboding. Not because of the cliche-breaking ending. Because of the aesthetics. Because of the atmosphere. Because ... everything.
  77. Sep 2, 2013
    7
    I was expecting more from the next Star Wars installment but I must say I thought Episode IV was better. It never really grabbed my attention until the very end with that memorable scene with Luke & Darth, but the rest of the film seemed like a bit of a blur. I still see where the appeal comes from, but I still think Episode IV did it better. I did enjoy the addition of Yoda, but itI was expecting more from the next Star Wars installment but I must say I thought Episode IV was better. It never really grabbed my attention until the very end with that memorable scene with Luke & Darth, but the rest of the film seemed like a bit of a blur. I still see where the appeal comes from, but I still think Episode IV did it better. I did enjoy the addition of Yoda, but it needed a little more Action for me to enjoy it more, but we'll see if Episode VI can do that Expand
  78. Mar 28, 2013
    10
    How is this only a 78 metascore? Not only is this my favorite Star Wars movie but it is also what I consider to be the best sci-fi movie of all time. It climaxes the trilogy perfectly, it adds depth to the characters, there is a twist with Darth Vader, and Luke learns of his faults and how to overcome them. Star Wars IV A New Hope is an amazing movie, but so was this movie. It even holdsHow is this only a 78 metascore? Not only is this my favorite Star Wars movie but it is also what I consider to be the best sci-fi movie of all time. It climaxes the trilogy perfectly, it adds depth to the characters, there is a twist with Darth Vader, and Luke learns of his faults and how to overcome them. Star Wars IV A New Hope is an amazing movie, but so was this movie. It even holds a 97% on Rotten Tomatos while A New Hope only holds a 94%. This movie is on every Top 10 sci-fi lists out there. How can any critic hate this movie? If you haven't seen it already, stop reading my review and go watch it. Expand
  79. Dec 26, 2015
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The one with the most shocking and intesive scenes! Have you ever wondered who's Luke Skywalkers's father? Well... i believe someone already spoiled that to you before you even watched this movie! One of the only, but still big problems is AGAIN the boring and without any background music fight between Darth Vader and Luke! How can you put soundtrack on absolutely EVERYTHING else, except for the most anticipated fight in the universe? Overall this movie is superb, with great story line, decent acting and lovely characters! Expand
  80. Jan 3, 2016
    10
    The pinnacle of all Star Wars films. Empire is the film with the most substance, character development, and memorability. The opening sequence is one of the most spectacular in all of cinema. The bad guys get the upper hand, but this only fuels us to root more emotionally for our heroes.
  81. Jun 11, 2013
    10
    This is the best Star Wars film of all time, and the best sci-fi movie in history. This movie has the best story of all the star wars films. When i first watched this movie it made be an even bigger star wars fan than i am now.
  82. Jun 14, 2013
    9
    When I first watched this movie when I was a kid, it redefined how to dream and be imaginative. This is perhaps one of the greatest movies of all time.
  83. Jun 20, 2013
    10
    Star Wars introduces us to a universe and characters, The Empire Strikes Back takes us deeper into both. A daring and different sequel, Empire takes us on a journey. We see Luke train and grow while learning from Yoda and we see an entertaining and heartfelt, not sappy, romance between Leia and Han. It is a darker movie than the original, and it takes the characters to their limits.Star Wars introduces us to a universe and characters, The Empire Strikes Back takes us deeper into both. A daring and different sequel, Empire takes us on a journey. We see Luke train and grow while learning from Yoda and we see an entertaining and heartfelt, not sappy, romance between Leia and Han. It is a darker movie than the original, and it takes the characters to their limits. The acting is great and the movie does a great job of building a connection to the entire audience. C-3PO and R2-D2 once again bring some comic relief to the film and it is flawlessly interjected. This is the best of the franchise and one of the best movies of all time. Expand
  84. Jul 5, 2013
    10
    Darker than the first, and in this case, it works. "Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back" is dark, deep, and emotional that is stronger than the original, and it works very well. With a stellar ending and the memorable line "Luke, I am your father!", it's just great.
  85. Jul 15, 2013
    10
    This is the BEST of the Star Wars films and the BEST of the original trilogy. It is darker, but it is also the most well written, best acted, most thought driven entry with additional amazing music, visuals and tone that really sets the bar high for the series. The characters are really tested in this film and it really keeps you on the edge of your seat. A perfect and classic additionThis is the BEST of the Star Wars films and the BEST of the original trilogy. It is darker, but it is also the most well written, best acted, most thought driven entry with additional amazing music, visuals and tone that really sets the bar high for the series. The characters are really tested in this film and it really keeps you on the edge of your seat. A perfect and classic addition to the series. Expand
  86. Dec 11, 2015
    10
    One of the most successful, iconic, quoted, and beautifully made sci-fi continuation still holds up as a stunning adventure of both love and hope, that also's considerably deeper and much darker than the original.

    Some things are unnecessary to mention; like the effects, the music, the characters, the villain, the action-sequences and the ending. Because it's one of those aspects that
    One of the most successful, iconic, quoted, and beautifully made sci-fi continuation still holds up as a stunning adventure of both love and hope, that also's considerably deeper and much darker than the original.

    Some things are unnecessary to mention; like the effects, the music, the characters, the villain, the action-sequences and the ending. Because it's one of those aspects that are so perfectly done, and so artistic that I don't even need to mention them. What really matters is that this movie is incredible, and it really is one of the best ever made. It's a fun ride with funny and enjoyable characters, human as robots, in this galaxy far, far away. It's not just the humanitarian chemistry between Luke, Leia and Han; 3PO and R2 are the major players that keeps the movie going. It's not just a movie about wars, blasters and explosions; it's a spectacular story of love and emotions. The way the movie is done is so extraordinary, sure the practical effects are nothing to todays standards, but it's very well done by the time it was made. So don't you even dare to criticize the effects! It's stunning for its time!

    Sure it might got some minor plot-holes (if you even can call them that) and yes it's no avatar with stunning eye-popping effects. But we are spoiled with today and its great effects, and movies are not just about that. Star Wars is about love and many other things that I hope you will love and keep close to your heart. Yes, because this movie still holds up as one of the greatest ever made, and it keeps impress me on every level. Every time I see it.

    Personal Rating: 100/100
    Critical rating: 95/100
    Expand
  87. Aug 7, 2013
    10
    I love all of the settings of this movie and the mystery in it too. The light saber battle at the end is the best in the series. This is definitely the best Star Wars movie, and my favorite movie of all time!
  88. Apr 23, 2014
    9
    The Empire Strikes Back, the second Star Wars movie in chronological order, is almost as good as the original. Many sound bytes have been quoted from this one, and the cinematography and graphics are great here.
  89. Dec 14, 2015
    10
    After you get a successful movie like "Star Wars", what else is there to do? Well, make a sequel of course. This time, however, George Lucas became full-time head of Lucasfilm and could not find the time to shoot the sequel to his acclaimed first movie. As a result, director Irvin Kershner was brought on to replace Lucas and two new writers were also hired: Leigh Brackett & LawrenceAfter you get a successful movie like "Star Wars", what else is there to do? Well, make a sequel of course. This time, however, George Lucas became full-time head of Lucasfilm and could not find the time to shoot the sequel to his acclaimed first movie. As a result, director Irvin Kershner was brought on to replace Lucas and two new writers were also hired: Leigh Brackett & Lawrence Kasdan. The legend goes that Leigh wrote a good first draft of Lucas' story outline, but she unfortunately died in March of 1978 before the script could be finalized for production. This led to Lawrence Kasdan being brought on board to finish up the script and to give it a new approach, also without getting rid of all the material Leigh worked on.

    While Irvin Kershner had plenty of experience as a film maker, this ended up being the first movie Lawrence Kasdan ever wrote or worked on in general, and it just so happened to be a sequel to one of the most famous films of all time. So clearly, he and Kershner had a lot of pressure on their hands. How exactly do you top something as big as "Star Wars"? Well, somehow, Irvin & Lawrence not only managed to make a movie truly worthy of being a sequel to "Star Wars", but also a movie that completely tops it.

    The original "Star Wars" may have a few issues holding it back from being perfect, but "The Empire Strikes Back"? F*cking flawless. Most sequels are NOTORIOUS for being poorly written and only made just to make large amounts of money. While Empire did make a lot of money, it had one of the best screenplays ever written, and it's all thanks to Lawrence Kasdan, who would thankfully stick around for Empire's sequel, "Return of the Jedi" and also came back to write Jedi's sequel, "The Force Awakens".

    The writing is much darker and adds a lot more drama in the mix. Plus I'm sure Lawrence must not of had a difficult time writing this since all these characters were already established in the first movie. The story progresses in all the right ways. We see these characters continue to grow and they're not just thrown into this movie because, "Hey look! It's those characters from the first film, isn't that cool?" They all have a reason to be there and you're also just so glad to see them again.

    Han Solo and Princess Leia start a romance. Luke is told by the ghost of Obi-Wan to go to some random planet to learn the ways of the force from this "Yoda" character. Darth Vader, who had little screen time in the first movie (though he did make a good first impression), has this new obsession where he's hunting down Luke for some strange reason. Sadly, seeing how iconic this movie is, we all know why he is hunting for Luke. We all know what he wants from Luke. It's one of the biggest plot twists of all time, but if you're one of the few people on this planet who aren't aware of the big reveal, I'll let you watch the movie for yourself. I won't spoil it for you.

    Aside from previous characters returning, we also have new characters. We finally get a glimpse of The Emperor who was partially mentioned in the first movie. We meet Lando Calrissian and he's just as smooth and cool as Han Solo. Not to mention, Master Yoda is one of the greatest supporting characters ever brought on screen and he's a freaking muppet. You can tell he's a muppet, but somehow he's puppeteer-ed and voiced so perfectly that you believe he's a real living creature, and it's all thanks to the talents of Frank Oz with the help of Jim Henson's Creature Shop. Yoda's wisdom and his training scenes with Luke on Dagobah are so brilliant and entertaining. If I needed to just say one reason why Empire is better than Star Wars, my answer would be Yoda, he's such a pimp.

    John Williams returned to compose this movie and like always, he has done a terrific job. I think his score here is better than the first movie, it's so beautiful and adds an extra layer of perfection for this movie. The effects are improved and they're just as spectacular as ever. In fact, they were so groundbreaking that the movie ended up winning a Special Achievement Oscar for its visuals effects, along with winning an Oscar for "Best Sound". (and it also should of won "Best Picture"...)

    I'd really like that original cut on Blu-ray any time soon, Disney. Seeing how you're going to have full ownership of this movie in 2020...

    If you couldn't tell at this point, I absolutely love The Empire Strikes Back. I do admire the original Star Wars for starting all of this, but Empire helped cement this series for me. This is the heart of Star Wars. THIS is Star Wars. It brings me so much joy every time I watch it. It's my favorite movie of all time.
    Expand
  90. Feb 19, 2015
    10
    Amazing, Best sci fi movie ever made! great perfomances, epic music ,epic finale, epic spaceship chase, asteroids, more darth vader, superb special effects, i can be all day
  91. Dec 27, 2015
    9
    Probably the strongest in the original trilogy. This film brings everything that the series embodies and remains the most classic for its script and surprise ending.
  92. May 25, 2014
    10
    This IS my favourite movie of ALL TIME. As a huge Star Wars fan this is the best star wars movie ever made. It made the story of the Trilogy much deeper and had the massive reveal of Darth Vader being Luke's F____r. This is an easy 10/10 for me.
  93. Jan 2, 2015
    10
    BEST FILM OF THE FRANCHISE!!! With excellent performances by the actors really making you feel even more connected with them, great diversity in planets and enviroments, and memorable moments teeming in all over the film, there's a reason this is the best of the franchise! The story in this is the best as it's the darkest of all the films, and really invests in it's theme of good and evil.BEST FILM OF THE FRANCHISE!!! With excellent performances by the actors really making you feel even more connected with them, great diversity in planets and enviroments, and memorable moments teeming in all over the film, there's a reason this is the best of the franchise! The story in this is the best as it's the darkest of all the films, and really invests in it's theme of good and evil. The fight between Darth Vader and Luke is brutal, and strangely realistic as well as tense. Not to mention it comes with one of the biggest twists in movie history. Also the ending is not at all happy and conclusive, which leaves it SUPERBLY up for the next film. Also, direction and cinematography is great in the film. Bravo at making possibly the best sci fi film of all time, and definitely one of my favourite films of all time! Expand
  94. Jul 20, 2014
    8
    In short, it's the best Star Wars has ever offered. The most iconic, memorable and the best of these movies are almost all in this one.

    To me Episode 4 suffered from some severe lack of time for the characters to be properly developped. And also a lot of bad cliches. None of that was deadly to it, but it harmed it. Empire Strikes Back doesn't have these problems at all, but while
    In short, it's the best Star Wars has ever offered. The most iconic, memorable and the best of these movies are almost all in this one.

    To me Episode 4 suffered from some severe lack of time for the characters to be properly developped. And also a lot of bad cliches.

    None of that was deadly to it, but it harmed it.

    Empire Strikes Back doesn't have these problems at all, but while the movie is more deep, more emotional, and just all around better and darker than its predecessor, I think the limits of the formula show up by now.

    I still wonder what the "Dark Side" of the Force is. I know it comes from anger, hate, and agression, ok, but what the hell does that mean in practical terms? Does it control your mind? It obviously seems to change your personality drastically, so how does it work exactly? I don't even think this is spoiler material anymore, but when it's announced that Darth Vader really is Luke's father, although I think the reveal is glorious, I also get an unwavering doubt that we never really know how he turned to the dark side. And don't talk to me about the prequels, they're making it worse. Even if they didn't exist, the answer should've been in this movie in the first place: does the Dark Side completely change you or not? It seems so, but why? How does it work? All we know is that the Light Side is stronger and that you should focus really hard to feel the Force around you. A little weak maybe?

    Now learning about the Force in depth and Vader is Luke's side of the story in Empire.

    The Solo/Leia side is about not getting totally owned by the Empire because the Millenium Falcon is made out of tinfoil and can't get into hyperspace while the Imperial Fleet is right on his tail.

    By itself it's a great plot basis to build tension, but what happens at the end of the movie simultaneously feels like a cop out and like a dissapointment.

    Without revealing it all, there is a clear announcement that things will turn terribly awry for Leia and Han. And then...it doesn't.

    They just eventually make it through, with a huge snag indeed, but they still make it through.

    My problem mainly with this movie is that despite being the best of the three originals, I get a sense that nothing really happens.

    Big spoiler zone from here on out, but Luke is promised that his friends will die, and they don't, he's promised that he'll fall to the dark side, and he doesn't, There are many times where things should have dire consequences but in the end it all ends up fine. To be blunt, I think the movie would've had a much bigger impact on me if Han Solo died. But instead we get this cliffhanger ending where they promise that beyond the darkest time(Empire) lies the renewal and ultimate victory(Return of the Jedi).

    And I don't know really, there is nothing essentially wrong with this movie, but I didn't feel much from it. And I really think more definitive consequences would've helped. Instead, I get this constant impression that nothing is wrong, yet that nothing really gets my interest.

    On the purely positive side, I love everything about Hoth, from the base to the snowy adventures to the big battle.
    The scenes about Yoda and Luke, despite showing the limits of how G.Lucas envisioned "the Force" still are probably the most classic and memorable Star Wars moments. And several scenes around the end, despite being ultimately a scarecrow with no real consequences, are suitably dark, sad and dramatic. The clunky duel between an untrained Luke and a Vader that is far too gentle for someone we should be afraid of, all of that is possibly the best all of the six movies have ever offered.
    Expand
  95. Dec 13, 2015
    9
    While I don't think it's a masterpiece -- I'm holding that thought for Force Awakens when it comes out -- it's still pretty excellent. This movie allowed for some sheer entertainment. Lots of classic, great characters like Yoda, Han Solo, Darth Vader make their appearances, with the former having his debut on the original trilogy. Good action, although I still prefer the lightsaber duelsWhile I don't think it's a masterpiece -- I'm holding that thought for Force Awakens when it comes out -- it's still pretty excellent. This movie allowed for some sheer entertainment. Lots of classic, great characters like Yoda, Han Solo, Darth Vader make their appearances, with the former having his debut on the original trilogy. Good action, although I still prefer the lightsaber duels to the prequels. Great comedy, and great drama all-around. The "I am your father" scene is another classic.

    Final Score: 9/10
    Expand
  96. May 3, 2014
    9
    FANTASTIC SEQUEL! this movie is a masterpiece. It took the Star Wars saga in a darker direction and brought the biggest twist in cinema history and has been quoted many times since. The Empire Strikes Back is a powerhouse and a must see
  97. May 24, 2015
    8
    The film is very good, great history, very interesting and engaging, special effects and spectacular action scenes, as well as having one of the classic scenes of cinema.
  98. Jan 22, 2016
    10
    I think its a perfect movie. I seriously can't think of anything to complain about. Some minor things actually, like the fact that the gun the Empire was setting up before the Millenium Falcon left the hangar takes forever to set up, the fact the Luke just so happens to be right above the hangar the Millenium Falcon flies out of.
  99. Aug 3, 2015
    10
    With a much more fleshed out plot and excellent character development, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is a worthy sequel to the original Star Wars movie as well as an excellent installment to the Star Wars saga.

    Rating: 9.5/10 Pros: +A much more fleshed out plot with a fair focus balance between Luke Skywalker’s plot and Princess Leia and Han Solo’s plot. +More
    With a much more fleshed out plot and excellent character development, Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is a worthy sequel to the original Star Wars movie as well as an excellent installment to the Star Wars saga.

    Rating: 9.5/10

    Pros:
    +A much more fleshed out plot with a fair focus balance between Luke Skywalker’s plot and Princess Leia and Han Solo’s plot.
    +More background about “The Force” mythology.
    +Character development is excellent as the relationship between Princess Leia and Han Solo blossomed while Luke Skywalker discovers more about his past.
    Expand
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. Reviewed by: Earnest Leogrande
    May 10, 2016
    90
    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.
  2. Los Angeles Times
    Reviewed by: Charles Champlin
    May 14, 2015
    100
    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]
  3. 100
    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.