Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 602 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: 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 toThree 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. (20th Century Fox) Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. 100
    It balances bloodshed with charm, spectacle with childlike glee. It's a near flawless movie of its kind.
  2. 100
    The storyline is more interesting and ambitious, the characters -- little more than appealing types in the original -- are allowed to grow and develop, the special effects are more mature, and the tone is deliciously dark and downbeat. [Special Edition]
  3. 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]
  4. Reviewed by: Chris Gore
    90
    It was incredible to see what is arguably the best of the Star Wars films, on the big screen again. However, I do not believe that any of the minor changes make the film any better. [Special Edition]
  5. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    80
    A darker, richer, and more elaborate film than the original; it suffers most from being just what it is: a middle chapter with no real ending. [Special Edition]
  6. Reviewed by: Judith Martin
    60
    The total effect is fast and attractive and occasionally amusing. Like a good hot dog, that's something of an achievement in a field where unpalatable junk is the rule.
  7. 40
    Mainly it's marking time: the characters take a definite backseat to the special effects, and much of the action seems gratuitous, leading nowhere.

See all 16 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 91 out of 94
  2. Negative: 2 out of 94
  1. 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 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
  2. 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 aThe 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 Expand
  3. 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.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. Expand
  4. 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 thatOne 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). Expand
  5. 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 momentsStar 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. Expand
  6. 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 ofWhen 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. Expand
  7. Feb 16, 2013
    0
    Ok, it looks like I may be on my own here. and I love the star warts, but The Empire Strikes Back is definitely the worst one. It's set inOk, it looks like I may be on my own here. and I love the star warts, but The Empire Strikes Back is definitely the worst one. It's set in space, but one of the planets has snow. Eh, there's no snow on other planets. That's a BIG mistake. Hand Solo and Luke Skywalker are apparently bessie mates but they don't spend any screen time together. That's a bit like watching a Lethal Weapon movie, but while Riggs is out shooting criminals, Murtagh stays in the office filing paperwork. Then it turns into a romance movie for Hand Solo while Skywalker learns to be a Jedi from a little green boy. Then it all culminates in a sword fight and a BIG REVEAL that we already knew from episode 3, two movies earlier. What a mess. A big step down from The Star Wars Holiday Special. Expand

See all 94 User Reviews

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