Mixed or average reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 14
  2. Negative: 3 out of 14
  1. 20
    There is hardly any point in discussing the direction of a picture like this, in which almost every shot has been predetermined by the requirements of the special effects, yet director Richard Marquand fluffs the two or three real opportunities he has, rendering the long-delayed character climaxes with a chilly indifference.
  2. 100
    'Return of the Jedi' is fun, magnificent fun. The movie is a complete entertainment, a feast for the eyes and a delight for the fancy. It's a little amazing how Lucas and his associates keep topping themselves.
  3. Less original than the first "Star Wars" and less resonant than "The Empire Strikes Back," but packed with fast-paced action and downright cuddly Ewoks.
  4. Best of all, a revisit with Jedi makes a viewer appreciate spectacle, presentation, mythology -- that, and the power of a bitchin' helmet to speak volumes in a language even an alien can understand. [Special Edition]
  5. Reviewed by: Chris Gore
    Unfortunately, the problems with Jedi cannot be fixed even with the best digital software in the galaxy: the weak story (another death star assault, another visit to Dagobah, the exotic planet of the trees, annoying teddy bears), the bad performances..., the burp jokes (three in the first half hour--I guess I missed the toilet humor in the first two) and Luke's bizarre-looking hair mop. It's sad. [Special Edition]
  6. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Downright repetitive! [30 May 1983]
  7. 75
    Cuteness is the watchword here. The dark, eerie atmosphere that oozed from every frame of "The Empire Strikes Back" is gone. Instead, for Return of the Jedi, we have good triumphing decisively over evil, a too-pat resolution to a love triangle, and walking teddy bears.
  8. A potent reminder that these characters and the actors who brought them to life will never return again. Seeing the very end of an endlessly hyped trilogy somehow puts a lump in the throat. [Special Edition]
  9. Reviewed by: Bob Stephens
    All the parts of Return that deal with Luke's faith in his father and his appeals for him to reject the dark side of The Force are very emotional. In fact, the best sections of Return are extensions of the melancholy implications of "The Empire Strikes Back." [Special Edition]
  10. Return of the Jedi oesn't really end the trilogy as much as it brings it to a dead stop. The by far the dimmest adventure of the lot.
  11. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    The dialogue is repetitive ("I won't give in to the dark side of the Force!" "You will!") and significant characters from earlier films -- notably bounty hunter Boba Fett and Yoda -- are dispatched without fanfare, and the whole business has a slightly rushed, perfunctory feel at the same time that it feels oddly attenuated.
  12. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    Hamill is not enough of a dramatic actor to carry the plot load here, especially when his partner in so many scenes is really little more than an oversized gas pump, even if splendidly voiced by James Earl Jones.
  13. Brings things to an almost cheesy conclusion. Given the gripping, dark elements that creator George Lucas introduced in the two previous films, the third movie’s outcome smacks of PG-rated populism rather than artistic fulfillment. But the experience is still highly entertaining. [Special Edition]
  14. Reviewed by: Gary Arnold
    Ultimately, Jedi even backs off some of the more tantalizing possibilities suggested by the cliffhanging scenario of "Empire." This inhibition appears to grow out of consideration for the feelings of the juvenile audience, which can enjoy an abundance of thrills and close calls while resting assured that nothing catastrophic is going to be fall the heroes.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 406 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 68 out of 80
  2. Negative: 8 out of 80
  1. Sep 24, 2011
    Yes, the movie is filmed as if it was filming a family recreation. Its choppy and messy, but what it doesn't fail is delivering the epic conclusion of the long space opera franchise to the audience. Full Review »
  2. Sep 7, 2011
    The best of the series (and an amazing series it is). This is the quintessential sci-fi/fantasy movie. I love everything about it. It's easily in my top 5 movies of all time. Full Review »
  3. Oct 16, 2010
    It actually sickens me to see how low the official critic rating is for this absolute master piece. If (for some reason) you haven't seen this film, you must see it. Star Wars is the most brilliant idea i have ever seen from a director, and Return of The Jedi is such a great ending to the series. I know you have to respect opinions, but after seeing the critic rating, it made me wish that the critics would be instantly fired from the business. There's no way i can begin to comprehend how you can actually dislike this movie. To think that that piece of crap Pirrhana 3D actually recieved better ratings. NO ONE EVER LISTEN TO CRITICS. THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHAT MAKES A GREAT FILM. Full Review »