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Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)



Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 191
Fresh: 109 | Rotten: 82

Lucas needs to improve on the plot and character development, but there's plenty of eye candy to behold.


Average Rating: 4.9/10
Critic Reviews: 53
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 32

Lucas needs to improve on the plot and character development, but there's plenty of eye candy to behold.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 1,193,014

My Rating

Movie Info

In 1977, George Lucas released Star Wars, the ultimate sci-fi popcorn flick-turned-pop-culture myth machine. It quickly became the biggest money-making film of all time and changed the shape of the film industry. After two successful sequels (1980's The Empire Strikes Back and 1983's Return of the Jedi) that extended the story of the first film, Lucas took some time off to produce movies for others, with mixed success. In 1999, Lucas returned to the Star Wars saga with a new approach -- instead

Oct 16, 2001


20th Century Fox - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

February 10, 2012:
Critics Consensus: Journey 2 Isn't Quite Worth the Trip
This week in multiplexes, "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace" gets a deluxe 3d rerelease, but...
February 10, 2012:
In Defense of The Phantom Menace
As the first chapter in the "Star Wars" saga returns to theaters, one writer takes an appreciative...


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All Critics (195) | Top Critics (53) | Fresh (109) | Rotten (82) | DVD (52)

"Star Wars: Episode 1 -- The Phantom Menace" got dismissive reviews in 1999, and it deserves the same today. But you probably know that.

February 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Newsday | Comments (41)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

You realize how much humor Harrison Ford brought to things; without him, at times the movie itself feels frozen in Carbonite.

February 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Comments (11)
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Charmless, sexless, passionless and robot-humoured, it's preposterously uninvolving.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out | Comments (5)
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Despite a shaky start and the presence of questionable elements throughout, by the time it arrives at its finale The Phantom Menace has won its place alongside the original Star Wars trilogy.

March 2, 2006 Full Review Source: AV Club | Comments (11)
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There are no romance, no humor, ultimately nobody to care about in this oddly sterile movie.

November 15, 2002 Full Review Source: | Comments (7)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It does the job just fine. That job, as director George Lucas freely admits, is quite simply to thrill the beating hearts and the inquiring minds of 12-year-old boys.

March 22, 2002 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Comments (19)
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is just another 3D cash grab by George Lucas. If you didn't like the film before, you won't like the film now.

December 13, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

The Force may not be strong in this episode, but it's there.

June 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Big Hollywood
Big Hollywood

Anyone hoping the 3D would make-up for the film's many shortcomings, will probably continue to feel cheated by the first Star Wars prequel.

September 30, 2012 Full Review Source: ScreenRant

We don't want to remember it's pretty bad. Then we do.

March 23, 2012 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service | Comments (5)
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Has a film director ever induced such terrible performances from such great actors? Liam Neeson - wooden, Ewan McGregor - monotone and the Oscar winning Natalie Portman - a speaking alarm clock!

March 8, 2012 Full Review Source: UTV | Comment (1)

It hardly needs to be said that the 3D conversion here is nothing more than proficient, that it adds nothing and actually takes away some of the clarity and vividness of the film's varied colour palette.

March 1, 2012 Full Review Source: Fan The Fire
Fan The Fire

Darth Maul is back, this time waving his wand in 3D. "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace" was poorly received by critics when it debuted, so does it fare any better with its new up-conversion? Not really. Paul Chambers, CNN.

February 27, 2012 Full Review Source: CNNRadio

It's a nifty enough film that's entertaining but not comparable to the original 'Star Wars.'

February 11, 2012 Full Review Source: KWQC-TV (Iowa)
KWQC-TV (Iowa)

It's cinematic junk food, the pernicious effect of which had already set in long before this film came out.

February 11, 2012 Full Review Source: Observer [UK] | Comment (1)
Observer [UK]

The Phantom Menace is, at best and worst, a mediocre film-a boring adventure undermined by anemic political theatrics and the rusty artistic tastes of its maker.

February 11, 2012 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine | Comments (3)
Boxoffice Magazine

The 3D conversion on this film is one of the best I've ever seen... and that's what makes it worth paying some extra money to see it again in the theater.

February 10, 2012 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures | Comments (8)
7M Pictures

The Phantom Menace, in any number of dimensions, is an exercise in disappointment, a film filled with enough callbacks to the first trilogy to remind you about what you loved about them without adding much of note in all the new material.

February 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Movieline | Comment (1)

Naturally, if you already despise everything George Lucas touches, well, these aren't the droids you're looking for. It's more of a 3D party for fans and admirers, playing to the convinced with a conversion.

February 10, 2012 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

You may never experience this or any Star Wars movie as a cinematic experience ever again. Especially not in theater.

February 10, 2012 Full Review Source: | Comments (5)

The 3D conversion isn't going to change your opinion on the movie or give you a whole new moviegoing experience, but it's not bad either.

February 10, 2012 Full Review Source: | Comment (1)

You'll be surprised at how well its assets hold up and how much easier its liabilities slide away as a result. But $15 a ticket? Please George. Some of us have kids to feed... and yours don't need the money.

February 10, 2012 Full Review Source: | Comments (7)

Oh George, why?

February 10, 2012 Full Review Source: The Ooh Tray | Comments (18)
The Ooh Tray

The special effects are something to see in 3D, but don't listen too closely to the screenplay or try to work out who is who.

February 10, 2012 Full Review Source: This is London | Comments (6)
This is London

Audience Reviews for Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

It's not a bad movie, just heavily flawed. Its acting and dialogue can be cringe-worthy, but its high points still make it an enjoyable cinematic experience. It is overall a visually-dazzling film with a stunningly complex plot and heart-pounding action sequences.
June 18, 2013
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer

Filled with horrific dialogue, laughable characters, a laughable plot, ad really no interesting stakes during this film, "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace" is not at all what I wanted from a film that is supposed to be the huge opening to the segue into the fantastic Original Trilogy. The positives include the score, the sound effects, and most of the visual effects, which provide some great eye candy for audiences, but if that's all the film has, then what the hell is the film's purpose? I don't have anything else nice to say, and I could rant for days, so I am stopping here. This film is a complete mess in every way.
April 28, 2013
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Three Stars!!
February 19, 2013
MisterYoda ?

Super Reviewer

I'm in the minority on the new trilogy, but I enjoy them greatly. They never quite reach the heights of the one-two punch of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, but they are on par and sometimes better than Return of the Jedi. The Phantom Menace has a few problems, but it is great entertainment. The special effects finally are up to the standards George Lucas envisioned for his stories and they look light years ahead of the original trilogy. They still hold up well today. The added characters to the mythology are great, and the actors/actresses portraying them are even better than the originals (which was not a master class in acting, but they did their job well enough). I especially love Darth Maul, who gives the sith another great villain in the series. Obviously a big deal is made about how annoying Jar Jar Binks is, and while I won't say he isn't annoying (because he certainly is) I do think that entire thing is overblown way out of proportion. He doesn't destroy the film by any means. The story meanders for awhile and is probably the weakest of them all, but there's still plenty of incredible action and set pieces to hold on to. The finale with Darth Maul is just as rousing as anything in the series and the music is superb. The Phantom Menace continues the Star Wars legacy with aplomb and it only gets better from here.
January 1, 2013

Super Reviewer

    1. Anakin Skywalker: You're a Jedi Knight, aren't you?
    2. Qui-Gon Jinn: What makes you think that?
    3. Anakin Skywalker: I saw your lasersword. Only Jedis carry that kind of weapon.
    4. Qui-Gon Jinn: Perhaps I killed a Jedi and took it from him.
    5. Anakin Skywalker: That's not true. No one can kill a Jedi.
    6. Qui-Gon Jinn: I wish that were so.
    – Submitted by Magnus G (16 months ago)
    1. Queen Amidala / Padmé Naberrie: You've never won a race? Not even finished?
    – Submitted by Baurushan J (17 months ago)
    1. Obi-Wan Kenobi: You will become a Jedi, I promise.
    – Submitted by Baurushan J (17 months ago)
    1. Qui-Gon Jinn: Train the boy, he will bring balance to the force.
    – Submitted by Baurushan J (17 months ago)
    1. Yoda: Remember, there are two Sith Lords: a master and an apprentice.
    2. Mace Windu: But which was destroyed? The master or the apprentice?
    – Submitted by Aaron S (19 months ago)
    1. Darth Maul: At last we will reveal ourselves to the Jedi. At last, we will have revenge.
    – Submitted by Magnus G (22 months ago)
View all quotes (31)

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