Early Consensus: "Revenge of the Sith" May Be the Best "Star Wars" Movie

After George Lucas?s first two "Star Wars" prequels received lukewarm responses from fans, it looks like he will end the series on a triumphant and satisfying note with the concluding chapter. Early reviews from the nation?s print, online, and broadcast critics, are gushing praises for "Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith."

This grimmer chapter, chronicling Anakin Skywalker?s decent into the dark side and transformation into Darth Vader, has scored an exceptional 86% on the Tomatometer. Despite some clunky lines, critics think the character-driven Episode III is an exhilarating rollercoaster ride and a satisfying sendoff of a beloved series. Todd McCarthy of Variety calls it "the best in the overall series since 'The Empire Strikes Back.'" Kirk Honeycutt of Hollywood Reporter says, "The final episode of George Lucas' cinematic epic 'Star Wars' ends the six-movie series on such a high note that one feels like yelling out, 'Rewind!'"

Compared to the previous two prequels, both of which are in the low to mid-60's on the Tomatometer, Episode III's 86% is a major improvement, and the only prequel chapter to be Certified Fresh. When it is released next week, there?s also a very good chance that it'll be the best reviewed film in wide release. For comparison, "The Empire Strikes Back" scores 98% on the Tomatometer and the original "Star Wars" scores 93%.

Tomatometer Scores for the Star Wars series:

86% - Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
65% - Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones
62% - Star wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace
80% - Return of the Jedi
98% - The Empire Strikes Back
93% - Star Wars

Comments

Mr. Positivity

Bert Payne

[b]Great Early Buzz to be dampened[/b]
The early buzz on the movie has been almost universally positive.

Now, of course, we will start to see the reviews come in that purport to review the movie, but end up just critiquing these early, positive reviews, the hype, the fans, etc.

For example, read the Travers review, in which he calls 'Attack of the Clones' "atrocious", while also taking time to insult all the critics and fans who will actually like this new movie (millions and millions of people). Then go back and read his "Clones" review. Try to make sense of his "opinions". Such revisionist nonsense abounds, and is not what I would call criticism. I read another today that spoke of so-called "illogical" plot points. Of course, none of the points were illogical at all, and could be explained very easily. But that wouldn't make for a "clever" review, now would it?

Do you honestly think that any self-important "film" critic worth his salt isn't going to relish an opportunity to launch a savage attack on all things Star Wars when the popular consensus is that the Force is definitely with George & Co. this time around?

Get ready for some ridiculous reviews...

May 12 - 03:36 PM

The Senhman

Senh Duong

Yeah, and also the onslaught of hate mail from Star Wars fans towards critics who review the film unfavorably. It has already started for those few critics who've put up Rotten reviews.

May 12 - 03:49 PM

BoondockPimp

Cody Wood

Yeah, what a sad thing that is. However, I do get some amusement out of mentally picturing their hatemail as read aloud by Napolean Dynamite.

May 12 - 05:08 PM

The Senhman

Senh Duong

Yeah, and also the onslaught of hate mail from Star Wars fans towards critics who review the film unfavorably. It has already started for those few critics who've put up Rotten reviews.

May 12 - 03:49 PM

BoondockPimp

Cody Wood

Yeah, what a sad thing that is. However, I do get some amusement out of mentally picturing their hatemail as read aloud by Napolean Dynamite.

May 12 - 05:08 PM

Impavido

P M

WOOT, I knew Lucas would come through for me! I'm confident Ep3 will finish in the 80's on the Tomatometer. I WILL be naming my first born son after him!

Oh wait...just occured to me how geeky that sounded... Ok, I'm married, have a full time job, and I don't live at home. There...better... I'm a geek, but not THAT much of a geek....jeez!

May 12 - 04:41 PM

BoondockPimp

Cody Wood

Yeah, what a sad thing that is. However, I do get some amusement out of mentally picturing their hatemail as read aloud by Napolean Dynamite.

May 12 - 05:08 PM

Scott Weinberg

Scott Weinberg

While I agree wholeheartedly that Travers' review is a freakin' joke, I don't think you're going to see too many critics "bash" just for the hell of it. I know lots of movie critics, and every single one of 'em is a movie GEEK; most reviewers I know honestly love when they're proven wrong and a movie turns out to be better than they expected.

Or maybe, like Peter Travers says, we're all just brainwashed imbeciles who can't decide what we like on our own.

May 12 - 06:13 PM

jeanfc

Jean Francois Cormier

I don't care if this movie is very good or very bad. Just like the annoyingly resiliant Star Trek series, I just hope this is the last time we hear about Star Wars. It's been 28 years boys, time to move on...

May 12 - 06:19 PM

BoondockPimp

Cody Wood

I guess you didn't hear about the tv series theoretically in the works. Actually I think it was two different ones. I might be wrong, though.

May 12 - 06:22 PM

BoondockPimp

Cody Wood

I guess you didn't hear about the tv series theoretically in the works. Actually I think it was two different ones. I might be wrong, though.

May 12 - 06:22 PM

jeanfc

Jean Francois Cormier

Yeah, I heard about that. I was just hoping that it was a drug induced dream I had a some point. I don't particularly hate the Star Wars series, I just want something original from Hollywood...

May 12 - 06:25 PM

jarek

First Last

I'm starting to have flashbacks to just before AOTC was released. Every critic was loving it and they touted it as "the best Star Wars film" and then upon it's release (and after I saw it) many of them changed their tune. AOTC was terrible, but it had a great buzz going in. This one looks to be similar.

May 12 - 07:01 PM

kjaugust

Kevin August

[b]I wouldn't worry[/b]
I felt the same as you did; I remembered how the early buzz for AOTC was positive, and the movie left me...um...wanting more. I really hated Phantom Meance, though I wanted to like it. And AOTC was pretty lame, though I liked it because it was Star Wars. So the early buzz for Revenge of the Sith had me feeling a bit nervous and ready to be let down.

Well, last night I saw Revenge of the Sith, and it didn't leave me wanting any more. Are there flaws? Of course. It ain't perfect. But Travers is being a contrarian buffoon. This movie rocks. Notice that a few of the new negative reviews refer to all the positive buzz. "It's not as good as you've heard." Well, if you hadn't heard it was good, how could it be as good as you heard? Does that mean it's bad?

I'm a Star Wars fan and I loved this movie. I'm not going to rank it with the others, I'll just say that I really, really liked it.

May 13 - 03:03 PM

geoffb

Geoff Barnum

I think this is the bottom line we should all be striving for with this movie. It is the end of the movie series so for those of us who want to see it and enjoy ourselves I don't think what any critic writes will effect that experience. So if you're a Star Wars geek (yup that would be me) go out and enjoy this movie its the last time you will see the series on the big screen. About the possibility of a TV series lets not pull a Star Trek here people and let the series linger until we have to put it down. No matter what any critic says I got my ticket for the 19th, enjoy the show!

May 12 - 07:21 PM

cabezone

First Last

[b]Last Star Wars Movie?[/b]
I'd be willing to put down money that after Lucas kicks the bucket, there will be plans for 3 more movies the next day.

May 12 - 08:05 PM

cabezone

First Last

[b]Last Star Wars Movie?[/b]
I'd be willing to put down money that after Lucas kicks the bucket, there will be plans for 3 more movies the next day.

May 12 - 08:05 PM

Jaka Tavers

Critty Krilow

Damn. After reading Travers' review, maybe I will wait and rent it. That guy knows his shit.

May 12 - 08:38 PM

planetawesome

Seth Green

[b]travers, fo shame[/b]
Let me preface this with: I am not a rabid Star Wars fan. I like Episodes IV and V, but I'm not insulted by a negative review of Sith, especially since I loathed Menace and cringed through 90% of Clones. And I haven't seen Sith yet, so I don't know yet whether it blows or rocks, or blows rocks. But I do know this: Peter Travers is a lameass. Mr. Jules is totally right when he calls out Petey for his inconsistencies and sloppy reviewing. (And I too would encourage anyone crazy enough to be interested in this to compare his Clones and Sith reviews.) It wouldn't upset me so much if Travey was writing for a college newspaper, but Rolling Stone is his megaphone. He should be sharing more than just his big fat ego.

May 12 - 09:07 PM

Now it's dark

Kirby K

Peter Travers is more spot on than any other major critic out there. The steadily dropping tomatometer rating for Sith lends credence to his review. If it goes much lower, I'll take his wise advice and skip it. Thanks again Pete!

May 12 - 09:14 PM

jubbjubb

First Last

When Todd McCarthy of Variety calls ROTS "the best in the overall series since "The Empire Strikes Back," that's not exactly the highest praise.

The third best movie in any franchise is going to have some flaws.

May 12 - 11:09 PM

drxym

Darius Xym

[b]Early concensus on RT is bunk[/b]
Time and again the early concensus rewards hyped movies with overly inflated scores. Just look how the Amityville Horror scored for a while - 100%! Now it's down to 25% or whatever. This movie hasn't sunk so far and is still well within the fresh zone, but it's dropped considerably just in the last day or so.

RT really needs to change the scoring system. Identify who your top 20 or so reviewers are and don't produce *any* tomato meter result until at least 1/3 of them have submitted reviews. It's the only way to stop the shills, fanboy's and miscellaneous others from so wildly skewing the results, not just here but for other mainstream movies too.

May 13 - 06:41 AM

patan

Pablo Tangelson

[b]geek-ometer[/b]
The bad reviews are on their way and that makes me happy...
We donīt need to see another PC game from Lucasarts...
Thanks God this is the last chapter!!!

May 13 - 07:57 AM

Mr. Positivity

Bert Payne

[b]Bad comparison[/b]
The comparison to other films (such as Amityville) that started off with "strong" Tomatometers is flawed.

For example, in 40 reviews, Sith already has more has more fresh ones than Amityville has in 140 reviews.

Plenty of non-shills have already weighed in, and the consensus is strong.

It also seems like the few recent negative reviews ave attacked things other than the movie as well. If you're so confident that the movie is bad, you should let your opinion of the movie speak for itself. Because, at the end of the day, that's all it is - one man's (or woman's) opinion. No more, no less.

Final Tomatometer will be 78-82%, I believe. Not that it matters.

May 13 - 10:24 AM

drxym

Darius Xym

[b]Not a bad comparison[/b]
The latest Star Wars is still a several days from release and yet this featured post claimed the "consensus" was that it "may be the best Star Wars movie". With almost a week still to go and it's at 85% and sinking. So it is wrong by a long shot. Star Wars (the original) got 93%, Empire Strikes Back got 98% and Return of the Jedi got 80%. So it *might* tie for 3rd but certainly no higher. More likely the "consensus" will be that it's better than the first two prequels, but since they were both pretty lousy, I should hope so too.

I mentioned Amityville just to illustrate what a farce the meter system has become. A week before release (same as with Sith) and with 7 or 8 reviews it was 100% fresh according to the meter but eventually sank to a miserable 23%. I don't expect ROTS to sink anywhere near as much, but I do expect the weight of reviews to be far away from what this thread initially implied.

My point is that the tomato meter needs work. It's meant to be an indicator of the quality of a movie, but it's too often broken, especially before release when its so important.

May 13 - 11:30 AM

The Senhman

Senh Duong

I think it's a little different here tho. Amityville was 100% with 5 reviews. By the time it reached 40 reviews, it was way down in the 20's. Episode III is 83% after 40 reviews, which makes it a bit more credible.

And yes we are aware of the problem with early reviews (especially when there are few to go by) and are working on a system to fix that.

May 13 - 11:46 AM

drxym

Darius Xym

[b]Thanks[/b]
Hi Senh, I'm glad to hear it. I think the meter is a great tool, but those early values are really, really off sometimes.

May 16 - 01:54 AM

getluv

D White

who wants to vomit.

May 13 - 10:58 AM

drxym

Darius Xym

[b]Not a bad comparison[/b]
The latest Star Wars is still a several days from release and yet this featured post claimed the "consensus" was that it "may be the best Star Wars movie". With almost a week still to go and it's at 85% and sinking. So it is wrong by a long shot. Star Wars (the original) got 93%, Empire Strikes Back got 98% and Return of the Jedi got 80%. So it *might* tie for 3rd but certainly no higher. More likely the "consensus" will be that it's better than the first two prequels, but since they were both pretty lousy, I should hope so too.

I mentioned Amityville just to illustrate what a farce the meter system has become. A week before release (same as with Sith) and with 7 or 8 reviews it was 100% fresh according to the meter but eventually sank to a miserable 23%. I don't expect ROTS to sink anywhere near as much, but I do expect the weight of reviews to be far away from what this thread initially implied.

My point is that the tomato meter needs work. It's meant to be an indicator of the quality of a movie, but it's too often broken, especially before release when its so important.

May 13 - 11:30 AM

The Senhman

Senh Duong

I think it's a little different here tho. Amityville was 100% with 5 reviews. By the time it reached 40 reviews, it was way down in the 20's. Episode III is 83% after 40 reviews, which makes it a bit more credible.

And yes we are aware of the problem with early reviews (especially when there are few to go by) and are working on a system to fix that.

May 13 - 11:46 AM

drxym

Darius Xym

[b]Thanks[/b]
Hi Senh, I'm glad to hear it. I think the meter is a great tool, but those early values are really, really off sometimes.

May 16 - 01:54 AM

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