Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace Reviews

Page 1 of 2016
June 26, 2017
Bad visuals and the young Anakin Skywalker was not good. Darth Maul was a neat character and the final fight scene between him Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon was good.

5.5/10
June 26, 2017
The only good part of this movie was darth maul. Everything else is just cringefest.
June 25, 2017
The Phantom Menace... Después de repetir con gusto la Original Trilogy, empiezo la Prequel Trilogy que parece un poco falsa con algunos de sus efectos, pero que tiene una buena historia. Lástima por sus Razzies. Pobre Jar Jar Binks, odiado por todos.
June 25, 2017
This movie exceeded my every expectation. Any one who doesn't enjoy it, is now an enemy of the Republic. The political subtleties gave an more in depth experience as to how the galaxy ended up in turmoil in the original trilogy. The serious undertones from the less overt dialog gave the impression of the impeding doom for the Jedi, they could sense the dark side approaching, but could do nothing to stop it. Jar jar was not meant for a bunch of over-grown toddlers projecting their nostalgia from the original trilogy, he was meant for actual toddlers to enjoy, which they did. This movie sets the stage for the entire galaxy of the Star Wars universe in a way I've never seen in another franchise. I'd give this movie as many stars as Anakin has midi-chlorians, off the charts. Thank you George for revitalizing this dearly beloved franchise, and have a moee moee bombad day!
June 22, 2017
The less said about Jar Jar Binks, the more you could try to enjoy this film! Wait! Did I just say that? I mean to say, if you are looking for a film that is top notch in the acting and storyline, then this isn't the movie for you! Dead behind the eyes characters, and a story with enough holes in it to make Swiss cheese blush! What a wonderful opportunity here wasted!
½ June 21, 2017
This may not be the best of the Star Wars franchise but it has some interesting touches. The libsaber battle was AWESOME! and of course we can't forget that epic double bladed libsaber and Darth Maul. Nice movie.
½ June 20, 2017
The Phantom Menace is the perfect example of how to get the Star Wars special effects a good upgrade. Sadly it mostly fails on every other aspect.
½ June 17, 2017
Action sequences were great. Darth Maul, podracing, it was all great. However, the rest of the movie was really boring
½ June 17, 2017
Terrible dialogue, OK story. Anakin makes me cringe and Jar Jar makes me sick. It was decent.
½ June 17, 2017
The prequels are cool, but I like the original better.
½ June 15, 2017
Fight scene at the end is up there as one of the best. Everything else was long and drawn out. Lucas forgot his ways of the original.
June 13, 2017
This movie is probably one of the most disappointing movies I have ever seen and it is so boring even though it does have a sweet lightsaber duel at the end
June 13, 2017
Are you kidding me! 55%?!?!
The Phantom Menace is by no means the best Star Wars film, but it is not the worst either. I didn't get to see the OT in theatres when they premiered, I did see the SE's when they came out, but it was TPM that gave me my official introduction to Star Wars. Who cars about Jar Jar being in the film. He's not racist, he's portrayed the way GL and the actor decided to portray him. Is he a pointless character, of course, is he Star Wars, YES!!!!
TPM should hold a place in everyone's Star Wars heart, because had it not been for TPM, then that means GL was never going to bring Star Wars back.
June 11, 2017
Any sense of wonder I might have had when I first saw this has gone now. I used to be able to gloss over the bad parts and focus on the good I saw. Now, however, with a couple of exceptions, all I see is a big mass of bad.

The writing is...slack. There's little pace or tightness to anything other than the full-on action scenes. The dialogue is lazily written, as though Lucas wrote a loose, basic first draft and decided it was good enough. No effort seems to have been made to try to define characters through their speech (except maybe to define Jar Jar as 'the annoying one') or even be succinct, let alone clever or creative. The dialogue is so bad that even this overall talented cast has no hope of resembling human beings. McGregor and Portman in particular both seem very flat in their delivery, as though conceding defeat and not bothering to try. Even Lloyd, who's actually not bad for a child actor and manages a better performance than Hayden Christensen ever did, has "Yippee!" forced into his mouth - a thing people outside Looney Tunes never actually say, and which therefore fails to sound anything other than ridiculous.

The editing is also lazy, with lingering reaction shots following, for instance, Jar Jar's blundering and Padme's revelation forcing us to endure the actors' forced smiles and/or grimaces. George Lucas seems like a smart guy. Does he really think his stupid gags/non-surprises are that fantastic? Or is it all for the kids? Those kids who love political dramas about trade disputes? Is this a kids' movie or a grownups' movie? Is it supposed to be one of those movies both adults and their kids can enjoy...and not be sometimes bored and other times mildly confused by? Who knows. All I know is that Jar Jar is cringe-inducingly unfunny and Keira Knightley is noticeably taller and slimmer than Natalie Portman, and any passing resemblance between the two is rendered moot by the silly pseudo-geisha queen makeup.

Why the hell does Naboo have an elected teenage queen? Who thought that was a good idea? Seriously! And it's not like Padme's some sort of anomalous prodigy, 'cause there's a new one in each episode! Someone in Naboo's past must have realised and then suggested to the population that teenage girls somehow make the best heads of state. And the majority of citizens must then have decided that this person wasn't actually the galaxy's biggest imbecile and gone along with it.

The "epic" final battle is like an unfunny cartoon. Actually, scratch that - it IS an unfunny cartoon. Jar Jar and Anakin both win by accident. Sure, Ani makes it into the control ship partly under his own steam, but he only blows the reactor because he misses the droids he's shooting at. Are we really supposed to cheer for that? Couldn't we have gotten behind Jar Jar more if he'd actually stepped up and found some skills within himself? If the desperation to keep his world from the tyrannical clutches of possibly-racist muppets had awoken his dormant inner warrior, allowing an exiled laughing stock to redeem himself and fully earn the title of bombaad general? Maybe. But instead we get a doofus tripping his way to success like the hapless, semi-sentient dweeb he always was and will be. Is he, like Ani, destined to be a Jedi? Is he a product of immaculate midi-chlorian conception? Not as far as we know.

Why do midi-chlorians need to be a thing? The Force is magic. Magic is magic because we don't know how it works. Once we know how it works it becomes science, and there's no place for science in Star Wars. Seriously, does any other aspect of any other Star Wars movie make scientific sense? No. Where would be the fun in that? And now the cool mystical core of the series is science.

The podrace is great. The lightsaber three-way is great. Ray Park gives the movie's best performance.

But aside from these two abovementioned (largely dialogue-free) set pieces, I've reached the point where I can admit what I was previously reluctant to, due to my lifelong love of Star Wars and tendency to look for good in movies where others might not see it, or care enough to try.

This flick kinda blows.
June 10, 2017
Two words, Jar Jar.

But the Lightsaber battle was epic.
½ June 10, 2017
Visually stunning yet narratively flawed, The Phantom Menace is action-packed and boasts compelling performances from Liam Neeson and Ewan McGregor but George Lucas fails to bring that which the made the original trilogy so critically lauded to the first film in the prequel trilogy. Jar Jar Binks is obviously just a ploy to sell toys, Jake Lloyd was perhaps not the most ideal choice for young Anakin and Darth Maul doesn't get enough screen time. Before you go out and say "Darth Vader only had 12 minutes of screen time in A New Hope", remember that Tarkin was perhaps the real villain and Vader was just a decoy to manipulate the audience and the latter became a legitimate villain in The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi. In this case, although Maul appears in marketing, has a cool double-bladed lightsaber and kills a primary character, he never does anything that indeed screams out "Fear me!". Personally, I think this film is slightly better than most people give the film credit for but it could've still been a whole lot better. You just had to go for that kiddie approach, didn't you, George?
½ June 7, 2017
Shoddily put together. Bored characters, a plodding plot and no real pace to speak of. Frequently plays less like a film and more like a very dull documentary.
½ June 6, 2017
Star Wars Episode I, the worst one. It is mainly bland besides they iconic Darth Maul fight scene and Podracing scene. It is overall a "meh" movie.
June 3, 2017
The only reason this gets more than a half star is Darth Maul.
½ June 3, 2017
Is The Phantom Menace an abomination of cinema? No. Is it a master work made by the George Lucas of old? No. Simply put, The Phantom Menace is an underwhelming and boring movie with a few bright spots. These instances of light and levity come from a fantastic and underrated score from the great John Williams, and some terrific world building and action set pieces. George Lucas tries to break new grounds while also staying somewhat familiar to the sagas roots. To an extent he succeeds. The new planets he introduces are interesting. Coruscant is beautiful to look at and works as an excellent center of political affairs. The Jedi temple and the senate building in particular are well designed and show off some new aesthetics yet seen in the galaxy far, far away. However, while much of the film looks good on the surface, it suffers deeply from wooden characters and some less than stellar dialogue. It makes it hard to become invested in these new characters.One of which is the future Darth Vader. A stand out from the film is Liam Neeson's Qui-Gon Jinn. A Jedi Knight, and master to the young Obi-Wan Kenobi. He plays the character similar to a Ronin which offers stark contrasts with the Jedi Orders teachings. It is a shame we couldn't see more of this in the film. Instead we are treated to completely pointless and drawn out meetings of characters that seem bored to death. The only exception that stands out in these political debates is Palpatine, who is "the phantom menace". We see him begin his ascension to power in the political world as he plays a humble politician. He is the one behind the conflict of the film, the taxation of trade routes... blah blah. His plan is clever and his apprentice, Darth Maul, is a complete bad ass. The climatic duel with our two Jedi at the end of the film is among the best of the saga. The "Duel of The Fates" theme is also chilling. As I said, The Phantom Menace isn't horrible and it isn't great. It's a slow start for a trilogy that ends better than where it began. And I know I didn't mention Jar Jar in this review, you're welcome.
Page 1 of 2016