Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens Reviews

August 6, 2018
It's both nostalgic and fresh, a tender homage to, especially, the initial Star Wars ("Episode IV: A New Hope"), as well as a bridge to help those of us stuck in the splendor of Hoth edge into the future.
January 4, 2016
Despite the copious servings of tragic threats and good feelings, the production sinks under the weight of its emotional calculation.
December 21, 2015
The new movie, as an act of pure storytelling, streams by with fluency and zip.
December 20, 2015
That's what's so impressive about the tricky balancing act Abrams has pulled off with The Force Awakens: He's made a movie that's simultaneously gripping and a huge release. We are in good hands, at last.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 19, 2015
With The Force Awakens, Abrams has begun one of the most important reclamation projects of our time: the complete erasure from cultural memory of The Phantom Menace and its sequels.
December 17, 2015
I bet you'll have fun - I did, mostly. But it's the fun of seeing something fairly successfully redone, with the promise of more of the same to come.
December 17, 2015
It's everything the kid in us goes to the movies for -- marvelous adventure that leaves us surprised, scared and euphoric.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 17, 2015
There is, of course, CGI in The Force Awakens, but it's comparatively minimal. The film looks handmade, and this allows for a greater range of human emotion, too. When tragedy strikes, you feel it.
December 17, 2015
As with other installments, this is less a movie than an exercise in massaging a juvenile-minded audience that wants the experience to be new and familiar at the same time.
December 17, 2015
Like their Star Wars forebears, Boyega's Finn and Ridley's Rey are brave, funny, and admirable but also imperfect, uncertain, and sometimes afraid. That is to say, they're genuine, multisided characters with believable motivations.
Top Critic
December 16, 2015
All you really want to know is whether it's good, right? Well, in fact, it is better than it had to be.
December 16, 2015
It's not just a comment on Disney's inescapable marketing barrage, but a sincerely intended complement that the fresh-faced heroes and antiheroes The Force Awakens introduces feels like future friends you've heard a lot about but are only just meeting.
December 16, 2015
What [Abrams has] done is to remake Star Wars: A New Hope; tweaking it for the passage of time; improving on the acting, the effects, and the dialogue; and tossing in some bits from its sequels.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
December 16, 2015
We get to spend a lot of fun and/or dramatic time with Ford's Solo, while Ridley's Rey and Boyega's Finn give us a pair of dynamic new heroes to follow in future Star Wars Episodes.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
December 16, 2015
Somewhere along the way, Abrams begins delivering everything we expect, as opposed to those nebulous wonders we didn't know we wanted.
December 16, 2015
The Force Awakens is half reboot, half remake, and all fun.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 16, 2015
Thrilling and knowing in all the right places, it's sure to satisfy fans that have breathlessly awaited its arrival for years. Unfamiliar with Jedi lore? You too will give in to the force of cinematic greatness.
December 16, 2015
It's a solid space opera spectacle with enough nostalgia to overpower even the most hard-hearted child of the '70s and '80s but it relies a little too much on recycling old plot elements.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 16, 2015
For the first hour or so of The Force Awakens, director J. J. Abrams gives you everything you hoped for, and even exceeds your expectations.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 16, 2015
The force is strong in this one.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 16, 2015
This is a movie you don't want to end, despite a final shot that is one of the greatest in the franchise's storied history. Abrams has righted the ship. The "Star Wars" saga is back, and we are gleefully in it for the long haul.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 16, 2015
An exhilarating ride, filled with archetypal characters with plausible psychologies, melodramatic confrontations fueled by soaring emotions, and performances that can be described as good, period, rather than "good, for 'Star Wars.'"
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 16, 2015
A triumphant return to form for the franchise - the best of the films since The Empire Strikes Back...It's also a rousing introduction to new characters who will likely carry this world forward through two more planned episodes and assorted spinoffs.
| Original Score: 4/5
December 16, 2015
[Abrams ] has made an adoring copy of Star Wars, seeking to correct its perceived flaws, without understanding that nothing about that movie's context or meaning or enormous cultural impact can be duplicated.
December 16, 2015
What Abrams has done is find and return the ingredient crucial to the original three films in the franchise that was sorely lacking in the second round: fun.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
December 16, 2015
The Force Awakens isn't just one the finest movies of 2015, it's the best movie of the year, full stop.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
December 16, 2015
Go see The Force Awakens with an open mind, and without expectations of the same lightning being captured again in the same bottle. It is, at the end of the day, a movie. And it's a pretty good one.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
December 16, 2015
It is precisely the Star Wars movie that you want it to be. This is the one you were waiting for. You may be waiting just as intently for the next one.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
December 16, 2015
"The Force Awakens" feels like a genuine "Star Wars" movie, with well-executed battle scenes, light comic touches and a warm feel for its characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 16, 2015
Some may thrill with delighted recognition at the spectacle of yet another primal duel fought over a great void. Others, though, may know that the real test of myth-making lies in an ability not to repeat but to reinvent.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 16, 2015
Though a definite improvement on the last three abortive "Star Wars" prequels... "The Force Awakens" is only at its best in fits and starts, its success dependent on who of its mix of franchise veterans and first-timers is on the screen.
December 16, 2015
[Star Wars: The Force Awakens] returns the iconic sci-fi franchise to a glorious place that hasn't been seen since Ewoks danced off into victory in Return of the Jedi 32 years ago.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
December 16, 2015
The seventh installment in the series, started by George Lucas in 1977, is the best Star Wars sequel yet and one of the best films of 2015.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
December 16, 2015
The Force Awakens pops with memorable battle sequences, gives us chills with encore appearances by stars from the original trilogy and introduces more than a half-dozen terrific Next Generation characters.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
December 16, 2015
When The Force Awakens ends, it feels bittersweet simply because you so badly want to get to the next chapter. So, yes, the wait is over. But now a new waiting game begins...
Full Review | Original Score: B+
December 16, 2015
The Force Awakens has succeeded where it counts most, in creating a cast of characters that viewers can spend the next several years rooting for, especially the spirited, resourceful heroine at its center.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
December 16, 2015
[The film] is a state-of-the-art throwback, both retro and post-modern in its self-awareness. It doesn't just know that it's operating in the long shadow of a classic; it hardwires that understanding into its own DNA, making legacy a prevailing theme.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
December 16, 2015
Ridley, Boyega and Isaac make equally charismatic heroes, and Driver is surprisingly effective as the sinister Ren. Star Wars: The Force Awakens is commercial American moviemaking at its best. May the Force be with it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
December 16, 2015
Is The Force Awakens equal to the original trilogy? Fans will have to face facts: Such unique magic can never be recreated... The new Star Wars films must create a universe of their own -- and they're off to a promising start.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 16, 2015
Star Wars: The Force Awakens is no more and no less than the movie that made us love it in the first place. In fact, it's basically the same thing. Isn't that what we all wanted anyway?
December 16, 2015
It has the usual toy-store-ready gizmos and critters, but it also has appealingly imperfect men and women whose blunders and victories, decency and goofiness remind you that a pop mythology like Star Wars needs more than old gods to sustain it.
December 16, 2015
Just see it. You'll love it.
December 16, 2015
This film fits into the franchise's much-debated canon, and is the best installment since The Empire Strikes Back, a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
December 16, 2015
Rey and Finn, though, feel fresh and new.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 16, 2015
From the iconic opening crawl through the wordless last frames of Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens, director J.J. Abrams steers pop-culture's most beloved sci-fi saga in an exhilarating new direction.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
December 16, 2015
A fun, polished space odyssey that embraces the appeal of the originals.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
December 16, 2015
Abrams has adopted the relatively cautious strategy of essentially remaking the original "Star Wars," which allows him to delight fans by bringing back the original players while laying down the groundwork of the new ones.
December 16, 2015
[Star Wars: The Force Awakens] is good. Not great. But far better than "not bad." Solidly, confidently good.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 16, 2015
For impressive stretches [Abrams] achieves the action-packed buoyancy of the old Saturday morning serials that partly inspired Star Wars in the first place.
December 16, 2015
Star Wars: The Force Awakens pumps new energy and life into a hallowed franchise in a way that both resurrects old pleasures and points in promising new directions.
December 16, 2015
The Force Awakens steers the franchise back to its popcorn origins. It's not a Bible; it's a bantamweight blast. And that's just as it should be: a good movie, nothing more.
Full Review | Original Score: B
December 16, 2015
The rollicking, space-opera spirit of George Lucas's original trilogy (you can safely forget the second trio of cynical, tricked-up prequels) emanates from every frame of J.J. Abrams euphoric sequel.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
December 15, 2015
Yes, it helps that the core group of original actors has returned, but it's more the energy, humor and simplicity of direction that has been recaptured. It's the overall vibe.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
December 15, 2015
The director, J.J. Abrams, recaptures the pop lightness that made the first Star Wars seem simultaneously eternal and effervescent.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4