THX 1138

1971

THX 1138

Critics Consensus

George Lucas' feature debut presents a spare, bleak, dystopian future, and features evocatively minimal set design and creepy sound effects.

87%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 62

74%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 28,106
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Movie Info

'THX 1138' is a chilling look at a 25th-century totalitarian state where mankind is stripped of any individuality. People are numbered drones, and a government-enforced program of sedating drugs controls the populace. The story's title character, THX, is a factory worker whose life is irrevocably changed when he stops taking his mind-numbing drugs.

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Critic Reviews for THX 1138

All Critics (62) | Top Critics (12)

  • Despite his scenes of bland horror, Lucas offers the 25th century as a arch, campy place, a conception not satiric enough to be accepted as comedy and not quite insightful enough to be taken seriously.

    Feb 7, 2018 | Full Review…
  • The empty space surrounding the vulnerable man emphasizes the exertion involved rather than the goal of escape: like the hologram who came to life because he wanted to, THX finally achieves his humanity by an assertion of will.

    Jan 18, 2013 | Full Review…
  • With political paternalism rampant at both extremes of the spectrum, Lucas is onto something. In any case, we'll know for sure in about a generation.

    Jun 5, 2007 | Full Review…

    A.D. Murphy

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • Visually it is often extraordinary, with Lucas playing on perspectives and dislocations throughout, nowhere more brilliantly than in the 'prison' represented by a limbo of whiteness that seems to stretch as far as the eye can see.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • I have a good many reservations about the film's ideas, but they are greatly outweighed by my admiration for a technical virtuosity that by fair means and foul achieves exceptional emotional intensity at the same time.

    May 9, 2005 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The whole thing feels like a hypnotic dreamscape, so luminously stark, from its white-on-white abstract sets to the wide-eyed, bald, near catatonic residents of this world.

    Sep 13, 2004 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for THX 1138

  • Jun 16, 2016
    George Lucas who created the Star Wars saga, THX & Star Wars, both the same categories but very different from on and other. It looks iconic for the first time I've watched it.
    Film C Super Reviewer
  • Oct 08, 2015
    THX 1138 is in many ways a proto-Star Wars. Lucas does a fantastic job creating what feels like a complete futuristic world. The sets, the costuming, etc. are all great. In the sound you can hear what is to come in Star Wars. The film itself is mainly a vehicle for exploring that world and is not great in terms of plot, but for acting it is fine. Overall, the film has the vibe of an intense dystopia that might have followed the 1950s in some alternate history. Definitely recommended for sci-fi fans.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 11, 2014
    Mildly interesting. You can see some of the influences of this film on Star Wars. Otherwise, it is just something to check of the list to say that you saw an early George Lucas film and then just move on.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 06, 2014
    An excessively cold sci-fi that doesn't deserve credit for its plot (Lucas doesn't seem to care enough about exploring his ideas to come up with a consistent social commentary) as it does for its technical merits, with a great use of visual effects and nice sound design.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

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