THX 1138 - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

THX 1138 Reviews

Page 1 of 93
September 3, 2017
possibly, the best movie ever
August 23, 2017
At some point I wanted to see THX 1138, just so I could say that I?ve seen every feature film directed by George Lucas. Plus I thought it would be nice to go back to a more innocent time before Lucas became Public Enemy #1 for all Star Wars fans. In one way I feel like I succeeded at that, because THX 1138 is a small film with some very minimalist production values. However, I was watching a Director?s Cut of the film and in the climax I kept thinking ?These effects look too polished for 1971.? That?s when I realized, while I was watching something filmed from those more innocent times, it had been corrupted and revised by older Lucas in another ?Special Edition? move meant to improve something that probably didn?t need it. Luckily there are long stretches of the film where it appears untouched and I could see his original vision.

THX 1138 is kind of incomprehensible as presented. It shows this odd dystopian world which could be fascinating, but we are never clued into why things are this way, and they give almost zero exposition to help us understand the rules of this all-white world. There were elements that became clear, like the idea that society was sedated for some reason and sex was banned, but everything I figured out was from context clues or very brief throwaway lines. I think much of this would have been forgivable if the events that took place for the protagonist were more straightforward. But I didn?t feel there was any explanation given for why THX stopped taking his meds, and therefore fell prey to lust. He's put on some weird rambling trial that is tough to understand. Then when he?s on the run events seem to happen almost at random, with no clear sense of where he is or what his end goal will be.

Most of the normal qualities that I would use to judge a film are lacking in THX 1138. The acting is very robotic, but intentionally so, and therefore I have a hard time judging whether they did a good job or not. The sets/costumes/makeup/hair all were so minimalist, which is the idea, but it means those departments did nothing to impress me. In fact, the plain white of everything took away any sense of place that you?d normally have. It was impossible to tell where the characters were, or where they were going. They could have been running around in circles for all I know. It?s all up in the air and confusing. In fact the only thing that came across clearly for me in THX 1138 was the relationship between him and LUH 3417. That almost made an emotional connection for me in this stark flat film. The movie feels like many student films: an interesting concept that falls apart in the execution. It seems that Lucas is still only a one-hit-wonder for me (at least as a director.)
July 25, 2017
Disappointing. Poor pacing, little in the way of plot, and perpetually boring throughout.
½ June 16, 2017
Thank goodness, this movie is far more interesting than the original student film!
June 8, 2017
Creepy and minimalist George Lucas film that unravels at a snails pace but it does aesthetically recall the sterile perfection of Kubrick (particularly 2001 A Space Odyssey) while not necessarily generating the same sense of profundity. It is set in an Orwellian future society where a subterranean race are administered drugs to prevent them from 'feeling or expressing emotion'. One person decides to stop taking these drugs and is pursued by sinister looking robotic police. This is a 2004 restoration of the movie which I have watched and includes some tinkering with effects and filters but compared to Lucas's Star Wars 'digital touch ups', it is downright modest.
April 26, 2017
I liked this one more than star wars
½ March 15, 2017
Fairly good '1984' about government oppression. A lot of idea's in this were also used in Star Wars. I enjoyed it.
March 6, 2017
Bleak and somber dystopian sci-fi flick. There's some interesting (if a little cliche) ideas and design at play here, but the film drags to much to be truly great. Feels a little pretentious.
½ January 25, 2017
Very good movie, probably one of the best outlooks on what the future has installed for us quite enjoyed watching this movie when I was younger, George Lucas can really create something different and be great at the same time.
January 3, 2017
Yes,Lucas made a masterpiece before Star Wars.
Super Reviewer
½ December 23, 2016
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.
December 19, 2016
Visually interesting and, at points, genuinely original in it's own concept, George Lucas's grand directional debut is quite unique and stylish, but it sort of loses it's main focus with dry characters and an oddly paced storyline that may distract mainstream audiences.
December 15, 2016
I own this DVD with its haunting imagery I'll never forget, and was taken by my brother to its original opening in Hollywood when it came out. My uncle, Walter Murch, was the editor of the film. I believe we are currently being insidiously herded toward the dystopian world presented in this film, and that one of the truest portal of assistance in fully realizing the truth of the behind-the-scenes movement toward this goal is to tune in to the much maligned, but steadfast in its presentation of and commitment to its research, Alex Jones Channel on YouTube.
December 6, 2016
One of the best 10 science fiction films.
September 1, 2016
A lot like Logan's run but just to slow of a pace to keep audiences locked in. I suspect that the main reason this movie fares well on this website is due to George Lucas's name.
½ July 7, 2016
Lucas's first feature film is a sci-fi dystopia reminiscent of "1984" and "Brave New World." It's not perfect (the pacing is kind of slow and that final chase scene drags), but it's a real promising first film. It's cool to see the beginnings of some of Lucas's trends: the faceless police officers behave very similar to stormtroopers, and the constant video screens, radio communication, and numbering remind me a lot of the Death Star.

There's not much here as far as characters and the story is familiar, but what this film excels at is atmosphere. I love all these industrial sets in parking garages and factories. The color palate is dull and everything is uniform. You can see a lot of later movies (particularly YA movies) adopting this.

Unfortunately, the only version I could find of this was the director's cut. I thought it'd be just a longer version, but Lucas definitely pulled a "Special Edition" on this one. Awful CGI pops up a lot and completely takes you out of the movie. I mean CGI that looks like a 90's video game. It's a real shame because while the technology of the original film is dated, it still works and feels cohesive. But looking at what he's done to Star Wars, I guess it shouldn't surprise me.

Kind of a slow movie, but essential for any sci-fi or film junkie.
½ June 27, 2016
I have no idea what was going on. Hard to follow and very confusing.
½ June 18, 2016
I see where you were going George, and I know this was made in '71, but I thought it could have had a clearer plot.
Film C.
Super Reviewer
½ June 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.
½ June 4, 2016
My favorite Lucas film, even though he's more well known for his later work.
Page 1 of 93