‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Review Roundup: Critics Love ‘Episode VIII’
Star Wars: The Last Jedi is receiving rave reviews from critics. Daisy Ridley returns as Rey, as well as Oscar Isaac as Poe Demeron, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, and classic Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker. Episode VIII was directed by Rian Johnson, who previously helmed Looper.
While many plot points are being kept secret by reviewers, the film is getting massive praise. It appears this film in the franchise is the most accessible for everyone, even those who have never seen a Star Wars film in their lives (though that person would be hard to find). The film has already garnered an impressive 94% on Rottentomatoes, with 99% of users wanting to see it.
The film hits theaters Dec. 15.
STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI REVIEW ROUNDUP
“The new Star Wars, Episode VIII: The Last Jedi is shockingly good. You’d expect it to be loud and gargantuan and to hit its marks in the manner of J.J. Abrams’s The Force Awakens, which was the first episode under Disney’s aegis — as well as the first to leave George Lucas behind, presumably counting his money and lamenting the fickleness of fans. What you’d never dare expect is high style, let alone the kind of emotion that holds you through the requisite hopscotching among three different story arcs. There’s no such thing anymore as a straight, single-strand narrative in this kind of “universe” movie, which has a mandate to look backward and forward as well as sideward at any character with the potential to be spun off into his or her own vehicle. But the new writer-director, Rian Johnson, isn’t an impersonal technician (or a rote imitator, like Abrams). He pinpoints the intersection between characters’ desperate need to belong and the special effects that will lift those longings into the realm of myth. He achieves what no one else has since The Empire Strikes Back: a fusion of junkyard genre parts and passion.”
–David Edelstein, Vulture
“Some of the Star Wars sequels have been great fun. Others have been dire. But, really, I’ve never thought of them as anything more than pop-culture candy. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is the first one that tastes like steak. It’s not a perfect movie, but it may be a great one… In short, it feels like a new hope.”
–Ty Burr, Boston Globe
“The Last Jedi is a film of moments. There are perhaps a half-dozen of them: goose-pimple inducing, fist-pump encouraging, heart-racing bursts of cinematic satisfaction. The problem is that the narrative threads connecting them are lazily knitted and sometimes tangled or broken. The overall plot is underwhelming and there’s far too much padding, especially during the first hour. There’s a sense that Johnson is giving busy-work to certain characters while others are catching up. The Last Jedi is a great 105-minute movie stretched too thin… There’s enough verve and artistry here to tip my thumb skyward and avoid the tomato from going rotten. But I’ll admit to having been disappointed by aspects of the scope and scale of the narrative, especially considering the high regard in which I hold Johnson (his Looper was my #1 film of 2012). Standout, signature scenes make for moments of great viewing power but can’t hide the flaws of an untidy, overlong story.”
–James Berardinelli, Reelviews
“To say that Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi is watchable even by those who have zero investment in the Star Wars franchise or its characters may sound like faint praise, but it’s really the highest. Johnson, who also wrote the script, has taken a property—one that by this point has so many characters, so much mythology and so many requirements—and given us an actual movie. Most big-ticket franchise filmmaking these days amounts to ticking off a series of boxes. If Johnson has ticked any, he’s done it in private, shielding us from all those horrid practicalities. His movie has a sense of humor about itself and a sense of joy, but its emotional generosity, even in the midst of all the extravagant green-screen work, is its best special effect. He’s taken Disney’s money and given the audience all the things money can’t buy: Instead of selling to us, he’s speaking to us. You can feel the difference… No matter how much money has been poured into a movie, it’s emotional generosity that matters, and Johnson gives without squandering. His great gift is that he knows when to stop.”
–Stephanie Zacharek, Time
“From a visual point of view, The Last Jedi has bright pops of colour and is a film that demands to be seen on the biggest screen possible. Johnson has packed a lot into his scenery and fans should give themselves a chance to let all that action wash over them. But, no matter how good it looks, it’s the story that matters. And like J.J. Abrams did before him with The Force Awakens, Johnson is trying to navigate a new world that will appeal to the next generation of Star Wars fans along with us oldsters. In this regard, the film is an unqualified success. You don’t have to be a Star Wars fan to love this addition to the canon (heck, it works even if you haven’t seen any of the other movies). The film doesn’t have the same cliff-hanger ending of Force Awakens, but The Last Jedi will certainly have you leaving the multiplex saying to yourself: ‘I can’t wait for what comes next.'”
–Mark Daniell, Toronto Sun