+ Playlists

What Critics Are Saying About Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Photo credit : Disney/Lucas Films
What Critics Are Saying About Star Wars: The Last Jedi
The reviews are in, and film critics are gushing about the latest Star Wars movie to grace the big screen. At press time, The Last Jedi is sitting as the highest rated Star Wars movie on RottenTomatoes.com with a freshness rating of 96% and 83 reviews counted. Here’s a look at what some top reviewers have to say about the new installment, which stars Daisy Ridley, Adam Driver, John Boyega and Mark Hamill. 

The Last Jedi is every bit the franchise blockbuster that studio Disney requires to be, it’s also very much the embraceable and sustainable story we hoped it would be. – Toronto Star

Rian Johnson’s otherwise rebellious new film... is the springiest, most assured Star Wars entry in years—and a movie that drops a proton torpedo into our beloved galaxy far, far away. In Last Jedi, old allegiances are frayed, family bonds are lightsaber’d in half, and even an ex-farmboy like Luke Skywalker must contend with a deep, depressive existential crisis. It’s the gazillion-dollared, 152-minute equivalent setting fire to all of your childhood Star Wars toys in the backyard, and getting high off the fumes that follow. – Wired

Johnson's ability to deliver a fresh and engaging riff on this beast of an enterprise suggests that not every free-spirited storyteller can be corrupted by Hollywood's dark side, and some may even give it a new hope. – IndieWire

Written and directed by Rian Johnson (Looper, Brick), The Last Jedi is a middle chapter in most of the right ways. Unburdened by the necessity for introductions or tying up loose ends, it operates in a rollicking present tense, never stopping to catch its breath as it races through two and a half hours of running time. – The AV Club

Besides a keen eye for action, what Rian Johnson brings to this universe is a sense of irreverence. The challenge for The Last Jedi is to decouple these stories from the past while still paying homage to them. It is an emotional reunion, but also the beginning of a long goodbye. – CBC

The Last Jedi possesses the same reverence for the galaxy Lucas created, paying homage in all the right places (from the chills we get from John Williams’ iconic fanfare to the new-and-improved walkers that appear during the climactic siege) while barely advancing the narrative. Ultimately, there’s only so much wiggle room Johnson has to play with a property that seems destined to generate a new installment/spinoff every year until we die — which means that however many Death Stars or Sith Lords the Resistance manages to defeat, there will always be more, and no matter how few Jedi remain, there can never be none. – Variety

Writer-director Rian Johnson has certainly made the busiest Star Wars film of them all, but he keeps it from becoming a slog by infusing it with humor, verve, and visual charm. – The Village Voice

Maybe the film is a tad too long. Most of the new characters could use more heft, purpose and edge to their personalities, and they have a tendency to turn up hither and yon without much of a clue how they got there; drawing a geographical map of their movements would create an impenetrable network of lines. But there's a pervasive freshness and enthusiasm to Johnson's approach that keeps the pic, and with it the franchise, alive, and that is no doubt what matters most. – The Hollywood Reporter

The Last Jedi, written and directed by the gifted indie auteur Rian Johnson, nails the balance of novelty and nostalgia in much more satisfying fashion. – LA Times

Writer/director Rian Johnson’s “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is a sprawling, incident- and character-packed extravaganza that picks up at the end of “Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens” and guides the series into unfamiliar territory. It’s everything a fan could want from a “Star Wars” film and then some. – RogerEbert.com

And Johnson tells that story while occasionally delving into a loopy sense of humor that’s 100 percent guaranteed to deeply offend some viewers. This might be a good time to remember that Star Wars has had its funny side from the very beginning, from the comic-relief sidekick duo of C-3PO and R2-D2 to Han Solo’s occasional bout of goofy incompetence. Johnson’s only radical step here is to extend that humor past the heroes, and let it briefly disrupt the villains’ solemnity as well. For a series that’s so often treated its primary antagonists as towering, intimidating bastions of evil, that feels radical, but it also punctures their balloons and makes them a little more ridiculously human. – The Verge

It is a satisfying, at times transporting entertainment. Remarkably, it has visual wit and a human touch, no small achievement for a seemingly indestructible machine that revved up 40 years ago and shows no signs of sputtering out (ever). – New York Times

The Last Jedi is a whopping two-and-a-half hours, and it would have been much improved if an editor had taken a lightsaber to its less crucial sections.  – BBC

The sequence is a major inspiration, a moment of conscience and solitude, which wrenches itself out of the Star Wars cinematic universe to become a symbolic experience of independent power. That’s the good news. Yes, the question of Rey’s identity, of her own sense of it, is ultimately applied to the movie’s plot. The bad news is that it’s stuck onto it, inconsequentially, to add a nub of psychological conflict; like so much else in the movie, it’s a conspicuously crafted, compulsory detail to stoke a preprogrammed response in viewers. Like most of the movie’s twists and details, it provokes the feeling of subjection to stimuli like a movie-theatre lab rat. – The New Yorker

When the feelings come in The Last Jedi, and they do come, they're deep and they're real. Go ahead and try to watch the penultimate scene without crying, or pretending not to. And may the Force be with you. – Washington Post

Despite the flabby mid-section of the film and its menagerie of new alien creatures that are a mixed bag (Yay, Porgs with their squat guinea pig bodies and sad Anime saucer eyes; boo to the others that look like exiles from The Neverending Story), Johnson really delivers with the third and final act. The climactic last 45 minutes of the film is as thrilling and spectacular as anything Star Wars has ever given us. There are cool, mythic hand-to-hand battles, breathtaking aerial sequences, and one mano a mano showdown that’s as epic as anything Sergio Leone ever dreamed up. And again, the film ends on a note that feels…just…right. – Entertainment Weekly