Critics Consensus

Solo Is the Lowest Rated Live-Action Star Wars Movie Since the Prequels

But it's still fast-paced and fun. Plus, season 5 of Arrested Development returns to form and Amazon's Picnic at Hanging Rock is a decent retelling of a classic mystery.

by | May 24, 2018 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we have the origin story of the galaxy’s most charming smuggler (Solo: A Star Wars Story, starring Alden Ehrenreich and Emilia Clarke). What are the critics saying?


Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) 70%

Long before our current reboot-happy era of franchise-driven do-overs, Hollywood made a habit of recasting well-known roles. Love any popular character long enough, and the movie industry will eventually serve them up to you again with a different face — just ask any James Bond, Doctor Who, Superman, or Batman fan. Going the recast route is always a gamble, but some characters are far more inextricably intertwined with their actors than others, and after one person has played a part for a few decades, it can be awfully tough to imagine someone else taking over. Take Han Solo, for instance: the quick-shooting, quip-dispensing Corellian has been a popular fixture of the Star Wars franchise since its 1977 arrival, and every time we’ve seen him on the big screen, he’s been played by Harrison Ford. Until now, that is: when Lucasfilm decided to depict Han’s early years in a standalone anthology installment, the 75-year-old Ford was obviously not an option, so they handed the role to Alden Ehrenreich.

It was just the first in a series of risky moves surrounding the project, which got through a substantial chunk of its production with original directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller before the duo were surprisingly fired and replaced with Oscar winner (and longtime friend of Lucasfilm) Ron Howard. As time wore on, the odds that this movie stood any prayer of making a positive impact with critics — let alone one of the most passionate fanbases in film — seemed to go from “long” to “infinitesimal.” But as those fans are aware, Han himself wasn’t much for putting stock in the odds, which makes it somewhat fitting that Solo: A Star Wars Story has earned itself some fairly respectable reviews.

In the context of the Star Wars franchise, Solo can’t help but look like an underachiever, but given that we’re talking about a series that contains some of the most widely seen and best-loved movies of the last few decades, that’s no surprise. In fact, critics say this Star Wars Story contains fairly few surprises — but rather than pulling back the curtain on a bunch of hotly anticipated mysteries from Solo’s early years, it serves up a solidly entertaining space adventure sprinkled with a few bits of fan service for the faithful and enlivened by a well-chosen supporting cast (particularly Donald Glover as everyone’s favorite pansexual schemer, Lando Calrissian). It probably isn’t destined to be mentioned in the same breath as Empire Strikes Back, but on the whole, Solo looks like a decent first outing for this scruffy-looking nerf herder — and given the way studios operate these days, don’t be surprised if it ends up spawning a sequel or two of its own.


What’s New on TV

Arrested Development: Season 5 (2018) 63%

Arrested Development finds itself back in familiar form, recapturing much of the cast’s chemistry and comedic brilliance — though it still doesn’t quite live up to its own past.


Picnic at Hanging Rock: Miniseries (2018) 80%

Natalie Dormer charms in Picnic at Hanging Rock, a stylish retelling of an Australian classic — though convoluted sub-plots at times distract from its otherwise tantalizing delights.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

Tag Cloud

Ghostbusters Comedy Central American Society of Cinematographers supernatural Extras jamie lee curtis sports NYCC comiccon Awards unscripted Lionsgate IFC 2017 Tomatazos crime thriller Toys Food Network USA Network CNN Britbox Sundance Now Logo Nickelodeon Creative Arts Emmys PBS golden globes Sony Pictures Nominations CMT New York Comic Con Country Ovation NBC Oscars Horror travel RT History ESPN Fall TV Walt Disney Pictures E! harry potter Christmas Epix Emmys Paramount transformers Martial Arts anime Year in Review spider-man Starz vampires festivals Shondaland Netflix 007 X-Men Trivia Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt TIFF dramedy DC streaming service Apple Spike FOX Comic Book Holidays Fox News medical drama Mary Tyler Moore Hulu crossover See It Skip It 2016 21st Century Fox Dark Horse Comics DirecTV 20th Century Fox Kids & Family ratings zombies BBC Superheroes Pixar DC Universe Musical Opinion cooking singing competition Esquire composers comic ABC Quiz Syfy TV Crackle aliens Lifetime Polls and Games sitcom romance Character Guide Comedy police drama The Arrangement Sneak Peek Disney ITV FX Animation Trophy Talk Paramount Network San Diego Comic-Con TLC streaming A&E Grammys HBO Mystery LGBTQ Spring TV Mary poppins what to watch History Reality green book 45 historical drama diversity YA docudrama cops TBS OWN cinemax VICE WGN Certified Fresh blaxploitation crime cats biography First Look CW Seed Box Office SXSW Pirates TNT 2019 Action Podcast Interview GLAAD FXX television National Geographic doctor who Warner Bros. Red Carpet GoT BET Nat Geo Cosplay SundanceTV Superheroe TCA Winter TV Photos Mindy Kaling spy thriller Premiere Dates dc IFC Films Marvel Bravo Awards Tour thriller Showtime TV Land Drama AMC serial killer Sci-Fi ABC Family Valentine's Day Countdown Masterpiece period drama social media Freeform boxoffice crime drama Sundance Star Trek Set visit BBC America technology binge Calendar Best and Worst cults Song of Ice and Fire PaleyFest Universal Disney Channel President Columbia Pictures political drama Fantasy TruTV Mary Poppins Returns 2018 Rock finale GIFs psycho politics MTV YouTube Premium based on movie dceu Writers Guild of America award winner Tumblr Shudder Lucasfilm Thanksgiving robots adventure Winners Amazon Schedule APB VH1 Election talk show SDCC 24 frames Musicals Super Bowl science fiction Music Star Wars Rocky CBS hist 2015 Watching Series TCA 2017 Pop Summer Adult Swim mutant discovery Acorn TV Teen El Rey Biopics Comics on TV USA CBS All Access Western Marathons MSNBC war TCM Ellie Kemper Infographic The CW DC Comics E3 YouTube Red Video Games Cartoon Network zombie Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Reality Competition Trailer justice league Rom-Com