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) 69%

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) 56%

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) 79%

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

Pet Sematary First Reviews doctor who sequels japanese Star Wars documentaries classics TV renewals social media TruTV Pop Nominations USA Network scary movies The CW Crackle Cosplay Funimation french Reality Competition films Awards Thanksgiving Lifetime Christmas movies Sony Pictures Netflix Baby Yoda Amazon Prime Video spanish movie Nickelodeon spy thriller diversity 24 frames cars Marvel Television remakes TLC Nat Geo 45 screen actors guild video on demand Comic Book Turner ESPN foreign halloween tv WarnerMedia sitcom spider-man crossover Fantasy Peacock Hallmark Christmas movies movies Lifetime Fox News GIFs blaxploitation rt archives versus The Walking Dead zombies SDCC El Rey latino First Look Trivia streaming tv talk Columbia Pictures PBS Heroines Musical slashers space OWN TCA 2017 Mystery die hard nature HBO New York Comic Con HBO Max reviews E3 dc directors ITV Fox Searchlight animated obituary worst movies Amazon Studios APB Pixar indie anime Disney Channel Summer supernatural Disney Plus Fall TV Drama Endgame dceu sports Masterpiece romance Discovery Channel nfl GLAAD cooking National Geographic joker Quiz best TCA Grammys President Vudu Marathons stoner Sundance TV emmy awards batman Amazon Prime FX Paramount Network Apple TV Plus boxoffice YA football video cancelled all-time Marvel Studios Schedule ratings Anna Paquin Mary poppins Captain marvel The Academy Esquire Lucasfilm The Purge CNN Rocketman strong female leads Pride Month true crime Warner Bros. renewed TV shows adaptation Winners Syfy CBS crime drama cartoon History Red Carpet Black History Month cancelled television Animation BET casting Western christmas movies 2015 based on movie harry potter VICE free movies italian Toys SundanceTV OneApp transformers universal monsters science fiction Hulu comics SXSW Bravo ghosts adventure TCM See It Skip It south america X-Men franchise Certified Fresh Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt archives stop motion Opinion Television Critics Association Chilling Adventures of Sabrina Reality festival criterion Rom-Com psychological thriller satire LGBT Awards Tour The Arrangement Adult Swim VH1 Photos facebook Apple MSNBC Podcast Character Guide YouTube Netflix Christmas movies Trophy Talk quibi NBC MCU E! spanish language Ovation Tarantino parents concert DGA Logo singing competition 4/20 2016 sequel Disney streaming service thriller witnail Martial Arts reboot Acorn TV Pop TV 2019 Lionsgate Winter TV composers green book politics YouTube Premium halloween nbcuniversal Walt Disney Pictures golden globes elevated horror Emmys cults james bond Film Festival Sundance breaking bad CMT Writers Guild of America medical drama fast and furious cats comiccon Britbox Tubi psycho vampires comic books hispanic Universal Creative Arts Emmys documentary Premiere Dates TCA Winter 2020 Cartoon Network Spring TV teaser Sci-Fi Kids & Family Disney Star Trek hist anthology robots Polls and Games critics theme song Turner Classic Movies superhero television children's TV canceled TV shows ABC Family Country cancelled TV series Starz Watching Series hollywood sag awards Best and Worst TCA Awards Election Academy Awards name the review cancelled TV shows game show werewolf TBS award winner miniseries Extras RT History BET Awards Shudder BAFTA AMC zero dark thirty LGBTQ YouTube Red FOX 2017 Apple TV+ USA 71st Emmy Awards Oscars screenings cinemax BBC America Spike Binge Guide Travel Channel natural history Film binge Freeform political drama Mindy Kaling mockumentary Emmy Nominations PaleyFest docudrama Shondaland rotten Biopics black game of thrones dark australia IFC Ellie Kemper toy story Stephen King DC Universe rotten movies we love series justice league period drama deadpool spain Crunchyroll Marvel crime Sneak Peek TIFF ID book TNT talk show child's play CW Seed Interview festivals richard e. Grant IFC Films Music laika chucky Television Academy Tumblr unscripted historical drama Mary Tyler Moore Mary Poppins Returns Year in Review Women's History Month 2018 Elton John San Diego Comic-Con dragons 2020 Food Network comedies Paramount canceled MTV venice Brie Larson Holidays blockbuster aliens war Set visit DC Comics Avengers FX on Hulu GoT Chernobyl biography 21st Century Fox crime thriller indiana jones PlayStation Countdown Christmas Black Mirror A&E Rocky Arrowverse mutant Musicals CBS All Access Amazon Mudbound twilight scorecard Comedy Classic Film Epix a nightmare on elm street Family dramedy American Society of Cinematographers Ghostbusters serial killer TV BBC One stand-up comedy Action Song of Ice and Fire kids Comics on TV independent 72 Emmy Awards Box Office A24 zombie Infographic Cannes dogs Hallmark jamie lee curtis FXX Video Games Disney+ Disney Plus Super Bowl spinoff The Witch revenge Calendar finale police drama Trailer asian-american ABC technology disaster toronto DirecTV 99% Teen Hear Us Out Showtime mission: impossible romantic comedy Pirates Horror RT21 007 Holiday Valentine's Day what to watch worst 20th Century Fox Rock comic cops discovery Sundance Now news BBC Spectrum Originals NYCC Comedy Central Superheroes WGN travel Superheroe TV Land DC streaming service VOD HBO Go Dark Horse Comics Tomatazos