Critics Consensus

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Is Certified Fresh

Plus, Ferdinand and all of the limited releases are Fresh, too!

by | December 14, 2017 | Comments

This weekend at the movies, we have the latest sequel in a film franchise you might have heard of (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, starring Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Daisy Ridley) and John Cena taking life by the horns (Ferdinand, also featuring the voices of Kate McKinnon and Gina Rodriguez). What are the critics saying?


Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) 91%


From a money-making standpoint, it made nothing but sense for Disney to buy Lucasfilm in 2012 — even with that whopping $4 billion price tag, the company stood only to gain from acquiring all that sweet, sweet intellectual property. From a creative point of view, however, the move was far more problematic: although the Star Wars franchise has legions of fans around the globe, they’re also deeply protective of the property, as George Lucas himself discovered when he underperformed with the prequels. In embarking on a new trilogy, the studio stood poised to produce some of the most colossally anticipated sequels of all time — and had to take responsibility for satisfying decades of nostalgia while somehow moving a beloved story in new directions. It obviously remains to be seen whether they’ll stick the landing, but two episodes in, this extension of the saga is holding up pretty well — in fact, the eighth installment, this weekend’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, ranks among the most widely acclaimed entries in the franchise. Critics say Jedi continues building out the younger characters in the cast while honoring veteran stars — particularly Mark Hamill and the late Carrie Fisher — with rich material, and balancing killer set pieces and humor against a deep well of emotion. The pressure’s now on J.J. Abrams to bring this trilogy to a satisfying conclusion in two years; in the meantime, fans can enjoy a middle chapter that stands proudly among the best Star Wars has to offer.


Ferdinand (2017) 72%


Luke, Leia, and Chewbacca aren’t the only legacy characters making a return to theaters this week. We’re also getting Ferdinand, in which the venerable peace-loving bull gets a CGI animated makeover — and a new voice courtesy of John Cena — in a full-length feature that seeks to bring the classic children’s tale to a new generation. Of course, the 1936 book the story first appeared in is only a few dozen pages long; when Disney adapted it two years later, the resulting short ran less than 10 minutes. As a result, it isn’t surprising that critics say there’s a little extra padding in this Ferdinand — but by and large, they’re also saying the results make for perfectly entertaining family-friendly fun. With a voice cast rounded out by comedic talents like Kate McKinnon and Jerrod Carmichael, all in the service of a story about a bull who refuses to fight no matter what society says, parents in search of a colorful diversion can safely go ahead and get in the ring.


Also Opening This Week In Limited Release

Tag Cloud

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