News

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Reviews: Critics Say Episode VIII Is Hugely Satisfying

by | December 12, 2017 | Comments

(Photo by Walt Disney Studios)

There are only a few more days left until Star Wars: The Last Jedi arrives in theaters, but today the first reviews of the movie were posted online. What are the critics saying about the eighth episode of the “Skywalker Saga”? Is this truly one of the best Star Wars installments yet? Could The Last Jedi secure a higher Rotten Tomatoes score than The Empire Strikes Back (94%)? Are the Porgs really all that?

Here are some select quotes from the earliest reviews published:


How does The Last Jedi rank among the Star Wars movies?

The best Star Wars film since The Empire Strikes Back, and is awful close to being its equal.
Josh Spiegel, Slashfilm

The most satisfying entry in this bumpy franchise since The Empire Strikes Back.
Eric Kohn, IndieWire

Like many before it, The Last Jedi has already been hailed as the best Star Wars movie since The Empire Strikes Back, and while that’s true, it’s too faint a compliment.
Sam Adams, Slate

Cinematographer Steve Yedlin has made the best-looking Star Wars movie.
Matt Goldberg, Collider

From a design point of view, this newest film is the slickest and most gorgeous in the entire series.
Jordan Hoffman, Times of Israel

What does the movie do best?

[Rian] Johnson’s script does a better job than most sequels of giving the audience both what it wants and what it didn’t know it wanted.
Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com

One of the strongest aspects of The Last Jedi is its writing. [Johnson] shakes the foundations of the force and puts everything we think we know to the test.
Kai Charles and Valerie Complex, Black Girl Nerds

Nostalgia can only get you so far. The real success of The Last Jedi lies not in the affection it clearly holds for George Lucas’ original trilogy, but the way it manages to move the story forward.
Hannah Woodhead, Little White Lies

The Last Jedi really does feel like one person’s vision of what a Star Wars movie should be. It doesn’t tick off the corporate studio boxes that are surefire, go to “crowd pleasers” (even though there are many crowd-pleasing moments).
– Mike Ryan, Uproxx

Pulls off the biggest mind trick ever. In a pop culture universe teeming with derivative reboots, Jedi actually feels unique.
– Karen D’Souza, San Jose Mercury News

The Last Jedi is exploding with moments that will have fans cheering and squeeing.
– Kristy Puchko, CBR

(Photo by Walt Disney Studios)

What are some of the most memorable moments?

One especially gratifying showdown arrives late in the final act, with a “come at me” bro gesture for the ages.
Eric Kohn, IndieWire

The best details are in the strong bonds that develop between characters, and the way those bonds show who each individual really is.
Alissa Wilkinson, Vox

I have to say this, and maybe everyone won’t notice it, but this film is full of women! I teared up every time I saw another female pilot or a female officer of the First Order, or a female Rebellion leader. They are everywhere, much like the actual world. I hate that this is shocking, but it is.
Jenna Busch, Legion of Leia

We get to see Laura Dern do something really cool in a huge space movie, creating perhaps one of the most indelible Star Wars images of all time in the process…that alone is enough to make The Last Jedi a classic.
Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair

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.
Ann Hornaday, Washington Post

There’s a single moment where Johnson knows he has you in the palm of his hand. As it plays out, the sound drops out. Gone are the sound effects of lasers and tearing metal. Gone is the cry of our beloved characters. Gone is John Williams’ booming score. It’s silence on screen, and all you’ll hear are the gasps and whimpers of the audience around you, awed by the majesty before them.
Kristy Puchko, CBR

Is the movie funny?

The Last Jedi opens with one of the funniest bits I’ve ever seen in a Star Wars film and then mostly keeps that lightness of spirit throughout.
Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice

The Last Jedi is the first Star Wars movie to be influenced by Spaceballs.
Sam Adams, Slate

This is arguably the Star Wars movie with the most humor in the series… And some of the humor is downright dark.
Scott Chitwood, ComingSoon.net

This is the first Star Wars movie to make a joke at the expense of someone’s mother.
Matt Goldberg, Collider

(Photo by Walt Disney Studios)

How is the action?

The opening space battle featuring Poe and BB-8 in their X-wing is one of the best dogfights in the series.
Scott Chitwood, ComingSoon.net

The architecture of the action sequences is something to behold. A self-enclosed setpiece in the opening space battle is more emotionally powerful than any action sequence in any blockbuster this year, save the “No Man’s Land” sequence of Wonder Woman, and it’s centered on a character we just met.
– Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com

[Features] one of the coolest lightsaber fights in the series’ 40 years.
Matt Singer, ScreenCrush

[It has] one of the most shocking, unpredictable and drop-dead awesome scenes in all of Star Wars.
Jordan Hoffman, Times of Israel

There is one battle in particular, well, two, actually, that will have you talking all night about things going far from where you expect them to.
Jenna Busch, Legion of Leia

How is Carrie Fisher’s Final Performance?

She is luminous here. Every time she’s on screen, it’s impossible to look away, and she is as tough, loving, and wily as we would ever want our Leia to be.
– Kaila Hale-Stern, The Mary Sue

She gives a spirited final performance, flinty as ever, getting a particularly great one-liner toward the end that’s perhaps more in character with Carrie than it is with Leia — but who the hell cares. She more than earned it.
– Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair

[Her] entire performance is overshadowed by the actress’s premature death (she should be a figure of empowering female leadership, not tragedy).
– Peter Debruge, Variety

(Photo by Walt Disney Studios)

What about the rest of the cast?

This is Mark Hamill’s best performance as Luke Skywalker, bar none…It’s a brave performance, and I give Mark Hamill the highest marks for what he’s done.
– Alan Cerny, ComingSoon.net

[Adam Driver’s] is one of the movie’s most challenging and effective performances… It’s gratifying to see such a gifted actor in the part.
– Peter Debruge, Variety

Do the Porgs deliver?

[They] make a good argument for the strategic use of top-notch special effects. They are — sorry, Return of the Jedi loyalists — the anti-Ewoks, in a good way.
– Sara Stewart, New York Post

[They] get grown-up laughs. They’re not nearly as distracting as the Ewoks!
– Mara Reinstein, Us Weekly

These dopey half-puffins, half-corgis don’t really add much to the story, but are hilarious in ways that previous would-be comic relief critters often aren’t.
– Jordan Hoffman, Times of Israel

How is Rian Johnson’s directing?

This series has never had a director as good with actors as Johnson.
Matt Singer, ScreenCrush

He has more visual style: He shoots space battles with a mixture of freewheeling fluidity and hushed grandeur, and lightsaber battles with both hothouse fervor and graphical mischief; one big fight is filmed against a background so deliriously red you might wonder if you’ve accidentally stepped into an MGM musical or a Michael Powell fever dream.
Bilge Ebiri, Village Voice

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.
Eric Kohn, IndieWire

It’s little wonder he’s been entrusted with three more Star Wars films.
– Hannah Woodhead, Little White Lies

(Photo by Walt Disney Studios)

Is the movie too long?

You feel it in final act of the film where, despite some amazing moments, you can’t shake the feeling that The Last Jedi is probably a bit too long even if it’s difficult to know what to cut.
Matt Goldberg, Collider

The Last Jedi is a whopping two hours and thirty minutes long, and at times, yes, you feel it. But in that good way, the way you do when spending time with friends that you care about.
Alan Cerny, ComingSoon.net

Are there any other major problems?

Any real problems in The Last Jedi stem from the fact that there’s just so much going on that it’s hard to stay invested in every subplot.
Kaila Hale-Stern, The Mary Sue

The entire side story at the casino world of Canto Bight was unnecessary.
Scott Chitwood, ComingSoon.net

If there’s a bum note here, it’s the introduction of Rose: it’s certainly praiseworthy for the Skywalker saga to include such a prominent Asian character, but she’s shamelessly a fan avatar.
Alonso Duralde, The Wrap

Johnson’s dialogue is flat and sounds stilted in the mouths of his younger actors, while their comic delivery can be so offhand that it dismisses the jokes.
– Kate Taylor, Globe and Mail

Though the series has always been self-aware enough to crack jokes, it now gives in to the same winking self-parody that is poisoning other franchises of late, from the Marvel movies to Pirates of the Caribbean.
– Peter Debruge, Variety


Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens everywhere on Friday, December 15. Read all the reviews for it here.

Tag Cloud

Musicals 2018 godzilla Shudder Showtime rotten movies we love Anna Paquin new zealand ratings halloween tv latino mob zero dark thirty Hulu Wes Anderson Legendary Sci-Fi Amazon Prime Video slashers The CW free movies Best and Worst Film unscripted revenge cancelled TV shows Shondaland sitcom WGN Classic Film laika Spectrum Originals Family Mary poppins Best Actor reviews best The Walking Dead streaming movies Certified Fresh Marvel serial killer scorecard TV renewals Awards Tour comic TCM Paramount 2017 Black History Month Apple TIFF rt labs TBS Netflix Christmas movies toronto medical drama VH1 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards Quiz aliens king arthur kaiju OneApp Fargo 2019 Pirates ITV Vudu DC Comics Universal adenture President superhero dramedy ID E! NBA popular werewolf HFPA legend FX Comics on TV SXSW Crunchyroll Fox News feel good DirecTV BAFTA TCA rotten Tags: Comedy Thanksgiving independent TNT Nat Geo Amazon Studios stop motion screen actors guild El Rey 45 93rd Oscars Lucasfilm DC Universe Brie Larson VICE First Reviews political drama Calendar comic book movies royal family remakes HBO basketball Horror TV movies universal monsters Prime Video Ghostbusters award winner Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt Ellie Kemper 90s Mindy Kaling Oscar See It Skip It Premiere Dates renewed TV shows spy thriller vampires dragons TV One Epix Amazon TV Land Countdown comics women BET discovery Trailer Adult Swim italian docudrama Music thriller zombies Captain marvel asian-american Comedy golden globe awards Watching Series know your critic X-Men supernatural Polls and Games OWN A24 BBC One GoT Syfy comiccon Heroines breaking bad Mudbound cinemax VOD APB psycho football streaming social media GLAAD streamig facebook Hear Us Out Disney streaming service Paramount Network Interview Masterpiece Sony Pictures ABC Family scary spanish language Best Director foreign DC streaming service MCU name the review christmas movies australia PlayStation Avengers critic resources olympics Trophy Talk Star Wars Schedule Cannes hispanic Musical adventure sequels 2015 Year in Review History CW Seed 94th Oscars Disney child's play Mary Poppins Returns Winter TV razzies space Disney Channel zombie vs. trophy satire historical drama Kids & Family Emmys miniseries YouTube Sundance The Witch Election LGBT Pet Sematary HBO Max book Chernobyl Emmy Nominations marvel comics what to watch 4/20 Best Picture green book all-time Disney Plus prank Lifetime Lionsgate ABC Signature natural history reboot CNN book adaptation blockbuster Country criterion CBS Mystery Bravo IMDb TV Binge Guide video on demand Logo Pixar TCA Winter 2020 SXSW 2022 series halloween scene in color comedies Reality Competition television Arrowverse witnail wonder woman spider-man superman indiana jones Travel Channel spanish Winners news Chilling Adventures of Sabrina MTV Baby Yoda Fox Searchlight Animation American Society of Cinematographers Rocky Pacific Islander Disney+ Disney Plus Character Guide gangster Ovation dexter DGA Tubi slasher a nightmare on elm street die hard cancelled TV series First Look Holidays Esquire Reality james bond Warner Bros. marvel cinematic universe golden globes YA joker YouTube Red jamie lee curtis worst movies rt archives San Diego Comic-Con psychological thriller TCA 2017 The Walt Disney Company theme song action-comedy NYCC cats screenings movies canceled TV shows target Academy Awards king kong kong RT21 quibi nbcuniversal YouTube Premium romance Apple TV Plus crime drama venice Apple TV+ Writers Guild of America 24 frames scary movies Endgame Set visit festivals police drama 72 Emmy Awards Paramount Pictures Best Actress black 79th Golden Globes Awards Marvel Studios Broadway telelvision transformers monster movies sopranos festival Biopics cancelled 73rd Emmy Awards biography harry potter 2020 Comedy Central Crackle Hallmark BBC BET Awards 20th Century Fox teaser comic book movie HBO Go spinoff SDCC Video Games Rock Stephen King Tumblr Paramount Plus chucky FOX Mary Tyler Moore cars Creative Arts Emmys 2016 CBS All Access versus period drama composers politics leaderboard Film Festival South by Southwest Film Festival summer TV preview cops The Academy hispanic heritage month FXX broadcast Instagram Live 1990s richard e. Grant french AMC blaxploitation Opinion nature tv talk romantic comedy cancelled television high school strong female leads fresh TCA Awards rom-coms Sneak Peek obi wan batman hidden camera summer TV Starz Columbia Pictures RT History south america kids disaster war live action New York Comic Con docuseries Amazon Prime Tarantino E3 deadpool spain PaleyFest Comic-Con@Home 2021 Martial Arts spider-verse WarnerMedia PBS dceu The Purge Teen Box Office young adult crossover CMT Britbox Infographic mission: impossible dc comic books based on movie Sundance Now Hollywood Foreign Press Association IFC 71st Emmy Awards art house anime movie ViacomCBS japanese Funimation Focus Features USA Network live event GIFs Trivia justice league Song of Ice and Fire Drama Hallmark Christmas movies Television Academy Christmas Peacock Superheroes Turner Classic Movies Nickelodeon saw finale sports suspense FX on Hulu USA Podcast Universal Pictures black comedy Television Critics Association rt labs critics edition Sundance TV Alien Marvel Television Pop TV Fall TV archives TV true crime Red Carpet mockumentary TruTV jurassic park critics Walt Disney Pictures blockbusters 21st Century Fox Awards crime Freeform Acorn TV Dark Horse Comics Spring TV talk show indie Black Mirror dogs franchise summer preview Nominations casting Summer Exclusive Video pirates of the caribbean Superheroe toy story new star wars movies Action Grammys game show nfl stoner Comic Book 2021 crime thriller binge cartoon MSNBC genre Rom-Com ABC Fantasy Turner cults documentaries emmy awards SundanceTV ghosts documentary elevated horror Tomatazos Western singing competition Image Comics BBC America lord of the rings diversity Holiday Tokyo Olympics Extras mutant fast and furious Star Trek The Arrangement Pride Month boxoffice Rocketman LGBTQ parents trailers Cosplay AMC Plus Marathons Oscars Food Network dark cooking travel TLC 007 stand-up comedy sag awards children's TV posters classics mcc canceled doctor who aapi MGM sequel animated National Geographic robots adaptation obituary Photos films Netflix anthology Cartoon Network Lifetime Christmas movies international Women's History Month worst Super Bowl Discovery Channel NBC hollywood game of thrones Spike hist dreamworks A&E japan twilight Toys heist movie video IFC Films debate directors Elton John science fiction new york 99% boxing Neflix ESPN technology Pop biopic concert Valentine's Day