Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace
Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace (1999)

In 1977, George Lucas released Star Wars, the ultimate sci-fi popcorn flick-turned-pop-culture myth machine. It quickly became the biggest money-making film of all time and changed the shape of the film industry. After two successful… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: October 16, 2001
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Critic Score: 56% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Burdened by exposition and populated with stock characters, The Phantom Menace gets the Star Wars prequels off to a bumpy -- albeit visually dazzling -- start.

Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal

What I can't comprehend is why the political details had to be so tedious and abstract. Will the kids of our nation and the world truly be titillated by trade wars and the spectacle of a do-nothing Senate?

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Jay Carr
Boston Globe

Character and personality take a back seat on this ride.

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Peter T. Chattaway

There was a soul - a spiritual momentum - to the original trilogy that this new film lacks.

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David Edelstein

Look, I wanted to love The Phantom Menace, too. I was an adolescent boy and would enjoy being one again for a couple of hours. But the movie has a way of deflating all but the most delusional of hopes.

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John Anderson

"Star Wars: Episode 1 -- The Phantom Menace" got dismissive reviews in 1999, and it deserves the same today. But you probably know that.

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Kate Muir
Times [UK]

Do kids really want to follow a plot about intergalactic trade embargoes?

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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer

Mr. Lucas is not without a certain technocratic sagacity, but I don't think he's communicating even with the young as astutely as he once did.

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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger

You realize how much humor Harrison Ford brought to things; without him, at times the movie itself feels frozen in Carbonite.

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Noel Murray
Nashville Scene

If there's anything really disappointing about Episode I, it's not being able to line up for Episode 2 tomorrow.

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Flixster Audience Score: 60% Flixster User Reviews
Matthew Samuel Mirliani
It's not a bad movie, just heavily flawed. Its acting and dialogue can be cringe-worthy, but its high points still make it an enjoyable cinematic… More
Josh Lewis
I'm in the minority on the new trilogy, but I enjoy them greatly. They never quite reach the heights of the one-two punch of A New Hope and The Empire… More
KJ Proulx
Filled with horrific dialogue, laughable characters, a laughable plot, ad really no interesting stakes during this film, "Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom… More
Daniel Mumby
Star Wars: Episode I has become my generation's equivalent of Highlander 2: The Quickening - it's the epitome of a filmmaker betraying his fans, the… More
MisterYoda ?
Three Stars!!
Samuel Riley
The first out of the prequels is almost a poor start. It doesn't touch the questions or story of the original trilogy, such as the development of Anakin… More