Star Wars: The Last Jedi Earns Near-Universal Acclaim in Early Reviews

The review embargo on Star Wars: The Last Jedi has lifted, and the film is receiving near universal acclaim from critics. Initial reactions to the film began pouring in over the last few days following the world premiere, with some critics calling it the best Star Wars film since The Empire Strikes Back.

CBR's own Kristy Puchko claims The Last Jedi is an epic adventure. "I laughed. I cried. I screamed and cheered so much that my throat went raw, and I left the theater on a high of exhilaration," she wrote.  Screenrant's critic called it "the most unique installment of the Star Wars franchise to date," due to "how big it feels, and how weighty the stakes are." IGN's film critic lauded Star Wars: The Last Jedi as "the quintessential Star Wars movie... it embraces everything in the franchise that came before while taking big risks to push the story into new and unexpected places." Collider's film critic said, "I lost count of the jaw-dropping moments The Last Jedi presents, and it's a movie I can't wait to revisit."

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Director Rian Johnson has been singled out for individual praise, with Empire's critic saying, "time and again, [Rian] Johnson finds a cinematic grammar that feels new to Star Wars; big close-ups (tender touching hands), top shots, elegant camera tracks and pulling out in-world sound, leaving just music and image." The Verge's film critic praised Johnson's ability to explore the characters, saying, "[director Rian Johnson] doesn't radically reinvent Star Wars... But he does dig into the impulses behind the new trilogy's younger characters, cracking them open and examining their psychology in a way Star Wars rarely has."

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Other critics have noted that the film is a little too long, with The Globe and Mail's critic saying, "gradually, Johnson's many additions become too much of a good thing and The Last Jedi grows crowded, busy and long." Entertainment Weekly's film critic noted that the film drags a bit. "I'd stop short of calling director Rian Johnson's undeniably impressive initiation into the Star Wars fold the masterpiece that some desperately want it to be. The film simply drags too much in the middle." Variety's film critic had perhaps one of the more tepid responses to the film, rating it fresh, but with the caveat that, "it may sound like a backhanded compliment, but with so much on the line, Johnson deserves credit for not messing things up."

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is currently sitting at a certified fresh 93% on Rotten Tomatoes based upon 130 reviews and an average score of 8.4/10. It has a score of 86 on Metacritic based on 44 reviews, also indicating a strong positive response overall.

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Written and directed by Rian Johnson, Star Wars: The Last Jedi opens December 15 and stars Mark Hamill as Luke Skywalker, Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, Andy Serkis as Supreme Leader Snoke, Domhnall Gleeson as General Hux, Gwendoline Christie as Captain Phasma, Anthony Daniels as C-3PO, Lupita Nyong’o as Maz Kanata, Benicio Del Toro as ‘DJ’, Kelly Marie Tran as Rose Tico, Laura Dern as Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo, and the late Carrie Fisher as General Leia Organa.

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