Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

After the destruction of the Death Star, Imperial forces continue to pursue the Rebels.

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: September 21, 2004
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Available Online

Critic Score: 94% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Dark, sinister, but ultimately even more involving than A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back defies viewer expectations and takes the series to heightened emotional levels.

Rena Andrews
Denver Post

The Empire Strikes Back is the ultimate in fantasies, a visual wonder and a movie that should be recommended highly if only because it makes you feel good.

Full review…
Arthur Knight
Hollywood Reporter

The Empire may not top Star Wars, but it certainly makes one look forward to whatever new surprises George Lucas and his band of cinematic wizards can conjure up for us.

Full review…
David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews erratically-paced yet consistently entertaining installment in a not-quite-great sci-fi series.

Full review…
Joe Pollack
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Despite a couple of drawbacks, the Empire Strikes Back is an immense amount of fun -- big and splashy and breathtaking in its display of cinematic genius by a huge group of marvelously talented people.

Full review…
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune

The younger actors are now more confident.

Full review…
Geraldine Pascall
The Australian

The Empire Strikes Back is no bland derivative. It has all the freshness and exuberance of an original. A marvellous space fantasy full of dazzling spectacle, exciting adventure, strange creatures and the mythic clash between good and evil.

Full review…
Charles Champlin
Los Angeles Times

Another richly imaginative, engrossing and spectacular motion picture from the redoubtable George Lucas.

Full review…
Ernest Leogrande
New York Daily News

A spectacular piece of work that carries the new "Star Wars" tradition forward.

Full review…
Robert W. Butler
Kansas City Star

To answer the big question first: Yes, The Empire Strikes Back is just as enjoyable as Star Wars. In fact, this is one sequel that defies tradition by being better than the original on several counts -- most of them technical, but a few dramatic.

Full review…

Flixster Audience Score: 97% Flixster User Reviews
Matthew Samuel Mirliani
Not only the best of the franchise, but one of the greatest films ever made. It is simply without flaws.
Chris Garman
Before I start I should let everyone know that this is my favorite film of all time. So I will probably be gushing for most of the following paragraphs.… More
Josh Lewis
A darker, more mature, and more sophisticated Star Wars than the original. That doesn't necessarily make it a better film, but it does make for a more… More
MisterYoda ?
five stars!!
KJ Proulx
Startling relationships, dark pasts, and high-octane space battles surround this brilliant sequel to the beloved "Star Wars" film, "A New… More
Daniel Mumby
The success of Star Wars took everyone by surprise - most of all George Lucas, who had struggled for four years trying to get his dream project made. Out of the… More