THX 1138
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George Lucas's debut feature, expanded from a prize-winning student short made as a film student at the University of Southern California, is a sleek and cool depiction of a sanitized and computer-dominated underground society of the near future. Robert Duvall plays THX 1138, a benumbed technician whose roommate, LUH 3417 (Maggie McOmie) gradually reduces his dosage of the daily required sedative until THX 1138 looks at LUH 3417 with new eyes and begins to feel a sexual desire for her. When his dosage is further decreased, the two roommates make love. Since lovemaking is a capital crime,… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 88%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The empty space surrounding the vulnerable man emphasizes the exertion involved rather than the goal of escape: like the hologram who came to life because he wanted to, THX finally achieves his humanity by an assertion of will."
‑ William Paul, Village Voice
"I have a good many reservations about the film's ideas, but they are greatly outweighed by my admiration for a technical virtuosity that by fair means and foul achieves exceptional emotional intensity at the same time."
‑ Roger Greenspun, New York Times
"long and cumbersome"
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"Meditative and downbeat rather than crowd-pleasing, the film includes a few sequences that suggest the direction Lucas career later took."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"A high concept window in on the direction George Lucas could have gone."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"With political paternalism rampant at both extremes of the spectrum, Lucas is onto something. In any case, we'll know for sure in about a generation."
‑ A.D. Murphy, Variety
"Lucas described THX as 'an artifact from the future,' and we're supposed to struggle for understanding. That's part of its hypnotic undertow."
‑ Leighton Walter Kille, Boston Globe
"Slow sci-fi drama for die hard Lucas fans only."
‑ David Gurney, Common Sense Media
"Enhancing the film with special effects and a clearer presentation, Lucas has turned something that was relatively unwatchable into something that can endure as a sci-fi classic."
‑ Russ Breimeier, Christianity Today
"The general bleakness of the film, its themes and the author's youthful anger could not be erased with digital technology."
‑ Dragan Antulov, Draxblog Movie Reviews
"Visually it is often extraordinary, with Lucas playing on perspectives and dislocations throughout, nowhere more brilliantly than in the 'prison' represented by a limbo of whiteness that seems to stretch as far as the eye can see."
‑ Geoff Andrew, Time Out
"The whole thing feels like a hypnotic dreamscape, so luminously stark, from its white-on-white abstract sets to the wide-eyed, bald, near catatonic residents of this world."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"Tedious pacing contributes to the confusing nature of the movie, but George Lucas' restored "THX-1138" is essential viewing to distinguish his artistic vision before he transformed Hollywood."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"Masterpiece? I'd hazard to say so, for as much of what it says to what it leaves to the viewer."
‑ Mark Bell, Film Threat
"A modest, somber vision of the future."
‑ Nick Schager, Lessons of Darkness
More reviews for THX 1138 on Rotten Tomatoes

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