THX 1138
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Based on his award-winning student short, George Lucas's debut feature cerebrally celebrates the possibility for individual freedom against all odds. In a 1984-esque white-washed future underground dystopia where sexuality is banned, all humans sport shaved heads and the same shapeless outfits as they go about their work in a mandated state of sedation, listening to exhortations to "Buy and Be Happy." Black-clad robot cops chant a mantra to their victims that "everything will be all right" and automated confessional booths emit soothing therapeutic bromides. But… 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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