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: May 9, 1999
DVD Release Date: October 16, 2001
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Critic Score: 55% 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 Holleman
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

The movie is fun, for the most part, and several scenes are as good or better than anything Lucas created in the original films. The human characters, however, are not nearly as interesting as those in the earlier episodes.

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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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Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy

It is not remotely devoid of value. It's just that none of this value comes from plot, character, or capacity to provide entertainment.

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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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David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews

The saga begins with this relentlessly erratic installment...

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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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Evan Williams
The Australian

Everything in Phantom Menace exists in a bright noisy vacuum.

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Flixster Audience Score: 59% Flixster User Reviews
Jay Hutchinson
This movie is terrible
Chris Garman
I've had a saying that I've used for almost 20 years now in relation to The Phantom Menace. I compare the film to waking up Christmas morning… More
Matthew Samuel Mirliani
Phantom is a frustrating watch, however there are elements worth admiring: its ambition plot, Williams' score, the art direction, and the iconic duel with… More
MisterYoda ?
Three Stars!!
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
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