Star Wars: Rogue One Review Roundup

The reviews are in.

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Following some initial celebrity reactions, the first reviews for the newest Star Wars movie, Rogue One, started to come online today ahead of the spinoff's release this Friday. We've rounded up some reviews here to help you get an idea about if the movie is worth your time and money.

Rogue One is set just before the events of 1977's Episode IV and tells the story of a band of rebels and their attempts to steal the plans to the Death Star. Felicity Jones stars as rebel soldier Jyn Erso, while Ben Mendelsohn plays the evil Director Orson Krennic. Famous Star Wars bad guy Darth Vader appears in the movie "sparingly" and is voiced by James Earl Jones.

It's the first Star Wars standalone movie, but it won't be the last. Lucasfilm will release a Han Solo-focused spinoff in 2018 after next year's Episode VIII, while there are spinoffs focused on Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi are reportedly in the works.

For more on the critical reaction to Rogue One, head to GameSpot sister site Metacritic. Check back soon for GameSpot's review.

  • Film: Star Wars: Rogue One
  • Release Date: December 16
  • Starring: Felicity Jones, Diego Luna, Alan Tudyk, Mads Mikkelsen, Forest Whitaker, Ben Mendelsohn, Donnie Yen
  • Directed By: Gareth Edwards
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Runtime: 133 minutes

Entertainment Weekly

"Rogue One would have been a very good standalone sci-fi movie if it came out under a different name. But what makes it especially exciting is how it perfectly snaps right into the Star Wars timeline and connects events we already know by heart with ones that we never even considered. It makes you wonder how many other untold stories are waiting in the shadowy corners of Lucas' galaxy far, far away." -- Chris Nashawaty [Full review]

The New York Times

"There are too many characters, too much tactical, and technical explanation, too much pseudo-political prattle. And at the same time, there isn't quite enough of the filial dynamic between Galen and Jyn, and not enough weight given to the ethical and strategic problems of rebellion. When might ends justify means? What kind of sacrifice is required in the service of a righteous cause?

"Popular art--Star Wars included--has often proved itself capable of exploring these kinds of questions with clarity, vigor, and even a measure of nuance. But Rogue One has no such ambitions, no will to persuade the audience of anything other than the continued strength of the brand. It doesn't so much preach to the choir as propagandize to the captives, telling us that we're free spirits and partners on the journey. The only force at work here is the force of habit." -- A.O. Scott [Full review]

The Hollywood Reporter

"Rogue One definitely puts the war back into Star Wars. It may call itself rogue, but this first standalone feature in the series officially unconnected with any of the previous entries fits comfortably in the universe George Lucas birthed 40 years ago. Loaded with more battle action than any of its seven predecessors, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story plays like a setup for the events in the 1977 original and, for the most part, does so quite entertainingly." -- Todd McCarthy [Full review]

Rolling Stone

"As always, a Star Wars movie lives or dies depending on how much we give a damn or don't about the characters. Luckily, there are no cutesy Ewoks to soften Jyn's journey into the heart of Imperial darkness. It's no lie that some of the interactions get lost under the weight of front-loaded exposition. But with the smashing Jones giving us a female warrior to rank with the great ones and a cast that knows how to keep it real even in a sci-fi fantasy, Rogue One proves itself a Star Wars story worth telling. It's hard not to get choked up with that blind monk when he chants, 'I'm with the Force and the Force is with me.' Who'd want it any other way?" -- Peter Travers [Full review]

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Polygon

"It is the first Star Wars movie I've ever seen where I genuinely felt as if I didn't know how it was going to end--even though, more than any other, its ending is obvious and established. The Rebels succeed in liberating the Death Star plans. The space station is destroyed in a daring offensive. Some years later, the Rebellion is won." -- Susana Polo [Full review]

The Wrap

"Rogue One: A Star Wars Story is for the fans, all right, but in that expression's worst way. Unless you're thrilled by the idea of 133 minutes of sideways mentions, shout-outs, and straight-up references to the original Star Wars (or Episode IV: A New Hope, for those born after 1977), there's not nearly enough excitement going on here, much less character, plot, or story. A direct prequel to A New Hope--it's the story of how those blueprints for the Death Star got snuck out and into the hands of the Rebel Alliance--this is less a movie than it is an epic of fan-fiction, laden with Easter eggs that super-devotees can congratulate themselves for finding." -- Alonso Duralde [Full review]

Deadline

"It is not hype on my part to say I really think this could be my favorite of [all of the Star Wars movies]. It's certainly the grittiest, even using indie film technique like handheld cameras, and also is the first one to play like a war picture." -- Pete Hammond [Full review]

Variety

"Between epic battles featuring scores of familiar spaceships and the genuine thrill of hearing composer Michael Giacchino riff on John Williams' classic score, there's no denying that the film belongs to the creative universe Lucas established. This is the rebellion as it is experienced in the trenches. Younger audiences will be bored, confused, or both. But for the original generation of Star Wars fans who weren't sure what to make of episodes one, two, and three, Rogue One is the prequel they've always wanted." -- Peter Debruge [Full review]

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