Star Wars: The Last Jedi Reviews Roundup: What The Critics Think

The reviews are in and they're kind of great.

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With just days before fans can finally see a new Star Wars movie, reviews began to pour in. Critics have shared their thoughts about Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and the results are very encouraging. Thus far, the newest installment in the Star Wars saga has a score of 86 on Metacritic. For those keeping track, that's the highest score on the site for any Star Wars movie since 1977's Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, which is rated at a 92.

However, while the reviews for Star Wars: The Last Jedi are overwhelmingly positive, that doesn't mean the movie is without its flaws. Still, it charts new territory in this 40-year-old universe. "If 2015's The Force Awakens bent over backward to be like the original movies, The Last Jedi does the same to buck your expectations," GameSpot's Michael Rougeau says in our The Last Jedi review.

Rougeau continues, "There are genuinely shocking moments in this movie. Characters you thought were good have a dark side. Those who should be wise act foolishly, and a single decent act doesn't suddenly make a bad guy good. If you think you know which way this thing will go purely on a narrative level, you're probably wrong. For a Star Wars movie, that unpredictability is refreshing."

And yet, GameSpot's review, along with several others, point out how slow and plodding the middle of the movie can be. "The film simply drags too much in the middle," Entertainment Weekly's Chris Nashawaty says. "Somewhere in the film's 152-minute running time is an amazing 90-minute movie."

One portion of the movie that sticks out is a sequence set on the casino planet Canto Bight. "The sequence looks like something out of the Star Wars prequels, which isn't necessarily an insult as the prequels had an exceptional design, it's just a very different aesthetic from the original trilogy palette," SlashFilm's Peter Sciretta explains. "I suspect the design alone will result in a divisive response, but the story on this planet is probably my least favorite aspect of the film."

Collider's Matt Goldberg agrees. "Where the film struggles the most is on Canto Bight. Taken on her own, Rose isn't a bad addition to the Star Wars mythos, and the movie definitely needs someone to play against Finn," he says. "Unfortunately, they lack the electric chemistry we saw between Finn and Rey in The Force Awakens, and their secret mission in a casino feels like it should be far more entertaining than it actually is."

Still, even though at times the middle of the movie can be slow, there's so much about the film to appreciate. From the arrival of new faces to the galaxy, to the evolution of characters introduced in The Force Awakens, to properly reintroducing Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) to the Star Wars universe, The Last Jedi is filled with moments that make the people filling it all the more real. Of course, given the unfortunate death of Carrie Fisher (General Leia Organa) in 2016, these moments give her character even more impact.

"There is a moment in this film that is so pure and so lovely with General Leia that it will break your heart at the same time that it fills it up with joy," Legion of Leia's Jenna Busch says.

ComicBook's Joseph Schmidt adds, "Director Rian Johnson continues the non-stop momentum of the previous film, constantly raising the stakes and opening up possibilities."

In the end, as Justin Chang of the LA Times puts it, The Last Jedi is "the first flat-out terrific Star Wars movie since 1980's The Empire Strikes Back." He continues, "It seizes upon Lucas' original dream of finding a pop vessel for his obsessions--Akira Kurosawa epics, John Ford westerns, science-fiction serials--and fulfills it with a verve and imagination all its own."

While the one review that's going to matter most to fans of the franchise will be their own after sitting down to watch the film, the critical consensus should help put everyone a bit at ease. It sounds as if there's a lot to love in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, even if it's not a perfect film.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is now in theaters. Do your best to avoid spoilers until you see it.

Disclosure: Metacritic is owned by GameSpot parent company CBS Interactive.

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