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Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace

Adventure . Action . Science Fiction . Fantasy

Anakin Skywalker, a young slave strong with the Force, is discovered on Tatooine. Meanwhile, the evil Sith have returned, enacting their plot for revenge against the Jedi.

Actors: Liam Neeson , Ewan McGregor , Natalie Portman , Jake Lloyd , Ian McDiarmid , Anthony Daniels , Kenny Baker , Pernilla August , Frank Oz , Oliver Ford Davies
Directors: George Lucas
Country: USA
Release: 1999-05-19
More Info:
  • Roger Ebert

    An astonishing achievement in imaginative filmmaking.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Michael Wilmington

    A highly entertaining and visually breathtaking movie, capable at times of rocking and delighting you.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    Not a masterpiece, but it's an example of how imagination, craftsmanship, and technological bravura can fashion superior entertainment out of something that is far from flawless.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • William Arnold

    Avoid the hype, just go enjoy the movie

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer Full Review
  • Janet Maslin

    It's up to snuff. It sustains the gee-whiz spirit of the series.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • David Sterritt

    The computer-driven effects are impressive, but the adventure is hampered by a flat screenplay, dull acting, and just a hint as to why the dark side of the Force will eventually transform cute little Anakin into the evil Darth Vader.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Susan Wloszczyna

    Let the killjoys squawk. Lucas has proved he has the Naboos to pull it off again. And again. And again.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Keith Phipps

    Despite a shaky start and the presence of questionable elements throughout, by the time it arrives at its finale -- which copies Return Of The Jedi's triple-climax structure -- The Phantom Menace has won its place alongside the original Star Wars trilogy.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Owen Gleiberman

    Fails to recapture the elemental magic of Star Wars, and that, ironically, is because it represents the coarse culmination of the original film's adrenaline aesthetic.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Jack Mathews

    In the end, Phantom needed more human and less digital scale. The magic of "Star Wars" lay in Lucas' ability to play the human comedy in a fantastic future. With Phantom, he has brought the series to the brink of total artificiality, the future as a video game.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Jay Carr

    Good enough, but only just. It's got the hardware, but neither the characters, the imagination, nor the resonance one had hoped for.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Rick Groen

    It does the job just fine. That job, as director George Lucas freely admits, is quite simply to thrill the beating hearts and the inquiring minds of 12-year-old boys.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Maitland McDonagh

    It's a kiddie movie rejiggered for childish grown-ups, of whom there are enough to make it a hit. How such childishness has become a virtual secular religion is hard to imagine.

    TV Guide Full Review
  • Paul Malcolm

    What I mean is that to watch The Phantom Menace as a lifelong "Star Wars" fan is to engage in constant, fragile negotiations between a cherished familiarity and the shock of the new.

    L.A. Weekly Full Review
  • Greg Burk

    I warn you, I'm gonna continue whining about the movie. Just keep in mind that I liked it.

    L.A. Weekly Full Review
  • Todd McCarthy

    Phantom is easily consumable eye candy, but it contains no nutrients for the heart or mind.

    Variety Full Review
  • Jonathan Rosenbaum

    Not at all bad for a toy commercial.

    Chicago Reader Full Review
  • Bob Graham

    In special effects, Lucas has moved a galaxy beyond. In energy, not yet.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Marc Savlov

    The entire film is curiously soulless, with major characters making their entrances and exits (some of which are unexpectedly final) as if they were breezing in from some other screening next door.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Charles Taylor

    "Star Wars" fans deserve better. Full Review
  • Kenneth Turan

    While the new film is certainly serviceable, it's noticeably lacking in warmth and humor, and though its visual strengths are real and considerable, from a dramatic point of view it's ponderous and plodding.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • John Hartl

    Story. Character. They used to mean something to George Lucas. Full Review
  • David Ansen

    All the state-of-the-art technology in the world is no help to an actor saddled with Lucas's tinny dialogue.

    Newsweek Full Review
  • Desson Thomson

    It is likely to disappoint more people than creator George Lucas would have liked.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Rita Kempley

    The Empire strikes out.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • J. Hoberman

    The Phantom Menace is simply a billboard for itself. Anyone who sees it will be experiencing it for the second time. The hype was not about the movie, the hype was the movie.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Robert Wilonsky

    This ain't no movie. It's a very long, very tedious infomercial for Phantom Menace action figures, on sale now at a Target or Toys "R" Us near you.

    Dallas Observer Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    George Lucas does it his way in the pallid Phantom Menace. Even cultists will wish he'd hired a director and some writers.

    Slate Full Review
  • Calum Marsh

    It's difficult to discern precisely where this all went wrong, and even more difficult to speculate about possible improvements.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Shawn Levy

    Phantom may not be the best entry in the series, but it's the most technically accomplished, and it makes you as hungry for the next film as you've been for this one.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
Add Soundtrack
  • 17. The Trip to the Naboo Temple The Audience With Boss Nass Performer: John Williams Stream Music Online
  • 18. Queen Amidala and the Naboo Palace Performer: London Symphony Orchestra, John Williams & London Voices Stream Music Online