The year is expected to end with a bang as Star Wars: The Last Jedi, one of the most anticipated movies of this year, releases this weekend. Starring Mark Hamill, late Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Andy Serkis, Lupita Nyong'o, Gwendoline Christie and many more, the film picks up right where Star Wars: Force Awakens concluded.
The Last Jedi is longest Star Wars movie yet, running about 162 minutes long. Interestingly this is not the only record the movie makes. The Last Jedi now holds the highest Rotten Tomatoes score for a Star Wars movie on the site. Following the reviews, the film stands strong at 96 percent. "Star Wars: #TheLastJedi is currently the highest rated #StarWars movie at 96% on the #Tomatometer," Rotten Tomatoes tweeted.
While we'll have to wait and watch what the fans have to say about the eighth Star Wars movies, the critics' verdicts are out and they are all praises for the movie.
Writing for The Guardian, Peter Bradshaw reviews the movie as "an explosive thrill-ride of galactic proportions." His review reads: "Director Rian Johnson delivers a tidal wave of energy and emotion in the eighth episode of the saga, as Luke, Leia, Finn and Rey step up to meet their destiny. It's impossible not to be swept away."
The Hollywood Reporters' Todd McCarthy reviewed it as, "Far from the last or the least." He writes, "Loaded with action and satisfying in the ways its loyal audience wants it to be, writer-director Rian Johnson's plunge into George Lucas' universe is generally pleasing even as it sometimes strains to find useful and/or interesting things for some of its characters to do."
Telegraph reviews The Last Jedi as "enormous fun" and "will leave fans beaming with surprise". Peter Travers of Rolling Stones calls the movie "the epic you've been looking for," adding, "The Last Jedi – Episode VIII of the Star Wars saga – is simply stupendous, a volcano of creative ideas in full eruption."
Manohla Dargis of The New York Times feels The Last Jedi "embraces the magic and mystery." Praises director Rian Johnson, the review reads, "Mr. Johnson largely succeeds despite having inherited an elaborate ecosystem with a Manichaean worldview divided between heroes (a.k.a. the Resistance) and villains (the First Order)."
However, Dargis notes that Johnson is checking boxes you'd expect to form this franchise. "He may be checking off some those boxes in an ode to George Lucas; whatever the case, Mr. Johnson only infrequently comes across as dutiful or as overtly brand-expanding (as with a troika of calculatingly cute tykes who unnervingly suggest this series really will go on forever)."
Also praising Johnson, Vanity Fair's Richard Lawson reviews, "Johnson expands the psychology of Star Wars, bringing shading and moral ambivalence to this mythic tale of dark versus light. No Star Wars has ever made a better case for the Force than this film, which finally mends the damage done by the midi-chlorian humbug introduced in the disastrous prequel films."
Talking of the cast, Vulture's David Edelstein writes, "Ridley's Rey is even more appealing here. But the core of The Last Jedi — of this whole trilogy, it seems — is Driver's Kylo Ren, who ranks with cinema's most fascinating human monsters."
Having similar opinions on Driver's Kylo Ren, USA Today's Brian Truitt describes the character as "blockbuster cinema's most magnetic and unpredictable antagonist since Heath Ledger's Dark Knight Joker."
Sharing his experience of watching The Last Jedi, Deadline's Pete Hammond writes that the movie is "as much fun as you could have at the movies." He reviews: "In addition to brilliant action sequences and state-of-the-art CGI effects, there is strong character development," adding, "Hamill gets a showcase like Luke has never had and makes the most of a very satisfying arc for Mr. Skywalker. The music from John Williams is a must, and as always simply soars."
Although many critics call the December release a brilliant piece, Chicago Sun-Times' Richard Roeper feels it tops Force Awakens. "Although it doesn't pack quite the same emotional punch and it lags a bit in the second half, this is still a worthy chapter in the Star Wars franchise, popping with exciting action sequences, sprinkled with good humor and containing more than a few nifty 'callbacks' to previous characters and iconic moments."
Variety's Peter Debruge too expressed his disappointment in his review. He writes, "The Last Jedi possesses the same reverence for the galaxy Lucas created, paying homage in all the right places while barely advancing the narrative."
Forbes' Scott Mendelsohn also had issues with the length of the movie, despite praising the movie. "The Last Jedi is a long work of art that doesn't know when to quit," he writes.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi releases on December 15.