The embargo for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has finally lifted and those who saw the film on Saturday night can now begin to publish their critical reviews of the film. We’ve put them all together in our Rogue One Review Roundup…
We are three short days away from the worldwide theatrical debut of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, on December 16, and the first official reviews for the film are starting to roll in. Today, December 13, the embargo for critics who saw the movie on Saturday night at the Hollywood Red Carpet Premiere has been lifted, and we’ve rounded the reviews up right here, to see what the talking heads are saying about Rogue One.
If you’re worried about spoilers for Rogue One, then don’t, as we won’t copy and paste each critic’s detailed description. However, we will link to each site that has a review for the film, with a small quote from each one. Let’s get started.
The first Rogue One review comes from Peter Travers at Rolling Stone:
"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."
Next, we have Variety’s Peter Debruge with his analysis of the film, and it’s not as enthusiastic as many of the others in our Rogue One review roundup. Debruge also says that Rogue One is missing much of the Star Wars formula.
Image Credit: Lucasfilm
"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."
Eric Goldman at IGN had this to say about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and his review seems to reflect what we’ve been seeing from the initial reactions to the film, following Saturday night.
"Rogue One is a movie crammed with fan service, but when fan service is done this well, there’s little to complain about and much to adore. The film offers a remarkable recreation of the original Star Wars’ world, while exploring this universe from a different, edgier perspective than is the norm. It also expertly delivers thrills, tension and genuine stakes, despite the audience’s prior knowledge that the movie’s central mission will be a successful one."
USA Today’s Brian Truitt was not impressed, it appears, with Gareth Edwards’ vision for the very first Star Wars standalone film. Tuitt feels there was too much fan service in Rogue One.
"Fortunately, even an underwhelming Star Wars is a pretty decent Star Wars, but Rogue One misses a real chance to turn the familiar into something remarkable."
Image Credit: Lucasfilm
Bryan Bishop at The Verge made some fantastic points regarding Rogue One and the film’s place as the very first Star Wars film. He also echoes what other critics are saying, which will most likely be the overall theme of these reviews, in that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story doesn’t feel like a Star Wars movie.
"Rogue One, freed from the shackles of an episode number, doesn’t even try to evoke that same level of verisimilitude. And while it might be bumpy for some moviegoers, that actually seems to be the point. The film soars when it abandons all pretense of being a space opera, and fully embraces the bombastic modern action movie that’s at its core, giving it a unique identity that does indeed stand apart from other entries in the series."
The New York Times‘ A. O. Scott isn’t as nice in their review of Rogue One. In fact, the review seems to have two different personalities of its own. Scott has some harsh words regarding the film and says Rogue One leaves audiences wanting both more and less.
"A couple of 9-year-olds on a screen-free rainy afternoon would come up with better adventures, and probably also better dialogue. Plots and subplots are handled with clumsy expediency, and themes that might connect this movie with the larger Lucasfilm mythos aren’t allowed to develop."
Finally, Entertainment Weekly’s Chris Nashawaty gave Rogue One a B+:
"Rogue One would have been a very good stand-alone 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."
Image Credit: Screenshot David Harris via Rotten Tomatoes
Currently, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story has a score of 80% on Rotten Tomatoes. As you may know, Rotten Tomatoes aggregates all the critic reviews for a film into one cumulative score. So, for now, Rogue One isn’t a smashing hit with the critics. Now we wait until Star Wars fans can see the film and form their own opinions.
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We want to hear from you: What do you think of the first critical reviews of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story? Let us know in the comments below and on social media.