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Return of the Jedi Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    'Return of the Jedi' is fun, magnificent fun. The movie is a complete entertainment, a feast for the eyes and a delight for the fancy. It's a little amazing how Lucas and his associates keep topping themselves.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Cuteness is the watchword here. The dark, eerie atmosphere that oozed from every frame of "The Empire Strikes Back" is gone. Instead, for Return of the Jedi, we have good triumphing decisively over evil, a too-pat resolution to a love triangle, and walking teddy bears.

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  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Best of all, a revisit with Jedi makes a viewer appreciate spectacle, presentation, mythology -- that, and the power of a bitchin' helmet to speak volumes in a language even an alien can understand. [Special Edition]

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 8+

Ewok-filled finale less Force-ful than previous.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that there are two versions of this feature, the original 1983 release (on VHS and Laserdisc) and a later one on DVD to which George Lucas added enhanced special effects -- some of the aliens are obvious puppets, others are obvious CGI. Both feature abundant fantasy violence, from spaceship dogfights and light-saber duels to guerrilla-style war waged with primitive weapons by the cute Ewoks (which is played largely for laughs, though one Ewok is shown dead). Deaths of prominent characters in the series, including a peaceful one in bed for Master Yoda and a more dramatic exit (and funeral pyre) for Anakin Skywalker.

  • Families can talk about the characters' choices and motivations. Why do you think Hans and Lando both put aside their roguish swaggers to play heroes? Are there any role models in this movie?
  • Talk about the hype surrounding the Star Wars franchise. Is it deserved? What is the appeal?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true0

    Educational value: Intended to entertain, not educate.

  • message true3

    Messages: Luke Skywalker successfully resists giving in to the dark side of the Force, and he repeatedly asserts that there is still good remaining in his father, the diabolical Darth Vader. Both the roguish Han Solo and Lando Calrissian end up in heroic leadership roles. The Empire is composed entirely of white males, while the rebels are a blend of genders, races, and species.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Clear line between good and bad. Luke's struggle with negative emotions and his ultimate success at remaining positive and on the side of good is a good example of self discipline.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: Explosions of spacecraft and ground weapons. Light-saber fighting results in loss of limbs. Speedy airborne craft slam into trees, and soldiers are shot down by blaster fire, and one Ewok dies. Robots and pig-like aliens are dismembered and devoured in Jabba the Hutt's dungeons. Jabba is strangled slowly by a chain.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Scantily clad harem girls dance suggestively in the lair of Jabba the Hutt, including Princess Leia.

  • language false0

    Language: Not an issue

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: There was an Empire of toy tie-ins and cartoon spin-offs.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: None, unless you count the hookah pipes in Jabba's place.