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Star Wars Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100


    A magnificent film. George Lucas set out to make the biggest possible adventure fantasy out of his memories of serials and older action epics, and he succeeded brilliantly.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Like all great craftsmen, Lucas has managed to fashion this material in a manner that not only honors the original sources, but makes it uniquely his own. Hacks rip off other movies; artists synthesize and pay homage to their inspirations.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    If I were asked to say with certainty which movies will still be widely known a century or two from now, I would list "2001,'' "The Wizard of Oz,'' Keaton and Chaplin, Astaire and Rogers, and probably "Casablanca'' ... and "Star Wars,'' for sure.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Los Angeles Times

    The year’s most razzle-dazzling family movie, an exuberant and technically astonishing space adventure in which the galactic tomorrows of Flash Gordon are the setting for conflicts and events that carry the suspiciously but splendidly familiar ring of yesterday’s westerns, as well as yesterday’s Flash Gordon serials. [22 May 1977]

  • 100

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Lucas combines excellent comedy and drama and progresses it with exciting action on tremendously effective space battles. Likeable heroes on noble missions and despicable villains capable of the most dastardly deeds are all wrapped up in some of the most spectacular special effects ever to illuminate a motion picture screen. The result is spellbinding and totally captivating on all levels.

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  • 60

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal

    Rendering all of its materials with a self-protective tongue-in-cheek tone, Star Wars is fun. But if the movie appeals to the child in all of us, it also may seem to the adult within a good deal less delightful. There's something depressing about seeing all these impressive cinematic gifts and all this extraordinary technological skills lavished on such puerile materials.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Gene Siskel

    Star Wars is not a great movie in the sense that it describes the human condition. It simply is a fun picture that will appeal to those who enjoy Buck Rogers-style adventures. What places it a sizable cut about the routine is its spectacular visual effects, the best since Stanley Kubrick's "2001." [27 May 1977]

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 7+

Sci-fi action classic perfect for sharing with kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this classic 1977 sci-fi action blockbuster may be more frightening than you recall. The central villain, Darth Vader, creates a menacing presence and engages in several acts of violence (threatening, choking). Another central character dies, though he just seems to disappear, and several minor characters die or are injured, though the images are brief or non-graphic. There are also a few instances of mild language, specifically "damn" and "hell," plus plenty of insults. Some families may take issue with the film's spiritual philosophies built around "the Force" as the central tenet of existence in the universe. For kids of the right age, this movie is an unforgettable ride through a vast galaxy of imaginative concepts and characters. Of the six films in the Star Wars series, this one offers the best and mildest balance of drama and action for younger viewers.

  • Families can talk about the heavy merchandising of the film in the decades since its release. Kids: Did watching the movie make you want to buy toys or games related to the movie? What's the appeal of owning something you've seen in a movie?
  • Movies have changed so much since the late 1970s, when this film was released. Does it still seem exciting, or did you realize you were watching an older film at times?
  • What's the impact of the violence in this movie? Does the fact that the special effects look old fashioned change the way the violence comes across?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true0

    Educational value: Intended to entertain, not educate.

  • message true1

    Messages: The forces of good and evil are very clearly defined in the film. The story's positive messages include hard work paying off with results, the power of personal sacrifice in pursuit of a larger good, and accepting those who are different or difficult to get along with.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: The film's heroes overcome significant obstacles to work together and defeat the villains, making great personal sacrifice and demonstrating exceptional bravery. Princess Leia is a powerful female character who defies traditional stereotypes about what a princess should be.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence and scariness: The film strings together a series of battles that feature heavy sci-fi violence, including lasers and the film's version of swords (lightsabers). There are some brief images of burned bodies in the desert, pilots exploding while in the cockpits of their ships, an arm being severed (with blood), and the destruction of an entire planet seen from afar. The menacing central villain engages in a several acts of direct and indirect choking of other characters. Alien creatures vary in appearance; some some might appear scary to younger kids.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Mild flirting and crushes between male and female lead characters. The sexual content doesn't escalate beyond a single chaste kiss on the cheek "for luck."

  • language false2

    Language: Much of the film's banter is based in mildly antagonistic relationships between characters, so there are frequent insults and one-liners bandied back and forth. Otherwise, there are a few instances of "damn" and "hell."

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: No real-world brands or products are featured in the film, since it takes place in another galaxy. But the movie created a template for movie merchandising that persists to this day. Decades after release, its characters are still immortalized in action figures, video games, and countless other products.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters visit an intergalactic cantina where otherworldly beverages are served and strange substances are smoked. But it has no visible parallel to anything available in reality.