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Critics go Mad for The Force Awakens [No Spoilers]

December 16th, 2015

Star Wars: The Force Awakens

The review embargo for Star Wars: The Force Awakens was lifted at midnight, and there are now over 100 reviews on Rotten Tomatoes. Before we get into the specifics, let’s talk about some benchmarks. If the film’s reviews were in line with The Phantom Menace’s, then it would be in trouble. On the other hand, I would be satisfied if it merely matched Revenge of the Sith or Return of the Jedi, both of which earned 79% positive. Anything above 85% positive reviews would be a major success. So what is The Force Awakens’ Tomatometer Score?

Currently, the Tomatometer Score is 97% positive. This puts it above A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, which are both at 94% positive. To give some more recent comparisons, this equals Mad Max: Fury Road’s reviews. If this score doesn’t drop significantly, then the film will have lived up to the hype in terms of quality. The high score should also help its legs, making breaking records a whole lot easier.

It’s fair to ask at this point whether the high reviews are partly a product of the hype. It’s worth noting, for example, that the negative reviews come from quite level-headed journalists: Scott Mendelson at Forbes, Nigel Andrews at the Financial Times, Andrew O’Hehir at Salon, and Roger Moore at Movie Nation (all of whom are probably frantically calling security consultants as we speak). Some of the positive reviews join these four in questioning whether the film is too much of a throwback to the original trilogy. But if that’s the main complaint, it probably won’t diminish the enthusiasm among fans, at least on first viewing. Will it be enough of a problem for people to pause before going to see it for the fifth time this weekend? We’ll find out the answer to that question in a few days.

Related articles:
- Six Records Star Wars is Certain to Break
Eight Records Star Wars Needs to Break
- Star Wars Path to Avatars Three Titanic Records

Related pages:
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens
- Star Wars franchise history
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens Recent Comparisons
- Star Wars: The Force Awakens All-Time Comparisons
- Theatrical Records

Filed under: Star Wars Ep. VII: The Force Awakens, Star Wars