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‘Rogue One’ Critical Roundup: Critics Go Along for the Latest ‘Star Wars’ Ride, but Not All of Them Like It

Gareth Edwards' standalone entry garners positive, occasionally unenthusiastic notices.

Ben Mendelsohn Rogue One

“Rogue One”

Lucasfilm, Jonathan Olley

Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” hits theaters this week, and the reviews are flooding in. Most are positive, though in general critics aren’t quite as enthusiastic as they were for last year’s “The Force Awakens.” IndieWire’s David Ehrlich is mixed, giving Gareth Edwards’ standalone film a C+ and argues that there’s “no compelling narrative reason” for the film to exist” — it’s a “spirited but agonizingly safe attempt to expand cinema’s most holy blockbuster franchise and keep the wheels greased between proper installments.”

READ MORE: ‘Rogue One’ Review: The First ‘Star Wars’ Spinoff Is a Scrappy Space Adventure That Plays Things Painfully Safe

No one shows shade quite like Richard Brody of the New Yorker, however:

“The director of ‘Rogue One,’ Gareth Edwards, has stepped into a mythopoetic stew so half-baked and overcooked, a morass of pre-instantly overanalyzed implications of such shuddering impact to the series’ fundamentalists, that he lumbers through, seemingly stunned or constrained or cautious to the vanishing point of passivity, and lets neither the characters nor the formidable cast of actors nor even the special effects, of which he has previously proved himself to be a master, come anywhere close to life.”

Far more positive is Total Film’s Matt Maytum:

“‘Rogue One’ might trade heavily in nostalgia but it’s bold enough to take risks, and will leave you stirred, fired up and raring for more. Now, if only there was a follow-up we could go away and watch immediately…”

READ MORE: ‘Rogue One’ Star Riz Ahmed On Why His Diverse ‘Star Wars’ Spinoff Is a ‘Different Kind’ of Franchise Film

Ditto Sara Stewart of the New York Post, who gives “Rogue One” three stars out of four:

“By the time its credits rolled, I was ready to forgive ‘Rogue One’ any imperfections. Its last 10 minutes are spectacular and dark, with a final flourish that should give any “Star Wars” fan goose bumps — and a new hope that the next main installment will be this good.”

Stephanie Zacharek, meanwhile, offers a mixed review in Time:

“The story hits every expected beat, right when you expect it to. And it squanders some of its best resources.”

“Rogue One” currently boasts an 83% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 66 Metascore, though both numbers are likely to fluctuate as more reviews are published.

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