What Critics Are Saying About 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story'

Hint -- it's mostly good!

ByABC News
December 13, 2016, 1:22 PM

— -- The reviews are in! The reviews are in!

Some critics have spoken on "Rogue One: A Star Wars" story and the first batch of reviews are positive about the standalone movie based on a galaxy far, far away. The consensus is that this movie separates itself from the canon films, while staying true to its roots.

Rolling Stone's Peter Travers gave the film 3.5 stars out of 4, writing, "the damn thing is alive and bursting with the euphoric joy of discovery that caught us up in the adventurous fun nearly four decades ago."

"For sheer scene-stealing wow, though, you can't beat Donnie Yen as Chirrut Imwe, a blind warrior monk, and Riz Ahmed as Bodhi Rook, a nutjob Imperial pilot now siding with the rebels. Best of all is Alan Tudyk as the voice of K-2S0, a security droid with a mouth on him," he added.

Variety's Peter Debruge wrote "between epic battles featuring scores of familiar spaceships and the genuine thrill of hearing composer Michael Giacchino riff on John Williams’ classic score, there’s no denying that the film belongs to the creative universe Lucas established."

He added that this is the first truly "'Star Wars' movie targeted directly at adult fans of the original, a gritty war movie with few kid-friendly ingredients."

Debruge did say the movie is "complicated" and may not appeal to younger fans.

Vanity Fair's Richard Lawson had similar sentiments.

"Somewhat free of the weight of expectations that 'Force Awakens' had to maneuver under, 'Rogue One' is looser and livelier and more daring. It fits into this universe’s milieu with ease and style, while exploring new emotional and narrative terrain," he wrote. "Edwards' work is sophisticated and deftly choreographed, gradually crescendoing in size and scope without losing its sinewy elan."

Entertainment Weekly gave it a B+, with Chris Nashawaty writing about the universe Lucas created almost four decades ago, "There are no unanswerable questions, just untold tales –- and unmade movies. 'Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,' the first stand-alone chapter in the franchise, tells one of those untold tales."

"Luke’s not here, Obi Wan’s not here. This is a whole new stable of characters operating on the fringes of the world we know by heart. When you think about it, that’s pretty exciting," he added.

One critic who didn't enjoy the film was NY Times' A.O. Scott, who called it a "thoroughly mediocre movie."

His main rebuke was being "trapped inside this world, subjected to its whims and laws," adding the film's "true spirit is Empire all the way down."

But the movie's rating on IMDB says otherwise at a strong 7.7 out of 10, and Rotten Tomatoes has complied a 80 percent fresh rating so far. These will obviously move up and down over the week and opening weekend.

Lucasfilm and ABC News are both part of parent company Disney.

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