Take a look at how the 'Star Wars' prequel is playing across America, including -- gulp -- Peoria

By Gary Eng Walk
May 20, 1999 at 04:00 AM EDT
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Everybody’s a critic, especially when ”Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” is the subject of discussion. Herewith, a few choice words about history’s most overscrutinized sci-fi blockbuster from various movie connoisseurs across the country:

“An astonishing achievement in imaginative filmmaking.” –Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

“My inner child loved it. For my own part, though, I’m feeling let down.” –Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal

”Terminally uninteresting… never before in the annals of filmic frenzy have so many waited so long for so little.” — Andrew Sarris, New York Observer

”The movie is a disappointment. A big one.” –David Ansen, Newsweek

“Visually engaging, a digital oil painting rich in entertainment and escapism.” — Duane Dudek, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

”Up to snuff. There’s no better tour guide (than George Lucas) for a trip to other worlds. Bon voyage.” –Susan Wloszczyna, USA Today

”I would call it the disappointment of the decade… What is this? Crap. Say it out loud: Crap.” –Anthony Lane, The New Yorker

”A spectacular vroom-with-a-view, a spiffy theme park that’s part video game, part sprawling myth and almost all entertaining.” –Janet Maslin, New York Times

”The line readings of Portman and Lloyd are often flat, or flat-out wrong. ‘The Phantom Menace’ is a phantom movie.” –Richard Corliss, Time

”’The Phantom Menace’ is fun, but it’s also skittery and overstuffed. Spectacular yet remote, it fails to recapture the elemental magic of ‘Star Wars.”’ –Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly

Finally, here’s what they’re saying in Peoria:

”An engaging galactic yarn.” — David Moll, Peoria Journal Star

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  • PG
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  • 134 minutes
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