star wars last jedi ridley reviews
Daisy Ridley stars as Rey in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Lucasfilm

The embargo has lifted and the “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” reviews are out in full force. The latest sequel in the franchise, which is out in theaters on Friday, Dec. 15, picks up right where 2015’s “The Force Awakens” left off, both story-wise and excitement-wise.

Before you head to the movies to see the epic new space flick, take a look at what some of the critics are saying about the new addition to the “Star Wars” family.

The Hollywood Reporter - Todd McCarthy

“Loaded with action and satisfying in the ways its loyal audience wants it to be, writer-director Rian Johnson’s plunge into George Lucas’ universe is generally pleasing even as it sometimes strains to find useful and/or interesting things for some of its characters to do.”

Screen Rant - Molly Freeman

“What makes ‘The Last Jedi’ the most unique installment of the ‘Star Wars’ franchise to date, though, is how big it feels, and how weighty the stakes are. The disparate forces of the Resistance and the First Order (or whichever name the sides of good and evil are going by) have never been felt quite as much as in ‘The Last Jedi,’ and the desperation of the rebels is an ongoing thread throughout the entire film.

These stakes set the stage for a breathlessly exciting fight between the crushing weight of an oppressive regime and the ragtag group of rebels who dare to fight for what is right. While that’s been the main theme of ‘Star Wars’ since the original trilogy, Johnson grounds ‘The Last Jedi’ in a way that the film offers viewers much better insight into the true scope of the war the rebels are fighting.”

CNN - Brian Lowry

“Despite the enormous scope and visual spectacle, too many key components of the film -- including those that have kept die-hard fans guessing and debating -- prove unsatisfying.

To be fair, writer-director Rian Johnson delivers some genuine surprises, and has dotted the movie with its share of pleasurable moments, from disarming humor to the first space battle to callbacks to earlier films -- practically flashing a sign to ensure opening-night audiences will have opportunities to whoop and holler.”

Mashable - Chris Taylor

“Does it have problems? Of course; what ‘Star Wars’ movie doesn’t. (Don’t say ‘Empire Strikes Back’ or I’ll remind you of the oven mitt alien in the asteroid.) Clunky dialogue? Sure, but less than usual. Will it stir up controversy in the fandom? More than you might expect from something we’ve come to consider as a safe Disney franchise.

Director Rian Johnson, unlike his predecessor and successor J.J. Abrams, does not mess around. With ‘The Last Jedi’ he has added significantly to the mythology of the Force, and make his mark on much else. You can look forward to some wonderful Force-based arguments over the holidays.”

The Guardian - Peter Bradshaw

“‘The Last Jedi’ gives you an explosive sugar rush of spectacle. It’s a film that buzzes with belief in itself and its own mythic universe – a euphoric certainty that I think no other movie franchise has. And there is no provisional hesitation or energy dip of the sort that might have been expected between episodes seven and nine. What there is, admittedly, is an anticlimactic narrative muddle in the military story, but this is not much of a flaw considering the tidal wave of energy and emotion that crashes out of the screen in the final five minutes. It’s impossible not to be swept away.”

Variety - Peter Debruge

“Despite the success of ‘The Last Jedi’ at supplying jaw-dropping visuals and a hall-of-fame-worthy lightsaber battle, audiences could presumably skip this film and show up for Episode IX without experiencing the slightest confusion as to what happened in the interim. It’s as if Johnson’s assignment was to extend the franchise without changing anything fundamental, which is closer to the way classic television and vintage James Bond movies operate than anything George Lucas ever served up.”

“Star Wars: The Last Jedi” is out in theaters on Friday.