More 'Phantom' Reviews

Another media outlet — this time a very traditional one — has broken the release-date embargo on “Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace” reviews by running its review in today’s editions. (Studios and newspapers have a tacit agreement that critics will keep their lids on until a movie’s opening day). The Washington Post’s Rita Kempley, clearly no fan of the new movie, says “The Empire strikes out.” (“Lost in Hyperspace,” reads the headline.) “Even die-hard fans of the heretofore awe-inspiring saga are bound to be disappointed with this joyless, overly reverential and impenetrably plotted prequel,” she writes.

  • PEOPLE critic Leah Rozen, in the upcoming issue of the magazine, is more sanguine about the new flick. (Magazines are permitted to run their reviews the week of a movie’s debut. “Phantom” opens May 19.) “It’s only a movie, folks,” she writes. “No more, no less. Well, maybe more for kids and less for adults.”
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