The storytelling is the series' best, with a zingy balance of drama, humor, and Deep Thoughts.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
I found myself glancing at my watch almost as often as I did when I was sitting through a truly terrible movie called The Island.
Vincent Canby - New York Times
The total effect is fast and attractive and occasionally amusing. Like a good hot dog, that's something of an achievement in a field where unpalatable junk is the rule.
Judith Martin - Washington Post
A dramatic illustration of the continued technical brilliance and leadership of the Lucas production team.
Gary Arnold - Washington Post
The most classic in its style, design and narrative.
Bruce Westbrook - Houston Chronicle
It is a visual extravaganza from beginning to end, one of the most visionary and inventive of all films.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
It balances bloodshed with charm, spectacle with childlike glee. It's a near flawless movie of its kind.
Gene Siskel - Chicago Tribune
Irvin Kershner directed the actors this time around, and without the benefit of Lucas's personal affection they seem stiffer, more clenched.
Dave Kehr - Chicago Reader
In the glory days of science fiction, critics wrote about the 'sense of wonder.' That's what The Empire Strikes Back creates in us
Susan Stark - Detroit News
The Empire Strikes Back is a worthy sequel to Star Wars, equal in both technical mastery and characterization, suffering only from the familiarity with the effects generated in the original and imitated too much by others.
James Harwood - Variety
For many Star Wars fans, this second installment is the best of the George Lucas trilogy: a dark, ultimately melancholy, even philosophical episode that has no triumphant happy ending.
John Hartl - Film.com
Star Wars made my eyes pop out when I first saw it in 1977!
Sean Means - Film.com
A superior motion picture!
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
In many ways the new film is a better film than Star Wars, visually more exciting, more artful and meticulous in detail.
Dean Essner - TIME Magazine
The best of the original series, but the most intense, too.
Charles Cassady - Common Sense Media
Continues to set the standards for sequels to this day...
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
O melhor de toda a serie, este episodio abraca o potencial sombrio do universo concebido por Lucas e consegue equilibrar com eficiencia os aspectos infantis da narrativa com os momentos de maior densidade.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
Wesley Lovell - Cinema Sight
Despite ... an unresolved storyline that paves the way for its dismal sequel, Empire remains in many ways the best (indeed the last good) Star Wars film.
Steve Biodrowski - Cinefantastique
A more mature instalment than its predecessor, loaded with spectacular special effects and efficiently written, this may well be the pinnacle of the saga.
Dean Essner - Film4
Each section of the film has a stand-out sequence that inspires hyperbole like 'best ever.'
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
The most imaginative and emotionally connectable "Star Wars" film and, with the exception of "Revenge of the Sith," also the darkest.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
The second act is very strong, cutting back and forth between Luke training with Yoda and Han, Leia, Chewie and C-3P0 fighting the Empire. And it's paced leisurely enough that you get to know the characters a little bit.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
An extended ricochet from one incendiary set-piece battle to another which still finds time to attend to plot, pace and character.
Dean Essner - Time Out
The best of the films.
Scott Nash - Three Movie Buffs
Sci-fi cinema at its best.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
Everything you loved about A New Hope and more.
Jason Zingale - Bullz-Eye.com
The backbone of the Star Wars saga
takes the story and themes of the first film into deeper waters.
Steven D. Greydanus - Decent Films Guide
...the deepest, darkest, most mature, and most thoughtful entry in the series.
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
The Empire Strikes Back is a total delight.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
The best Star Wars movie, ever!
Stefan Birgir Stefansson - sbs.is
The film spends more time on its characters and unlike the previous film they aren't as busy with all kinds of swashbuckling adventures.
James O'Ehley - Sci-Fi Movie Page
A darker, richer, and more elaborate film than the original.
Dean Essner - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Blake French - NutzWorld
The most interesting of the series
Jon Niccum - Lawrence Journal-World
To see The Empire Strikes Back again on the big screen is a real treat and it brings to mind that cliche they don't make 'em like this anymore.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Easily the best of the Star Wars saga, sad but thrilling.
Dan Lybarger - Lawrence Journal-World
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
Brandon Judell - PopcornQ
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
Mark Palermo - Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
It was incredible to see what is arguably the best of the Star Wars films, on the big screen again.
Chris Gore - Film Threat
In Empire, creator George Lucas' childlike epic ventures into complex territory that gives the story a touch of psychological heft its siblings lack.
Margaret A. McGurk - Cincinnati Enquirer
It's the best film of the series, and one of the greatest sci-fi flicks ever made.
Kevin N. Laforest - Montreal Film Journal
El Episodio V es el mas oscuro de la saga de Star Wars, pero tambien, el mas seductor.
Luis Martinez - Cinenganos
By far the best part of the trilogy, Empire is a classic that completely transcends its genre, with a reputation that can only grow and grow.
Tom Coates - BBC
may always be the middle child of the Star Wars Trilogy, but it will always remain the stronges
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
Great follow-up to the original tale of a galaxy far, far away, this film has plenty of action, one-liners, special-effects, good vs evil rivalries and a pleasantly dark ending.
JoBlo - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Have you heard of this one? Sequel to Star Wars?
Scott Weinberg - eFilmCritic.com
Scattered and less focused, the second of the Star Wars trilogy to be re-released in the Special Edition format remains a deep pleasure to behold.
Stephen Hunter - Baltimore Sun
I think I can recite most of the dialogue from The Empire Strikes Back -- I mean, even R2's clicks and beeps. Isn't that sad?
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Stoke in the popcorn and feel the Force.
Angie Errigo - Empire Magazine
Bigger, better, faster, wiser and funnier than its predecessor!
Louis B. Hobson - Jam! Movies
Loaded with perfectly timed comic relief and full of rich characters!
Chris Hicks - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
It is still one of the better sequels Hollywood has ever produced!
Rob Blackwelder - SPLICEDWire
The Empire Strikes Back has always been the best written and best shot of the three Star Wars films, and with the enhancements, it looks like it will have a good chance at holding the title.
Madeleine Williams - Cinematter
The sequel that rose above the high standards set by its glorious predecessor.
Dragan Antulov - rec.arts.movies.reviews
The script again is imaginative and full of laughs. Poor Chewy remains the brunt of the many of the jokes.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
Here was a blockbuster which had the audacity to mess with the most successful film formula anyone had yet discovered, a feature film which ended the way feature films just weren't supposed to end: with a cliff-hanger worthy of the old radio serials.
Scott Renshaw - rec.arts.movies.reviews
The greatest episode of the Star Wars Trilogy!
Bob Stephens - San Francisco Examiner
This 1980 sequel is a stronger film with cooler effects, more action, a better storyline and superior wisecracks.
Dean Essner - E! Online
The finest and most mature of the three.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
The Empire Strikes Back is a technological triumph, a cornucopia of intergalactic tchotchkes.
David Ansen - Newsweek
It's impossible to imagine a person leaving the theatre feeling like he didn't get his money's worth.
Jimmy Summers - Boxoffice Magazine
The balance between action and mysticism in Empire provides fascinating energy.
Peter Stack - San Francisco Chronicle
Joe Baltake - Sacramento Bee
I've always found Empire to be the Hamlet of science fiction, basically because nothing good happens to the hero in the entire story.
Christopher Null - Filmcritic.com
One of the great space operas of all time!
Roger Moore - Winston-Salem Journal
Technical virtuosity and entertainment ingenuity.
David Sterritt - Christian Science Monitor
Colorful, exciting, witty and adventuresome!
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Jim Judy - Screen It!