Esteban Gonzalez’s review published on Letterboxd:
Ryan Johnson just took us to church. That is the best way I can summarize the 150 minute experience. There were nearly a dozen scenes where the audience cheered and clapped as if they were being moved and called to action by an emotional sermon. Some say sport fanatism is like a religion, the same could be applied here for the Star Wars fanbase. There were moments when you simply felt like standing up and cheering for that marvelous goal or awesome dunk. The characters here are not simple heroes or villains, they are stars who are facing off. I can’t recall the last time I experienced something like this in a theater, but it has been at least a year since the last five star film I’ve seen (La La Land). Johnson delivers what all Star Wars fans wanted to see: an action packed adventure with memorable characters and hilarious moments. This film isn’t exclusively nostalgic (as I felt The Force Awakens was) and it isn’t predictable either. There were so many surprising moments and delightful twists along the way. By the time the movie was over I couldn’t believe 150 minutes had gone by so fast. It almost felt as energetic and thrilling as Mad Max Fury Road. This space opera simply felt glorious and one couldn’t resist the urge to shout back Amen at these characters as if they needed our cheering to come out victorious against the First Order. There are so many characters that are going through internal conflicts that it’s almost impossible to predict what is going to happen next. That is what Johnson brought back to the franchise from the original trilogy. This internal conflict is what moves the series forward and what makes these characters so appealing. It is also what makes Kylo Ren a much more interesting character than he was in The Force Awakens. The film is everything a Star Wars fan wants it to be! An even better way to sum up this review is in two words: LUKE SKYWALKER!!!