This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Jonathan Boehle’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
The top 12 moments of this movie that had me internally losing my shit, descending order of how much shit was lost:
(seriously, I'm about to spoil every other great moment in this movie, GTFOutta here if you haven't seen this)
12) Rey basically describing the force to Luke exactly the way an eight-year-old would, and with the same amount of sincerity.
11) Every shot of Snoke's throne, surrounded by those striking crimson red colors that look like something out of a 1940s technicolor feature.
10) Actually, this movie is fucking filled with shots that are so gorgeously framed and colored, this movie is so impeccably filmed it makes The Force Awakens look like a network TV show. On fucking point, Steven Yedlin.
9) That dumb little shoulder brush thing Luke does.
8) The entire throne room fight between Kylo/Rey and the guards, with those awesome whackers that also turn into whips or some shit (more on that section of the film in a bit).
7) Luke straight-up using the plot of the prequel trilogy as a reason for giving up on the Jedi way of life the way so many of those Cracked.com bullshit articles do ("WHAT IF, JEDI BAD?"), and then transforming that into Luke's entire character arc. This film is actively reckoning with the story of the prequel trilogy in a manner similar to what Lucas attempted in those movies, looking at the world of the Jedi and wondering if it's worth keeping around. It's some rich stuff I might touch on in a future write-up.
6) Rose, a wonderful addition to the saga, saving Finn at the last moment, in an act of heroism the likes of which I'm not sure I've ever seen in a mainstream movie: she's saving him from a likely-to-be-fruitless self-sacrifice moment because it's better to have him live on than to have him die in this moment here. I can't quote her exact last line perfectly, so I won't try, but it's such a lovely moment.
5) So it seems like this trilogy has officially whiffed on Snoke, which is a bit of a shame, but it was probably worth it if just for that entire confrontation scene that builds to Kylo Ren Darth Mauling Snoke as he gets Rey her lightsaber, immediately followed by that SO FUCKING RAD SLO-MO SHOT OF THEM TURNING TO FIGHT THE GUARDS RUNNING TOWARDS THEM. That shot just feels like an easy addition to any future montage about the films of this franchise, or any films period, frankly.
4) I thought that after eight episodes we had run out of Jedi tricks that could surprise us, but when Kylo's lightsaber went through Luke and he was still standing there, I was genuinely confused, so that cut back to him on the island, holy fucking shit, that's a good one, Johnson.
3) Speaking of crazy Jedi tricks we haven't seen before: one of my few hopes about this movie was that we would get at leasrt one Force Moment from Leia, and damn, they delivered. I guess it's a bizarre, science-defying moment, but hey, this series has never given a shit about science, and hey, THE FORCE, BITCHES. God I'm gonna miss Leia, fuck, man.
2) YODA. Motherfucking YODA showing up out of nowhere to BLOW UP A TREE and to shit all over Luke for being a little bitch just for old time's sake and also teach him an important lesson. Holy crap, my jaw has never been dropped for so long while watching a movie before. God I missed that old green crank. This comes so close to being #1 I briefly had it there, but it's gotta be....
1) Laura motherfucking goddamn Dern HYPERSPACING INTO THE FIRST ORDER is such a perfectly executed moment, because like Hux I was not entirely sure what she was up to until she turned the ship around, and it's something we've never seen in this universe before, so naturally Johnson gives us a movie moment not quite like anything we've seen in this franchise: several dead-silent shots of the destruction, all decolorized so that they almost resemble frames of a black-and-white comic book. I would have screamed out of sheer elation at what had just happened if the silence in the theater wasn't so perfect.
Guys, this movie fucking ruled. I don't think I've ever been as satisfied by a franchise movie as I was by my first viewing of this. Jeez Louise what a ride.