I. Simon’s review published on Letterboxd:
Rian Johnson has made a phenomenal addition to the Star Wars saga. This is without a doubt the acclaimed filmmaker's best work to date, as well as the best film in the saga, and quite possibly my new personal favorite Star Wars film. It is ballsy, amusing, exciting, exceptionally well made, and has So. Many. Fucking. Porgs!
Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver both turn in excellent, career best performances, two of my favorite performances of the year, and probably the two greatest acting performances in the whole Star Wars saga. Ridley brings charisma, calmness, and likability to Rey. She is fierce yet calm. Strong yet flawed. Rey is struggling to find her place in the galaxy and in the Force, and Ridley does an excellent job portraying this conflict. As for Adam Driver, he does an excellent job portraying Kylo Ren/Ben Solo and his conflict, who is also struggling to find his place in the Force. Yes, as we've seen in The Force Awakens, he's definitely evil (he did kill his own father after all), but is there possibly still light in him? While I'm obviously not going to answer that question here (because spoilers), I will say that Adam Driver does an excellent job portraying this conflict, which is so well written. The overall dynamic between Rey and Ben is without a doubt my favorite thing about the whole film.
We also get an excellent, career best performance from Mark Hamill. This is a completely different Luke Skywalker from what we are used to seeing, and that's a good thing. He has more depth in this film than he's ever had throughout the original trilogy. He's far more human this time around.
John Boyega and Kelly Marie Tran (who have very good chemistry with one another) give superb performances as Finn and Rose. Speaking of, there's a subplot surrounding them that some have criticized, and while I can see why that would bother people, and why some would call it unnecessary, while these types of subplots in these tentpole films are usually left hanging, Rian Johnson took it in a different direction than I was expecting, and for that reason, I liked it a lot. Plus, without spoiling anything, I'll say that the subplot in itself is pretty fun.
Oscar Isaac returns as Poe Dameron, and he does a superb job. Last, but not least, Carrie Fisher gives a superb performance as Leia. Speaking of, we have unfortunately lost Carrie Fisher last year. This is her final film, and she should always be remembered. May she Rest In Peace.
Rian Johnson's writing and direction are nothing short of incredible. The film has multiple well written characters who are engaging, the overall narrative is really well written, the conflict between Rey and Kylo Ren is well portrayed (as I've mentioned), partially due to the fact that Daisy Ridley and Adam Driver play each other off well (as do all of the other actors in this film). All of the shots look great (thanks to Steve Yedlin's gorgeous cinematography, probably the best cinematography in the saga), and last but not least, the action is incredibly well directed and exciting. The lightsaber battles, the space battles, the blaster battles......all of them are very well directed. Johnson also takes A LOT of risks in this film, and every single risk pays off very well. Not a single risk in this film is bad (looking at you, prequel trilogy).
The technical elements are fantastic too. As I mentioned, Steve Yedlin's cinematography is gorgeous. There's actually this scene where the film goes completely silent for 10 seconds (intentionally done by Rian Johnson) where you just look at what is being shown in front of you, and it looks so beautiful. The visual effects are fantastic. The set designs are great. The film is also very well edited. The scenes transition from one to another perfectly. The sound design is really great. Last, but not least, John Williams' score is really great.
(Oh, and I saw this film in 3D. I didn't get to see it in IMAX 3D like I did with The Force Awakens, but that said, the 3D experience is really, really great.)
Overall, I must say that I absolutely loved Star Wars: The Last Jedi. I'm not sure if it's my favorite Star Wars film yet (debating between this film and Return of the Jedi), but objectively speaking, I truly believe it is the best film in the saga, and one of the best films of the year (currently in my top 3 favorites as I write this review). I urge you to go out and see it in theaters, as we need more filmmakers who take risks. Rian Johnson has created a bold masterpiece, that is without a doubt one of the best sci-fi films of the century.