For some unknown reason, the people that run Lucasfilm seem to have forgotten that 97% of film critics are paunchy white guys whose formative years included theatrical viewings of the original Star Wars trilogy. They embargoed critics' reviews until today, and wouldn't you know it, they hit the fucking bullseye because with well over 100 reviews in, it's currently sitting at 97% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.
Studios are known to hold films from critics if they think the critics will somehow affect ticket sales for the film, but nothing could affect ticket sales for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Compounding the problem is the fact that I have a hard time believing that critics have any sway when it comes to films carrying a price tag north of $100 million. You cannot account for the success of Michael Bay or Adam Sandler and still live in a world where you think critics' opinions matter on certain kinds of films. I suspect this was Disney getting back at critics, dragging out the old line that critics' reviews hurt The Lone Ranger. In actuality, only one thing hurt The Lone Ranger: It just didn't look all that appealing to anyone outside of die hard Johnny Depp fans.
Anyway, the critics love The Force Awakens, as we knew they would, but the common thread running through the three rotten reviews is the lack of originality in the film. Most reviews seem to indicate that the film is a beat for beat copy of 1977's original Star Wars, yet that same thing is brought up as an asset in many of the positive reviews that I've read. Either way, we all get to decide for ourselves in a little more than 36 hours—as of this posting. Also as of this posting is the current critical count of 97%. I suspect that by the time you read this, that may have gone up to 98%.
Via Rotten Tomatoes