For the most part the reception to Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been overwhelmingly positive. Commercially, the film has already made over $600 million worldwide and critically it stands at 95% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes. The AFI named it one of the 10 best films of the year, and just yesterday the Broadcast Film Critics Association added it to their Best Picture nominees. But that doesn’t mean everyone loves it. The official newspaper for the Vatican, the Italian city-state the Pope and Catholic Church call home, has slammed the newest Star Wars movie with one of their chief complaints being that it’s just not evil enough.


L’Osservatore Romano is the daily newspaper of Vatican City and mostly publishes Pope Francis’ discourses and worldly events in the Catholic Church. But this week, they took time out from all the Dominus vobiscum to publish a review of Star Wars: The Force Awakens. The verdict? Two holy thumbs down.

Says the newspaper in its anonymous review (translation via The Los Angeles Times):

The new director’s set-up fails most spectacularly in its representation of evil, meaning the negative characters. Darth Vader, and above all, the Emperor Palpatine were two of the most efficient villains in that genre of American cinema.

Not fans of Kylo Ren, huh? I mean, the guy killed his own father, what else do you have to do to be considered evil enough? And, speaking of villains, they really didn’t like Supreme Leader Snoke:

The character who needs to substitute the Emperor Palpatine as the incarnation of supreme evil represents the most serious defect of the film. Without revealing anything about the character, all we will say is that it is the clumsiest and tackiest result you can obtain from computer graphics.

At least you’ve got to give them credit for staying spoiler free.

Later in the review, they again blast director J.J. Abrams, who they say modeled his direction on “the sloppiest current action films derived from the world of video games.”

The only merit of J.J. Abrams’ film is to show, by contrast, how the direction of the previous films was elegant, balanced and above all appropriate.

*mic drop*

Lest you think L’Osservatore Romano is just being prudish in their Force Awakens hate, they note that the new Star Wars movie is “not a classy Nolan’s Batman” and previously called Mad Max: Fury Road a “masterpiece,” so they’re not above Hollywood blockbusters.

Now that we know that the Vatican is reviewing movies, I wonder what they thought of The Hateful Eight?