Todd Gaines’s review published on Letterboxd:
Rogue One had one mission: To tell a vital story in the Star Wars Cinematic Universe. Mission accomplished!
While The Force Awakens catered to fanboys and the all important toy sales; Rogue One, well, goes rogue. Yes, we have a few familiar faces. Yes, there's mad homage to future events in New Hope. But, it's not obvious, and it doesn't get in the way of developing the main characters in Rogue One.
Speaking of characters. Finally, Donnie Yen has entered the building to the average Western Hemisphere movie watcher. I've loved Donnie for years, and in my opinion, he's the breakout superstar as the blind bootleg Jedi, Chirrut Imwe. I can't forget Felicity Jones' heroic turn as Jyn Erso. The Force is strong with her. Diego Luna might give the most underrated performance with his turn as the Rebel With a Cause, Cassian Andor. Alan Tudyk provides the humor as the wisecracking droid, K-2SO. Plus, Ben Mendelssohn goes Darkside baddie as Orson Krennic, Forrest Whitaker borrows Dennis Hopper's oxygen mask from Blue Velvet to accessorize his slightly insane, Saw Gerrera, Warwick Davis plays the cute midget, Weeteef Cyubee and Mads Mikkelsen breathes motherfuckerism as Galen Erso. I can't forget the fellas who play Baze and Bodhi; they're fun too.
There's a ton of action! Shit blows up. Important people die. The battles in the air and on the ground are the best since ESB. I love how Rogue One is unique. Sure, I adore John Williams and his iconic score, but Rogue One didn't need it. Gareth Edwards is a ballin' director. I wonder about the controversial reshoots that plagued post-production? Looks like the fuss was over nothing?
I had in my head the type of movie I wished Rogue One would be. Guess what? I got my wish!!