The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Rating: ****
Director: Irvin Kershner
Music: John Williams
Special Effects: Industrial Light & Magic
Cast: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Alec Guiness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Baker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse, Billy Dee Williams

The sequel to "Star Wars" greatly improves on the original in every way and is one of my favorite movies of all time. The cast looks and acts their very best, and the characters are fleshed out and given a lot more depth. The effects are incredible and the action is non-stop in this exciting romp of the rebels on the run from sinister imperial forces. What's even better is that it doesn't even have a happy ending! The good guys don't win, and they just barely manage to escape certain death, setting the stage for three years of agonizing anxiety to see what happens to our heroes in the final chapter. An utterly flawless film.