Phantom Menace is the best of the prequel trilogy. ROTS is killed by the poor handling of Anakin’s fall, and AOTC is completely unwatchable.
This but unironically. I’d go as far to say that the theatrical version of The Phantom Menace is actually kind of good. I’d give it a 5.5/10. For me Jedi is a solid 6/10.
The biggest problem with the film is the characters are 2 dimensional cardboard cut-outs of people. And of course the slapstick Jar Jar stuff doesn’t hold up. Visually the film holds up the best out of the entire trilogy except for the underwater city interior and the Gungan-Battle Droid fight at the end. They used a lot more miniatures, sets, costumes, models and stunt work. The pacing (of the theatrical version) is actually really good and I see why so many people liked it upon a first viewing. The action set pieces are fun, exciting and they don’t linger any longer than they have to. It moves to the next set piece relatively quickly. So on a first viewing your mind doesn’t really linger on the plot or the characters. It drags on a little bit when they get to Coruscant, but it still isn’t as bad as Endor in Jedi.
Literally the only good thing that was filmed in Attack of the Clones is the less than 5 minute sequence when Anakin goes on the hunt for his mother, finds her and kills the Sandpeople. I’ve never seen an edit of Clones I like because that is the film’s only redeeming quality. Rich Evans is right. Relative to it’s budget, it’s the worst film ever made.
Hal has a good edit of Sith, it would be a good replacement version if not for the ending and renaming the film. There’s a lot of good edits of Sith though.