I hadn't seen the movie in a few years and I was always defending it because I liked it, but now after recently watching it again, I find myself disliking it. Sorry episode one, I will no longer defend you (like it mattered anyway).
One thing that is always brought up when people complain about "The phantom menace" is Jar Jar. To me Jar Jar Binks was not the worst part of the movie. In my opinion the worst part is the acting from Anakin. He was terrible, If this was what was chosen for the movie I would really hate to see the rejects from the auditions. The kid delivers lines so carlessly, it really is like watching a grade school play whenever this kid is on screen. I would be enjoying the movie and then he speaks and totally ruins it.
The rest of the actors do a decent job. Ewan mcgregor's character is bland but he really just does the best he can with the character. Liam neeson is another one who tried to work with a character that was just meh. Decent acting props to Anakin's mother as well, she did fine. Natalie portman was another one who gets effort points because she did do a good job, but again the writing and character was the flaw.
I will mention that the visuals are really good, so that's a plus. The movie overall had some decent moments. But that's what it is, a long movie with a few decent moments. This is the second time I have watched this movie since it's release and I'm pretty sure I will end up watching it again in the future. The decent moments, visuals, and fact that it's attached to the Star Wars franchise gives it a likely rewatch factor. But those reasons does not mean it's a good movie, it's an acceptable movie for those moments when you can get yourself to say "Let me give Episode one another chance".