The Star Wars prequels were released from 1999 to 2005. Showing us the fall of Anakin Skywalker and the rise of the Galactic Empire, they made over $2 billion dollars between themselves at the box office. The reviews were good (before any re-releases the films all stood with fresh Rotten Tomatoes ratings) and they succeeded in bringing George Lucas' space fantasy to a whole new generation.
Those are undisputed facts about the Star Wars prequels. To go any further requires entering the murk of fan hate that exploded on the internet in the months after The Phantom Menace and has stuck around to this day, slowly infecting the prequel's reputation in the popular consciousness.
Of course they aren't perfect films and thus it's readily possible to pick away at them to find flaws. One of the most comprehensive approaches has to be RedLetterMedia's Mr. Plinkett reviews, near feature length dissections of the films that are often trotted out as proof positive the prequels are little more than a pile of Bantha fodder. The videos do make some good points (Lucas had a strong reliance on having his films "rhyme" and clearly wasn't too hot on directing dialogue), but in general the 'reviews' are one-sided attacks that drown their occasionally sound logic in thinly-veiled fan hate. Worth a watch, but don't take them too seriously.
The problem is, people do take Plinkett and the rest of the prequel haters very seriously indeed. Which is a shame because the films don't deserve to be disliked anywhere near as much as they are. They may not soar as high as Episodes IV-VI, but there's a lot of effort on behalf of the whole production crew put into making a legitimate continuation of the Star Wars saga; an effort that mostly pays off. In a bid to get you to reevaluate the films, here are ten things about the prequel trilogy that should show there's more to them than just selling toys.