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The Art of War (2000)

tomatometer

16

Average Rating: 3.9/10
Reviews Counted: 80
Fresh: 13 | Rotten: 67

The Art of War is basically a messy recycling of well-worn action movie cliches.

23

Average Rating: 3.8/10
Critic Reviews: 26
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 20

The Art of War is basically a messy recycling of well-worn action movie cliches.

audience

37

liked it
Average Rating: 2.9/5
User Ratings: 26,422

My Rating

Movie Info

A spy who has convinced much of the world he doesn't exist now must prove that he does in order to save thousands of lives in this thriller. After the assassination of Wu (James Hong), China's ambassador to the United Nations, in the midst of negotiations on a trade pact, FBI agent Neil Shaw (Wesley Snipes) is assigned to ferret out the killer by his superior, Eleanor Hooks (Anne Archer). But Shaw soon discovers that he's now considered a key suspect in the murder, and is the subject of a

Dec 26, 2000

$29.5M

Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (94) | Top Critics (28) | Fresh (13) | Rotten (67) | DVD (19)

In this pretentiously titled international thriller, which is sloppily directed, Wesley Snipes plays an American agent who gets involved in the emerging relations between China and the Western world, with a shaky U.N. placed right in the middle.

February 12, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Quickly falls into B-picture visual cliche, accompanied by leaden dialogue, as it simplifies its ambitious story for the sake of too many shootouts and overblown chases.

January 1, 2000
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A disgustingly violent morass of high-tech beatings and killings.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: CNN.com
CNN.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The audio gambits are so commanding that at times, you forget that they're just about the only thing gripping your attention.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film is a too-loud, poorly directed and seriously overedited addition to the tired genre of double-crossing international conspiracy movies.

January 1, 2000
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

...[features] several unexpectedly enthralling action sequences...

August 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

Sun Tzu believed that becoming predictable would lead to disaster. Apparently, the creators of The Art of War couldn't be bothered to take him to heart.

October 24, 2001 Full Review Source: Flipside Movie Emporium
Flipside Movie Emporium

If Wesley Snipes were TWICE as cool as he thinks he is...this movie would still stink.

October 10, 2001 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Wesley Snipes knows how to kick some ass but he really cannot pick a script.

June 15, 2001 Full Review

..straining believability factor is Snipes escaping certain death every ten minutes. If you just can't be killed, or even mildly maimed, where's the suspense?

March 24, 2001 Full Review
WBAI Web Radio

The title alone is a tip-off that the filmmakers feel they are making something much more grand that what actually appears on-screen.

February 27, 2001 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

As directed by Christian Duguay with two left feet and no visual sense, Art of War fails to deliver even as a stock action film.

January 1, 2000
TNT's Rough Cut

It would be nice if Beach had done some research instead of this moronic mishmash.

January 1, 2000
Greenwich Village Gazette

In the end, [the film is] a lost cause but the effort does not go unnoticed.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

The picture ... wants badly to be the next Entrapment, which it isn't.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Internet Reviews
Internet Reviews

Numbingly obvious at every turn.

January 1, 2000
Los Angeles Daily News

The actual film is just another glossy B-movie thriller, the kind of forgettable action fare that turns up at odd hours on TV.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: NUVO Newsweekly
NUVO Newsweekly

Audience Reviews for The Art of War

After watching it AGAIN, I still think everyone treated this movie unfairly. Its not perfect, but I guess this movie did really kickstart the intelligent spy genre, leading to movies like the Bourne Seires and others. i hold this in regard for that fact, also giving a stronger martial arts aspect to the movie and themes like betrayl and politics.

Snipes plays a covert UN Agent whose job is to assist the UN on issue which are deemed "necessary" - from espionage to outright blackmail, which is evident in the introduction .

I think people kept on saying the plot was confusing and noone understood what was going on. Sorry people, but you're a little silly, you obviously know what "The Art of War" is, and its no mystrey why a movie is titled so. It becomes FULLY clear in the climax when things are explained through some smart dialouge - and the plot was simple really, the method of execution complex, but high effective... the only problem being is Snipes was learning quick that someone was forcing him to chase shadows and false leads and he was the bait.

Anyways, if you're wondering why its so confusing, because Snipes' character is supposed to portray confusion and helplesness in being cut off and abandoned, with Chinese gangsters, police and the FBI hot on his heels. If you're confused, good, watch it again and try to put the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle - every scene, every image has a meaning, it does take some concentration.

Though its not 100% perfect, it was a matter of a new style of filming and idea which never really reached the full potential until The Bourne Identity and its successors kicked ass at the box office.

It also interesting to see things like new technology back in 2000, like touch screen PDA's and wireless internet which only became consumer friendly in 2005, 5 years from when the movie was released.

Anyways, the action is slick, the cast above average, i think Michael Biehn was the standout support. The final fight scene was expllosvie and smoother than your average, something unqiue and obviously set the trend.

Anyway, I think a lot of movies afterwards really borrowed something from The Art of War, and I believe a lot of people canned it because of the Snipes name and the fact it was mainly a European production and Indie movie release.

Well, if you like movies like this and wanted to see where it all started for the new millenium, this is the one to watch.
March 20, 2010
kpn666
Khris N

Super Reviewer

Wesley Snipes has never been better, one of his best roles in one of his best action films. A stylish, nail-biting, pulse-pounding twist-a minute action-packed thriller. A sensational and adreniline-pumping action-thrill-ride that kick starts the senses and kicks all sorts of ass. It's sharp, very smart and very entertaining.
September 14, 2009
allan913

Super Reviewer

I've seen Wesley Snipes in such good form as he appears in this action-thriller movie since Blade.
August 12, 2007
deano
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

Some ok shooting scenes. It does have that.
April 27, 2006
BlueTorch

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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Latest News on The Art of War

August 13, 2008:
What The Hell Happened To Wesley Snipes?
In the first part of a new Rotten Tomatoes feature, we examine the career ups and downs of our...
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