24 City (Er shi si cheng ji) Reviews

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Derek Malcolm
This is London
May 6, 2010
Zhangke never hints much about politics ... His is more the story of ordinary people caught up in history and still determined to live their lives as well as they can. It's both relevant and resonant.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Nigel Andrews
Financial Times
May 6, 2010
History weaves in and out of faces that purl their monologues -- real or scripted -- as Jia presents the past as a giant, invisible river.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall
May 6, 2010
An intriguing hybrid of fiction and documentary, this film chronicles the dismantling of a notorious factory in Chengdu to make way for a new luxury community. It's skilfully assembled, but a bit dry for Western audiences.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Carmen Grey
Total Film
May 6, 2010
Punctuated with eyebrow-raising poems about aeronautics factories, its treacle-paced obliqueness will frustrate some viewers. But the pay-off's a layered, haunting portrait of China in its shift to a capitalist economy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Peter Bradshaw
Guardian
April 30, 2010
A deeply serious and sombre film, trying to find a way of telling the stories of people affected by the gigantic political and economic changes sweeping that country whose concerns must in the end affect us all: 21st-century China.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Matt Bochenski
Little White Lies
April 30, 2010
Enthralling, beguiling and haunting.
| Original Score: 4/5
Tim Robey
Daily Telegraph
April 29, 2010
Chinese arthouse fixture Jia Zhang Ke looks at the closure of a state-owned factory in Chengdu, combining real interviews with awkwardly am-dram mock ones.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
April 29, 2010
The film takes on an operatic feel, moving between euphoria for the new and lament for the lost.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
January 24, 2010
Reflective historical documentary on ordinary Chinese workers.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
August 20, 2009
The director has an exquisite eye that keeps getting stronger and subtler. He trusts that beauty is vagueness's alluring upside.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
G. Allen Johnson
San Francisco Chronicle
July 31, 2009
24 City won't change the minds of detractors -- it is his most painfully slow yet -- but it might change the minds of his supporters, including this critic, for Jia attempts something that is, in the end, unforgivable.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
July 30, 2009
As far as nonfiction goes, you probably won't seen anything else this year so beautifully filmed.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Amber Wilkinson
Eye for Film
June 28, 2009
This blending of the truth and invention is a key plank of Chinese director Jia Zhang-Ke's work, which skates so close to documentary it is hard to spot the join.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Avi Offer
NYC Movie Guru
June 7, 2009
Compelling and provocative with powerful images and quietly moving interviews that shed light on impact of social, economical and political changes on factory workers in China.
Full Review | Original Score: 9.0/10
Jennifer Merin
About.com
June 6, 2009
Jia Zhangke uses documentary and narrative storytelling in "24 City," an extraordinary chronicling of how deconstruction of an aviation factory in Chengdu, China, effects the lives of 30,000 workers for whom the factory was not just a job, but a way of li
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
June 5, 2009
The result is surprisingly engrossing -- even lively, due in part to brief musical numbers inserted amid the interviews.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
June 5, 2009
Mr. Jia is an artist, one of the most interesting filmmakers working anywhere in the world, and he made his film to bear witness to a way of life while witnesses could still be found.
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
June 5, 2009
The actors in 24 City, an experimental fiction-nonfiction hybrid, bring their own existential realities to their short, touching performances.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Scott Tobias
AV Club
June 4, 2009
Mostly, 24 City falls into the same Jia trap of inadvertently drawing the viewers' gaze past his human subjects and to the poetic images of a country in painful metamorphosis.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Chris Cabin
Filmcritic.com
June 4, 2009
becomes whatever the viewer wants it to be.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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