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Ashes of Time Redux (2008)



Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 84
Fresh: 67 | Rotten: 17

Wong Kar Wai's redux, with a few slight changes from his 1994 classic, is a feast for the eyes, if a little difficult to follow.


Average Rating: 6.7/10
Critic Reviews: 27
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 6

Wong Kar Wai's redux, with a few slight changes from his 1994 classic, is a feast for the eyes, if a little difficult to follow.



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Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 11,097

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Movie Info

Master Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-wai directed this lyrical, dream-like martial arts epic. A famously troubled shoot, the film took two years and 40 million dollars to produce (a shocking sum for a national cinema populated with low-budget quickies) and features a virtual who's-who of the Hong Kong film world. Conceived as a prequel to the popular martial arts novel The Eagle-Shooting Hero by Jin Yong, the movie is less a straightforward action thriller than a visually striking meditation on

Mar 3, 2009

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Latest News on Ashes of Time Redux

October 13, 2008:
Wong Kar-wai Talks Ashes of Time Redux
Wong Kar-wai has just debuted the "definitive" version of his 1994 film "Ashes of Time," and to...
October 9, 2008:
Critics Consensus: Express Scores, Body of Lies Falls Flat
This week at the movies, we've got suspicious spies (Body of Lies, starring Leonardo DiCaprio and...


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All Critics (91) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (67) | Rotten (17) | DVD (7)

For this director's cut, Wong has trimmed several minutes and reorganized the narrative according to the passage of seasons, though the plot is still impenetrable.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
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Wong Kar-Wai doesn't supply much of a plot with a narrative engine to pull us through.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
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I struggled to engage with the archetypes contained within the images, even with all that meticulously restored golden-yellow sand.

November 13, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
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Wong Kar Wai seems considerably more out of his depth than other Chinese filmmakers who have slummed in the martial arts genre. This can't compare to Chen Kaige's The Emperor and the Assassin or Yimou Zhang's House of Flying Daggers.

November 13, 2008 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
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The kicks are more to the head and heart than to the body.

October 31, 2008 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
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Ashes of Time Redux is primarily a sensory experience that deserves to be seen on as big a screen as possible.

October 31, 2008 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
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It's hard to recommend a film as frustratingly inaccessible as this one, but if you go into the theater expecting a trip to an art gallery, you might be pleasantly surprised.

August 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Washington Times
Washington Times

Redux clocks in at a slightly shorter running time than any of the previous versions Wong has offered. The tighter edit is a better fit, but ultimately, it's not enough.

March 12, 2009 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

The film's imagery is its most striking asset, creating an impressionistic sense of both vastness and intimacy that frequently overwhelms the characters and their problems.

March 12, 2009 Full Review Source: Q Network Film Desk
Q Network Film Desk

It's like watching paint dry--which isn't very exciting, however pretty the colors.

December 30, 2008 Full Review Source: One Guy's Opinion
One Guy's Opinion

Ashes of Time Redux, like that line from Hey Jude, takes a sad song and makes it better.

December 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Wong Kar Wai could make even a compost heap look as gorgeous as a Vermeer.

December 12, 2008 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

I know Kar Wai's got a fanbase, but to me he's equivalent to a recent film school graduate using all of the post-production tricks that he's learned, either to show off what he's learned or to cover up his lack of talent.

December 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Sin Magazine
Sin Magazine

Wong's film is to be appreciated as poetry on film, an aphorism-filled ode to lovestruck dreamers, and for its beautifully rendered images.

December 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Tulsa World
Tulsa World

The motion picture as mood ring.

November 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

Maybe something gets lost in the translation, as often happens, but Wong may be giving us the first Eastern.

November 21, 2008

Unfathomably gorgeous; perhaps even the most gorgeous film Wong Kar-Wai has yet made, which is not a bit of praise I hand out lightly.

November 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Beautiful to look at, with painterly compositions, gorgeous, emotionally charged close-ups and slick, elegant transitions. It's all for naught because the story seems no more coherent than the flourishes of a kaleidoscope.

November 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

In the end, it's not unlike a Jackson Pollock painting. No matter how close or how far away you stand from it, some people just get it and some people don't.

November 14, 2008
Kansas City Star

Even drastically altered as it has been in Ashes of Time Redux, the strengths and weaknesses of the film are the same.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Movie Retriever
Movie Retriever

The film remains an acquired taste at best.

November 13, 2008 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

... magnificent on a purely sensual level ... The new version is shorter by about ten minutes and is divided by chapter headings, which make the film slightly less confusing.

November 12, 2008
Los Angeles CityBeat

Audience Reviews for Ashes of Time Redux

Ashes of Time feels like an amateur dramatics production but with beautiful cinematography. It's a bizarre follow up to the brilliant Chungking Express. Kar Wai Wong's style is unique and is put to good use here but the script lacks the punch it needs (and I'm not just saying that because of the awful English translated subtitles). It's confusing and distracting, it makes me wonder why he didn't just make a silent film, it would have been far more enjoyable. I find that the script often gets in the way of his beautiful work but the usual tenderness, the passion and the humour usually found (and enjoyed by many) in his films is absent here. It's also the first Wong Kar Wai film that I found myself a little bored with, which I never thought possible for such a great director.
May 14, 2014

Super Reviewer

certainly one of the most beautiful films i have ever seen. but honestly, what the hell just happened? would kill to see this projected though
May 13, 2014
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

No doubt a well made film and with great cinematography. However it was a little confusing at times to follow the story and who were friends and who were enemies. The big disappointment for me was I had expected something along the lines of Hero or House of flying daggers. Unfortunately this is a different type of film altogether and barely has any fight scenes, and when there are they are a blur. Definitely more of a drama than a martial arts film.
May 13, 2014

Super Reviewer

Oh yes! Finally saw it. I don't believe that I saw the original unless it was at the Film Festival many years ago but I like it...Wong Kar Wai doing the traditional Chinese epic story...and doing it in a very unique manner. Not a lot of effects for the ideas but plenty of character.
May 13, 2014
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

    1. Ou-yang Feng: If you don't want to be turned down by people, the best way is to turn them down first.
    – Submitted by Petra G (17 months ago)
    1. Ou-yang Feng: The harder you try to forget something, the more it will stick in your memory. Once I heard someone say that if you have to lose something, the best way to keep it in your memory.
    – Submitted by Petra G (17 months ago)
    1. Ou-yang Feng: People say, when you can't have what you want, the best you can do is not to forget.
    – Submitted by Alexandar T (2 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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