Back to 1942 Reviews

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Donald J. Levit
ReelTalk Movie Reviews
June 5, 2015
The film could do with more pruning and fewer undeveloped characters.
Daniel Eagan
Film Journal International
November 30, 2012
A relatively even-handed account of a famine which killed three million people, but the storytelling is so careful that it fails to build much interest or emotion.
Top Critic
Mark Jenkins
Washington Post
November 30, 2012
"Back to 1942" shows the director's mastery of chaotic spectacle, massed human motion and elegant camera movements.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Sheri Linden
Los Angeles Times
November 29, 2012
Director Feng Xiaogang captures the epic scale of the exodus as well as the often-harrowing details, yet emotional connection proves more elusive.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Bruce Demara
Toronto Star
November 29, 2012
A chronicle of unrelenting misery, sorrow and human degradation that has powerful moments but is hardly uplifting.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Neil Genzlinger
New York Times
November 29, 2012
It catalogs agony without making you feel it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Jay Weissberg
Variety
November 29, 2012
Shifting between individual suffering (performed, not felt) and extended political and business deliberations, the pic displays its budget but not its heart.
Top Critic
Deborah Young
Hollywood Reporter
November 29, 2012
There is surprisingly little emotional resonance with the well-drawn and acted characters, making it a tiring two and a half hour trek for filmgoers who don't have a stake in the history it recounts.
Andrew L. Urban
Urban Cinefile
November 24, 2012
Disaster movie and war movie in one dramatic realisation of a dark chapter in China's history, Back to 1942 is epic in its intentions and its scope
James Spillane
Slant Magazine
November 21, 2012
The resulting, highly uneven film excels at dramatic set pieces, but stumbles in the sections that link them together.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Don Groves
sbs.com.au
November 19, 2012
Chinese epic illuminates a dark chapter in its WWII history
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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