Blind Shaft (2003)

Blind Shaft



Critic Consensus: A taut, biting critique on the new economic conditions in China.

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Movie Info

A pair of murderers cover up their crimes via the archaic working conditions of coal mining in China in this award-winning psychological drama from director Li Yang. Blind Shaft centers on two men who have a grisly scheme: They persuade their victims to work in a local mine, plot their "accidental" deaths, then pose as the relatives of the dead men to collect their meager compensation. But when one of the killers starts to feel sympathy for their next victim, an ambitious young man, he listens … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By: ,
Written By: Yang Li, Li Yang
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 17, 2004
Bronze Age Films

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as Song Jinming

as Tang Zhaoyang

as Yuan Fengming

as Xiao Hong

as Boss Huang

as Miss Ma

as Mamasan

as Lao Li

as Waitress

as Xiao Fang

as Boss Wang

as Ticket Seller

as Karaoke Manager
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for Blind Shaft

All Critics (40) | Top Critics (16)

Fresh, stark and consistently uncompromising, Li Yang's Blind Shaft is an exceptional Chinese film noir.

Full Review… | March 26, 2004
Seattle Times
Top Critic

While the lack of a musical track, energizing editing and visual variety makes Blind Shaft tedious viewing at times, the story is strong enough to sustain interest.

Full Review… | March 25, 2004
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

Engrossing because of its amazingly well-documented milieu, which German-trained writer-director Li Yang filmed on location in the northern provinces.

Full Review… | March 25, 2004
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Makes for gripping, merciless drama.

Full Review… | March 18, 2004
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Unfolds as fast and mercilessly as the way Song and Tang approach their victims: It sideswipes us.

Full Review… | March 18, 2004
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic

Following the story is like walking down a mine shaft. Even with a weak headlamp, you kind of know where it's going, and it can't be good. But follow it you do, thanks to Yang's relentless, verite-style filmmaking.

March 12, 2004
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Blind Shaft

This morality tale flows with good speed and characterizations leading to a conclusion that seems appropriate. Great story telling.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


A deliberately offensive uppercut to Chinese moral significance by a new director of the post-generation X of China.The near thriller elements of Blind Shaft are the heartbeat of his research.I'd normally accuse the script's tendency to drama but the acting is stellar and the unexpected finale events are as ironic as any Coen Brothers "dramedy" film.

Dimitris Springer

Super Reviewer

The last great Chinese movie I saw. Very funny and realistic depiction of modern China, with that hilarious line, "Okay, we'll first get him laid, then we'll kill him."

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