Opening

97% Ghostbusters Aug 29
33% As Above/So Below Aug 29
34% The November Man Aug 27
98% Starred Up Aug 27
75% The Congress Aug 29

Top Box Office

92% Guardians of the Galaxy $17.2M
20% Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles $16.7M
38% If I Stay $15.7M
20% Let's Be Cops $10.8M
18% When The Game Stands Tall $8.4M
34% The Expendables 3 $6.5M
32% The Giver $6.4M
46% Sin City: A Dame to Kill For $6.3M
65% The Hundred-Foot Journey $5.3M
20% Into The Storm $3.8M

Coming Soon

—— Innocence Sep 05
—— The Longest Week Sep 05
—— The Identical Sep 05
67% The House of Magic Sep 05
74% God Help the Girl Sep 05

New Episodes Tonight

—— Jonah From Tonga: Season 1

Discuss Last Night's Shows

88% The Cosmopolitans: Season One
100% Defiance: Season 2
100% Garfunkel and Oates: Season 1
89% The Honorable Woman: Season 1
56% Married: Season 1
39% Rush: Season 1
82% Satisfaction: Season 1
82% Welcome to Sweden: Season 1
77% You're the Worst: Season 1

Certified Fresh TV

86% The Bridge (FX): Season 2
91% Doctor Who: Season 8
83% Extant: Season 1
89% The Honorable Woman: Season 1
87% The Knick: Season 1
89% Manhattan: Season 1
97% Masters of Sex: Season 2
73% Murder in the First: Season 1
89% Outlander: Season 1
82% Satisfaction: Season 1
87% The Strain: Season 1
82% Welcome to Sweden: Season 1
77% You're the Worst: Season 1

The Children of Huang Shi (2008)

tomatometer

30

Average Rating: 4.6/10
Reviews Counted: 77
Fresh: 23 | Rotten: 54

This beautifully photographed but dramatically flat war drama recounts an important chapter in history with little cinematic freshness.

33

Average Rating: 4.8/10
Critic Reviews: 30
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 20

This beautifully photographed but dramatically flat war drama recounts an important chapter in history with little cinematic freshness.

audience

66

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 70,018

My Rating

Movie Info

Inspired by true events, the film tells the story of George Hogg, a young British journalist, who rescues 60 orphaned children. He leads them on a treacherous 1000-mile journey along the Silk Road, through the Liu Pan Shan Mountains into the spectacular Gobi desert. Over the course of the journey he falls in love with a determined, self-trained nurse, and makes a friend in Chen, the leader of a Chinese partisan group. Madame Wang, a surviving aristocrat, assists in guiding them to safety in a

Jan 20, 2009

$0.7M

Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site External Icon

Watch It Now

Cast

ADVERTISEMENT

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.

All Critics (81) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (23) | Rotten (54) | DVD (3)

It radiates intelligence. Of how many historical epics can that be said these days?

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is, however, such a spectacular-looking movie, as shot by cinematographer Zhao Xiaoding that it is, to use that old cliche, worth the price of admission.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Newsday
Newsday
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Very pretty but very stiffly written, The Children of Huang Shi strives for epic canvases relaying an intimate story.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Though there are some powerful performances, notably those of Michelle Yeoh and Chow Yun-Fat, and some sweeping visuals, the movie feels melodramatic and overheated.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: USA Today
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A disappointingly detached and tame film for such a subject matter.

August 10, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

...the film falls flat under the weight of its period-drama conventions and three performances that epitomize paycheck joylessness.

February 13, 2009
H Magazine

Cynicism for another true story of a reckless white adventurer finding redemption and purpose helping 3rd World unfortunates evaporates with stunning and moving WWII scenes.

December 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Film-Forward.com
Film-Forward.com

The real test of endurance is on the shoulders of an audience challenged to sit through more than two hours of predictable plot turns and recycled sentimentality.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Screen International
Screen International

Nothing in this film is subtle or unexpected, and even the hero's several near-death experiences create no real tension

September 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Playback:stl
Playback:stl

...an inspiring tale of a man answering a call to greatness even if he doesn't fully understand why it's fallen to him.

September 12, 2008

Xiaoding Zhao's cinematography is splendid, Roger Spottiswoode's direction is workmanlike.

August 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

It is missing conviction.

July 10, 2008 Full Review Source: The Australian
The Australian

Its anti-cynical faith in the value of altruism is encouraging.

July 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

History is never easy to capture in a fiction film, especially with a war in the background. But you have to at least try to embrace the whole of it, not just tear off a convenient chunk. Real life is inconvenient; great movies still deal with it.

July 4, 2008 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

Unfortunately, like so many movies that celebrate a historical hero, Children is plagued by an overblown sense of its own importance.

July 3, 2008 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

The Children of Huang Shi is so desperate to be the Asian Schindler's List, an example of atrocity draped in abject artistry, that it forgets to lay out the context.

July 1, 2008 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

... an affecting portrait and a strong story with a compelling backdrop, and Chinese cinematographer Xiaoding Zhao makes the gorgeous locations look magnificent.

June 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

The settings in remote China are wonderfully diverse as seen through Xiaoding Zhao's lens, and the passionate and heartfelt saga unfolds beautifully, capturing our hearts.

June 28, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Audience Reviews for The Children of Huang Shi

This film based on a true events of an English reporter who saved Chinese orphan boys from the Japanese invasion in the 1930s is meaning of love, accountability and bravery. That also happened the same story of escaping and trekking over the mountains in 1958's The Inn of the Sixth Happiness starring Ingrid Bergman as English servant girl Gladys Aylward.
January 26, 2009
deano
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

"The Children of Huang Shi" starts in 1937 Shanghai as journalist George Hogg(Jonathan Rhys Meyers) tricks his way into the war zone of Nanjing by pretending to be an ambulance driver. While there, he witnesses a civilian massacre, is captured by the Japanese and is almost beheaded before being rescued at the last second by Communist insurgents, led by Chen Hansheng(Chow Yun-Fat). Hogg's two compatriots are not so lucky and Chen and Hogg have another tight escape before Chen spirits Hogg away to an orphanage for safekeeping. And again, Hogg needs rescuing, this time from a beatdown by the kids, by Lee Pearson(Radha Mitchell), an expatriate nurse who has been in country for five years and the closest thing to a doctor for miles around.

Based on a true story, "The Children of Huang Shi" is an enticing and beautifully photographed epic that is not without its share of flaws. There are pacing issues and it could have been longer but I like how it ends. On the plus side, the film goes beyond the old fashioned trappings with little complexities, especially with the children being more troubled than cute. The complicated political realities of the time are captured perfectly with the Nationalists and the Communists both fighting the Japanese but can never overcome their political differences to totally trust each other. However, Chen risks his life to rescue trapped Nationalist soldiers at one point.

"The Children of Huang Shi" is not a war movie about combat, but about knowing when to fight and choose your battles, so it is okay to escape in one piece. There is no reason to be heroic if you are dead. Even then, any survivors will remain forever changed by the experience and probably not for the better. Chen was an engineer and now he blows up buildings to ensure the Japanese do not recover valuable information.(At least, somebody enjoys their job.) Along the way, Hogg learns that the best way to conquer the world is through kindness.
October 30, 2009
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

It has a great backstory and the makings of an epic film, but somehow fell short. The acting felt forced and abrupt, but there were glimpses of what it could have been.
January 5, 2009
chihoe

Super Reviewer

Beautiful to look at. KIlled by melodramatic script.
June 5, 2010
juliryan

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

Discussion Forum

Discuss The Children of Huang Shi on our Movie forum!

What's Hot On RT

Critics Consensus
Critics Consensus

The November Man is Slick,...

Total Recall
Total Recall

Pierce Brosnan's 10 Best Movies

Mindy Project
Mindy Project

Get caught up on the comedy

Red Carpet Roundup
Red Carpet Roundup

See pictures from this week's premieres

Foreign Titles

  • Die Kinder der Seidenstraße (DE)
  • Les Orphelins de Huang Shi (FR)
Find us on:                     
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile