The complicated romance that punctuates the story adds spice (and a twist), but it's a film essentially about the banking family and their machinations at a time of rapid change in China
What, if anything, the film's final burst of idealism offers universally is hard to say. But it feels good to see in these acrimonious days.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
High production values, gorgeous sets and costumes, excellent lighting and cinematography, plus the spirited playing of Aaron Kwok as the Third Master.
Though written too broadly to serve as the powerful allegorical tale writer/director Christina Yao intends, this historical epic is just compelling enough to be taken on its own terms.
| Original Score: 3/5
Makes for unwieldy melodrama, rather than the enthralling epic it might have been.
| Original Score: 2/5
[A] weirdly engaging tale of banking and bad behavior...
Epic in sweep and scale and packs in enough incident to cover two "Godfather" movies.
| Original Score: 3/4
A dazzlingly visual film, one marked by a thoughtful approach to a tale of business and interpersonal intrigue.
Unwieldy Chinese melodrama shows money can't buy love.
Handsome Chinese costume actioner mixing power struggles, financial crises and romance a century ago may impress American audiences, but story overkill and subtleties of Chinese culture and history confound.
Occasionally muddled and always melodramatic, yet it's pictorially compelling, thanks to dramatic locations and exacting art direction.
| Original Score: 2/4
A beautiful but stolid, screamingly boring period piece with acting so wooden as to invite unfavorable comparison to a collection of popsicle sticks.
| Original Score: D
Handsomely mounted and packed with interesting historical details, Empire of Silver unfortunately falls short on providing emotionally rich drama
It's decent, exoticized pulp with a porcelain veneer, and should be consumed idly.
Stateliness begets inertia in Empire of Silver, a turn-of-the-century Chinese epic whose reserved tone and regal atmosphere is suffocating.
| Original Score: 1.5/4