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Once Upon a Time in China Reviews

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Jean Lowerison
San Diego Metropolitan

Not an outstanding example of the genre.

Full Review Source: San Diego Metropolitan

October 21, 2002
Greg Muskewitz

The editing here is far from good, and the continuity is constantly thrown off from one shot to the next; we're talking about different positioning of objects, object-size changes, characters disappearing and re-appearing.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 2/5

July 5, 2001
Emanuel Levy

| Original Score: 2/5

August 6, 2005
James Rocchi

Brilliant commentary elevates entertaining Hong Kong action flick to must-see status.

Full Review Source: Netflix | Original Score: 4/5

November 7, 2002
Jeffrey M. Anderson
San Francisco Examiner

Tsui's camera lurches, pinwheels and whirligigs all over the place to catch every move perfectly.

| Original Score: 3.5/4

October 31, 2001
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
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Gets better as it goes along, building up to a prolonged shipboard finale.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

April 25, 2001
Stephen Holden
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A witty, extravagantly picturesque homage to Sergio Leone.

Full Review Source: New York Times

May 20, 2003
Dragan Antulov

Successfully pays homage to ancient tradition and history by making it entertaining and interesting to non-Chinese audiences.

Full Review | Original Score: 6/10

August 20, 2002
Shawn Levy

A kind of splendid mishmash of crude history, action-movie cliches and stunning photography, editing and fight choreography.

Full Review Source: Oregonian

June 22, 2001
Jurgen Fauth

| Original Score: 4/5

October 15, 2003
Ryan Cracknell
Apollo Guide

A guaranteed favourite for martial arts fans.

Full Review Source: Apollo Guide | Original Score: 78/100

February 13, 2001
Nicolas Lacroix

| Original Score: 4/5

November 16, 2002
Kevin N. Laforest
Montreal Film Journal

Not perfect in an objective critical sense, but it's a masterpiece of the genre.

Full Review Source: Montreal Film Journal | Original Score: 4/4

September 10, 2002
Jason Clark
Matinee Magazine

Full Review Source: Matinee Magazine | Original Score: B+

February 4, 2002
Robert Roten
Laramie Movie Scope

It is not believable, but it is fun to watch.

Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope | Original Score: C+

October 22, 2002
Marc Savlov
Austin Chronicle

A tumultuous riot of inspired filmmaking.

Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle | Original Score: 4.5/5

January 1, 2000
Chris Hicks
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

The astonishing hook-and-ladder battle alone is worth the ticket price.

Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City

January 1, 2000
Bilge Ebiri

Aided immeasurably by the acrobatic skills of its brilliant star, Once Upon A Time in China delivers the kinetic goods.

Full Review Source: Citysearch

April 26, 2001
Andy Klein
New Times

Half political thriller, half martial arts film, the first Once Upon a Time in China is filled with archetypal, yet emotionally layered, characters and moments that make you yell at the screen with excitement.

April 26, 2001
James Brundage

Raises the bar for a genre often thought of as meaningless dribble, showing that a Kung Fu movie can be more than just spectacular fight sequences.

Full Review Source: | Original Score: 5/5

May 29, 2001
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