The plot may be a little hard to follow, but the film-making is skillful and any effort on the viewer's part is well worth it
At the center of it all is, of course, Zhang. Charismatic and intense, she excels in her most grown-up role to date.
| Original Score: 4/4
Just like nuclear energy, long cinematic pauses can be used properly for the benefit of all, while in the wrong hands they can cause mass misery.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
There are two movies battling for supremacy in Butterfly, and both lose. As does the audience.
An at times pretty but nonetheless forgettable film.
| Original Score: C
A gorgeous period melodrama, packed with romantic tragedy and violent intrigue, it is both gritty and dreamy, political and personal.
| Original Score: 3/4
As atmospheric and moody as a film noir, the stylish, sometimes perplexing Purple Butterfly is a remarkable period piece, evoking the bustling, dense and increasingly dangerous Shanghai of the '30s.
| Original Score: 4/5
Hectic, lyrical, swooningly romantic and almost unwatchably brutal.
... rich with emotional turmoil and searing beauty, but it could have used a little more time in the editing room to make sense of it all.
| Original Score: C+
The art of it is entirely in the atmospherics; the rest is melodrama. Its 127 minute exercise in puzzle solving is draining.
| Original Score: 2/5
The characters are less compelling than this particular slice of history, which has rarely been dramatized in movies.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Give in to the mood piece and bathe in its glamorous nostalgic glow. It's a beauty.
| Original Score: B
Mr. Lou synthesizes a wide range of styles and influences -- from Casablanca to Wong Kar-wai -- resulting in a movie that, for all its haunting strangeness, seems curiously familiar.
Throughout, Zhang emotes like Bette Davis.
| Original Score: 3/4
Too often, Purple Butterfly is as impenetrable as Zhang's placid, obdurate beauty.
An often remarkable, often infuriating lateral spin on genre material that desperately needs another sesh at the editing table.
History is scant or purposefully blurred in Lou Ye's abstruse Purple Butterfly, a war drama with Wong-like delusions of love
| Original Score: 2/4
An extravagant, intriguing but ultimately very frustrating period piece.
O filme é tecnicamente irrepreensível, mas o ritmo lento da narrativa e a auto-indulgência do diretor Lou Ye simplesmente destroem a paciência do espectador.
| Original Score: 1/5
Lou Ye ... has chosen a murky and disjointed means to narrate this story.