Red Cliff (Chi Bi) Reviews

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Top Critic
Mike Hale
New York Times
November 19, 2009
Mr. Woo, who can make romantic poetry out of a battle among 20 men in the confines of a teahouse, seems defeated, or at least defused, by this increase in scale.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Simon Weaving
Screenwize
July 23, 2009
John Woo's original two part epic telling of an ancient Chinese battle tale is amalgamated and cut to create a stylised but characterless piece with some spectacular fighting scenes.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Robert Levin
Critic's Notebook
November 16, 2009
The characters function less as flesh-and-blood figures than obtuse archetypes. They look and act as if they know they belong in an epic.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
November 25, 2009
I left the movie thinking, "Wow, those were some really good formations those soldiers invented. Who were they again, anyway?"
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine
November 15, 2009
The film's shortcomings have less to do with Woo's orchestration of his ambitious tale and more to do with the Frankenstein hatchet job enacted against it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Jason Di Rosso
MovieTime, ABC Radio National
July 24, 2009
[Woo] pulls out all the stops to recreate extensive battle scenes with high spectacle impact, but fails to capture the nuance and personal touch of his early action films.
Joseph Proimakis
Movies for the Masses
May 14, 2009
click for full review
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
November 24, 2009
It's almost 2 1/2 hours, and too much is corny, cramped, and vague.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Jeffrey Chen
ReelTalk Movie Reviews
November 19, 2009
Woo had the chance of a lifetime ... to film one of the greatest Chinese stories, and blew it by tinkering with it so much that not only is it no longer the story many of us know and love, it's also a version that can't even be considered on par.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
Rob Thomas
Capital Times (Madison, WI)
March 12, 2010
It's like the most complicated game of Stratego ever. Still, if you used to while away Saturday afternoons watching martial arts epics on cable, you'll have a good time.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Christopher Tookey
Daily Mail [UK]
June 12, 2009
A bloodthirsty costume epic directed for maximum gruesomeness.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 24, 2009
The compelling emotion that marks the best Woo movies is AWOL. The pacing is choppy, with most of the human moments lopped off. Is the Han emperor the good guy? Or should we cheer the rebellious opposition warlords? And what the heck is a viceroy?
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Josh Bell
Las Vegas Weekly
December 9, 2009
One of the most exhilarating action movies of the year.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Annlee Ellingson
Moving Pictures Magazine
March 25, 2010
After years of civil war, Prime Minister General Cao Cao attempts to unite the empire under the Han Dynasty by quashing two troublesome warlords.
Thomas Caldwell
Cinema Autopsy
November 20, 2009
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
December 10, 2009
Flaws and all, you can't watch a frame of it without feeling that it has been generations since Hollywood tackled anything on this scale.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
December 28, 2009
John Woo's best work has always been mysterious to me. He makes operas - we don't need to understand the words to sense their power.
Full Review | Original Score: 86/100
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
November 20, 2009
Red Cliff is a legendary filmmaker's visual symphony.
Top Critic
Tan Vinh
Seattle Times
November 25, 2009
Not a bad consolation prize, but not the complex, multilayered drama that made Red Cliff a hit in Asia.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Clint O'Connor
Cleveland Plain Dealer
November 20, 2009
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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