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Shaolin (2011)


Average Rating: 6.2/10
Reviews Counted: 27
Fresh: 20
Rotten: 7

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 6/10
Reviews Counted: 10
Fresh: 7
Rotten: 3

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.


Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 7,309


Movie Info

As feuding warlords fight to expand their power, the noble monks of the Shaolin Temple clean up the mess left behind, tending to the injured while trying their best to protect the poor and weak. General Hou (Andy Lau) has caused much of this mess with his violent and ruthless tactics that rarely discriminate between soldiers and civilians. When Hou is betrayed by fellow general Cao Man (Nicholas Tse), he is forced into hiding, and takes refuge with the monks (including Jackie Chan) at their … More

R (for violence)
Drama , Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By:
Alan Yuen
In Theaters:
Oct 25, 2011
Box Office:
Variance Films - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Shaolin

All Critics (27) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (7)

An ambitious, almost epic drama that devotes as much time to introspection as it does to combat.

Full Review… | September 9, 2011
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

"Shaolin" fits in the more somber kung-fu tradition. But it also finds room for the genre's comic strain.

Full Review… | September 9, 2011
New York Times
Top Critic

The epic feel to this Hong Kong action-drama helps balance a lack of hand-to-hand combat scenes.

Full Review… | September 9, 2011
New York Daily News
Top Critic

More action, less talk should be the order of the day, but it isn't.

Full Review… | September 9, 2011
New York Post
Top Critic

Shaolin features a half-dozen impressive action set pieces, including an elaborate carriage chase and a battle inside the cages where Cao imprisons his workers.

Full Review… | September 8, 2011
Top Critic

The kung fu itself is great fun to watch, from the discipline of balancing on one foot on a wooden pillar, the other in the air, for hours at a time to the confrontations that send fist and feet flying.

Full Review… | September 8, 2011
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

One of those films that impresses you, even though it fails to set itself apart from other films in the genre.

Full Review… | December 29, 2011
Movie Metropolis

Ambitiously staged set pieces fall victim to portentous technique, creating an ultimately irreconcilable chasm between how much one wants to like this movie and how much they actually do.

Full Review… | October 2, 2011

Jackie Chan brings some warm energy to his supporting role -- a rarity for this big star -- and turns in a delightfully self-effacing performance.

Full Review… | September 16, 2011
Common Sense Media

Frequently gripping and featuring a surprisingly spry supporting turn by Jackie Chan, it's a sturdy if unremarkable effort.

Full Review… | September 9, 2011
Boxoffice Magazine

Shaolin is simultaneously regal and stilted, stirring and sluggish.

Full Review… | September 9, 2011
Boxoffice Magazine

Large-scale melodrama is short on action and long on histrionics.

Full Review… | September 9, 2011
Film Journal International

This rousing Shaolin is notable for the compassionate Buddhist philosophy that underpins what otherwise might have been just another Hong Kong period piece.

Full Review… | September 9, 2011
Austin Chronicle

This is not a subtle film, and certainly not a great one, but it's made with bubbling brio and it's spectacular to look at. It's action filmmaking of the highest order.

Full Review… | September 8, 2011
Honolulu Star-Advertiser

Benny Chan's kung-fu film Shaolin both benefits from and is ultimately defeated by its own epic ambitions.

Full Review… | September 4, 2011
Slant Magazine

"Shaolin" compares favorably with the biggest blockbuster Hollywood has to offer.

Full Review… | August 31, 2011

With its mix of high octane martial arts and Eastern spirituality, Shaolin succeeds as a stirring anti-violence action epic.

Full Review… | February 4, 2011
Matt's Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Shaolin


Fantasy martial arts tale built on the simple story of a man who makes a terrible mistake, hurting everyone who loved him, and spends the rest of his life clearing his mind, rebuilding the way he sees the world and atoning for his sins by protecting the weak. A simple, solid story that was beautifully acted and really moved me. Everyone finds their place. And of course I've been an Andy Lau fan my whole life because people think my dad looks like him. Or should I say, he looks like my dad.

Letitia Lew
Letitia Lew

Super Reviewer

Really good film. Lots of great choreography. Jackie Chan shows up in this, and he adds alot of humor. The only thing that took away from the movie was the foreign troops that show up to cause conflict...the lead soldier was a horrible actor. But that is such a small section, and it doesn't take away from this film. Good all around movie.

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

the film had some excellent moments. the story was predictable but still engaging, some of the action was solid, and the film looked great. however there was so much about this film that disappointed. some of the action was silly, and the end of the film fell flat at so many moments. i was looking forward to this film with much anticipation, but in the end, it was just a tad above average.

danny d

Super Reviewer

A decent effort, no big surprises here, but the whole thing is done with enough conviction and skill, just a bit too predictable and one dimensional. Bad guys learn their lessons, evil foreigners want to steal chinese treasures, and so on. Not bad if you want a kung fu fix, but there's no hurry to watch this one.

Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

Shaolin Quotes

General Hou Jie:
Life is about affinity. Follow affinity and live freely.
– Submitted by Kenneth S (8 months ago)
[Shaolin Kids shouting to to Cook while he's taking on Cao Man's crooked soldiers] Stir fry them like vegetables. Knead them like noodle dough!
– Submitted by Fascade F (2 years ago)
The Abbot:
From evil comes suffering. With justice they are gone. If neither are there you're so purified, nothing remains. Understand how to let go first, then you will have no attachments. Do this, and you can confront anything.
– Submitted by Allison L (2 years ago)
General Hou Jie:
Namo Amituofo.
– Submitted by Kevin K (2 years ago)
General Hou Jie:
Why did you kill them?
– Submitted by Chris P (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

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