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Suzhou River

Suzhou River (2000)



Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 9
Fresh: 8 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 2,502

My Rating

Movie Info

Recalling both Vertigo (1958) and Chungking Express (1994), Chinese director Lou Ye spins this riveting tale of obsession and love. The film opens with shots of the Suzhou River, which is clogged with the detritus and pollution of a rapidly expanding Shanghai. Narrated by an unseen freelance videographer, the film focuses on motorcycle courier Mardar (Jia Hongsheng), who specializes in black marketeering and is asked by a shady alcohol smuggler to shuttle his young attractive daughter Moudan


Drama, Romance, Art House & International


Lou Ye, Ye Lou

Oct 23, 2001

Strand Releasing

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All Critics (33) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (26) | Rotten (4) | DVD (2)

The showy jump cuts and off-kilter close-ups belie an extremely well edited, even supple, piece of work.

August 17, 2001 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
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This atmospheric film, even with its self-conscious style, is a show of major talent by Lou.

February 7, 2001 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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A compelling story of love and obsession...

February 7, 2001 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Lou Ye lays out a ravishing wasteland of femmes fatales and lovelorn tough guys -- all in 79 minutes.

February 7, 2001 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
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An assured exercise in high cinematic style, it references a variety of films and filmmakers -- Alfred Hitchcock not the least of them -- but what it is preeminently is alive and dynamic.

February 7, 2001 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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Offers impeccable attitude and captivating atmosphere, but little emotional or intellectual impact.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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The ambiguity of its story and its lush, painterly images give the film a dreamlike quality, but it taps deep into the soul of genuine, soul-aching romantic longing.

December 26, 2006 Full Review Source:

Gorgeous, enigmatic movie that probably adds up to very little, but Ye is a tantalizing imagemaker.

January 23, 2004
Nick's Flick Picks

An appealing little show-off of a movie by a young first-timer practicing his licks.

May 27, 2003 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Its visual style is gritty... and yet there is also a sense of the fantastical and of an achingly lush romanticism.

March 30, 2003 Full Review

Needlessly incoherent, and not much fun.

February 3, 2003
New Times

The first half of this movie is an obvious imitation of Vertigo - right down to the adapted Bernard Herrmann music - but it always feels fresh and original in spirit.

February 26, 2002 Full Review Source: Offoffoff

A strangely obessive love tale from the 35-year-old Chinese director Ye Lou.

December 17, 2001 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A strong but gentle film about identity, neediness, and desire, as well as our ability to re-invent the world to suit ourselves.

April 16, 2001 Full Review Source: BBC

A seductive and atmospheric conundrum that works pleasingly as an exercise in storytelling.

April 13, 2001 Full Review Source: Sight and Sound
Sight and Sound

Suzhou River believes in romance as an actual emotional event, not just as an excuse for a movie.

March 23, 2001 Full Review Source: Matinee Magazine
Matinee Magazine

It dovetails to a conclusion that defeats its intriguing qualities by smacking of self-conscious cleverness and over-construction.

January 1, 2000

It's tough, edgy, jaded and romantic.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

Tells its own tragic love story against a very different backdrop from Hitchcock's San Francisco, but explicit references to Vertigo make the film all the more resonant.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

I walked out of the theatre in a delightful daze, wondering both where Ye Lou came from and how he happened to make one of the year's best films.

January 1, 2000
Planet Sick-Boy

An engaging mixture of realism and romanticism.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: E! Online
E! Online

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Foreign Titles

  • Suzhou River (Suzhou he) (DE)
  • Suzhou River (Suzhou he) (UK)
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