The Flowers of War Reviews

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Sean Burns
Philadelphia Weekly
May 3, 2015
A florid, melodramatic tear-jerker of questionable taste but undeniable emotional impact.
Graham Young
Birmingham Post
September 12, 2012
The filming techniques cross Saving Private Ryan with Zimou's own Hero and other dynastic, martial arts-driven Chinese epics.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Philip French
Observer [UK]
August 5, 2012
It contributes nothing of value to an understanding of these events.
Tara Brady
Irish Times
August 3, 2012
It can look tremendous, even if Zhao Xiaoding's hyper-stylised '90-retro cinematography sits uneasily beside relentless bloodshed and sexual violations.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Peter Bradshaw
Guardian
August 2, 2012
Bale is forthright and emotional in the role, and with a hint of boyish vulnerability, even reminds us of his 13-year-old self in Spielberg's Empire of the Sun.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Nigel Andrews
Financial Times
August 2, 2012
Maudlin make-believe in which a molecule of fact has been dropped like vermouth into a martini ...
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Robbie Collin
Daily Telegraph
August 2, 2012
Zhang gives his fondness for chaste melodrama and shimmering colours full rein: it's a style that suits his courtly martial arts films such as Hero, but this material would have benefited from a more Spielbergian, or perhaps David Lean-ian, approach.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Henry Fitzherbert
Daily Express
August 2, 2012
While absorbing and never dull you can't help feeling the horrific subject matter deserved rather more subtle handling.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
David Jenkins
Little White Lies
August 2, 2012
The title alludes to a precious beauty that grows during times of war, but this is just taking things way too far. The colour here is way off.
Matthew Turner
ViewLondon
August 1, 2012
Impressively directed and beautifully shot, this is a compelling, superbly acted drama that exerts a powerful emotional grip, though it's impossible not to suspect that certain liberties have been taken with the actual events.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5

Sky Movies
August 1, 2012
It is is impossible not to be moved. Bales sometimes overeggs his Western saviour yet is watchable throughout, imbuing Miller with a nobility that is only explained in the final reel.
Top Critic
Trevor Johnston
Time Out
July 31, 2012
Zhang's flamboyant camera choreography and diva-ish flounces of melodrama are vivid but misplaced.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Angie Errigo
Empire Magazine
July 30, 2012
As you'd expect, it's beautiful, emotional and exciting, if florid in style. Bale, beauties and English dialogue widen Yimou's appeal.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Pablo Villaca
Cinema em Cena
May 25, 2012
Um filme que peca ao ouvir a expressão "espetáculo de crueldade" e conferir maior peso à primeira palavra do que à segunda.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Richard Nilsen
Arizona Republic
March 29, 2012
"The Flowers of War" seems like a pretty good film until you begin to think about it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Roger Moore
Tribune News Service
March 23, 2012
Veering from the sensational to the maudlin, this is a compromised epic that panders to the Chinese audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews
February 26, 2012
...the movie's less-than-engrossing atmosphere [is] compounded by its stagy and distressingly uneventful midsection...
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
February 24, 2012
An unsettling mixture of spectacular brutality and sentimentality that might make even Steven Spielberg blush.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Liz Braun
Jam! Movies
February 24, 2012
Not only huge and unwieldy, but seemingly unsure of what it wants to do/say/prove.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Greg Quill
Toronto Star
February 23, 2012
The director's grip on the drama is often weakened by his penchant for creating spectacles.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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