The Grandmaster Reviews

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Martin Roberts
Fan The Fire
April 9, 2015
The narrative structure is a little shaky at times, and it perhaps inhabits too many genres to be fully successful in any of them, but my goodness it's compelling.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Siobhan Synnot
Scotsman
December 8, 2014
Often poetic, but lacks dramatic punch.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Mark Kermode
Observer [UK]
December 7, 2014
The Grandmaster interweaves themes of ancient loyalty and modern betrayal around a narrative predicated upon the interplay between the differing schools, traditions and movements of myriad martial arts disciplines.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Vadim Rizov
Sight and Sound
December 5, 2014
Each punch, kick and impact is captured cleanly and coherently, Wong serving the spectacle of a big brawl rather than resisting its adrenalised charms.
Chris Fyvie
The Skinny
December 5, 2014
It's far from the misunderstood masterpiece many still prayed it might be, but almost every shot is predictably jaw-dropping and metaphor-dripping.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Rich Cline
Contactmusic.com
December 5, 2014
Leave it to Hong Kong maestro Wong Kar Wai (In the Mood for Love) to reinvent both the historical biopic and Chinese kung fu action movie in one fell swoop.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Geoffrey Macnab
Independent
December 4, 2014
The Grandmaster is an anomaly -- a mournful and delicate kung-fu movie with hardly a trace of machismo about it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Kate Muir
Times [UK]
December 4, 2014
Wong Kar-wei's The Grandmaster is one of the more exquisite martial arts movies around, as the Hong Kong auteur behind the lyrical In the Mood for Love takes on the legend of Ip Man.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Jamie Healy
Radio Times
December 4, 2014
The sheer class of the production ensures that it's not entirely ruined by its flaws.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Tim Evans
Sky Movies
December 4, 2014
It's suffused with emotional repression and it's this deep sense of yearning and unrequited love that poignantly raises it above mere biopic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Peter Bradshaw
Guardian
December 4, 2014
As a film-maker, Wong appears to be retreating upriver into genre, style and mannerism. It is all managed very elegantly - but with a fraction of the power in his greatest work.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Kim Newman
Empire Magazine
December 4, 2014
It may not be much more than six of the most imaginatively staged and filmed fight scenes in the cinema, but that's almost certainly enough to recommend it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Emma Simmonds
The List
December 1, 2014
This tough and tender biopic ... makes for an elegant, occasionally exciting tribute to a man and his art-form.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Stefan Pape
HeyUGuys
December 1, 2014
Kar Wai revels presents this epic production with a stylistic grandeur, celebrating the elegance of combat, rather than the brutality.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Tom Clift
FILMINK (Australia)
September 18, 2014
Certainly, The Grandmaster is far from Wong's best. But it's a beautiful creation all the same.
Margaret Pomeranz
At the Movies (Australia)
September 11, 2014
This air of melancholy that lies over the film is - I don't know. I was very interested about all this north, south the various elements of Kung Fu. I learned stuff from the film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
David Stratton
At the Movies (Australia)
September 11, 2014
Tony Leung's charismatic performance as the man who was martial arts instructor to Bruce Lee anchors the film, but in this version at least the story equally belongs to Gong Er, and Zhang Yiyi is splendid in the role, especially in the later scenes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Philippa Hawker
Sydney Morning Herald
September 4, 2014
It is rich, distinctive and lush, as you would expect, although this new feature from Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai has been a long time coming.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Ray Pride
Newcity
April 7, 2014
It is to swoon. Even the buttons on a fine coat are given the emphasis of the whoosh of a blade, the crack of a bone or the scrape and grind and rush of a locomotive. Nothing is relative: all is memory. A dream.
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Grantland
January 3, 2014
The movie's problems are, in part, those of a great artist trying something new. It's a fine mess.
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