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Watching TV with the Red Chinese (2011)

tomatometer

40

Average Rating: 4.4/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 3

No consensus yet.

audience

75

liked it
Average Rating: 4.5/5
User Ratings: 76

My Rating

Movie Info

Three Chinese students, Tzu (James Chen), Wa (Keong Sim) and Chen (Leonardo Nam) come to study in America in the summer of 1980. They move into a New York City apartment next door to Dexter (Ryan O'Nan), a graduate student who introduces them to Suzanne (Gillian Jacobs), his occasional girlfriend and to Billy (Michael Esper), a struggling filmmaker. The Chinese find America fascinating. However, their perceptions, based on watching non-stop television, change when one of them is brutally mugged,

Unrated,

Drama, Art House & International, Comedy

Netaya Anbar

Roam Films - Official Site External Icon

Cast

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All Critics (10) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (4) | Rotten (6)

Dotan takes this iffy story and makes it nearly unwatchable by jumping back and forth in time, using screens within screens and bouncing between color and black-and-white.

January 20, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film nicely captures the grad-student vibe: beer-fueled bull sessions about science, religion, probability and destiny; fragile, self-absorbed egos preening even as confidence wavers.

January 19, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This quirky indie has an off-kilter, shaggy appeal and a filling story.

January 19, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The conversations feel artificial, overly concerned with re-creating period detail or interjecting relevant philosophical life concepts, like a constantly rehashed theory of alternate universes built on different "what if?" scenarios.

January 19, 2012 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Nearly every scene is clunky...

January 17, 2012 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Less a story loosely bound by cause and effect than a kind of scrapbook of memories, all of which convey the concerns of being super smart and mostly confused in a culturally mixed Manhattan, circa 1980.

January 29, 2012 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

A cautionary tale of innocence lost, delivering a prophetic message with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight that a generation ago America might have already been 'a culture in decay.'

January 21, 2012 Full Review Source: AALBC.com
AALBC.com

The timeline jitters out of order, dropping viewers into a scenario it takes far longer than necessary to discover is straightforward and self-seriously soap operatic.

January 19, 2012 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club

The first half of Shimon Dotan's Watching TV with the Red Chinese is a virtual compendium of high-culture references, topical concerns addressed almost in passing, and narrative fracturing devices.

January 15, 2012 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

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