The Art of War (2000)



Critic Consensus: Excessively noisy and overly reliant on genre clichés, The Art of War wastes its star's charisma on a ridiculous, convoluted plot and poorly edited action sequences.

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Movie Info

Ruthless terrorists are threatening to bring down the United Nations. They frame the one man they believe can stop them - an international security expert named Shaw. Now he must run from his own allies and become a solitary force for good, as he tries to stop what could become World War III.
R (for strong violence, some sexuality, langauge and brief drug content)
Action & Adventure , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
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Anne Archer
as Eleanor Hooks
Maury Chaykin
as Capella
Marie Matiko
as Julia Fang
Donald Sutherland
as Douglas Thomas
James Hong
as Ambassador Wu
Ron Yuan
as Ming
Glen Chin
as Ochai
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Critic Reviews for The Art of War

All Critics (80) | Top Critics (26)

In this pretentiously titled international thriller, which is sloppily directed, Wesley Snipes plays an American agent who gets involved in the emerging relations between China and the Western world, with a shaky U.N. placed right in the middle.

Full Review… | February 12, 2007
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | June 23, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | March 22, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

The Art of War manages to entertain without being enriching, and, at least in some circles, that's the definition of what a summer film is supposed to accomplish.

Full Review… | December 31, 1999
Top Critic

I'm happy to report that while it's deeply flawed, it's not by any means a bad film.

December 31, 1999
Top Critic

The Art of War keeps us reasonably entertained, if not guessing.

December 31, 1999
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Art of War


After watching it AGAIN, I still think everyone treated this movie unfairly. Its not perfect, but I guess this movie did really kickstart the intelligent spy genre, leading to movies like the Bourne Seires and others. i hold this in regard for that fact, also giving a stronger martial arts aspect to the movie and themes like betrayl and politics. Snipes plays a covert UN Agent whose job is to assist the UN on issue which are deemed "necessary" - from espionage to outright blackmail, which is evident in the introduction . I think people kept on saying the plot was confusing and noone understood what was going on. Sorry people, but you're a little silly, you obviously know what "The Art of War" is, and its no mystrey why a movie is titled so. It becomes FULLY clear in the climax when things are explained through some smart dialouge - and the plot was simple really, the method of execution complex, but high effective... the only problem being is Snipes was learning quick that someone was forcing him to chase shadows and false leads and he was the bait. Anyways, if you're wondering why its so confusing, because Snipes' character is supposed to portray confusion and helplesness in being cut off and abandoned, with Chinese gangsters, police and the FBI hot on his heels. If you're confused, good, watch it again and try to put the pieces together like a jigsaw puzzle - every scene, every image has a meaning, it does take some concentration. Though its not 100% perfect, it was a matter of a new style of filming and idea which never really reached the full potential until The Bourne Identity and its successors kicked ass at the box office. It also interesting to see things like new technology back in 2000, like touch screen PDA's and wireless internet which only became consumer friendly in 2005, 5 years from when the movie was released. Anyways, the action is slick, the cast above average, i think Michael Biehn was the standout support. The final fight scene was expllosvie and smoother than your average, something unqiue and obviously set the trend. Anyway, I think a lot of movies afterwards really borrowed something from The Art of War, and I believe a lot of people canned it because of the Snipes name and the fact it was mainly a European production and Indie movie release. Well, if you like movies like this and wanted to see where it all started for the new millenium, this is the one to watch.

Khris N
Khris N

Super Reviewer

Wesley Snipes has never been better, one of his best roles in one of his best action films. A stylish, nail-biting, pulse-pounding twist-a minute action-packed thriller. A sensational and adreniline-pumping action-thrill-ride that kick starts the senses and kicks all sorts of ass. It's sharp, very smart and very entertaining.

Al S
Al S

Super Reviewer

I've seen Wesley Snipes in such good form as he appears in this action-thriller movie since Blade.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

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