Bai ri yan huo (Black Coal, Thin Ice) Reviews

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December 20, 2020
"Black Coal, Thin Ice" is a great art-house noir that thrives on both contextual and visual level, with the awards it received being utterly justified.
October 20, 2020
Bleak but superbly moody, Diao Yinan's Black Coal, Thin Ice is an exciting homage to classic American film noir from a completely unexpected source, and much more intelligent than the simplicity of its title indicates.
June 9, 2020
Kudos for a truly brave performance from lead actor Liao Fan.
June 3, 2019
This is a tightly wound, well characterised crime thriller.
December 13, 2017
The light bathes faces and streets, gives visibility to the drives of the characters and in more than a moment offers glimpses about their fears and their secrets. [Full review in Spanish]
November 21, 2017
Its noir detective style pays homage to classic Hollywood tropes, but this is an unapologetically arthouse piece that impresses most for its gloriously dark visuals.
October 2, 2017
It's the darkest shade of noir, replete with dismemberment and sexual violence, though Diao juices it up with a subtly insinuating neon glow, a remarkably daring sense of absurdist humour, and some very witty and stylish flourishes.
February 29, 2016
Black Coal, Thin Ice is a powerful film that grows on the viewer steadily and surely.
June 13, 2015
Black Coal, Thin Ice twists and turns as it goes: even the jolting electronic music over the end credits springs another surprise.
June 5, 2015
Maybe the angriest movie from mainland China since Li Yang's Blind Mountain.
June 4, 2015
Delights in flouting generic convention at every twisting turn.
June 4, 2015
What's fascinating is not merely the plot, but the wonderfully shot background, red and green neon on a grey townscape.
June 4, 2015
It never quite catches fire, but it has a curious atmosphere of its own: menacing, pregnant with unease.
June 4, 2015
Puzzling out the whos, the whys and the WTFs of this marvellously oddball case takes a back seat to drinking in the film's dark, shining evocation of night and the city.
June 2, 2015
It's easy to see why it won the prize at Berlin. As well as being moodier than a Nine Inch Nails soundscape and crackling with barely concealed sexual tension and brimming with angst, Jingsong Dong's cinematography is sublime.
June 1, 2015
Plays like a straightforward police procedural, buoyed by the intense dynamic between Fan and Gwei and a visual inventiveness that makes far more of an impact than its story.
June 1, 2015
Moments of thrilling visual beauty are studded through this dour Chinese thriller like diamonds through a seam of coal.
April 9, 2015
Writer/director Diao Yinan's brilliant and beautifully stylized Chinese noir transfixes the viewer with its cynical cops, hazardous settings and a mysterious aura of days gone by before delivering a devious denouement.
February 23, 2015
Black Coal, Thin Ice is a painstakingly deliberate neo-noir, heavy on atmosphere and taking its time to build.
February 18, 2015
A stark, harsh murder mystery interspersed with Wong Kar-wai-esque moments of odd urban beauty.
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