China Moon (1994)

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

China Moon is a slick noir thriller, nice to look at, well-acted and directed, but ultimately predictable, even to its "surprise" ending. Kyle Bodine (Ed Harris) falls in love with Rachel Munro (Madeleine Stowe), the unhappily married wife of a drunken Southern aristocrat Rupert (Charles Dance). One night, tired of his beatings and abuse, Rachel kills Rupert, apparently in self-defense. Kyle helps her cover-up the crime and establish an alibi. However, Kyle's young partner Lamar (Benecio Del Toro) suspects Rachel of the murder and begins an investigation. In fairly predictable plot twists reminiscent of the far superior Body Heat Kyle finds his life falling apart. While the plot is contrived, the performances are convincing, particularly that of Madeline Stowe as the treacherous Rachel. Ed Harris gives the character of Kyle depth and complexity. Cinematographer-turned-director John Bailey gives the film a great, dark, rain-slicked noir look and feel and lingers on details which take an otherwise predictable mystery/thriller and make it seem like a game of wits.
Rating:
R
Genre:
Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Orion Home Video

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Cast

Charles Dance
as Rupert Munro
Benicio Del Toro
as Lamar Dickey
Ed Harris
as Kyle Bodine
Madeleine Stowe
as Rachel Munro
Clifton Jones
as Dr. Ocampo
Marc Macaulay
as CSU Technician
Roger Aaron Brown
as Police Captain
Pruitt Taylor Vince
as Daryl Jeeters
Ralph Wilcox
as Ballistic Technician
Robert Koch
as Miami Waiter
Sandy Martin
as Gun Saleswoman
Buddy Dolan
as Sergeant
Steve Zurk
as Patrolman at Headquarters
Robert Burgos
as Harlan James
Danny Cochran
as Blues Band Member
Peggy O'Neal
as Miami Desk Clerk
Larry Shuler
as Patrolman at Turner's
Paul Darby
as CSU Photographer
Janis Benson
as Rupert's Secretary
Jim Milan
as Blues Band Member
Gregory Avellone
as JJ's Bartender
Tim A. Powell
as Fraker
Sam Myers
as Blues Band Member
Theresa Bean
as Felicity Turner
Allen Prince
as Assistant M. E.
Anson Funderburgh
as Blues Band Member
Matt McCabe
as Blues Band Member
Joseph E. Louden
as Detective
Terrie Jameson
as Patrolwoman
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Critic Reviews for China Moon

All Critics (10) | Top Critics (1)

Ed Harris as the fall guy is good and the visuals of this film noir are impressive nut the narrative is severely flawed.

Full Review… | July 30, 2011
EmanuelLevy.Com

A welcome return to the classy thrillers of yesteryear

March 2, 2006
Mediasharx

Film noir about a person caught in a slow dance with danger and death.

Full Review… | July 17, 2003
Spirituality and Practice

The film's saving grace is in the emotionally impactful performance by Ed Harris.

Full Review… | September 17, 2002
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Quote not available.

May 5, 2005
eFilmCritic.com

Quote not available.

Full Review… | March 16, 2004
At-A-Glance Film Reviews

Audience Reviews for China Moon

½

I didn't find Paper Moon that predictable. I enjoyed the twists and turns of the plot and I enjoyed the acting of Madeline Stowe and Ed Harris, the two main characters. I guess crime doesn't pay...

Red Lats
Red Lats

Super Reviewer

China Moon is an enjoyable and underrated thriller that fancies itself as being a Double Indemnity for a new generation (Though not nearly as good). While it is predictable, I found it to be pretty engaging thanks to the solid performances from the cast members. It also has its fair share of shameless sex scenes and nudity to make for a sexy thriller. I had a lot of fun watching this film and it should serve as a fun guilty pleasure for those who enjoy cheesy thrillers.

Keenan Sullivan
Keenan Sullivan

Homicide Det. Kyle Bodine (Ed Harris) is a veteran of the force who knows the ins and outs of every crime scene. He meets the beautiful and mysterious Rachel (Madeline Stowe), and they begin a steamy relationship. But then he finds out she's married to a rich banker called Rupert (Charles Dance) who's a serial adulterer and wife beater. During a particularly heated confrontation with her husband, Rachel shoots and kills Rupert in self defense and then persuades Kyle to assist her in disposing of the body and covering up the evidence of what has happened. Kyle carries out these tasks with his usual efficiency but problems arise when the body is discovered and his rookie partner Lamar Dickey (Benicio del Toro) discovers some clues which lead to the finger of suspicion being pointed at Kyle. Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic Image and video hosting by TinyPic There are enough twists and turns to keep you off-balance in this story of passion, treachery and murder. The comparisons to "Body Heat," "No Way out" and "Double Indemnity" are understandable but the joy I get in watching films of this genre is trying to predict how things are going to go wrong and there was a twist ending I openly acknowledge I did not see coming. Early in the film the veteran Harris chastises his young partner for not being observant. I guess I too was not paying attention to the small details lol.

Deb S
Deb S

Super Reviewer

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