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Stylish and exciting, Cliff Walkers sees director Zhang Yimou trying his hand at the spy thriller genre with generally impressive results. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Based on the script by Quan Yongxian, CLIFF WALKERS is director Zhang Yimou's first foray into the spy genre. Set the puppet state of Manchukuo in the 1930s, the film follows four Communist party special agents who return to China after receiving training in the Soviet Union. Together, they embark on a secret mission code-named "Utrennya." After being sold out by a traitor, the team find themselves surrounded by threats on all sides from the moment they parachute into the mission. Will the agents break the impasse and complete their mission? On the snowy grounds of Manchukuo, the team will be tested to their limit.

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Critic Reviews for Cliff Walkers

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (36) | Rotten (8)

  • Zhang, celebrated for both masterworks (Raise the Red Lantern), and pop hits (House of Flying Daggers), can't seem to make a film that isn't visually exquisite.

    May 14, 2021 | Full Review…
  • The action scenes are thrilling, but this is big, big, big melodrama!... It is an interesting history, a little bit of which comes to the fore in this film.

    May 13, 2021 | Full Review…
  • While there are some riches to be found under the surface for anyone who feels like watching this with a flow chart, Zhang is so clearly seduced by the spell of his own movie magic that everything else feels like an inadvertent side effect.

    May 12, 2021 | Rating: C | Full Review…
  • It's not top-shelf Yimou, but it still goes down smoothly.

    May 6, 2021 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • By design or otherwise, "Cliff Walkers" isn't political enough to offend, or moving enough to last, but it is beautiful enough to pass the time pleasurably.

    May 3, 2021 | Full Review…
  • In many ways, Zhang's latest is the coldest film that he's made in a while, though it might also be his most alluring.

    April 30, 2021 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

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