Curse of the Golden Flower - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Curse of the Golden Flower Reviews

Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
February 3, 2007
Full Review | Original Score: 4/6
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
February 3, 2007
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
January 17, 2007
To put a point to it, the lavish period costumes, operatic mise-en-scène and ceremonial grandeur of Curse of the Golden Flower clashes fatally with the nuanced nastiness of modern marital discord.
Top Critic
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
January 12, 2007
For all the swordplay and martial-arts fisticuffs, Curse is its most delirious as a lavish argument for the soap opera's roots in Greek tragedy.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
January 12, 2007
This spectacularly decorated movie offers the enjoyment of watching Zhang chronicle the lives of one very nutty family. It also allows Zhang to load every inch of the screen with images so full that you half expect them to collapse under their own weight.
| Original Score: B
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
January 12, 2007
Curse is straightforward and solemn, lacking not for spectacle but for humor and a humanizing touch.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
January 12, 2007
Make no mistake, all is epic, violent, bloody madness once the director hits his stride, and fans of Zhang's work will not want to miss Curse of the Golden Flower. But brush strokes are amiss here.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Peter Debruge
Miami Herald
January 12, 2007
The melodrama here is of a sort seldom taken seriously outside Shakespeare's tragedies, and the final body count rivals Hamlet in its royal bloodletting.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
January 12, 2007
It's big, it's beautiful, and you won't leave the theater feeling cheated, no matter how much of a letdown the finale might be.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
January 12, 2007
If looks were all it took to thrill, this opulent, near-operatic historical pageant would rank with Zhang Yimou's last two epics.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
January 11, 2007
Basically, the movie is soap opera done on a grand opera scale -- more Dynasty than Later Tang Dynasty. The immensity of Zhang's vision is eyepopping. Imagine several football fields worth of shimmering golden chrysanthemums.
| Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
January 8, 2007
It's operatic in its feeling and there's a lot going on here. And there's murders and betrayals, and affairs that are illicit, and women on horse-back and great fight scenes.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
January 3, 2007
Curse of the Golden Flower is a watchable soap opera, but its marching-band martial-arts scenes are little more than weakly staged retreads of the ones in Zhang's Hero.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 29, 2006
...A spectacle for the eyes and for the soul.
| Original Score: 4/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 28, 2006
Director Zhang Yimou is aiming for glorious visual, kinetic and emotional overload, and he delivers the goods.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
December 28, 2006
The morbid grandiosity of Curse of the Golden Flower is its own distinctive accomplishment, another remarkable chapter in the career of Asia's most important living filmmaker.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 22, 2006
The year's most operatic and visually lavish film.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
December 22, 2006
Few filmmakers could produce so grand a spectacle, but [director] Zhang used to be good for more than just eye candy.
| Original Score: B-
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 22, 2006
Amidst all of this excess, an actor can too easily disappear, or be reduced to a hanger for a costume. But Gong Li, the standout in the cast, does wonders with her melodramatic role.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
December 22, 2006
Its overabundance is more blessing than curse, however, provided you can suspend disbelief over a campy plot and focus on one lush, eye-popping scene after another.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
December 22, 2006
The ever-luminous Gong Li and the wickedly nonchalant Chow Yun-Fat are wonderful together.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
December 22, 2006
A dramatic crisis erupts in bloodbaths that are filled with flash but little meaning. As armies clash, the cast also yields to histronic extremes.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
December 22, 2006
Instead of transporting awe, the viewer groans under the weight of Zhang's self-conscious cinematic one-upmanship.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
December 22, 2006
The movie has plenty to engage one's interest but little to sustain it.
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
December 22, 2006
As easy as this movie is to watch, it's artificially flavored.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Bill Stamets
Chicago Sun-Times
December 22, 2006
Zhang's script, based on Cao Yu's play, matches outlandish finery with outlandish bloodletting and body counts.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 21, 2006
There's only a rich family behaving badly, a kind of Dynasty with swords. And as tantalizing as that concept might sound to some Joan Collins fans, it's not enough to make this worth watching.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
December 21, 2006
Curse of the Golden Flower could also be called Curse of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
| Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
December 21, 2006
A period spectacle, steeped in awesome splendor and lethal palace intrigue, it climaxes in a stupendous battle scene and epic tragedy.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
December 21, 2006
It's just a great, old, wild ride at the movies.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
December 21, 2006
Zhang Yimou's latest extravaganza is about palace intrigue during the Tan Dynasty, and it's exhaustingly action-packed.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Gene Seymour
Newsday
December 21, 2006
It's all too ludicrous to absorb.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
December 21, 2006
Don't judge the film too quickly, though. It really is like almost nothing you've seen before.
| Original Score: 4/4
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Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
December 20, 2006
The Chinese director Zhang Yimou achieves a kind of operatic delirium, opening the floodgates of image and melodrama until the line between tragedy and black comedy is all but erased.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
David Chute
L.A. Weekly
December 20, 2006
In the end, Curse also looks alarmingly like a dry run for the opening and closing ceremonies Zhang has been hired to direct for the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.
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David Germain
Associated Press
December 19, 2006
The stately Gong looks fantastic, the regal Chow looks cruelly calculating. Yet lacking the inner spark a richer script would provide, even they blend into the scenery.
Top Critic
Rob Nelson
Village Voice
December 19, 2006
The film's seemingly endless revelations of double- and triple-crosses would play like bad mid-'60s Hollywood epic wanking were it not for Zhang's mise-en-scéne.
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TIME Magazine
December 11, 2006
It's less soap opera than grand opera, where matters of love and death are played at a perfect fever pitch. And grand this Golden Flower is.
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
November 13, 2006
A disappointing misfire from a great director.
Top Critic
Robert Koehler
Variety
November 13, 2006
Curse of the Golden Flower, Zhang Yimou's strangest and most troubled film, abounds in hysterical, mannered Tang Dynasty-era palace intrigue and dehumanized CGI battle sequences.