Empire of Silver (2011)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

China, 1899. In a land of exquisite beauty and timeless tradition a hedonistic young man known as 'Third Master' is the heir to a banking empire he cares little about. However, after his brother's wife is kidnapped he reluctantly submits to the pressure of his title as well as his overbearing father, Lord Kang. Lord Kang is determined to prepare his son for financial leadership by molding Third Master into his own image. The ruthless businessman's unethical practices do not sit well with Third Master, who sees the salvation of his country in the redistribution of its massive silver cache. The tense relationship is further complicated by Third Master's undying love for his beautiful young stepmother, his first and only love stolen from him by his own father. The fate of the country and it's most powerful family now lies with one idealistic young man torn between the needs of the people, the greed of his father, and the undying love of woman. -- (C) NeoClassics
Rating:
NR
Genre:
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 limited
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:

Cast

Aaron Kwok
as Third Master
Zhang Tie Lin
as Master Kang
Lei Hao
as Madame Kang
Jennifer Tilly
as Mrs. Landdeck
Ding Zhi Cheng
as Manager Qiu
Zhen Yu Lei
as Manager Dai
King Shih-chieh
as Manager Liu
Hou Tong Jiang
as Manager Sun
Tien Niu
as Yu Feng
Zhong Lu
as Lu Sao
Shi Xiao Man
as Lao Xia
Shi Da Sheng
as First Master
Wang De Shun
as Bodyguard Chang You
Jonathan Kos-Read
as Pastor Landdeck
John Paisley
as Dr. Wilson
Hei Zi
as Second Master
Li Yi Xiao
as Fourth Mistress
Du Jiang
as Fourth Master
Wang Shuang
as Third Mistress
Guo Tao
as Bandit Head
Wu Xiu Fang
as San Xi
Chai Jin
as Third Master's Page
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Critic Reviews for Empire of Silver

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (7)

What, if anything, the film's final burst of idealism offers universally is hard to say. But it feels good to see in these acrimonious days.

December 1, 2011
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Though written too broadly to serve as the powerful allegorical tale writer/director Christina Yao intends, this historical epic is just compelling enough to be taken on its own terms.

Full Review… | June 2, 2011
New York Daily News
Top Critic

Occasionally muddled and always melodramatic, yet it's pictorially compelling, thanks to dramatic locations and exacting art direction.

Full Review… | June 2, 2011
Washington Post
Top Critic

Makes for unwieldy melodrama, rather than the enthralling epic it might have been.

Full Review… | June 2, 2011
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

[A] weirdly engaging tale of banking and bad behavior...

June 2, 2011
New York Times
Top Critic

Epic in sweep and scale and packs in enough incident to cover two "Godfather" movies.

Full Review… | June 2, 2011
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Empire of Silver

In "Empire of Silver," business is good for Master Kang(Tielin Zhang) and his banking empire, even with Manager Qui(Zhicheng Ding) being fired for embezzlement. On the personal side, there is the wedding of Kang's son, Fourth Master, who goes on his honeymoon with his new bride. And then everything hits the fan. By the time the smoke clears, the bride is dead, along with a couple of other people, Second Master is seriously wounded and Fourth Master has a nervous breakdown. That leaves Third Master(Aaron Kwok) having to take responsibility for once in his life. "Empire of Silver" is set at the time of Boxer Rebellion, involving a banking dynasty and all the soap opera that goes along with that. That's more than enough material for a ten hour miniseries, much less a two hour movie like this one. So, it is no surprise that some of this story feels rushed and fractured at times. But as long as the movie remains clear about showing how one cannot be in total control of the future no matter how much one tries to manipulate events, then all is well, especially considering the handsome production.

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Too episodic, which makes it hard to follow the story. Too many times I had no idea what was going on. Too much material to cram into just one movie. With so many characters, it's often hard to tell them apart. Great potential, but falls short. Not terrible, just not great.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

Impressive visuals and great production design are unfortunately overshadowed by a convoluted plot that struggles to depict its story - a narrative that starts strong but deteriorates as it attempts to balance too many emotional stakes for its own good while including one (or two) too many scenes that unintentionally call attention to itself. This debut feature, however, shows promise for writer/director Christina Yao as it consists of stunning locations and sweeping camera moves and proves that she is not afraid to touch upon tough subject matters that are rather difficult to film.

Sheldon Chau
Sheldon Chau

Super Reviewer

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