Free and Easy

Critics Consensus

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Total Count: 7


Audience Score

User Ratings: 10
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Movie Info

Under a tin-gray sky, in a hollowed out corner of northern China, a stranger arrives in town bearing magical soap-but smelling it will cost you. Nearby, a pair of unenthused cops try cracking a seemingly simple case. Or not. And you can forget religious solace; the only monk around is not what he seems. Director Jun Geng is at his best when he celebrates the gaunt, manufactured landscapes of an unseen China and holds anyone of authority up to a Jarmusch-esque light for examination. Geng's affection for his ensemble of offbeat, yet everyday, characters-combined with cool, angular visuals that create a strange harmony between the harsh, geographical backdrop and its humble inhabitants-makes their absurdist journeys feel human. Steeping a caper in a workerless industrial center puts a fresh twist on the crime genre, proving Geng's love of working against convention, as he casts a satirical eye on a system so flawed it's tragicomic.

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Critic Reviews for Free and Easy

All Critics (7) | Top Critics (2)

  • Those who can roll with its measured pace and playfully nonsensical story will find the sum impact drolly diverting.

    Jan 31, 2017 | Full Review…

    Dennis Harvey

    Top Critic
  • A former industrial town in northeastern China, now deserted and covered in snow, is the picturesque backdrop of the unexpectedly funny and dryly absurd Free and Easy, from Chinese director Geng Jun.

    Jan 27, 2017 | Full Review…
  • It's not often that American audiences have the ability to view an artistic work simmering with such discontent and restless revolution from a country like China, and that's part of what makes Free and Easy so special.

    Dec 20, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Dreary as its vision often appears, Free and Easy is gently funny in all the right places, showcasing an appealing cast and solid camera work.

    Mar 2, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Smart and archly funny.

    Jan 27, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Free and Easy (a gorgeously ironic title) fits in well with absurdist works like Waiting for Godot or anything by Eugene Ionesco-it's a bleak offering where crime (and everything else) is shoulder-shrugged out of mind.

    Jan 24, 2017 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Free and Easy

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