Happy Times - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Happy Times Reviews

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Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
August 9, 2002
To me, it sounds like a cruel deception carried out by men of marginal intelligence, with reactionary ideas about women and a total lack of empathy.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
January 10, 2003
..it pulls all the heart strings it can in a shameless attempt to get real emotions.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
July 23, 2002
That Zhang would make such a strainingly cute film -- with a blind orphan at its center, no less -- indicates where his ambitions have wandered.
Marcy Dermansky
October 24, 2003
Jie Dong, who makes her film debut as the blind and unwanted Little Wu, is thin, tough and heartbreakingly lovely.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Mike D'Angelo
Time Out
July 23, 2002
A mawkish, implausible platonic romance that makes Chaplin's City Lights seem dispassionate by comparison.
Full Review | Original Score: 46/100
Susan Tavernetti
Palo Alto Weekly
May 20, 2003
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Matt Brunson
Creative Loafing
November 20, 2002
Even legends like Alfred Hitchcock and John Huston occasionally directed trifles... so it's no surprise to see a world-class filmmaker like Zhang Yimou behind the camera for a yarn that's ultimately rather inconsequential.
| Original Score: 2/4
Jamie Gillies
Apollo Guide
June 5, 2003
The basic premise is intriguing but quickly becomes distasteful and downright creepy.
Full Review | Original Score: 61/100
Steve Rhodes
Internet Reviews
July 24, 2002
The talky script leaves it to Benshan to carry the movie, but he just isn't a strong enough actor.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
William Arnold
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
August 1, 2002
Busy urban comedy is clearly not Zhang's forte, his directorial touch is neither light nor magical enough to bring off this kind of whimsy.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
August 9, 2002
The film's maudlin focus on the young woman's infirmity and her naive dreams play like the worst kind of Hollywood heart-string plucking.
Walter Chaw
Film Freak Central
August 12, 2002
Aspires for the piquant but only really achieves a sort of ridiculous sourness.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
David Elliott
San Diego Union-Tribune
August 16, 2002
There is so much plodding sensitivity.
| Original Score: 2/4
Jason Anderson
August 20, 2002
This sort of cute and cloying material is far from Zhang's forte and it shows.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Tom Sime
Dallas Morning News
August 22, 2002
The performances are winning all around. And the comic, slice-of-life feel is charming, but takes a hike as the film progresses.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Sean P. Means
Salt Lake Tribune
September 20, 2002
Well-meaning but unpalatable mush.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Marrit Ingman
Austin Chronicle
March 10, 2003
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
April 9, 2002
With an expressive face reminiscent of Gong Li and a vivid personality like Zhang Ziyi's, Dong stakes out the emotional heart of Happy.
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
August 2, 2002
The warm presence of Zhao Benshan makes the preposterous lying hero into something more than he reasonably should be.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Joe Baltake
Sacramento Bee
September 6, 2002
This humbling little film, fueled by the light comedic work of Zhao Benshan and the delicate ways of Dong Jie, is just the sort for those moviegoers who complain that 'they don't make movies like they used to anymore.'
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall
October 2, 2002
Jean Lowerison
San Diego Metropolitan
October 21, 2002
John Esther
Pasadena Weekly
August 6, 2002
To live for---The kind heeding the blind in Zhang Yimou's 'Happy Times'
Full Review
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
New York Magazine/Vulture
July 28, 2002
Alexander Walker
London Evening Standard
October 6, 2002
Christopher Tookey
Daily Mail (UK)
December 15, 2003
Top Critic
Derek Elley
March 27, 2009
Top Critic

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
September 9, 2002

October 2, 2002

October 2, 2002
Top Critic

Arizona Republic
October 4, 2002
Top Critic

AV Club
January 8, 2003
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