In the Heat of the Sun (2003) - Rotten Tomatoes

In the Heat of the Sun (2003)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Based on Wang Shuo's 1991 novella, this Chinese film chronicles the rites-of-passage of a group of adolescent men and includes additional autobiographical anecdotes from writer/director Jiang Wen. The boys live in a military school compound. When not skipping their classes, they are fighting with rival groups and girl watching.


Yu Xia
as Ma Xiaojun (Monkey)
Jing Ning
as Mi Lan
Le Geng
as Liu Yiku
Tao Hong
as Yu Beipei
Höng Tao
as Yu Beipei
Shang Nan
as Liu Sitian
Shuo Wang
as Small-time conman
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Critic Reviews for In the Heat of the Sun

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Audience Reviews for In the Heat of the Sun


In some ways a fairly typical adolescent coming-of-age story, but with some intriguing twists that hoist it above the average. The narrator throws you some curveballs and suggests a romanticized fantasy. It calls the nature of memory into question. The cinematography is fantastic, it plays a lot with frames-within-a-frame. Like Devils on the Doorstep, this one has a light comic feel but gets astoundingly dark at times. The ending in particular is very atypical for a story of this nature.

Martin Teller
Martin Teller

A self conscious, postmodern film on growing up during the Cultural Revolution. The story is told from the perspective of a young man too young to be sent to the distant provinces to work and as result live without the supervision of adults. It's fascinating to see the way kids live in such a unique social environment. The closest comparison I can make is The 400 Blows with the thematic sensibilities of Blade Runner. The lead performances are excellent. When I first saw this years ago I made the mistake of turning it off when the credits started to roll and missed that WTF moment at the end. For fans of Chen Kaige's Farewell My Concubine or Zhang Yimou's To Live, this is a unique perspective of this time period. Jiang is a like a missing link between the 5th and 6th Generation.

X. T. C.
X. T. C.

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