Ip Man

Critics Consensus

At once beholden to the established conventions of the genre and delightfully subversive of them, Ip Man is one of the most exciting -- and refreshingly character-driven -- martial arts films in years.



Total Count: 26


Audience Score

User Ratings: 27,449
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Movie Info

Wing Chun grandmaster Ip has an amazing wife, plenty of money, the most beautiful house in town, and a blossoming martial arts academy. But when the Japanese occupy his hometown of Foshan during the Sino-Japan war (1937), Ip, like the rest of the locals, is forced into hard labor and brutal sparring matches for the enemy's amusement. His incredible skills catch the eye of the Japanese Colonel, Mr. Miura, who wants Ip to teach Wing Chun to his soldiers. When Ip refuses, he faces the most intense challenge to both his training and his honor.


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Critic Reviews for Ip Man

All Critics (26) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (4)

  • A period piece filmed on obvious but eye-pleasing studio sets with wall-to-wall kung fu and a simplistic, philosophical message.

    Oct 28, 2010 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Wilson Yip has crafted a gripping, rousing, beautifully structured yarn, built around a calm but charismatic star performance by Donnie Yen and magnificent action sequences choreographed by the legendary Sammo Hung.

    Oct 1, 2010
  • The fanboys and girls won't notice such failings amid the displays of wing chun kung fu--the extras and body doubles do some truly impressive acrobatics--and those with a taste for big historical tearjerkers will be happy as well.

    Oct 1, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • If you're looking for great action scenes, you've found them. But if you desire more than eye candy, such as character and plot development and historical accuracy, you'll have to look elsewhere.

    Oct 1, 2010 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • As an exaggerated, myth-making martial-arts movie, Ip Man is often thrilling.

    Sep 30, 2010 | Rating: B

    Noel Murray

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • Yen's handful of duels do delight; it's everything surrounding them that feels tired and trite.

    Sep 29, 2010 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

    David Fear

    Time Out
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Ip Man

  • May 24, 2016
    Simple, yet effective plot and storytelling to go along with exquisite direction and modern-day martial arts choreography makes Ip Man a brilliant one-two punch of a film. Donnie Yen's smooth and powerful display of the famed grandmaster is a plausible performance that highlights him as today's action star. 4.5/5
    Eugene B Super Reviewer
  • Nov 12, 2015
    Martial arts master does not want to fight. Does NOT want to fight. DOES NOT. Okay. OK. Fight. Kick ass all over the place. What could be better in a martial arts film? Love it.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Oct 23, 2014
    Ip Man is a great testament to the life of a humble and enigmatic real-life hero.
    Maymay A Super Reviewer
  • Jan 19, 2014
    The unfortunate lack of structure and focus of the irregular script is compensated by an outstanding cinematography and production design, a wonderful score and - above all else - spectacular fight scenes of the most exhilarating and well choreographed ever filmed.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

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