The Last Emperor Reviews

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February 26, 2019
A modern filmmaker could have all the good qualities of this film but make it in Mandarin with a better, more compelling script and it could be an amazing film.
February 20, 2019
Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor is a stunning achievement, a rare film of great beauty and power It lifts viewers, as only the best films do, to unique and all-encompassing experiences in a land and time unfamiliar to many of us
August 31, 2018
The visual magnificence of Bertolucci's film is so great that he has removed the project almost beyond criticism.
August 13, 2018
The Last Emperor is a spectacular film photographed in brilliant color. It is also a moral drama with controversial political overtones of great ambiguity.
April 26, 2018
The most startling achievement of The Last Emperor is that it accomplishes what seems to have eluded Bertolucci for some time. He has found the small in the large and, in many ways, he has created what many thought impossible -- an intimate epic.
August 23, 2016
It is the grandeur of the boy king and his unreal opulent world that is best remembered, splendid and isolated, and at last, because of its loneliness, sad.
February 21, 2015
One of the most provocative and stunningly beautiful films of the past 20 years.
February 17, 2015
As pure spectacle, "The Last Emperor" is a spellbinding peek behind the gate of a lost world.
January 7, 2014
One of the most visually arresting pictures of recent years.
January 7, 2014
The story is colorful and sometimes unpredictable, so it's rarely boring. But it's rarely much deeper than the emperor's favorite rice bowl.
January 7, 2014
It is a hesitant, conservative approach that yields great elegance and a rhythm that carries the viewer along. Yet the film is haunted by a sense of opportunities not taken, of an artist deliberately reining in his artistry.
January 7, 2014
If there is such a thing as voluptuous detachment, Bertolucci and John Lone have found it. Lone's achievement in his absorbing account of Pu Yi is to place him at a distance and yet make his plight totally involving.
January 7, 2014
Even though its ambitions sometimes get the better of it, the film succeeds often enough to make us grateful that, even in our MTV age, a director like Bertolucci is still willing to get on the mat and grapple with Personality and History.
January 7, 2014
At last a real, thought-provoking, eyeball-popping movie epic.
January 7, 2014
The man, who only has been superficially shown, gets lost for a while in the sweep of events. Yet in spite of these reservations, this lush film merits attention.
January 7, 2014
There's probably a truly great movie in the story of Pu Yi, but The Last Emperor is not that movie. Still, what director Bernardo Bertolucci (Last Tango in Paris) has accomplished here is both ambitious and impressive.
February 22, 2013
Bernardo Bertolucci takes this outline of Pu Yi's tumultuous life and transforms it into an absurdist journey in The Last Emperor, a masterpiece about the loneliness and hubris of believing that we can control our own destiny.
February 22, 2013
[A] massive, magnificent historical biopic.
February 22, 2013
This tension between the permissible and the forbidden, between exterior and interior, between the illusion of freedom and captivity, between light and darkness becomes the organizing principle of Bertolucci's spectacular epic.
February 22, 2013
As coolly lavish an epic as we may ever see.
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