The Last Emperor - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Last Emperor Reviews

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Peg Aloi
Boston Phoenix
February 21, 2015
One of the most provocative and stunningly beautiful films of the past 20 years.
Top Critic
Kathleen Carroll
New York Daily News
February 17, 2015
As pure spectacle, "The Last Emperor" is a spellbinding peek behind the gate of a lost world.
David Parkinson
Radio Times
January 7, 2014
One of the most visually arresting pictures of recent years.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Dave Kehr
Chicago Tribune
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Desmond Ryan
Philadelphia Inquirer
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Ben Yagoda
Philadelphia Daily News
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.
Peter Travers
People Magazine
January 7, 2014
At last a real, thought-provoking, eyeball-popping movie epic.
Candice Russell
South Florida Sun-Sentinel
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.
Top Critic
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 9/10
Jonathan Crocker
Total Film
February 22, 2013
[A] massive, magnificent historical biopic.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Dayana Stetco
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Sheila Benson
Los Angeles Times
February 22, 2013
As coolly lavish an epic as we may ever see.
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
September 7, 2011
The expanse of time is saturated with an expanse of visual beauty that feels absolutely right for the story.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Christopher Long
Movie Metropolis
July 26, 2009
That rare breed of film that is both pure Oscar bait and a thoroughly compelling work.
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
Top Critic
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
February 20, 2009
It works astonishingly well.
Peter Canavese
Groucho Reviews
January 18, 2009
Works the brain in two-part harmony: the melody skids effortlessly across the historical timeline of the Ching dynasty, China's last, and the harmony part is all aesthetic appeal... [Blu-ray]
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Urban Cinefile Critics
Urban Cinefile
May 30, 2008
Bernardo Bertolucci's cinematic biography of Emperor Pu Yi is an astonishing, ravishing and smashing film... And it's a glorious production which won 9 Oscars - that's every major category for which it is eligible
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
March 19, 2008
Visually splendid epic on the last Manchu imperial ruler of China.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Jason Morgan
March 5, 2008
We never question the integrity of the historical moment in the film, but we do question our patience.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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