The Last Emperor - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Last Emperor Reviews

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½ October 3, 2016
So unbelievably epic. The journey you take through Pu Yi's life, beginning to end, highs to lows, is extraordinary.
½ September 19, 2016
Essential viewing for any film watcher or would-be filmmaker. Essential viewing for historical purposes and life purposes.
August 12, 2016
Classic! One of those very well made films and well directed. The sceneries are fantastic. And the cinematography is top notch. Performances are over dramatic some times, not a fan of the teen version of the emperor. I think they could get another better Chinese actor than that. Also story wise, I hate it. One of those character driven films that I despise so much despite of its great writing. All I see is a spoiled brat emperor grows old and learned from his past being a prisoner. Nevertheless it is deserving to get accolades. Ideal films for the critics.
August 7, 2016
Visually stunning historical epic

A very remarkable film indeed, Bernardo Bertolucci's The Last Emperor tells the astonishing true story of Pu Yi, who was crowned the last emperor of China at the age of three and died a simple gardener in Beijing in the 1960s. But the real story is about China, and its turmoil through the wars and revolutions of the 20th century.

The film's richness and beauty are almost daunting, but it's certainly a film which anyone interested in the art of cinema will want to see. The Criterion standard DVD special edition, on which this review is based, includes two versions of the film, the original theatrical release and the director's special television release. Both are digitally remastered and have the same aspect ratio; unlike the usual situation, the television release is longer, and many fans of the film think it tells the story more fully and therefore more clearly, while others prefer the more tightly edited theatrical release. I recommend the television release, provided you have lots of time --- it's very long.

The Criterion set includes many special extras and a booklet. Advisories: a couple moderately explicit sex scenes, and a few short but shocking violent ones.
½ June 3, 2016
A magnificent biographical historical film. Great real sceneries. A story flowing during time of changes, great changes and the paradoxical character of this child emperor and is tragedy life.
May 9, 2016
Many of the critics, Ebert included, praised this film for being a beautifully filmed story of a man whose life was really a waste. It is indeed fascinating in this regard since most epic films focus on men who did great things, but this unique element is what sadly hurts the film in my opinion. I just don't see the point of a three hour film about a man whose position was fake and who ultimately did nothing but become a pleasant gardener. When the (astonishing) set that you're filming on is better than the character that your whole movie is riding on, you've got yourself a problem.
May 5, 2016
The Last Emperor (1987) ????
Spellbinding saga recollecting the final emperor of China.A haunting, sumtous, unforgettable epic, and is among Bernardo Bertolucci's best movie. Acting, dialogue, direction, score, A generally great movie experience that demands multiple viewings.
March 9, 2016
The film's beauty comes more from its setting that the story itself, but if you have about 4 hours to spare, it is worth the watch.
½ December 8, 2015
I do not think that this deserved the Best Picture award. Hell, I am not even sure I would agree with it being nominated at all. There are a few good scenes, but there is no story worth remembering here. I stopped caring before the first half of it was even over.
November 5, 2015
saw it in theater when it came out. fascinating. the ending with the cricket still behind the throne was incredible. Good portrayal of terrible Maoist cultural revolution.
½ October 30, 2015
Interesting and great story. it makes me wonder how much that is added though. Well acted and I really dig that tudor character. It's a long film, a bit too long if you ask me. Could have been shortened by 15 minutes or so. At times I fail to let it grip me, somewhere near the middle, but it starts of nicely and has some great moments.

Everyone is speaking English, well people that are not props or soliders or something. It felt funny at first. Unnatural and even dumb, actually. That's what bothered me the most about this film. I got used to it, but I think I would preffered it in original language. It seems like there would be a rather solid English part anyhow. It's lovely shot, that must be mentioned. 9 Oscars seem a bit over the top, even for this big, solid film.

7.5 out of 10 bicycles.
August 11, 2015
The Last Emperor looks great and you can tell from the opening shot that this is an epic production. Follows the life from rise to the throne to the takeover of the communists movement in China, the film stays close with the lead character and doesn't want to tell anything else. Bertolucci puts in as much of his signature sexuality that he can and still save the PG-13 rating, the cinematography is amazing, and the performances are great.
June 8, 2015
If it is classical period dramas you are behind, this bowl serves the dish delicious. Bernardo's approach in presenting this emperor of 10,000 years who was a victim of his own glory is impeccable. One thing unique about this movie is that the very protagonist of the movie has a hollow and weak stature vulnerable to manipulation, unlike those heroic characters often encountered. Screenplay is written with a great precision in weaving scenes emotionally chronologically, developing the drama into a fantastic shape. Cinematography and costume design are successful in recreating the rich and glorious past. Finally, one will feel as if he really knew this emperor personally, such is the impact this movie casts on the audience.
½ June 5, 2015
Cinematography was so good! However, it wasn't my type of film as much as I wanted it to be.
May 13, 2015
73% on my Tomatometer.
½ May 10, 2015
The Last Emperor has good production and costume design, but great technical aspects do not make movies good. The story is boring, the tone is tedious, the character development is literally non-existent, the emotional investment is definitely lacking, the running time is expectedly overblown, the direction and acting are nothing to write home about and the film lacks any message, point, emotion and energy in its execution whatsoever. It is again a testament to how bad Academy's choices were in this decade leading to what is arguably an overrated, over long and dreadfully uninteresting movie that is best to be forgotten.
½ April 19, 2015
Fascinating but oddly cold. There is so much focus on detail and ritual, and the movie keeps you at arm's length, never allowing you to get to know anyone well - it's almost Orientalist, really.
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