Mao's Last Dancer


Mao's Last Dancer (2010)


Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.


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Movie Info

"Mao's Last Dancer" is the inspiring true story of Li Cunxin and his extraordinary journey from a poor upbringing in rural China to international stardom as a world-class ballet dancer. Based on the best selling autobiography, the film weaves a moving tale about the quest for freedom and the courage it takes to live your own life. It compellingly captures the struggles, sacrifices and triumphs, as well as the intoxicating effects of first love and celebrity amid the pain of exile.

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Bruce Greenwood
as Ben Stevenson
Kyle MacLachlan
as Charles Foster
Joan Chen
as Niang
Chi Cao
as Li Cunxin (adult)
Chengwu Guo
as Li Cunxin (teenager)
Huang Wen Bin
as Li Cunxin (child)
Aden Young
as Dilworth
Penne Hackforth-Jones
as Cynthia Dodds
Jack Thompson
as Judge Woodrow Seals
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News & Interviews for Mao's Last Dancer

Critic Reviews for Mao's Last Dancer

All Critics (74) | Top Critics (24)

Bruce Beresford's biopic of Li Cunxin, the Chinese ballet dancer who defected while on a student visa in Houston in 1981, is sometimes the movie equivalent of Oscar Meyer cold cuts. But the dancing is pure caviar.

Sep 21, 2010 | Full Review…

Feel-good movie about a Chinese dancer presses all the right buttons.

Sep 10, 2010

Australian director Bruce Beresford handles the culture-clash aspects of the story with a surprising lack of subtlety.

Sep 3, 2010 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Lovely and astounding, Mao's Last Dancer is a modern epic of art and ambition triumphing oppression.

Aug 27, 2010 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Detroit News
Top Critic

Too often, though, the film plods along on the ground.

Aug 27, 2010 | Full Review…

Ballet star Li Cunxin's best-selling autobiography gets a curiously tepid treatment in this 2009 adaptation by director Bruce Beresford.

Aug 27, 2010 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Mao's Last Dancer

Not a repeat movie by any means. Some of the melodrama seemed over the top and out of place with his relationship with the girl.

Megan S
Megan S

Super Reviewer


This is one of those must see based-on-a-true-story movies, even if you aren't into ballet. Beautiful. Entertaining. Inspiring.

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

Oh my god, this is such a bad, melodramatic movie. I wanted to watch this because I thought it was a documentary, but Mao's Last Dancer couldn't be further from that.

Jennifer Xu
Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

Enjoyed watching it once, but don't think it is one I will be watching again. Acting is kind of bad, but I guess some of these were cast more for their dancing skills, which are excellent. I found it more interesting in modern day than the flashbacks, but it is okay, I guess. It did seem to be a bit dumbed down for an American audience, (not sure if that is a fair comment or not), but I do watch quite a lot of foreign movies, and this to me seemed a bit lacking.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

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