Mao's Last Dancer - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mao's Last Dancer Reviews

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Kevin Carr
7M Pictures
October 2, 2013
a sweeping story that has many ups and downs, with some pretty noticeable changes in tone and pace
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Don Groves
December 24, 2010
Missteps prevent ballet drama from reaching great heights.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
October 15, 2010
...somehow makes the extraordinary true story it's based on seem like common corn while succeeding in modest ways.
Full Review | Original Score: 86/100
Nick Schager
Lessons of Darkness
October 12, 2010
Woefully creaky and corny.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Sean P. Means
Salt Lake Tribune
October 8, 2010
The script is far too melodramatic, and the performances ... are hamfisted and overwrought.
| Original Score: 2/4
Graham Killeen
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
September 30, 2010
Mao's Last Dancer is such a profoundly moving story, it's hard not to get drawn in as Li must decide how much he's willing to sacrifice for his American dream.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
John Beifuss
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
September 29, 2010
Debuting actor Chi Cao's athleticism is the movie's most striking element.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Mike Ward
September 24, 2010
Ballet is kinda like ice hockey. It's more impressive when you're up close at the real deal. When you're 30 yards away, the snap of a slipper after a 90-lb ballerina lands a glissade is just as impressive as a 290-lb hockey goon hitting the boards.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Chris Robinson
Deseret News, Salt Lake City
September 23, 2010
Mao's Last Dancer is an epic tale of love and betrayal, triumph and heartbreak, that captures the real-life drama and emotion of one man's search for freedom. Well, it almost is.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Josh Bell
Las Vegas Weekly
September 23, 2010
Whenever Beresford concerns himself with politics or, even worse, personal drama, Dancer falls limply to the ground.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
September 21, 2010
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.
Robert W. Butler
Kansas City Star
September 10, 2010
The movie works, thanks in large part to Chi's performance.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Peter Brunette
Hollywood Reporter
September 10, 2010
Feel-good movie about a Chinese dancer presses all the right buttons.
Keith Cohen
Entertainment Spectrum
September 10, 2010
Let the trumpets blare for artistic freedom of expression that is perfectly reflected in this uplifting and moving biopic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
September 9, 2010
Beresford knows the only way to deal with schmaltz is to just go ahead and embrace it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
September 3, 2010
Australian director Bruce Beresford handles the culture-clash aspects of the story with a surprising lack of subtlety.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Marc Savlov
Austin Chronicle
September 3, 2010
Beresford and the entire cast cover the proceedings with a light touch and just the right amount of gravitas (given the situation).
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
September 3, 2010
There is some lovely ballet in Mao's Last Dancer. And it's great to see Joan Chen on-screen. And I'm out of nice things to say about the movie.
| Original Score: 1/4
Simon Abrams
Slant Magazine
August 30, 2010
Beresford can't even represent Li's dancing (the reason we're meant to root for this little foreigner that could in the first place) with a modicum of dynamism.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
August 27, 2010
Lovely and astounding, Mao's Last Dancer is a modern epic of art and ambition triumphing oppression.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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