Mao's Last Dancer - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mao's Last Dancer Reviews

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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
August 23, 2010
The story is filled with plenty of drama on its own, but director Bruce Beresford and screenwriter Jan Sardi somehow take this true story and make it feel manufactured and manipulative.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/10
August 18, 2010
The performance sequences feel intimate and exhilarating -- but in the end, Li's journey is compelling only when he's onstage.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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
August 19, 2010
[The final 20 minutes displays] truly impressive filmmaking. If only everything that preceded it wasn't so mediocre.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
August 19, 2010
The life at the movie's center speaks to what an artist sometimes gives up for art. If only we experienced that sacrifice, that turmoil, more vividly.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
August 20, 2010
The final image -- a freeze frame of a pas de deux staged to resemble a triumphal Communist poster -- perfectly captures the film's overall effect: it's strenuously brainless.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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.
Read More | Original Score: 1/4
October 12, 2010
Woefully creaky and corny.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
May 21, 2010
...includes all the expected elements of the heroic biopic and never foregoes an opportunity for moral and emotional uplift.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/10
September 30, 2009
If anything, veteran director Bruce Beresford and his screenwriter Jan Sardi (Shine) have played it too safe. Too many soft cliches obscure the hard facts of what Cunxin endured during the tumultuous time covered here.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
October 1, 2009
This is a film that seems afraid to show its claws, and for me, it's a real pity.
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
August 20, 2010
A well-intentioned slice of melodrama but all the good intentions in the world can't hide the film's many, many flaws.
August 18, 2010
Hyper-earnest and less than half good, Mao's Last Dancer puts a biopic gloss on a bumpy journey.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
August 19, 2010
...it's like "Farewell My Concubine" crossed with "The Year of the Yao" - but despite some really incredible dance, Li's bestselling book may be preferable to Beresford's screen adaptation.
Full Review | Original Score: C
August 19, 2010
The most interesting elements of Li's story -- dance, politics, and the politics of dance -- have been dulled from their source material, though not beyond recognition.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
August 19, 2010
Bruce Beresford, the veteran director of such Oscar fare as Tender Mercies and Driving Miss Daisy, apparently didn't know when to quit, overplaying the already hokey script at every turn. And at every pirouette and pliť.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
August 23, 2010
Recounts the true story of Chinese ballet star Li Cunxin's defection to the US in the schmaltziest TV-movie terms imaginable.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
August 17, 2010
Mao's Last Dancer means well, but it stumbles between genres.
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