Mao's Last Dancer - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mao's Last Dancer Reviews

January 31, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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.
September 10, 2010
Feel-good movie about a Chinese dancer presses all the right buttons.
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
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+
August 27, 2010
Too often, though, the film plods along on the ground.
August 27, 2010
Ballet star Li Cunxin's best-selling autobiography gets a curiously tepid treatment in this 2009 adaptation by director Bruce Beresford.
August 27, 2010
Ballet dancer Chi Cao does a great job of capturing both Li's chops on the stage and his sincerity and culture shock in the face of American opulence.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
August 26, 2010
Hollywood has a long history of turning highbrow art into middlebrow mush, and Mao's Last Dancer is just one more kick dancer in that long line.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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 20, 2010
Many films have portrayed the rigors of ballet training, but none will make viewers wince quite like Mao's Last Dancer.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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
August 19, 2010
Mao's Last Dancer is an appealing and, by its end, quite moving film.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
August 19, 2010
The film celebrates artistic freedom without preaching a sermon, and often flies when Mr. Chi is on screen. When he is on stage, spinning and leaping to the strains of magnificent music, the film soars.
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 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
It's artless, obvious, and at times insultingly exaggerated.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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 18, 2010
A melodramatic clash of ideologies and a warm, deeply moving third act lift Mao's Last Dancer above politics and into the realm of emotion, art and beauty.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
August 18, 2010
Mao's Last Dancer is a masterpiece.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
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
August 17, 2010
Mao's Last Dancer means well, but it stumbles between genres.
May 14, 2010
The themes may soar but everything else -- the dialogue, the performances, the direction, the dancing itself -- is credibly grounded. That makes for a very pleasing contrast. Not many movies bring their uplift down to earth.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
May 13, 2010
Ballet has never looked so darn sumptuous and appealing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4