Not One Less - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Not One Less Reviews

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November 2, 2015
Rating: 82%
Dramatic, realistic, and touching, Not One Less is a perfect example of how films should look into real-life problems in the world.
½ April 4, 2015
I don't like a sentimental approach to poverty (oh, those poor people! Let us help them), but my heart just melted about for the 13 year old substitute teacher trying to help her 10 year old student. I cried like hell.
½ November 13, 2014
This is a small film. It's probably intended for a domestic Chinese audience. We have a 13 yr old middle school student brought to a small village school to substitute teach for one month. She has no training. She takes the job on the promise of payment. Very young, primary school students have been dropping out to work. These children appear to be about age 10, some younger. She is promised an extra payment if no other students leave while the regular teacher is gone for the month.

One boy does leave for a nearby city to look for work. His widowed mother is ill and in debt. The family needs additional income. The 13 yr old teacher sub decides to go find him and bring him back. The movie details her trials and tribulations.

The film is mildly interesting. It is set in the 1990s. The contrast between rural and urban Chinese is explored. Our heroine displays extraordinary dedication and effort to finding and retrieving her wayward student.

There is an uplifting tenor to the movie and our young heroine as a whole.

It was an OK trip to the flics.
½ July 14, 2014
A beautiful film starring real people (not trained actors) and featuring a strong, young female character. it is a simple, powerful story.
January 15, 2014
My Favorite Film Is 1941's Citizen Kane.
December 5, 2013
A lifelike story of a 13 year-old girl who has to substitute a teacher in a small rural village where nobody else agrees to teach. A poor village where the real teacher of the single class 28 students from 1st to 4th grade hasn't been paid in 6 month and he has to ration even the chalks. One of the students has to escape to the city to work to pay his family debt and the girl goes looking for him to bring back to school..

A story of poverty, determination and diligence, where the people play themselves using their real name and real job, a story where for once I liked the happy ending.
October 15, 2013
I watched this movie way back without realising this was by the Yimou himself. It was an impressive and touching film. It really is a film that takes time to enjoy and its ramifications are always at the end. a moral tale and a beautiful one too.

Watched this again. Heart-warming and striking film that displays the massive changes happening in China during that period. The blow-out of globalization and capitalism and the ensuing vulgarity and misery for some is wonderfully displayed in this film.
½ April 17, 2013
A substitute teacher, a missing student, and a promise that all students would be accounted for when the regular teacher returns in a month. What follows is a teenager's persistence in the face of what seems like insurmountable odds. From a tiny country school to a teeming city, the 13-year-old teacher searches for her most frustrating student, which is all a part of a larger message about the plight of education in rural China.
March 27, 2013
One of my 'absolute favorite' movies. A ' must see' for all those working in development work and education!

½ February 9, 2013
it's a very beautiful movie...
½ January 18, 2013
I love films like this about stubborn females overcoming obstacles. It's a good film.
December 15, 2012
"Not One Less" greatly succeeds in depicting the country life of many remote villages in China. It gives great perspective and insight into the lives of a young woman and her class, and shows the hardships undergone in order to recover an estranged student within the class. It also helps demonstrate the hardworking nature of Chinese folk, city and country folk alike. The attitudes of the characters do a superb job in painting the hardships of life in the country and city. The film demonstrates the triumph of the human spirit and is a true testament to diligence and courage. "Not One Less" succeeds in where most western films about China fail, to paint a pure and genuine picture of China, without the sugar coated sweetness of Hollywood. The raw emotion depicted by the actors only enhances a genuine, quality, pure film, if you want to learn about life in China, this movie couldn't help you any better.
November 4, 2012
From the Director of 'The Road Home' - And filmed the same year. I was probably expecting too much. This is a Good film....but 'The Road Home' is a Great film.
½ May 29, 2012
This is a very solid Chinese film. Many people complain about the propoganda involved, but I didn't notice it watching the film.

I just saw a very interesting character study into rural China and it's education system.

Huge props to the cast, all consisting of amatuers, for bringing this film to live in an extremely servicable fashion.

See this film. It's definitely worth it.
½ May 28, 2012
Another winner from Zhang Yimou. A Chinese cinema verite' the the same style as "The Story of Qiu Ju", but this time highlighting the poverty of modern rural China as told through the eyes of a novice primary school teacher. Very moving and effective.
Super Reviewer
February 6, 2012
Lovely film about a teacher's mission to ensure that children are still educated when he is challenged with a personal responsibility for a month.
½ December 5, 2011
a rich sad-funny movie
½ November 13, 2011
makes me cry!!!! a teacher...chalks are valuable thing!!!...
September 14, 2011
Thirteen year old Wei becomes a substitute teacher when their school teacher goes away for a month. In order to get paid, she must have all the students that started, and not one less. Wei begins her month not being a very effective teacher, but must learn to deal with it when one of her students is sent into the city to work.

It begins rather slow, but it effectively becomes a heart-warming and inspirational tale of adolescence. It is even able to throw in some themes of rural areas being disadvantaged when it comes to education.

The film has some wonderful usage of photography, to show the difference between the quiet countryside versus the loud and vibrant city. It really brings the setting to life, as the journey takes place between both worlds.

With a usage of non-actors, they do a fine job and elevate it entirely. A fantastic and emotional film that inspires.
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