The Flowers of War - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Flowers of War Reviews

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Tara Brady
Irish Times
August 3, 2012
It can look tremendous, even if Zhao Xiaoding's hyper-stylised '90-retro cinematography sits uneasily beside relentless bloodshed and sexual violations.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 19, 2012
A third of a million may be dead, but for our purposes, all depends on the survival of these young women, and the redemption of the alcoholic American. Do you get my drift?
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Andrew Schenker
Slant Magazine
December 18, 2011
Zhang Yimou's film is a bit of a hodgepodge, a work that sets up as epic in scale, but then pitches its tale on a far smaller level.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Henry Fitzherbert
Daily Express (UK)
August 2, 2012
While absorbing and never dull you can't help feeling the horrific subject matter deserved rather more subtle handling.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Kelly Vance
East Bay Express
December 30, 2011
From Bale's cartoonish performance to the laughably bad "heavenly" choral music, it wilts early and lies there, dead.
Top Critic
Mike Hale
New York Times
December 20, 2011
Zhang Yimou revisits the Nanjing massacre of 1937 by making something resembling a backstage musical, with breaks for the occasional ghastly murder or rape.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Mike Scott
February 10, 2012
There's no need for overstatement here, no need to inject this story with melodrama, no need to try to make it more than it is. Unfortunately - and frustratingly - Zhang Yimou didn't recognize that.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Tim Grierson
Village Voice
December 20, 2011
Human suffering reduced to visual showmanship.
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Greg Quill
Toronto Star
February 23, 2012
The director's grip on the drama is often weakened by his penchant for creating spectacles.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Robbie Collin
Daily Telegraph (UK)
August 2, 2012
Zhang gives his fondness for chaste melodrama and shimmering colours full rein: it's a style that suits his courtly martial arts films such as Hero, but this material would have benefited from a more Spielbergian, or perhaps David Lean-ian, approach.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Brian Orndorf
January 30, 2012
Try as he might to mold this woeful story into something momentous, Zhang turns the picture into punishment, ruining such extraordinary displays of bravery and fortitude with pounding aggression.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
Renee Schonfeld
Common Sense Media
January 26, 2012
Graphic rape and killing battle heroism and sacrifice.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Nigel Andrews
Financial Times
August 2, 2012
Maudlin make-believe in which a molecule of fact has been dropped like vermouth into a martini ...
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Peter Sobczynski
January 19, 2012
Christian Bale is so bad that I understand that after seeing his performance here, the film "Newsies" is trying to retroactively remove his name from their credits.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
David Jenkins
Little White Lies
August 2, 2012
The title alludes to a precious beauty that grows during times of war, but this is just taking things way too far. The colour here is way off.
Top Critic
Trevor Johnston
Time Out
July 31, 2012
Zhang's flamboyant camera choreography and diva-ish flounces of melodrama are vivid but misplaced.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
January 19, 2012
All Zhang's splendor does is foster cognitive dissonance in an audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews
February 26, 2012
...the movie's less-than-engrossing atmosphere [is] compounded by its stagy and distressingly uneventful midsection...
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Ron Wilkinson
Monsters and Critics
February 1, 2012
A pale rehashing of one of the most disgraceful war crimes in modern history.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
Donald J. Levit
ReelTalk Movie Reviews
January 20, 2012
Fiction arising in, mirroring but distinct from, truth as we conceive it, page and screen are freed to play fast and loose with hard data and reality here.
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