The Flowers of War - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Flowers of War Reviews

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August 23, 2017
A disturbing portrait of human history, focusing on the rapes that occur during wars. The movie takes you right into a historical context, and you feel like you are really there. Absolutely captivating, and depressing in many regards. A+ movie.
January 26, 2017
Between a 5/10 and 6/10, the director's grip on the drama is often weakened by his penchant for creating spectacles.
January 5, 2017
Second saddest film Ive watched since tears of the sun( with bruce willis), came by the film by mistake and was surprised at how good it was , and surprised that christian bale played in this , great film! True reality and sad ending
September 27, 2016
Beautifully Directed and filmed. A powerful movie about war and courage and so much more. I would recommend this movie.
September 17, 2016
What an emotionally wrenching movie. Such a powerful story. Who cares what the so-called crotics say. These characters tell a heart-felt story of their individual torment. The actors are superb. Bale is emotionally raw. It is painful but oh so romantic too...there is lost innocence and regained innocence. Love and compassion win over war degradation death.
September 16, 2016
Although I enjoyed parts of it, The Flowers of War is bad propaganda movie. Parts of it are good and somewhat interesting. However, most of it is silly and somewhat disturbing, not for the atrocities it depicts, but for the obvious anti-Japanese propaganda. As a propaganda movie, it's awful. It's only true purpose is to incite hatred in China against Japan and perhaps inspire sympathy elsewhere for contemporary Chinese aggression. If it were more honest in its depictions, I could have been much more sympathetic to the Chinese, a people whom I adore. Surely, they suffered greatly at the hands of the Japanese. However, I felt bad for the Japanese, because they were totally depicted as mindless animals with demonic possession and a total hatred for all Chinese. And that's a total lie, both then and now. The Japanese are no more or less human than any others. I wish Christian Bale had not been in it. Otherwise, I wouldn't have watched it. On a side note: I spent several years in China. Their TV offers a nightly review of Japanese atrocities. It's endless. The effect is the opposite that's intended. Chinese are both fearful and fascinated with the Japanese. Japan is one of the countries most often visited by Chinese. When they get there, they discover that the Japanese are an extraordinarily civilized people. So how did Nanjing occur? There were a lot of factors at work. And just like the My Lai massacre in Vietnam, most soldiers did not participate nor behave horribly. Most were likely as shocked as the rest of us. But a few rampaging soldiers can do a lot of damage. And why did the few behave as they did? That's a question for psychiatrists and historians. Films like The Flowers of War will do nothing to help relations with Japan. Nothing. It's a harmful film that will contribute to more pain in that part of the world. And when the next war with Japan begins, if such should happen, the Chinese will be scared to death of the Japanese. Their TV shows and movies have done this. Final note: I have no desire to debate the veracity of the events depicted in The Flowers of War. I will leave that for historians. I intended only to deprecate a propaganda film that has failed part of its purpose, which is to inspire sympathy for China. However, its true purpose is to prepare the Chinese for a potential conflict with Japan, which threatens to be a disaster of unthinkable magnitude. Regardless of its purpose, this film serves no useful purpose in an increasingly dangerous part of the world. Also, it's just a poorly done movie in which Bale appears ready to bail.
September 15, 2016
I thought this movie was excellent and it had extreme sad scences in it, This film has one of the best soundtracks out of any movie in it. I understand that people would critize it for not mentioning the Nanking Safety Zone or John Rabe, but this was mostly about the people in Nanking who didn't go to the camp. I do admit maybe Tom Hanks could have been a better role for Christian Bale's character, since we all know who Bale is in real life.
½ August 3, 2016
Pretty well done. A little long tho.
Super Reviewer
½ July 15, 2016
With astonishing visuals and an impeccable sound design, this compelling war film constitutes, however, an oxymoron of gorgeous ugliness, centered on a most hideous massacre of History whose re-creation needed no stylistic ornaments or artificial revelations.
April 13, 2016
Awesome movie. Don't listen the self-important critics.
April 4, 2016
It's surprisingly crass and does a remarkably poor job of finding the right tone with which to portray its subject matter, however, it's appealing visually and the story has enough tension and drama to keep it interesting.

Certainly one of the poorer entries in Bale's filmography thus far, with his character feeling a poor caricature of a drunk for the most part. However, his performance is still decent and the supporting cast don't disappoint.

It's a pretty film and I very much like the idea, however, the execution in relation to the film's tone is dreadful. It covers many horrific events and almost feels like it's making a mockery of them at times. Further, you can just see the pages from the script written all over the film. What I mean here is that, you can tell when this story is genuinely interesting and you can tell when scenes and dialogue are simply there to move things forward in a generic and formulaic manner. There's something interesting here that is, more often than not, drowned in tedium.

The film is almost two and a half hours long too so this tedium really starts to take its toll.

Having said all this, I must say that I still found the film engrossing for the most part and there are certainly more than enough plot developments to make it exciting viewing overall. What we have here is an average film masquerading as a powerful drama with a strong subject matter. This could easily have been so much more had it been given handled with more care. Still, I don't think all of the flaws damn the film- if you can lower your expectations and go with the flow, then this one won't be a bad time.
½ April 3, 2016
The Flowers of war show glimpse of capturing the barbaric Japanese activities that were going on but tends to sugar coat the harsh reality. The movie even puts a human, sympathetic face on a Japanese commander.
½ January 5, 2016
Such a great story and beautifully filmed. Not without flaws, but enjoyable.
September 27, 2015
The story of real brave girls.
September 19, 2015
It's official. Critics don't know what they're talking about. This film is amazingly good in every way. Although the book on which it is based is a work of fiction, it was inspired by events that took place during the 1937 'rape of Nanking' by Japanese troops.

The overall tone of the film has been heavily criticised for being too 'schmaltzy'
½ September 6, 2015
While heavy handed, 'Flowers of War' is one of the better foreign epics of recent times. Not just because of production values and scope to rival any Hollywood production, but in a fairly strong cast with a genuine sense of camaraderie, with the show stealing being done not by a grizzled, weasely Bale, but by the ragtag group of prostitutes who grow a heart and become almost big sisters to the sheltered convent girls.
½ August 3, 2015
Yimou Zhang's The Flowers of War touches on a sensitive subject during the war between China and Japan in what's an emotional and sad historical drama that, despite its many flaws, manages to stay true to its story
½ May 25, 2015
This movie is just not good.
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