The Grandmaster

2013

The Grandmaster

Critics Consensus

Though its storytelling is a tad muddled, Wong Kar Wai's The Grandmaster still exhibits the auteur's stylistic flourishes in gorgeous cinematography and explosive action set pieces.

78%

TOMATOMETER

Reviews Counted: 130

58%
liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 17,656

TOMATOMETER

N/A
All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0

AUDIENCE SCORE

58%
Average Rating: 3.4/5

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Movie Info

Directed by acclaimed filmmaker Wong Kar Wai, THE GRANDMASTER is an epic action feature inspired by the life and times of the legendary kung fu master, Ip Man. The story spans the tumultuous Republican era that followed the fall of China's last dynasty, a time of chaos, division and war that was also the golden age of Chinese martial arts. Filmed in a range of stunning locations that include the snow-swept landscapes of Northeast China and the subtropical South, THE GRANDMASTER features virtuoso performances by some of the greatest stars of contemporary Asian cinema, including Tony Leung and Ziyi Zhang.(c) Weinstein

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Critic Reviews for The Grandmaster

All Critics (130) | Top Critics (40)

  • Wong Kar-wei's The Grandmaster is one of the more exquisite martial arts movies around, as the Hong Kong auteur behind the lyrical In the Mood for Love takes on the legend of Ip Man.

    Dec 4, 2014 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • As a film-maker, Wong appears to be retreating upriver into genre, style and mannerism. It is all managed very elegantly - but with a fraction of the power in his greatest work.

    Dec 4, 2014 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • It is rich, distinctive and lush, as you would expect, although this new feature from Hong Kong director Wong Kar-wai has been a long time coming.

    Sep 4, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • The movie's problems are, in part, those of a great artist trying something new. It's a fine mess.

    Jan 3, 2014 | Full Review…
  • The Grandmaster blends right in with Wong's body of work, a gorgeous meditation on the importance of sorrow and lament. This one just happens to have kung fu, too.

    Aug 31, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/4
  • It ranks with Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Hero and House of Flying Daggers as one of the most elegant and beautiful martial-arts films to play American screens.

    Aug 30, 2013 | Rating: 4/5

Audience Reviews for The Grandmaster

Wong Kar-Wai seems only concerned about his irritating aesthetics in this hugely unfocused mess that even includes a useless narration and inexplicably irrelevant characters like The Razor - not to mention the use of a theme from Once Upon a Time in America for no clear reason.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

The cinematography, no matter what the screenplay is like, how the acting is, or even if the direction was awful, really sold me on this film. Everything technical needs to be praised before any negativity, because this films' visuals will blow your mind. I could not look away from the screen at any moment during the fight sequences, because the choreography and camera work was so beautiful and deserves it's Oscar nomination. Now on to the story. It is a very well-told and well-paced screenplay, but the film is a lot of style, and seems like it overshadows everything. To me, it took me out of the film's messages a bit, but that is always why it has it's nomination, so it's a bit of a tug of war. The acting is very good and the direction is not bad, although it seems he left it up to the cinematographer to plan the action sequences for him. At it's core, this film centers the Ip Man, who would move onto his later years after this film, to be Bruce Lee's trainer. I will definitely recommend this film to people who enjoy true stories or martial arts, but I think that is as far as it will reach. I really enjoyed watching this film though!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

the storytelling was disjointed, the locations limited, and the characters were dull and underdeveloped. this film suffered from a lack of awareness of time and environment. however it was saved by some stunning fight sequences and solid performances. overall, solid watching but missed a chance to be great.

danny d
danny d

Super Reviewer

½

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Directors Cat
Directors Cat

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