The Grandmaster - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Grandmaster Reviews

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Jessica Kiang
The Playlist
August 20, 2013
...our high hopes can't obscure the fact that this is muddled storytelling that skitters over the surface of mysteries and psychologies that we want to plunge into and explore.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Sam Woolf
We Got This Covered
August 24, 2013
The 108 minutes that did survive the winnowing impulses of The Weinstein Company make for a lumpy, disjointed pseudo-biopic, one that loses interest in its subject halfway through.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Jeff Beck
August 22, 2013
With so many years spent on it, Wong should have been able to see that the structure wasn't coming together and that his characters needed further work.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
A.A. Dowd
AV Club
August 22, 2013
More than anything Wong has ever made, the movie chokes on exposition, its more poetic concerns stifled by its surfeit of plot.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Joshua Starnes
September 3, 2013
The Grandmaster lacks focus or drive as director Wong Kar-wai flails among the elements of Ip Man's life for something to hold onto and comes up with little except that late in life he taught Bruce Lee.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
Top Critic
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
August 29, 2013
The action choreography (by the great Yuen Woo-ping) feels oddly rhythmless; likewise, Wong's depictions of the larger-than-life characters achieve little emotional resonance.
Josh Bell
Las Vegas Weekly
August 28, 2013
It's a series of lovely moments that never quite come together into a movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
August 22, 2013
For those who aren't ardent students of kung fu's schools and styles, however, the movie is, for most of its length, a lifeless snore.
Chuck Bowen
Slant Magazine
August 12, 2013
The film, more likely to invite comparisons to the writings of Marcel Proust than the previous Ip Man films, is a gorgeous folly that never entirely emerges from its creator's head.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Jordan Hoffman
August 21, 2013
How could something that is so gorgeous also be so damn dull?
Full Review | Original Score: 2/10
Mike Scott
September 20, 2013
As commendable as Wong's film is at visualizing things, it's far less proficient at contextualizing them.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Robert Levin
August 23, 2013
Blending the markings of a kung fu epic with scenes of stark emotional longing, Wong Kar-wai's latest movie offers a hybrid that's hard to decipher.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
September 7, 2014
An ornate period film about kung fu that is so godawfully tedious and solemn it seems designed to bore people right into the very fabric of their seats. Even the sub-standard fight scenes are terribly shot.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
Matt Pais
August 29, 2013
This super-serious, horribly-told story may focus on kung fu, but it put me in an almost instant sleeper hold.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
Matt Kelemen
August 29, 2013
lovingly photographed, disjointed meditation of a life, an era in martial arts and a legacy, but its appeal beyond audience members with an appreciation Ip Man or the director may be limited.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5
Tim Robey
Daily Telegraph (UK)
September 26, 2013
In the absence of genuine profundity, but with dazzling craft on frequent display, his most ardent devotees may summon enough loyalty to defend this one as a noble failure.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Randy Cordova
Arizona Republic
August 29, 2013
The movie ultimately winds up falling between two stools, failing as both a biography and an action film.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Donald J. Levit
ReelTalk Movie Reviews
August 30, 2013
The cinema confusion that persists here would be acceptable, for this is after all chop-socky with pretentions, but the deadpan solemnity makes for too weighty a load.
Wilson Morales
August 30, 2013
An emotional moving, thrilling and provocative drama that's highly entertaining but at times loses itself with its lack of storytelling.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Leonard Maltin
August 23, 2013
Wong Kar Wai's new epic The Grandmaster is an exquisite-looking film and leading man, Tony Leung, is a quietly compelling presence in it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.1/2`
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