The Grandmaster - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Grandmaster Reviews

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January 14, 2018
Essentially the same story told in Wilson Yip's 2010 movie Ip Man, wherein Donnie Yen plays the title character masterfully. Wong Kar Wai's version is resplendent with wonderful, eye-popping cinematography and the story is top notch. Tony Leung is very good in his portrayal of the title character. This is a wonderful movie based on a true story, however it slightly pales in comparison to Ip Man.
December 14, 2017

What an epic exercise in style, cohesion, mood and attitude. Every frame is a painting, Wong Kar Wai's camera is precise and poetic all the way through, and although the storytelling is loose, it's to the movies benefit. Every fight is powerful, even the small ones, with perfectly coreographed and captured movements, punches and kicks hit hard. Yhe emotional beats are compelling aswell, with amazing performances aided by incredible cinematography, close ups and medium shots create a world of distinct mood and emotions, where every character is well defined and driven by a sense of purpose. A masterpiece in every sense of the word.
½ December 3, 2017
Trite, mythical nonsense where the only screenplay is slow philosophical meanderings. Lacking any gripping plot or seemingly any point. The fight scenes are unrealistic but the one saving grace is some very nice choreography. Otherwise I'd suggest avoiding.
November 14, 2017
This movie has such a interesting premise. Their was a cool fight in the beginning but the rest of the movie was so boring and nothing really happened after that.
June 18, 2017
Wong Kar Wai is an expressionist master. His direction is kinetic and always purposeful.
April 11, 2017
Disappointed if I'm honest. I'm a massive Kar-Wai Wong fan and this was not cohesive or poignant enough to make me love it. The pace is slow, as it always is, but there was little holding the separate stories and characters together. The script was good but it seemed a bit lost in translation. Wouldn't recommend.
March 15, 2017
I don't know what the trimmed down American version(22 minutes shorter) looks like but the 130 minute Original is a beautiful epic. The cinematography was good enough to get nominated for an Oscar and it deserves it. It's hard to be beat Donnie Yen as the master of Wing Chun from the IP MAN trilogy but Tony Leung is one of the world's finest actors and he shows it hear. Ziyi Zhang has really being doing nothing but good since she burst onto the International scene 17 years ago in Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. And she keeps getting better! This is more her character, Gong Er's story than Ip Man's. It can be slow at times but it's so pretty to look at, you forgive the slower pacing.
½ January 9, 2017
Un autre film de ip man mais très beau visuellement et les scènes très bien quohegraphier
September 17, 2016
The male lead is Tony Leung Chiu Wai, not Leung Ka Fai as listed here!
August 23, 2016
Es muy difícil hacer un review de esta película porque sinceramente no sé si fue muy mala o una obra maestra.
En cuestión fotográfica es realmente INCREÍBLE, parece una constante pintura en movimiento. Las batallas todas muy bien coreografiadas y filmadas, te dejan con el corazón en la boca. Y las actuaciones te dejan la piel de gallina.
Pero como película es muy muy floja. No tiene una estructura fija, es como si el editor hubiera cortado los planos donde se le dió la puta gana.
Se siente más como una colección de HERMOSISIMAS imágenes, que una película.
Le daria 10/10 si estuviéramos hablando solo de cuestiones estéticas pero lastimosamente esto es una película no una muestra de pinturas.
½ July 22, 2016
If I didn't know chinese, I would be missing out so much. Half the subtitles were wrong, and it seemed liked a lot of characters floated in and left without much resolution. The American cut isn't as good as I thought it'd be.
½ June 27, 2016
I prefer the Ip Man movies with Donnie Yen. I found myself confused about 2/3 into it. Lame! No Donnie! No Likie!
April 24, 2016
a good story of the up and coming master that trained bruce lee and moved martial arts in to the world. great action and a cast of actors that makes the movie great history ride of a legend.
April 8, 2016
It's been awhile since I've seen this movie, but I remember being disappointed. A couple of Wong Kar Wai's dramatic films are some of favorite movies ever, and I love martial arts films, but combining the 2 styles turned out to be a letdown. In typical WKW fashion, the cinematography is amazing, which lent well to highlighting the choreography of the fight scenes. However, the story did not feel as developed, and as a result, I wasn't as invested.
January 9, 2016
A bit of a drag but some interesting cinematography
Super Reviewer
November 30, 2015
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.
October 15, 2015
So compelling and elegant in some aspects, as messy and fragmented in others. A missed chance to make something great.
September 23, 2015
The Grandmaster tells the tale of wing chun legend Ip Man, played by Tony Leung. In true Wong Kar Wai fashion, the film circles around the events of the protagonist's life in sophisticated and stylish shots and rich cinematography. Each still is framed with great care and craftsmanship, and the great attention provided to color, costume and composition detail makes for an incredible picturesque visual experience. The combat choreography is meticulously done, and with the use of exceptional camera-work and tasteful slow-motion pays homage to martial arts classics while being equally innovative.

While The Grandmaster can certainly be praised for its aesthetic valor, it isn't without its faults, and most of the drawbacks lie in the storyline and underdeveloped characters, many of whom seem to play a large part in Ip Man's story but are reduced to appearing in wordless sequences or as silent onlookers, namely Ip Man's wife and "The Razor". Because they recur during the film alongside the main characters but contribute so little, it leaves the impression that some scenes are missing, as their roles are never really solidified. This can be partly understood as the result of the famously long production time and the rumored 4+ hours of film that had to be cut down, but it still detracts from the experience and raises questions.

The Grandmaster is worthy of all of the awards and praise it received for its use of artistic cinematography, but the storyline and characters somehow lack the assurance that the visuals have. It's a poetic pictorial tale that arthouse fans and Wong Kar Wai enthusiasts will enjoy, but others may find unconvincing.
September 16, 2015
Sorry, but in the setting/context of the Japanese invasion/occupation of China, martial arts, even (or especially) supernatural martial arts, seem really dumb. It's a decadent bourgeois fantasy of the decadent aristocracy. (The momentous period from Japanese invasion in 1938 to communist victory--unmentioned here--in 1949 takes up less than four minutes of the movie.) I mean, Ip Man, the hero, literally wears a (distinctive) fedora.
September 13, 2015
Yet another picture based on the life of Ip Man. This version overstretches, covering too many aspects of the martial artist's life and so is quite mixed in terms of tone. Most of the fight sequences are well choreographed though.
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