The Great Wall Reviews

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March 27, 2017
Zhang's moments of visual splendor-a battalion of hot-air balloonists, the queen-monster and her royal guard of fan-frilled monstrosities-are weighed down by a script and performances almost dutiful in their dullness.
February 23, 2017
Its epic imagery - the rows of soldiers, the rain of spears, the surging forces - is undercut by the Saturday-matinee cheesiness of the concept.
February 19, 2017
If this is the future for motion pictures, god help us all.
February 17, 2017
To watch it is to be aware of how little movies this size have to do with art and how much they are product, the result of a calculation involving actorly appeal and spectacle, because spectacle, not story, has the... most universal draw.
Top Critic
February 17, 2017
Damon's wild-haired gringo claims to have soldiered under "many flags," which would explain his shape-shifting accent that's Irish except for when it sounds beamed from Mars.
February 17, 2017
What a bummer that all Chinese master Zhang Yimou and Hollywood star Matt Damon come up with is a B-level creature feature with delusions of grandeur.
February 17, 2017
As pure spectacle, The Great Wall is absolutely dazzling.
February 17, 2017
If you calibrate your expectations to "monster movie for eight-year-olds," you may find some fun in this energetic and blissfully brief (a mere 103 minutes!) tale of the Chinese army battling alien beasties in the Song Dynasty era.
February 17, 2017
Zhang does an impressive job of staging the battles... But there is barely a whiff of genuine transcendence in this grand-scale extravaganza.
February 17, 2017
A well-paced action movie that doesn't waste much time on preliminaries or explanations before plunging headlong into a prolonged, elaborately orchestrated fight against a horde of ghastly creatures.
February 17, 2017
Its real accomplishment is that, with so much money behind it and a true visionary at the helm, it manages to feel so dated.
February 17, 2017
The absurdity is what makes it such a hoot-and-a-half.
February 17, 2017
The Great Wall is unlike any American blockbuster you've seen, a conservative movie with action set pieces that are actually inventive and thrilling enough to be worthwhile.
February 17, 2017
It's the flat characters and cursory storytelling that let the project down.
February 17, 2017
It's meant to play to as broad an audience as possible, so everything about it is spread thin, and its attempts at humor warrant light chuckles at best.
February 16, 2017
It turns out to be little more than a monster movie (and a poor one at that) that says more about corporate-driven global moviemaking than anything about either culture.
February 16, 2017
You might call it The Not-Bad Wall. But as a showcase for Damon's considerable talents, and as a canvas for the gifted Chinese director Zhang Yimou, this ostentatious mythical epic isn't quite the movie it should be.
February 16, 2017
Think of the result as The 13th Warrior as remade by Leni Riefenstahl.
February 16, 2017
With a budget of $150 million The Great Wall is the most expensive co-production yet between America and China, but any hopes that it might foster a new spirit of cinematic co-operation are marred by its being, well, a bit rubbish.
February 16, 2017
Director Yimou is an amazing visual stylist and he delivers a few wonderfully outrageous sequences, but what we're getting here is basically a pricey monster movie with uninteresting monsters, and [one-dimensional] human characters.
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