The High Life (2011) - Rotten Tomatoes

The High Life (2011)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Jian Ming, a small-time criminal, lives in a crowded urban village slum in Guangzhou. With no goals or aspirations, he scrapes out an existence by running a phony employment agency, scamming money out of desperate new arrivals from the countryside. He derives petty fulfillment through the creation on his apartment wall of a collage comprising the photos of his scam victims. His only other escape from his rock-bottom life in the urban village is his daily Chinese opera routine, which he performs on the rooftop of his apartment building. Jian Ming also secretly passes time with Ah Fang, a young mistress kept by a wealthier patron in an apartment in the urban village. But the arrival one day of a fresh-faced young migrant named Xiao Ya jostles Jian Ming out of his malaise. -- (C) Lantern Films


Critic Reviews for The High Life

All Critics (3) | Top Critics (2)

Zhao's film faithfully rotates among these indifferently acted representatives of contemporary China but still feels halfhearted.

September 26, 2012 | Full Review…
Village Voice
Top Critic

An awkward mash-up of what feel like two completely different movies.

June 20, 2011 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…
New York Times
Top Critic

The High Life paints a portrait, sometimes tainted by art-house film affectations, of an urban hell in which men are despicable when powerful and depressingly impotent when not.

June 23, 2011 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
Slant Magazine

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