The World Reviews

October 14, 2005
A tonally flat experience. The movie's highs and lows are modulated to the point where nothing moves you or touches you in these lives of not-desperate-enough desperation.
September 16, 2005
It's a heartbreaking, beautiful movie that gains strength from its deep characterizations.
September 9, 2005
Its rewards come with patience and concentration.
August 26, 2005
It has a romantic power that seeps into your bones, with its languid rhythms, general plotlessness, and fierce attention to surreal detail.
August 18, 2005
The World has a lot to say and is not in any unholy rush to say it.
August 18, 2005
Jia's most extraordinary mapping isn't of an external landscape, but an emotional one. Without ever leaving Beijing, he shows us an entire universe of human joy, frailty and sorrow.
July 29, 2005
Flawed only by its abrupt and stylistically awkward ending, The World is a tragic, visionary work.
July 28, 2005
A movie with the visual expanse of a John Ford western and the ensemble grandeur and long takes of a Robert Altman picture.
July 28, 2005
With rich irony, The World juxtaposes the teasing, grand images of the outside world's wonders with the insular community and the mundane lives of the park employees.
July 28, 2005
I became invested in the backstage story, which emerges slowly and in uncertain pieces. There is integrity in a movie that refuses to pump up melodrama where none belongs.
July 6, 2005
A glorious achievement from Jia Zhangke.
July 1, 2005
Jia's message is that globalization has failed to help the Chinese masses. We hear you, dude, but did you really need 143 minutes to get your point across?
July 1, 2005
The World has a pokey pace, but it presents a uniquely powerful look at the new big kid in the global economy.
June 30, 2005
While the film feels overlong at two hours 20 minutes, there's a seductive stillness to its enveloping mood, with much to appreciate in the sureness of hand with which Jia allows his scenes the time to breathe.
June 30, 2005
Tao, who shuttles between multiple ethnic costumes in the course of a typical workday, embodies the film's thematic core: the loss of identity in a culture that has bulldozed its own historic past to clear the way for Western-style progress.
June 28, 2005
The World is the director's most accessible film. But it's also his most despairing.
March 22, 2005
Jia has daringly crafted an exquisite allegory of China's globalist-visions among a backward parochialism social mentality. It might be a bit lengthy at 140 minutes, but it never feels indulgent.
October 14, 2004
Mr. Jia has fashioned a quietly despairing vision of contemporary China with an almost ethnographic attention to detail.