Wolf Totem (2015) - Rotten Tomatoes

Wolf Totem (2015)

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Critic Consensus: As a visual experience, Wolf Totem boasts thrills that compensate for the significant narrative sacrifices made in bringing Jiang Rong's novel to the screen.

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Movie Info

In 1967, a young Beijing student, Chen Zhen, is sent to live among the nomadic herdsmen of Inner Mongolia. Caught between the advance of civilization from the south and the nomads' traditional enemies - the marauding wolves - to the north; humans and animals, residents and invaders alike, struggle to find their true place in the world.

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Critic Reviews for Wolf Totem

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (15)

The greatest aspect of "Wolf Totem" is the gorgeous, sweeping cinematography that captures the landscape in breathtaking aerial shots and crystal-clear color. The story has its touching moments but dissolves into disjointed melodrama.

September 14, 2015 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Something ends up lost in translation. Its aspirations of looking and feeling recognizable end up uncomfortable and embarrassing.

September 11, 2015 | Rating: 1.5/4 | Full Review…

There's no denying the beauty of the film's imagery, violent and tender, or the emotional power of the final moment in the boy-and-his-dog love story.

September 10, 2015 | Full Review…

Characters seem carved from a much larger narrative. The landscape and painstakingly trained wolves are the true stars.

September 10, 2015 | Full Review…

Annaud's adaptation of Jiang Rong's Chinese novel is a visual wonder but a dramatic dud, a cut-and-paste mess of plot snippets, illuminated by the occasional inspired visual conceit.

September 10, 2015 | Full Review…

Epic in scope, yet at the same time intensely intimate in its handling of its protagonist's inner life, it's a unique wildlife tale that sets a tribe of humans against a majestic pack of wolves.

September 10, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Wolf Totem

A horridly depressing tale of man vs. wolf with the wrong side winning. Annaud ruins the gorgeous scenery by having us believe some strange wolf logic and losing a grand ecological lesson which could have been learned.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

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