Wolf Totem Reviews

September 14, 2015
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 11, 2015
Something ends up lost in translation. Its aspirations of looking and feeling recognizable end up uncomfortable and embarrassing.
September 10, 2015
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
Characters seem carved from a much larger narrative. The landscape and painstakingly trained wolves are the true stars.
September 10, 2015
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
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
Worth seeing just for a spectacular sequence depicting the wolves chasing a herd of prize horses toward a frozen lake during a blinding snowstorm - which appears to have been shot with minimal computer-generated fakery.
September 10, 2015
Annaud creates a vivid sensory experience that simply doesn't make much of an emotional impact. It's all fur and no fangs.
September 10, 2015
Wolves, horses and sheep are the principal players in the movie's set pieces, which are powerfully staged and tightly edited, if sometimes oversold by James Horner's bombastic score.
September 10, 2015
The movie lacks the kind of animating vision that would make its big-screen National Geographic covers ... into something more.
September 10, 2015
Whether it's the expanse of rolling hills and frozen lakes or close-ups of a baby wolf's soft fur, the camera hugs each texture with awe.
September 9, 2015
The animal footage looks fantastic but the humans are mere cardboard characters and their interactions with the wolves and each other don't prove all that illuminating.
September 9, 2015
Despite its magnificent natural vistas and some pulse-pounding action in stunning 3D, Wolf Totem boils down to a familiar environmentalist allegory that doesn't move or provoke too deeply.
September 8, 2015
Wolf Totem itself becomes a pitched battle for supremacy between the breathtaking glories of nature and the grinding banality of man. Here, as ever, nature loses.
September 2, 2015
Annaud's film can't help itself galloping off in allegorical bursts barely under his control, and intriguingly off-course from the kind of bold messages of national conciliation officially sanctioned Chinese films tend to convey.