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Based on 22 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 4 )
  • 50
    Walter Addiego San Francisco Chronicle

    Affecting at times, but finally feels overblown and heavy-handed. show more

  • 40
    Elizabeth Weitzman New York Daily News

    The biggest problem, however, is the way Zhang romanticizes the unimaginably awful, turning gold-hearted prostitutes and virginal orphans into cinematic martyrs. Though his talents are vast, there may be too much truth in this particular story to suit his extravagant tastes. show more

  • 30
    Todd McCarthy The Hollywood Reporter

    It's something you'd think only the crassest of Hollywood producers would come up with - injecting sex appeal into an event as ghastly at the Nanjing massacre - but it's an element central to The Flowers of War, a contrived and unpersuasive look at an oft-dramatized historical moment. show more

  • 75

    Bale's presence in the film is a kind of misdirect, a calculated element intended to better its international commercial prospects -- his character makes a clumsily predictable journey from cynical drunken expat to hero willing to sacrifice a chance to escape the country in order to care for the children who've ended up in his charge. show more

  • 75
    Rex Reed New York Observer

    It's a special film of sacrifice, redemption and hope in the shadow of a holocaust that packs an emotional wallop from which there is no escape. I can't get it out of my thoughts, and I recommend it highly. show more

  • 63
    Wesley Morris Boston Globe

    The Flowers of War is the latest movie focused on the Nanking atrocities. Lu Chuan's "City of Life and Death'' was released in the United States last year and presented a far greater, grimmer, and more punishing re-creation of the sacking. show more

  • 63
    Mike Scott New Orleans Times-Picayune

    That's not to say it's a bad film, necessarily. It's just not as good as it could have -- and should have -- been. show more

  • 50
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    Now let me ask you: Can you think of any reason the character John Miller is needed to tell his story? Was any consideration given to the possibility of a Chinese priest? Would that be asking for too much? show more

  • 50
    Chicago Tribune

    When it comes to storytelling, Zhang Yimou's 19th feature is decidedly backward-looking: A lavish period weepie set against the atrocities of the Nanking Massacre, "Flowers" abounds with well-worn movie archetypes and slathers on schmaltz. show more

  • 50
    Liam Lacey The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

    While Bale speaks in an anachronistically modern American vernacular, the Chinese cast recite grammatically perfect, phonetic English so stilted you find yourself wishing the film would stick to subtitles. This is not so much a question of a story being lost in translation as a movie that never finds the right story to tell. show more

  • August 07, 2012 jh00000000127703
    Report This User

    This movie has a lot of depth and a lot of heart. It was brutally honest in its retelling of a horrific event. And although it was made in China and some say that it is geared toward that group, i believe that the message is universal. Anyone with a soul and a heart could not leave the theatre without being affected by some element of the story. All the actresses were wonderful espeically the young girl who narrated the story itself. Mr. Bale did an incredible job in his protrayal of a man torn between his basic need for survival and his duty to do what\'s right. The soilder who ultimately gave his life to protect these girls, was nothing short of a hero. This movie is a ten in my book and i highly recommend it.

  • August 03, 2012 jackd1207
    Report This User

    This movie was made for a Chinese audience and plays to the Chinese culture that celebrates heroes who make the selfless, ultimate sacrifice. The story is interesting if not engaging.

  • July 11, 2012 plansmaker
    Report This User

    If you are Chinese, you will cry about the brutality committed by Imperial Japanese Army in this movie. If you are Japanese, you will feel uncomfortable, shame to hate about this movie\'s message. This is the dividing line even today between China and Japan. As a movie, it hits hard with audience\'s emotions. After all we are all people.

  • January 31, 2012 xv00000000089782
    Report This User

    Alright !!!

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