Metascore
77

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jul 6, 2012
    91
    It's really about the ways in which Chinese westernization clashes with the traditionalism of Confucian teachings. It's about competition versus piety.
  2. Reviewed by: V.A. Musetto
    Jul 6, 2012
    75
    Chang doesn't pull his punches in this continuing look at a changing, out-of-control China.
  3. 100
    As with his previous film, director Chang nurses a compelling drama from a multilayered cultural reality, at once intimate and unfathomably large in implications.
  4. Reviewed by: Jeannette Catsoulis
    Jul 5, 2012
    80
    Illustrating the film's rags-to-ring narrative with panoramic mountain views and compact shots of young bodies punching their way up the food chain, Mr. Sun straddles ancient and modern, tranquillity and turmoil, with equal sureness.
  5. Reviewed by: Michael Atkinson
    Jul 3, 2012
    70
    In the end, once we realize the title doesn't refer to these bantams' weight class but to their strength of heart, or something, the film feels blandly respectful and, oddly enough, apolitical.
  6. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Jul 3, 2012
    80
    It's in between the lines that this movingly perceptive film scores a TKO.
  7. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Jul 5, 2012
    80
    As he did in his Three Gorges Dam documentary "Up the Yangtze," Chang examines how a particular strain of Western culture promises opportunity and prosperity for Chinese youth, even as it remains a continual source of intergenerational tension.
  8. Reviewed by: Janice Page
    Sep 19, 2012
    75
    Where Wiseman excelled in respecting the broad rhythms and pure storytelling of the ring, Chang's new documentary focuses on the stories of three boxers and weaves them into a compelling narrative that rivals anything Hollywood could script.
  9. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Jul 26, 2012
    63
    Its brutality is unacceptable to Buddhism and Confucianism yet is increasingly appealing to young men (and women). And in a country that still professes socialism, it's fiercely individualistic. There are no collective work groups in the boxing ring.
  10. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Jul 19, 2012
    70
    With observant fluidity and that grounding point of Qi's desire to fight once again, Chang roots the film in personal, individual stories, keeping larger metaphors for the nation at the edges.
  11. Reviewed by: Kalvin Henely
    Jul 6, 2012
    63
    Although we never really get to know He or Miao, despite following them around vérité-style, director Yung Chang expertly captures the rays of Western culture bouncing off them.

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