Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 85 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Set in 10th century China, the film portrays the imperial Chinese family rapidly losing internal strength due to a power struggle between the emperor (Yun-Fat), the empress (Li), and the couple's three sons.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
  1. It's a work by cinematic geniuses that reveals beauty and terror in a long-ago time with a virtuoso intensity. You won't soon forget its mad, lovely sights and sounds.
  2. A period spectacle, steeped in awesome splendor and lethal palace intrigue, it climaxes in a stupendous battle scene and epic tragedy.
  3. 75
    There are fine actors at work here. Chow is quiet and cunning, Gong Li is haughty and cold-eyed, Chen Jin is sturdy as a ghost who appears out of the past, and Gin Junjie is vividly bratty as the youngest, and most underappreciated, prince.
  4. 75
    The final effect is stunning, but also sadly impersonal.
  5. 67
    Few filmmakers could produce so grand a spectacle, but Zhang used to be good for more than just eye candy.
  6. 60
    In the end, Curse also looks alarmingly like a dry run for the opening and closing ceremonies Zhang has been hired to direct for the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.
  7. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    30
    Zhang Yimou is seriously off his game with the utterly ridiculous Curse of the Golden Flower, a new epic that feels like "Hero" meets "The Lion in Winter" meets "Peyton Place." The film is worthless as a serious work of art, but it may offer the jaded viewer a surplus source of MST3K-inspired wisecracks.

See all 32 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 39
  2. Negative: 6 out of 39
  1. VincentK.
    Dec 24, 2006
    10
    Visually stunning, stellar performance from Gong Li.
  2. LiX.
    Jan 15, 2007
    10
    I thought it was very good. The story was different and I have not seen this very often.
  3. DawnS.
    Aug 15, 2008
    10
    I love this movie, it always want to make me cry at the end!
  4. MarcK.
    Jan 17, 2007
    8
    I thought the plot/story was much more accessible compared to "Hero" and "House of Flying Daggers." Absolutely gorgeous to look at. If not for the last 20 ridiculous minutes of over-the-top carnage, this could have been a very special film. As it is, it's still definitely worth a look. Expand
  5. JerryS.
    Dec 22, 2006
    7
    Visually stunning. Lavish sets and costumes. But overly melodramatic, and a story that Western audiences may find difficult to swallow. For eye candy alone, it's worth seeing, but if you like tidy story archs and happy endings, look elsewhere. Expand
  6. BillG
    Jan 17, 2007
    5
    Somewhat boring and superficial film; doesn't come close to other similar genre stuff. Relationships don't seem credible, and there are too few of the fantasy choreographed fight scenes to keep interest. Expand
  7. PaulT.
    Dec 19, 2006
    2
    Sickly as opposed to visually stunning, Little plot no character dev, and a terrible ending made me feel cheated when the film seemed to accidently end. Expand

See all 39 User Reviews