Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 32
  2. Negative: 1 out of 32
Watch On
  1. 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.
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 90 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 39
  2. Negative: 6 out of 39
  1. Feb 6, 2012
    6
    As expected with Chinese films the use of colour is simply breathtaking, almost like a piece of art in itself. The same can be said of theAs expected with Chinese films the use of colour is simply breathtaking, almost like a piece of art in itself. The same can be said of the style and scale of the film. It really does feel epic in every sense of the word. This fails to hide the fact the storyline is kind of basic and predictable, I only have issue with this because fight scenes are incredibly few and far between. I think people expect to see martial arts in Chinese films and this is maybe unfair but the film just doesn't help itself. As usual for Chinese stuff the film comes with a fair degree of cheese, I put this down to cultural differences but it will scare viewers not used to Chinese films. As always the ending is unhappy which I've always adored in Chinese films. It's surely worth a watch but don't expect to be blown away. Full Review »
  2. Sep 12, 2011
    3
    I could've sworn tears were coming out of my eyes when I was watching this. Tears of embarrassment to be precise! While the costumes in theI could've sworn tears were coming out of my eyes when I was watching this. Tears of embarrassment to be precise! While the costumes in the film are pretty, the acting is terrible and the story is very, very lame! But the worst part was the fighting scene between the King's army and Prince's army. At that point the embarrassment has escalated to severe goosebumps. It is utterly humiliating because this film was shown internationally.. WHY?!! It's an awful piece of work by Zhang Yimou. Full Review »
  3. Sylocat
    Aug 17, 2008
    5
    To say that the visual aesthetic of this film is stunning would be the understatement of the century; this movie is so gorgeous that it To say that the visual aesthetic of this film is stunning would be the understatement of the century; this movie is so gorgeous that it almost deserves a viewing on the big screen for that alone, and the battle sequences are among the most epic in the history of wuxia movies. That said, the story of the film is a stunning exemplification of every problem I have with wuxia movies. The overblown symbolism, the soap-opera plot, and the ending so pointlessly depressing that you could almost picture the writer(s) laying awake in bed at night trying to think up the method to cynically jerk the most tears out of the pretentious art-film audience. The emperor in this case is so cartoonishly sadistic that I found myself thinking, "Surely they wouldn't go to all this trouble to hammer into us how evil this guy is without planning to dethrone him in the end," but sure enough, they did exactly that, because having the powerful remain in power and the rebellious characters die is an ingrained staple of this genre, and the moment I realized they were in fact going to do that (about a half-hour short of the finish line), I felt like turning it off in disgust. They raised our hopes at the very end again, only to dash them. Now that's a metaphor for the movie. Full Review »