Sony Pictures Classics | Release Date: December 21, 2006
7.5
USER SCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 95 Ratings
USER RATING DISTRIBUTION
Positive:
66
Mixed:
18
Negative:
11
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3
LarryH.Jan 22, 2007
Disappointing. Yimou's last two films (Hero and Flying Daggers) were beautiful. Curse was too melodramatic and just plain boring. Not recommended.
0 of 1 users found this helpful
5
SylocatAug 17, 2008
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 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. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful
10
DawnS.Aug 15, 2008
I love this movie, it always want to make me cry at the end!
0 of 1 users found this helpful
8
ArmondA.Sep 20, 2007
For the first time in seven years, since I installed a an 8.5 foot projection system in my home, I felt that someone was going say, "Man you're gonna need a bigger...screen!!". This movie cannot be shrunk, or in any way reduced--in For the first time in seven years, since I installed a an 8.5 foot projection system in my home, I felt that someone was going say, "Man you're gonna need a bigger...screen!!". This movie cannot be shrunk, or in any way reduced--in size, in sound, in color saturation, in brightness. I was lucky enough to see the blu-ray version of the DVD, and run through a new 3-chip RUNCO projector, the image made jaws drop--though as I've said, even a relatively enormous home screen seemed a bit skimpy. Those who saw it in the "theater" may still not have gotten the full treatment, because the film should be shown on a super- wide that's more than twice as wide as it is high. Zhang Yimou is a truly cinematic storyteller, which means that the entire "scene" is part of the narrative. Most of Mr. Zhang's films are based on rather simple, classic tales, often carrying old truths. This story was an illustration of the Chinese saying "Jade and Gold on the surface, Rot and Decay underneath. " If you see this film presented correctly you SEE and experience the spectacle of overwhelming splendor and disgusting carnage. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
CortnieJan 13, 2007
This flick was ultimately a disappointment. Despite the stunning visuals, the film had poor character development and failed to tie up loose ends. Zhang Yimou attempted to compensate for the lack of story line with copious amounts of This flick was ultimately a disappointment. Despite the stunning visuals, the film had poor character development and failed to tie up loose ends. Zhang Yimou attempted to compensate for the lack of story line with copious amounts of cleavage... but not enough to rescue this tragedy. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
KristineW.Jan 31, 2007
I thought that the movie was amazing. It is symbolic on so many levels and everyone can feel sympathetic to it. My whole family watched it together. My dad, who always fall asleep in the movie theater actually was very excited while watching I thought that the movie was amazing. It is symbolic on so many levels and everyone can feel sympathetic to it. My whole family watched it together. My dad, who always fall asleep in the movie theater actually was very excited while watching it. Also, my sister who doesn't like movies set within dynasties enjoyed this movie very much. And, my mom loved it as well. I recommend this movie to anyone who enjoys good movies. Also, I'll like to add that the cast made the movie incredible. Jay Chou proved to be very capable at acting, instead of just being musically talented. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
JWMar 2, 2007
Visually spectacular and drenched in symbolism. Interesting that a lot of reviewers have a problem with the ending. If you are accustomed to Chinese cinema or television then I guess you won't have such a problem. I can only surmise Visually spectacular and drenched in symbolism. Interesting that a lot of reviewers have a problem with the ending. If you are accustomed to Chinese cinema or television then I guess you won't have such a problem. I can only surmise that it's a Western trait, that films normally end with a 'happy ending'. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
PnArdyPnArdyMay 13, 2007
Great decorations, outstanding visual FX. Boring plot that makes no sense. Dramatic events portraying the struggle for the throne within the emperor's family in 10 century's China.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
PaulT.Dec 19, 2006
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.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
williamy.Dec 24, 2006
Masterpiece.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
TracyB.Dec 24, 2006
Uncompromisingly staged and beautiful- in the end I did not find the telling of the story to be very compelling.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
GarielT.Dec 26, 2006
Spoiled by not a good ending.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
SteveJan 13, 2007
Another sad story. Very little martial arts. Great costumes and scenery. Don't bother.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
PaulK.Jan 14, 2007
Tragic and beautiful. Fans of Zhang Yimou will not be disappointed.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
MarcK.Jan 17, 2007
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. 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
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
MarkM.Jan 2, 2007
Interesting storyline and rich color/details. Good special effects.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
IlanJan 3, 2007
Visually stunning, but ultimately done in by key, unanswered questions about the characters' backstories: why does Gong Li's character despise the Emperor? What happened between the Emperor and his first wife? If only they'd Visually stunning, but ultimately done in by key, unanswered questions about the characters' backstories: why does Gong Li's character despise the Emperor? What happened between the Emperor and his first wife? If only they'd answered these, it could have been truly great. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
KeithP.Feb 1, 2007
One watches this masterpiece with a growing sense of dread. The unforgettably ominous repition of a few musical cords hints of some lurking evil yet to be revealed. When this pitiless monster is fully illuminated in the last act, we know One watches this masterpiece with a growing sense of dread. The unforgettably ominous repition of a few musical cords hints of some lurking evil yet to be revealed. When this pitiless monster is fully illuminated in the last act, we know we've seen what true unmitigated brutality it, despite the gilded trapings that prevent us from looking away in revulsion. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
NangK.Apr 24, 2007
Only one scene was not connected: fighting scene. [***SPOILER***]At first, one commander asked not to kill the second Prince, later, he asked his soldiers to take his life. Apart from that, it was very enjoyable. Family affairs, Pride with Only one scene was not connected: fighting scene. [***SPOILER***]At first, one commander asked not to kill the second Prince, later, he asked his soldiers to take his life. Apart from that, it was very enjoyable. Family affairs, Pride with Ancient Hirachy Background. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
2
HJMay 25, 2007
One of the worst movies I've ever seen. Laughable fighting scenes, some famous but inexperienced "actors" like Jay, and large titties, that's what's the movie all about.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
OmarB.E.May 6, 2007
Excellent film, great stages and acting. The end is unexpected (in a good way) and the movie gets better over time. The first hour is a bit monotonous as it tries to tell you the life inside the royal family but after that, the plot becomes Excellent film, great stages and acting. The end is unexpected (in a good way) and the movie gets better over time. The first hour is a bit monotonous as it tries to tell you the life inside the royal family but after that, the plot becomes quite interesting. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
DanAug 21, 2007
A thoroughly enjoyable movie. The plot is interesting, but the film is really brought to life by the spectacular costumes, stylish Crouching Tiger-like fight scenes, and a brilliant performance by Gong Li as the empress plotting her A thoroughly enjoyable movie. The plot is interesting, but the film is really brought to life by the spectacular costumes, stylish Crouching Tiger-like fight scenes, and a brilliant performance by Gong Li as the empress plotting her husband's overthrow while having some on the side fun with her stepson (surprisingly she is not the baddie). Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
JenniferS.Jul 19, 2008
Just beautiful. Suprising and interesting plot. Gong Li was brilliant.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
VincentK.Dec 24, 2006
Visually stunning, stellar performance from Gong Li.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
IanK.Dec 25, 2006
It's a visual feast and a pounding drama by the all time best director, Zhang Yimou!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
3
StephanieC.Dec 27, 2006
A beautiful film to look at, but ruined by a horrible storyline.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
LiX.Jan 15, 2007
I thought it was very good. The story was different and I have not seen this very often.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
ChipL.Jan 16, 2007
Full of grand spectacle, but leaves the audience feeling empty.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
BillGJan 17, 2007
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.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
4
SKJan 21, 2007
Boring, disappointing, long, maybe bad cast for the story, or... the story just sucks. Whatever it is, this movie was a waste of my money.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
ChadS.Mar 15, 2007
At the outset, "Curse of the Golden Flower" will remind some of a slightly more-involving "Marie Antoinette" with its repetitive scenes of court life. When Empress Phoenix(Gong Li) isn't drinking her medicine, she's sewing At the outset, "Curse of the Golden Flower" will remind some of a slightly more-involving "Marie Antoinette" with its repetitive scenes of court life. When Empress Phoenix(Gong Li) isn't drinking her medicine, she's sewing chrysanthemums for the festival. Otherwise, she's "Spanking the [Chinese] Monkey" with her stepson. Lucky for us, however, a crayon box barfed. You don't watch "Curse of the Golden Flower", you gawk; it contains the most attention-grabbing art direction since Vincent Ward's "What Dreams May Come". A lot of the interiors are so feverishly ornate, even clevage, jiggling clevage, mind you, competes for your undivided attention. Unlike Zhang Yimou's "Hero" and "House of the Flying Daggers", the action here is largely back-ended. If the first two installments of Yimou's martial arts trilogy are popcorn flicks, "Curse of the Golden Flower" is more in line with his early-period works that made him a darling on the film-festival circuit. Although the operatic-like family dysfunctionalism comes perilously close to melodramatic camp, the ravish decor of this hallucigenic vision of early-China manages to normalize the larger-than-life emotions. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
8
[Anonymous]Apr 11, 2007
Overall, the film doesn't measure up to Zhang's early masterpieces, but we're somewhat compensated by the gorgeous cinematography and grand staging. In this respect, "Curse of the Golden Flower" on the level of Kurasawa's Overall, the film doesn't measure up to Zhang's early masterpieces, but we're somewhat compensated by the gorgeous cinematography and grand staging. In this respect, "Curse of the Golden Flower" on the level of Kurasawa's late epics. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
JohnB.Jun 15, 2007
Curse of the Golden Flower is a solid movie that both captivates and entertains. Like many others have said, the costumes and sets really steal the movie. Overall, it was worth seeing and great all around just nothing outstanding.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
7
JerryS.Dec 22, 2006
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.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
CoperP.Dec 24, 2006
Gong Li is amazing!!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
amys.Dec 24, 2006
One of the most beautiful movies ever!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
5
ErikaL.Dec 26, 2006
A good name for this movie should be House Of The Flairing Nostrils, as can be seen on the frequent close ups of Gong Li's face as her eyes well up for the Nth time too many. She usually is a great actress but in this film I find her A good name for this movie should be House Of The Flairing Nostrils, as can be seen on the frequent close ups of Gong Li's face as her eyes well up for the Nth time too many. She usually is a great actress but in this film I find her expressions repetitive and monotonous. I also highly doubt that in 10th century China Victoria Secret pushup bras were in fashion. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
TresidentevilFeb 6, 2012
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 the style and scale of the film. It really does feel epic in every sense of the word. This fails to hideAs 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. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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3
SchubackSep 12, 2011
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 the film are pretty, the acting is terrible and the story is very, very lame! But the worst part was 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. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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