Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 35
  2. Negative: 2 out of 35
  1. 38
    Lust, Caution could have done with a lot more lust and a lot less caution.
  2. 30
    The sex scenes -- intense, affecting and emotionally raw -- are the best thing about this frustratingly limp movie.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 101 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 25
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 25
  3. Negative: 3 out of 25
  1. TimC.
    Mar 10, 2008
    This is a great film if you understand Chinese language and the historic background. It kept me focused throughout the entire movie. Ang Lee knew that there could be cultural barrier for westerners watching this movie, for he said he cared most about how Taiwanese and Chinese people viewed the film. Sense of patriotism exhibited during the Japanese occupation and Chinese feeling about traitors is not easily appreciated. By the way, it is largely based on a true story. Full Review »
  2. Feb 6, 2013
    -tension builds in Leung's silences, Tang's glances, spy angst, and Japanese occupation, then explosive in sex and murder
    -title themes
    reflect emotions of the time, possibly Japanese regional ambition and international diplomacy (?)
    -good substories of acting, mahjong, and women's roles
    -big historical events not detailed or tightly tied to plot development
    Full Review »
  3. Feb 19, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. //Spoiler//
    Tony Leung was wonderful but Tang Wei was brilliant, you were able to feel her innocence, a naivee girl abandoned by every man without much say until she meets Mr.Yee. This time she choose to sacrifice herself for him out of love. These were characters with many flaws, broken human beings but love was their escape. Ang Lee carefully weaves you into their psychology and if you are willing can see that they were two very lonely people that found each other in the cold world that they were a part of. In each other they found a piece of themselves. They were able to feel and live again, even if it was for a short while. The ending has to be that way because that is the kind of survival world Mr.Yee lives in. Everyone does what they are suppose to do and take the consequences for their actions.
    Full Review »