Lust, Caution

Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 35
  2. Negative: 2 out of 35

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Critic Reviews

  1. 60
    Running two hours and forty minutes, never finds the same balance: by the time he gets to the lust, it is too late to throw caution to the winds.
  2. Lust, Caution wants us to feel the erotic ping of buttoned-up people ripping open those buttons, but too often it's the film's drama that's under wraps.
  3. 58
    Tang Wei brings a terrible and awe-inspiring purity to an impure character.
  4. 50
    Ang Lee's latest foray into forbidden love is as monotonous and disaffecting as "Brokeback Mountain" was gripping and immediate.
  5. Ang Lee's lugubrious spy epic Lust, Caution brings to mind what soldiers say about war: that it's long periods of boredom relieved by moments of extremely heightened excitement.
  6. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    50
    Too much caution and too little lust squeeze much of the dramatic juice out of Ang Lee's Lust, Caution, a 2½--hour period drama that's a long haul for relatively few returns.
  7. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    50
    There’s a great, piercing story here, but too often you feel you’re watching it through the wrong end of the telescope.
  8. Outside the bedroom, the wartime swirl of intrigue never develops beyond postcard imagery, however. This is one of the major disappointments of the film-going year.
  9. The bursts of sex and violence that earned this picture an NC-17 rating offer only temporary respite from the encroaching dullness.
  10. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    50
    Lust, Caution is a disappointment coming from director Ang Lee, but it's a watchable one, and it rattles around in your head for a long time after you've seen it, as much for what it does right as for where it goes wrong.
  11. Lust, Caution -- a truer title would be “Caution: Lust” -- is a sleepy, musty period drama about wartime maneuvers and bedroom calisthenics, and the misguided use of a solid director.
  12. 40
    It’s one of the most cautious readings of lust ever put to film.
User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 108 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 25
  2. Negative: 3 out of 25
  1. TimC.
    Mar 10, 2008
    10
    This is a great film if you understand Chinese language and the historic background. It kept me focused throughout the entire movie. Ang Lee 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
    8
    -tension builds in Leung's silences, Tang's glances, spy angst, and Japanese occupation, then explosive in sex and murder
    -title themes
    -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
    7
    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 »