User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 103 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 72 out of 103
  2. Negative: 29 out of 103
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  1. 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
  2. Feb 19, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand 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.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 35
  2. Negative: 2 out of 35
  1. 63
    There's too much caution and not enough lust.
  2. Reviewed by: Damon Wise
    A beautifully rendered, long, drawn-out but ultimately very satisfying story of betrayal and revenge in an uneasy setting of wartime paranoia.
  3. 88
    The sex is REALLY hot. Not hardcore pornographic (at least by my definition of the term) but close.