Man of Tai Chi


Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 22
  2. Negative: 2 out of 22

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Critic Reviews

  1. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Oct 30, 2013
    For fans of wushu flicks — or action movies in general — Man Of Tai Chi presents a rare appreciation for the art of conveying movement on screen, while also serving as an impressive physical showcase for its star, stuntman Tiger Chen.
  2. Reviewed by: Sheila O'Malley
    Nov 1, 2013
    Man of Tai Chi is hugely entertaining.
  3. 70
    It’s the kind of solid, small-scale, entertaining action flick we probably need more of these days.
  4. Reviewed by: Robert Abele
    Oct 31, 2013
    The brutally efficient shooting style Reeves employs to film master choreographer Yuen Woo Ping's breathtaking refreshingly grounded and old-school kinetic.
  5. Reviewed by: Bruce Ingram
    Oct 31, 2013
    The story is so-so, in other words, but the pummeling is primo.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Keough
    Oct 31, 2013
    With his thoughtful exploration of the conflict between desire and responsibility, and his self-reflexive exploration of the themes of voyeurism, ambition, and personal identity, Reeves’s debut shows signs of a talented filmmaker.
  7. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Oct 31, 2013
    The fight is the thing in Man of Tai Chi, Keanu Reeves’s down-and-dirty and generally diverting directing debut.
  8. Reviewed by: Barbara VanDenburgh
    Oct 31, 2013
    If you have a yen for martial-arts action, Man of Tai Chi could do the trick depending on how seriously you take Reeves’ performance. At the film’s worst, it’s empty yet still attractive (much, it can be argued, like Reeves).
  9. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Oct 31, 2013
    The fights are strong (though the 49-year-old director’s are slo-mo), and the surface is calm. Say “Whoa!” if you like, but it’s cool.
  10. Reviewed by: R. Kurt Osenlund
    Oct 29, 2013
    Keanu Reeves’s five-years-in-the-making directorial debut won’t dispel the notion that his acting range begins and ends with monotonous recitations of “whoa.” But this wuxia does establish him as a deft helmer of cinematic combat.
  11. Reviewed by: Clarence Tsui
    Jul 16, 2013
    While weighed down by digressions and contraptions, Man of Tai Chi is an adequate and ambitious effort from a first-time director, who could have enhanced his on-screen philosophical arguments with a bit more depth and done with a touch less of the admittedly riveting man-to-man melee.
  12. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Nov 1, 2013
    Basically the anti-"Kill Bill." Both movies are quilted together from their auteurs' favorite Asian action flicks, but where Tarantino's was overheated, Reeves' is elegantly iced.
  13. Reviewed by: Dave McGinn
    Oct 31, 2013
    Ambitious but generic martial-arts movie.
  14. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    Oct 31, 2013
    A modestly entertaining martial arts melodrama with impressively staged fight sequences that help compensate for a stale plot and some less-than-stellar acting.
  15. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Oct 31, 2013
    Suffice to realize that Reeves’ opening salvo is an ambitious and heady mix of the glorious (if overtold) past, the tense present, and the imperfectly perfect realm of Chen’s fighter, his conscience, and blow upon blow upon blow. The concoction works, despite – or maybe because of – its unjaded, fantastical familiarity
  16. 50
    The script here is pretty stale stuff, with an under-developed side story of the cop (Karen Mok) on Donako’s trail and dialogue (in English and Chinese) that is often banal.
  17. Reviewed by: Chuck Bowen
    Oct 27, 2013
    The film ultimately doesn't live up to this early potential, as Keanu Reeves loses his way in the third act with too many false climaxes.
  18. Reviewed by: Gabe Toro
    Sep 25, 2013
    Exceptionally gorgeous and exceptionally silly.
  19. Reviewed by: Maggie Lee
    Sep 25, 2013
    There’s little in the way of drama, character depth or mise-en-scene to distract from Tiger Chen’s technically dazzling display of human combat in Keanu Reeves’ helming debut.
  20. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Oct 1, 2013
    Despite its shortcomings as a narrative, Man Of Tai Chi nevertheless feels like Reeves made exactly the movie he set out to make, assuming he didn’t set out to create a movie that was “good” by any stretch of the imagination so much as intermittently entertaining, albeit probably not for the reasons intended.
  21. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Oct 31, 2013
    If for some reason you find yourself in a theater watching the martial arts adventure Man of Tai Chi...feel free to take a nap during the non-fight sequences.
  22. Reviewed by: Michael Atkinson
    Oct 29, 2013
    The film is stale Chinese popcorn from the get-go, with only Chen's wiry guilelessness and wicked athletic skills to keep it remotely edible.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 49 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 8
  2. Negative: 1 out of 8
  1. Nov 18, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. I thought this was a brilliant directorial debut from Keanu. It's very well put together, with tons of brutal action, a banging soundtrack, a great concept for the story and just all round entertainment. Keanu seems to capture the spirit of the classic martial arts flick perfectly, demonstrated not only by the directing style but in his role as the archetypal lead henchman. His performance borders on Grindhouse and makes me think he'd be perfect for that genre too. I don't know how the guy looks so young as well. He's either been cloned at some point or as had a facelift. A great martial arts flick and one I'll definitely be watching again. Full Review »
  2. Nov 1, 2013
    It may not be groundbreaking, but Man of Tai Chi represents an agreeably old-fashioned picture for martial arts fans and a solid debut forIt may not be groundbreaking, but Man of Tai Chi represents an agreeably old-fashioned picture for martial arts fans and a solid debut for first-time director Keanu Reeves. The music is sizzling and Tiger Chen doesn't need wires, it's spectacular. Man Of Tai Chi is one of the best martial arts films after Gareth Evans's The Raid. Full Review »
  3. Dec 11, 2014
    A lot of sweet fight scenes and great martial arts performances. The story isn't that great and the characters and acting are mediocre atA lot of sweet fight scenes and great martial arts performances. The story isn't that great and the characters and acting are mediocre at best, but Tiger Chen's progression over the course of the film is pretty neat. This movie could've been a lot better, but it's worth a look if you like martial arts movies. Full Review »