Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: An epic tale of doomed passion, mistaken identity and the terrible personal cost of political resistance. (Palm Pictures)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Reviewed by: G. Allen Johnson
    100
    A gorgeously shot, ambitious epic.
  2. As atmospheric and moody as a film noir, the stylish, sometimes perplexing Purple Butterfly is a remarkable period piece, evoking the bustling, dense and increasingly dangerous Shanghai of the '30s
  3. 80
    Hectic, lyrical, swooningly romantic and almost unwatchably brutal, Purple Butterfly deploys a modern Asian gangster-movie aesthetic to tell a love story of Shakespearean dimensions.
  4. 75
    Director Lou Ye, who gave us the lilting "Suzhou River," doesn't care much for dialogue. He lets Wang Yu's pulsating camerawork do the talking.
  5. Too often, Purple Butterfly is as impenetrable as Zhang's placid, obdurate beauty.
  6. Rich with emotional turmoil and searing beauty, but it could have used a little more time in the editing room to make sense of it all.
  7. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    38
    Ye bites off substantially more than he can chew.

See all 12 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 1 out of 3

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