Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19

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Critic Reviews

  1. The total effect is mesmerizing, an eye-opening tour of modern Beijing culture in a journey of rebellion, retreat into oblivion and return.
  2. New Times (L.A.)
    Reviewed by: David Ehrenstein
    Beautifully made, deeply upsetting drama.
  3. Daring and beautifully made, Zhang Yang's Quitting plays like a Chinese "Rebel Without a Cause."
  4. With Quitting, he (Zhang) has removed sentimentality from the theme and presented it with unflinching honesty, a quality he shares with his fearless cast.
  5. Daring and complex. At 112 minutes, it might be 15 minutes too long, but this is not enough to detract from its impact as a probing and universal contemporary drama.
  6. Quitting begins to seem intriguing in concept. Now comes the best news: It's just as compelling in execution.
  7. 75
    If only "reality" TV was as realistic as Quitting.
  8. It's downbeat material and it tends to drag a bit, but Jia's performance is so unsparing and intense -- and the film so compassionate and chaste in its approach to a life lost and recovered -- that Quitting ultimately satisfies.
  9. 70
    Particularly wrenching in its depiction of the father-son relationship.
  10. 63
    It is a brave experiment, based on life and using actors who play themselves, but it buys into the whole false notion that artists are somehow too brilliant to be sober.
  11. 60
    The entire cast is extraordinarily good -- many of them are, after all, actors by trade -- but throughout, Zhang is keen to remind his audience that this is only a dramatization.
  12. 60
    Because Quitting admits its basic falsehood up front, the film is never emotionally affecting, but Jia's participation in this confrontation of his past shows remarkable courage and honesty, especially when his behavior doesn't inspire much sympathy.
  13. 50
    If Quitting isn't worthy of affection exactly, it's worthy of respect.
  14. 50
    Alternately grueling and soporific, Quitting is a movie about addiction that demands the viewer also give something up.
  15. 50
    Whether Quitting will prove absorbing to American audiences is debatable: After all, it's not like we don't have enough rehab stories of our own, and Jia often comes across as a sullen, unreachable brat.
  16. 50
    Unfortunately Jia --a rather limited actor, judging from the movies excerpted here -- has trouble either articulating or projecting the existential crisis that ultimately landed him in a mental institution, which leaves the emotional center of the film inert.
  17. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    What gives Quitting its freshness is its setting in a country that often denies it has such problems and the decision to anchor the film strongly within the Chinese family fabric.
  18. An intriguing idea undermined by a lackluster follow-through.
  19. Unfortunately, the experience of actually watching the movie is less compelling than the circumstances of its making.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 6 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. PatC.
    Feb 6, 2007
    A movie devoid of imaginative devices, but otherwise fully formed. A fine story, applicable in all cultures, of a youth asserting his own A movie devoid of imaginative devices, but otherwise fully formed. A fine story, applicable in all cultures, of a youth asserting his own devices, but finding they can't improve on a sense of responsibility to his family. Full Review »
  2. RianneM.
    Nov 9, 2005
    This is such a beautiful movie, the music, the drama.