Universal acclaim - based on 10 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 10
  2. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. More than a million people have been displaced in central China in the cause of generating electrical power to meet the needs of the future; Jia's flowing river of a picture washes over a few of them as they adjust to life's currents in the present.
  2. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Few of China's Sixth Generation filmmakers have turned to their country's explosive economic growth and its attendant upheavals with so sharp an eye and so heavy a heart as Jia Zhang-ke.
  3. The first great film of the year. It’s beautiful but so much more—full of subtle feeling, framed by a monstrous, eroding landscape.
  4. Reviewed by: Kamal AL-Solaylee
    Perhaps Jia is trying to prove the point that the future has already arrived. Or perhaps he is suggesting that the truth is stranger than science fiction. This is today's China: Anything is possible.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Aug 27, 2010
    Uncertainty is at the stem of Jia Zhangke's "Still Life" and it molds itself into many forms - uncertainty as to what China's economic boom holds for its future, displaced people uncertain whether they will ever see those they have lost again, and uncertainty over whether love that is broken can ever be mended. All of this takes place in the backdrop of Fengjie village, which was at the time being upheaved for the construction of Three Gorges Dam (now complete, and the largest electricity-generating plant in the world). Zhangke's use of a real setting provides for some powerful shots that have formed him into one of China's foremost artistic commentators, but this also diminishes the entertainment value (which, in my opinion, shouldn't have to be compromised in this type of filmmaking). Full Review »
  2. RobertH.
    Nov 29, 2008
    The film has it's moments but when compared to the director's previous efforts the filmmaking here strikes me as far too lazy, relying too much on the backdrop and nonactors at the cost of lackadaisical narrative. if you don't edit your view of life enough to focus our attention where's the art? Full Review »