Metascore
46

Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 22
  2. Negative: 2 out of 22
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Pete Hammond
    Dec 29, 2011
    80
    Ultimately an inspiring, stirring and unforgettable human drama in the face of a horrifying war. It is highly recommended.
  2. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Jan 19, 2012
    75
    Bale's presence in the film is a kind of misdirect, a calculated element intended to better its international commercial prospects -- his character makes a clumsily predictable journey from cynical drunken expat to hero willing to sacrifice a chance to escape the country in order to care for the children who've ended up in his charge.
  3. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Jan 17, 2012
    75
    It's a special film of sacrifice, redemption and hope in the shadow of a holocaust that packs an emotional wallop from which there is no escape. I can't get it out of my thoughts, and I recommend it highly.
  4. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Jan 19, 2012
    70
    Bale admirably shoulders the burden of Western identification figure, but the heart of the story is the ongoing tension between the schoolgirls and the hookers, who see in each other aspects of womanhood that are out of their respective reach.
  5. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Dec 20, 2011
    70
    Scene by scene, The Flowers of War is an erratic and ungainly piece of storytelling, full of melodramatic twists and grotesque visual excesses (a bullet pierces first a stained-glass window and then a girl's neck), which are nonetheless delivered with startling conviction.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Feb 10, 2012
    63
    That's not to say it's a bad film, necessarily. It's just not as good as it could have -- and should have -- been.
  7. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Jan 19, 2012
    63
    The Flowers of War is the latest movie focused on the Nanking atrocities. Lu Chuan's "City of Life and Death'' was released in the United States last year and presented a far greater, grimmer, and more punishing re-creation of the sacking.
User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 60 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 18
  2. Negative: 3 out of 18
  1. Dec 25, 2011
    10
    I have never been deeply moved by a Chinese movie,but the film ,The Flowes of War does it,.It made me a unforgettable impression.The poltI have never been deeply moved by a Chinese movie,but the film ,The Flowes of War does it,.It made me a unforgettable impression.The polt and the frame of movie are very excellent .Most important, I was deeply stirred by the sad story of 13 FLOWERS .ALSO by the CHINA in the past .As a Chinese,I feel angry and wanna cry .But I can't forget the history of this period .This is a good film ,and it gives me a significant lesson.By the way,I hope you can love it like me. Full Review »
  2. Jan 9, 2012
    0
    wtf, all those "10" reviews are written by the exact same person, just look at the bad english. They aren't even reviews, I would considerwtf, all those "10" reviews are written by the exact same person, just look at the bad english. They aren't even reviews, I would consider them spam. That is why I give 0 points to the film, let say for bad marketing practices. Oh and by the way the review that says "contains spoilers" doesn't even mention anything from the film at all. Full Review »
  3. Jul 17, 2012
    7
    Don't go into this hoping it's an action flick. This is not a "Hero" or "House of Flying Daggers" martial arts/Wuxia flick. And just becauseDon't go into this hoping it's an action flick. This is not a "Hero" or "House of Flying Daggers" martial arts/Wuxia flick. And just because it's a "war movie" doesn't mean it has to be non-stop action. Saving Private Ryan is mostly drama with an under current of action, and so is this. If you want action, watch a Michael Bay movie or a Jason Stathom flick. This is a Zhang Yimou movie (Curse of the Golden Flower, The Road Home...etc) so it's going to mostly be about drama, as it should. It's a film about the relationship between an American mortician (Christian Bale), teenage Chinese school girls, and Chinese prostitutes learning to respect one another during the Japanese invasion of China, and it's done so in a beautiful sort of melodramatic way. Hiding in a church, we take a journey with the characters as they get to know one another under stressful, war-time tension. I was surprised when learning that Christian Bale would be play the American mortician, but he seemed to be more believable than I expected. It's worth a viewing, especially if you're a fan of Zhang Yimou's work. Full Review »