Columbia Pictures | Release Date: December 18, 1987 CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION
76
METASCORE
Generally favorable reviews based on 15 Critics
Positive:
14
Mixed:
1
Negative:
0
WATCH NOW
Stream On
Stream On
100
Emperor is like Full Metal Jacket - uneven, fuzzy, imperfect, and one of the reasons the movies were invented. [20 Nov 1987, p.1D]
90
Very simply, Bertolucci has found an elegance of design and execution that few of his contemporaries could even dream of. [23 Nov 1987]
88
The most startling achievement of The Last Emperor is that it accomplishes what seems to have eluded Bertolucci for some time. He has found the small in the large and, in many ways, he has created what many thought impossible -- an intimate epic. [18 Dec 1987, p.95]
80
The movie's considerable emotional force springs from the splendor of its visual poetry. Mr. Bertolucci allows the sweep of 60 years of Chinese history to unfold around Pu Yi as background noise to his peculiar, poignant role in the emergence of modern China. [25 Nov 1987, p.1]
80
If you want the true, jaw-dropping details of Pu Yi's life, try the biography by Edward Behr, Newsweek International's cultural editor. If you want a staggering and certainly singular movie experience, The Last Emperor will do very nicely. [20 Nov 1987, p.1]
75
A hesitant, conservative approach that yields great elegance and a rhythm that carries the viewer along. Yet the film is haunted by a sense of opportunities not taken, of an artist deliberately reining in his artistry. [9 Dec 1987, p.2]
63
The reign of the last emperor, a reign in name alone, was an exercise in style over substance; it is perhaps fitting that his cinematic biography should follow the same incarcerated course. [20 Nov 1987, p.D1]