Three Times

User Score
6.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 23 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 23
  2. Negative: 7 out of 23

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User Reviews

  1. BobA.
    Jan 10, 2007
    4
    A mess of a film. It would be correct to say that the theme is: love manifests itself differently through time. But most films prefer to explore their theme. This one is content to state it and be done. People looking for entertainment will be bored to death. People looking for thoughtfulness won't find much new here except for self-conscious, even gimmicky art.
  2. TNgo
    Jul 3, 2006
    10
    Simply beautiful trilogy of vignettes about individuals yearning for love and freedom!
  3. janeT
    Apr 9, 2008
    0
    In the 20 years that they've played at festivals, with almost no distribution in the U.S., the films of Taiwan's Hou Hsiao-hsien have evolved from a cult into a conspiracy: Here are movies, say the Hou faithful, so refined and subtle and poetic that the Man won't even let you see them. Three Times is the second Hou film to receive an American release, and as you watch its In the 20 years that they've played at festivals, with almost no distribution in the U.S., the films of Taiwan's Hou Hsiao-hsien have evolved from a cult into a conspiracy: Here are movies, say the Hou faithful, so refined and subtle and poetic that the Man won't even let you see them. Three Times is the second Hou film to receive an American release, and as you watch its trio of linked stories, which feature the same two actors (Shu Qi and Chang Chen) romantically entangled in different periods and settings, you can see why his fans revere him Expand
  4. NancyH.
    Jul 9, 2006
    0
    Should have been renamed "Barely 1 Time" -- had to walk out because it was torture. Minimalist dialogue is ok if and when you speak it's more than "want to stay for lunch?"..."no "..."Ok, see you next time" This film tries to be artsy without any plot or decent dialogue. I felt like I was being tortured. Being a fan of Chinese films, I now have to take Taiwan off the list.
  5. JoshC
    Nov 20, 2006
    4
    One of the most overrated filmmakers working anywhere in the last 25 years. This is yet another of his banal films. The first section is great,and heartfelt, the second is boring, and the third is a muddled mess that plays like outtakes from another bad Hou movie "Mambo". This film demonstrates why Hou is cinemas greatest footnote. He makes cold and pasionless films for smug critics and One of the most overrated filmmakers working anywhere in the last 25 years. This is yet another of his banal films. The first section is great,and heartfelt, the second is boring, and the third is a muddled mess that plays like outtakes from another bad Hou movie "Mambo". This film demonstrates why Hou is cinemas greatest footnote. He makes cold and pasionless films for smug critics and nobody else. Expand
  6. MarcK.
    Nov 3, 2006
    3
    There are only two nice things I can say about this movie: 1. This film might have been a huge hit in China, but it doesn't translate well for American audiences. 2. Shu Qi is the most beautiful woman in the world.
  7. JV
    Oct 23, 2006
    10
    Three Times (actually, I think the Chinese title is The Best of Times) is an outstanding work of art! Hsiao-hsien Hou has created a symphony in three movements that speaks to the depth of his intellect as a writer and director. The magnificent artistic skill of the camera lens, the profound simplicity of the images caste in three radically different histories, and the captivating Three Times (actually, I think the Chinese title is The Best of Times) is an outstanding work of art! Hsiao-hsien Hou has created a symphony in three movements that speaks to the depth of his intellect as a writer and director. The magnificent artistic skill of the camera lens, the profound simplicity of the images caste in three radically different histories, and the captivating recursive complexity of the story place work in the rarefied realm of great cinema. If you know film and have not seen Three Times, a gem awaits you. Expand
  8. JimH.
    May 28, 2006
    2
    I regretted taking that nap before seeing the film. The reviews were wildly overdone on this inert film. The opaque story lines was comparable to the primitive cinematic style, both soporific.
  9. JonathanH.
    Jun 11, 2006
    0
    An utter unintelligible unmitigated travesty. Watching the paint peel on your walls at home is a far better activity than patronizing this absurd utter waste of a movie. My god what a waste, a complete and utter waste of my and everyone
  10. JustinS.
    Jul 10, 2006
    7
    This movie is decent, but has quite a few flaws. It provides glimpses of Taiwan over the last 90+ years from an unusual perspective and establishes the atmosphere well. Still it has a few flaws. First the pacing, as noted, is excruciatingly slow with minimal dialogue and the "dialogue" in the second part hearkens back to silent films, using title cards. It feels like the director is This movie is decent, but has quite a few flaws. It provides glimpses of Taiwan over the last 90+ years from an unusual perspective and establishes the atmosphere well. Still it has a few flaws. First the pacing, as noted, is excruciatingly slow with minimal dialogue and the "dialogue" in the second part hearkens back to silent films, using title cards. It feels like the director is trying too hard to be artsy. Also, I never got a good feel for [i]why[/i] the characters are attracted to each other. The main characters in the second part seemed to act in a way that was overly modern and anachronistic. I rather doubt a courtesan and a scholar or intellectual in 1911 would act the way the character did towards each other. Last, if there is some overarching point to this movie, I completely missed it. Expand
  11. HenryV.
    Apr 8, 2007
    9
    An ambitious and practically transcendent piece of filmmaking. It's rare that a director has the intelligence to capture history so poetically, and it's flat out audacious for one to envision a future that is so bleak and hopeless.
  12. LinL
    Jun 13, 2009
    1
    Rereading the critics' comments that initially led me to view this movie, I'm stunned. Though I watch a lot of foreign films and have a high tolerance for subtitles, subtext, and symbolic weirdness, I have to say this is the most boring film I've ever seen. A few nice visuals don't come close to making up for the clueless characters, scant dialogue, and the fact that Rereading the critics' comments that initially led me to view this movie, I'm stunned. Though I watch a lot of foreign films and have a high tolerance for subtitles, subtext, and symbolic weirdness, I have to say this is the most boring film I've ever seen. A few nice visuals don't come close to making up for the clueless characters, scant dialogue, and the fact that virtually nothing happens in any of the vignettes. I've never felt such disconnect from the critics, including some of my favorites! Expand

Awards & Rankings

Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. 80
    In these three potent miniatures, Hou Hsiao-hsien suggests that time passes differently when you're deeply in love. He captures the mystical quality of that time on film, making us feel as if we're living in it, rather than simply watching it.
  2. Three Times offers a careful examination of the changing ways people have reacted to each other during the past 100 years. As such, it's an interesting essay but certainly a minor work from a master.
  3. The film's trouble is in what happens in each section: not enough. Once the atmosphere of each period is established, the story is too weak to interest--and the characterizations are too thin to compensate.