Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

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  • Summary: Hou Hsiao-hsien delivers one of the most rapturously beautiful and romantic movies of the year. Told as three love stories, each set in a different era -- a 1966 pool hall, a 1911 brothel and present day Taipei. The film stars the same actors in all three sections -- Shu Qi and Chang Chen. (IFC Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. The style is pure Hou: richly textured atmosphere, tiptoeing camerawork and long, languorous takes of scenes full of privileged moments of human activity.
  2. Reviewed by: G. Allen Johnson
    One of the best films of the year.
  3. 100
    Three varieties of love: unfulfilled, mercenary, meaningless. All photographed with such visual beauty that watching the movie is like holding your breath so the butterfly won’t stir.
  4. Taiwanese director Hou Hsiao-hsien's hypnotically beautiful cinematic trilogy Three Times doesn't just illuminate faces and objects; it seems to fill them up, as if they were lighted from within.
  5. 75
    Anchored by the performance of Shu Qi, who has come a long way from her days as a nudie pin-up. She's a first-rate actress.
  6. 75
    A sampler of novella-length films set in three different time periods and starring the same two actors, Hou Hsiao-hsien's Three Times resembles one of those delicate trios served at fine restaurants, each a fresh interpretation of a common ingredient.
  7. The first section of Three Times is fabulous; the second is fascinating if remote; and the third a jangly, modernist mess.

See all 22 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 12
  2. Negative: 6 out of 12
  1. JV
    Oct 23, 2006
    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
  2. TNgo
    Jul 3, 2006
    Simply beautiful trilogy of vignettes about individuals yearning for love and freedom!
  3. HenryV.
    Apr 8, 2007
    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. Expand
  4. MarcK.
    Nov 3, 2006
    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. Expand
  5. JimH.
    May 28, 2006
    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. Expand
  6. LinL
    Jun 13, 2009
    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
  7. JonathanH.
    Jun 11, 2006
    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 Expand

See all 12 User Reviews