Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 16
  2. Negative: 1 out of 16

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Critic Reviews

  1. Epic in scope but intimate in theme, The Warlordsheaves with spectacular battles and the relentless sway of self-interest over conscience.
  2. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    It's a surprisingly nuanced and sober tale of brotherhood and betrayal.
  3. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    The guy story is so strong that conventional romantic interludes with the woman torn between two men could easily have been dropped.
  4. After a career excelling in highbrow urban romances, Hong Kong director Peter Chan ("Perhaps Love") earns his spurs in his march into war epic territory.
  5. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    Laden with gritty action, but with an emotional undertow that carries the drama even through its weaker moments, picture reps a strong comeback by Hong Kong helmer-producer Peter Chan.
  6. 80
    Chan's old-fashioned, highly watchable mega-production comes complete with God's-eye surveys of mass carnage, the moist sounds of sword-skewering, and little or no discernible CGI.
  7. Like the best war movies do, director Peter Ho-Sun Chan has woven together an intimate story of men against a backdrop of history writ large.
  8. 75
    The Warlords relies too much on combat movie clichés and corny sentiment, weighted down by speeches about heroism and hypocrisy.
  9. Fans of this film will some day wear out their DVDs and Blu-rays playing that fantastic battle scene again and again.
  10. The Warlords, ultimately, tries to speak to the futility of war - but it does so by staging one gargantuan dustup after another.
  11. 70
    Though less splashy than "Red Cliff," or for that matter "Hero," or even "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," the picture nonetheless embraces a classic melodramatic approach to an otherwise familiar Ching Dynasty tale, delivering one of the most bracing Asian period films in many years.
  12. 63
    It’s all lavish, if disposable. But in a nifty change of pace, the warriors in The Warlords are interesting.
  13. The film lurches through narrative incidents: Battle scenes, political intrigue and a ticking-time-bomb love triangle are all pitched at the level of mundane competence and rarely get the blood racing.
  14. The scope of director Peter Chan's military drama is impressive, though this sometimes-rousing depiction of strategy and loyalty in mid-1800s China pales next to recent, similar historical epics like "Red Cliff" and "Mongol."
  15. There's a visceral, albeit somewhat goofy, satisfaction to this stuff.
  16. 38
    Is nothing sacred? In the schizophrenic war epic The War lords, Jet Li, the hunky action hero, cries -- no, make that sobs -- several times. What will his legion of young male fans think?
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 21 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Jun 20, 2015
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. The Warlords isn't a bad movie. Is a great one? Does it stack up to Jet Li's other epics like Hero and Fearless? Sadly, no. The main downfall to this movie is overly political and confusing final act. People start dying, you wonder why and it is all over in a blur.

    What this movie does well though, is the scenes of warfare. These superbly shot and fun to watch.

    I cautiously recommend the Warlords.
    Full Review »
  2. Apr 11, 2011
    This movie was epic. Not in the over-used sense of the word, but in the true and honest meaning. It has everything you would look for in aThis movie was epic. Not in the over-used sense of the word, but in the true and honest meaning. It has everything you would look for in a movie of this genre, with awe inspiring fight scenes and Jet Li doing his thing as always, but it isn't just another The Last Samurai in china. There is much deeper and though provoking plot that never has you saying "knew that was coming". The score, while sometimes ripped straight from Zimmer's Samurai score, fits in perfectly. The only negative comment I could make was some choppy transitions from act to act, but as long as you are not watching this while multi-tasking, the left out details allow you to speculate, and think about where the plot is going and how you are reacting to it, not unlike a good novel. Full Review »