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Hong Kong, China · 2011
Rated R · 2h 11m
Director Benny Chan
Starring Andy Lau, Nicholas Tse, Fan Bingbing, Jackie Chan
Genre Action, Drama

In 1920s China, a warlord finds himself in danger after a betrayal. He seeks refuge in the Shaolin monastery, where he learns about both martial arts and spirituality. His path to redemption sends him on a collision course with his formal protégé, who lays siege to Shaolin.

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Variety by

Well-mounted Chinese-Hong Kong martial-arts co-production Shaolin elevates enlightenment above brute strength, but weak helming undercuts the pic's punch.


Slant Magazine by Andrew Schenker

Only Jackie Chan, in a comedic supporting role as a Zen-trained cook who applies his culinary techniques on the battlefield (he "stir-fries" one enemy in a giant pot and "kneads" another like dough), provides any measure of relief.


New York Daily News by David Hinckley

Jackie Chan's cameo as a monastery cook is a tiny joy. To see Chan use his once-great physical skill on a hunk of bread dough is to see a giant work in miniature.


Time Out by Keith Uhlich

Fists fly furiously and much blood is spilled; there's a sacrifice via sword that's both cringe-inducing and cheerworthy. Even special guest star Jackie Chan gets in on the fun with a hilarious bit of food-jitsu. It's almost enough to make you forget that this entertainingly hollow film is populated entirely with toy soldiers.


Village Voice by Nick Pinkerton

This crude, overlong chunk of kung-fu kitsch lays its scene in a 1920s Republican China, torn by internecine fighting and weighed down by drably expensive production design.


The New York Times by Rachel Saltz

If the movie feels old-school (with new-school production values), consider its pedigree. It's no wonder: Shaolin is a reimagining of the 1982 "Shaolin Temple," in which Jet Li made his debut.


New York Post by V.A. Musetto

This new movie features stylishly filmed and choreographed battles. But in between the set pieces is a lot of sentimental blather that slows down the film. More action, less talk should be the order of the day, but it isn't.

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