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Curse of the Golden Flower(滿城盡帶黃金甲)

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China, Hong Kong · 2006
Rated R · 1h 54m
Director Zhang Yimou
Starring Chow Yun-Fat, Gong Li, Jay Chou, Liu Ye
Genre Action, Drama, Fantasy

The estranged Emperor and Empress of the Tang Dynasty attempt to retain power as secret affairs and assassination attempts threaten the stability of their empire.

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Village Voice by

Like his "Hero" and "House of Flying Daggers," Zhang Yimou's third global-market gigaproduction makes little sense in narrative terms even after two screenings, but the sets, costumes, and cinematography are so intoxicating that it doesn't much matter.


L.A. Weekly by David Chute

In the end, Curse also looks alarmingly like a dry run for the opening and closing ceremonies Zhang has been hired to direct for the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.


The New York Times by Jeannette Catsoulis

Since his debut in 1987 with "Red Sorghum" Mr. Zhang has made more controlled films but never one that's more fun. With Curse of the Golden Flower he aims for Shakespeare and winds up with Jacqueline Susann. And a good thing too.


Chicago Tribune by Michael Wilmington

It's a work by cinematic geniuses that reveals beauty and terror in a long-ago time with a virtuoso intensity. You won't soon forget its mad, lovely sights and sounds.


Film Threat by Phil Hall

Zhang Yimou is seriously off his game with the utterly ridiculous Curse of the Golden Flower, a new epic that feels like "Hero" meets "The Lion in Winter" meets "Peyton Place." The film is worthless as a serious work of art, but it may offer the jaded viewer a surplus source of MST3K-inspired wisecracks.


Time by Richard Corliss

This is high, and high-wire, melodrama. It's less soap opera than grand opera, where matters of love and death are played at a perfect fever pitch. And grand this Golden Flower is.


Variety by Robert Koehler

Zhang Yimou's strangest and most troubled film, abounds in hysterical, mannered Tang Dynasty-era palace intrigue and dehumanized CGI battle sequences.


Seattle Post-Intelligencer by Sean Axmaker

It's more theatrical pageant than action movie, with the showy but rudimentary martial-arts action coming off like just another ritual with the players going through the motions.

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