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Black Coal, Thin Ice(白日焰火)

✭ ✭ ✭ ✭   Read critic reviews

China · 2014
1h 46m
Director Diao Yi'nan
Starring Liao Fan, Kwai Lun-Mei, Wang Xuebing, Wang Jingchun
Genre Crime, Drama, Mystery, Thriller

Two former cops return their attention to the series of murders that ended their careers after similar killings begin again. But what do skating rinks and coal shipments have to do with it? A neo-noir exploring the serpentine city, its neon lights, and its coal-black heart.

Stream Black Coal, Thin Ice

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What are critics saying?


CineVue by

Black Coal, Thin Ice is a majestic neo-noir.


The Hollywood Reporter by Deborah Young

If the plotting was only more coherent and audience-friendly and the story-telling more disciplined, the film's extraordinarily complex atmosphere would be irresistible.


The Playlist by Jessica Kiang

The odd rhythm of very fast and slick followed by very slow and arty is difficult to settle into, and the film ultimately frustrates, willfully obscuring the apparatus of what appears at first to be a promising film noir framework.


Variety by Scott Foundas

A bleak but powerful, carefully controlled detective thriller in which — as with all the best noirs — there are no real heroes or villains, only various states of compromise.


The Telegraph by Tim Robey

If Diao’s intent on confounding us, he has the courtesy to do it with frequently astonishing style and verve.

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