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Red Cliff (2008)
"Chi bi" (original title)

R  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  4 December 2009 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 35,193 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 104 user | 157 critic | 22 from Metacritic.com

The first chapter of a two-part story centered on a battle fought in China's Three Kingdoms period (220-280 A.D.).



(screenplay), (screenplay) (as Chan Khan) , 3 more credits »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Zhou Yu (as Tony Leung)
Gan Xing (as Shidou Nakamura)
Xiao Qiao (as Chi-Ling Lin)
Yong You ...
Yong Hou ...
Dawei Tong ...
Jia Song ...
Ba Sen Zha Bu ...
Jinsheng Zang ...
Shan Zhang ...


In 208 A.D., in the final days of the Han Dynasty, shrewd Prime Minster Cao Cao convinced the fickle Emperor Han the only way to unite all of China was to declare war on the kingdoms of Xu in the west and East Wu in the south. Thus began a military campaign of unprecedented scale, led by the Prime Minister, himself. Left with no other hope for survival, the kingdoms of Xu and East Wu formed an unlikely alliance. Numerous battles of strength and wit ensued, both on land and on water, eventually culminating in the battle of Red Cliff. During the battle, two thousand ships were burned, and the course of Chinese history was changed forever. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The future will be decided. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sequences of epic warfare | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




Release Date:

4 December 2009 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Red Cliff  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


CNY 553,632,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

£153,288 (UK) (12 June 2009)


$626,809 (USA) (26 March 2010)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


John Woo:  [Two Guns]  In this case, it was two swords, as the movie takes place in 208 A.D. Zhou Yu and Prime Minister Cao Cao each hold a sword to the others throat in John Woo's trademark "Mexican Standoff" image. See more »


A sleeping baby is shown with blood spattered on his face in one shot, and in the next shot his face is completely clean. See more »


[first lines]
Narrator: The year is 208 AD. After years of civil war, a deathly calm has fallen of northern China. One by one, the rebel warlords have met their end under the sword of Prime Minister Cao Cao. Now, even the Han Emperor bows before his power. Yet from the south, a challenge is heard. Two leaders arise against Cao Cao's tyranny, the aging Liu Bei, and the inexperienced Sun Quan. So Cao Cao petitions the Emperor to brand these men as traitors, and declare a new war against the peaceful ...
See more »


Version of The Romance of Three Kingdoms (1995) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Art Of War Vs. The Art Of Tea
13 December 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

After several years away from Hong Kong (and mainland China,as well), John Woo has returned,with a vengeance,to direct perhaps one of the finest films of his career. 'Chi bi' (or as it is being distributed in English speaking countries as 'Red Cliff')tells the tale of two warlords locked in battle mode for the control of the south of China, in the fourteenth century,during the Han dynasty. Tony Leung Chiu Wau stars as Zhou Yu,while Fengyi Zhang just absolutely reeks of bad guy as war lord,Cao Cao. The rest of the cast turn in outstanding acting jobs,as well. Originally,this film was released in Asia as a two part,five hour blockbuster that went through the roof as one of the most successful films from mainland China (but is cut by half it's original running time to just under 150 minutes). Along the way,we are witness to several full pitched battle scenes,but features some nice locale shots of the Chinese countryside,as well during the non battle scenes (filmed in wide screen by Yue Lu & Li Zhang). The razor sharp editing is by Hongyu Yang,with assistance by Angie Lam & Robert Ferretti,for the American version). This is taut,nail biting entertainment for the thinking person who is sick to death of most of what passes for films from the Hollywood sausage grinder of the same old,same old. Spoken in Mandarin with English subtitles. Rated 'R' by the MPAA,this film serves up some fierce, intense battle scenes,with graphic bloody violence,as well as some mild adult situations.

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