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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 34,857 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 104 user | 157 critic | 22 from

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


Destiny lies in the wind. 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
See  »

Did You Know?


During post-production, a 23-year-old stuntman was killed when fire broke out after a small boat rammed into a larger warship, while filming miniatures. See more »


When Zhou Yu is receiving treatment for his arrow wound, his chest is covered in blood. The next shot, the blood is gone, without anyone wiping it away. 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 »


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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Stunning Historical Epic
12 August 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This review is of the Chinese DVD Release of the 1st film only... I cannot understand how the previous poster could feel that way about this gorgeous epic. Everything they said they hated were things I thought were well done, and wonderful about the film. Of all the people I've shared this DVD with, they've all thought it was an amazing movie also.

Ever camera shot was gorgeous. The angles were unique, without wasted punch-ins or b-roll. It's rare to find films so tastefully shot. The color was stunning, and the interpretation of the classic tale was unique and never disappointing.

Meanwhile, With all the characters, the actors each held such a powerful presence. It's very tough to develop any character singularly while you have so many important characters with their own mythos and chronicles, but each actor really held up to their image and that of the character. Kaneshiro is a very unique version of Zhuge which caught me off guard at first, but appreciated after his scene w/ the Zhou Yu. Zhou Yu was never a character I've cared for, but here, he's likable and strong. The best "fresh" interpretation though was that of Guan Yu. Instead of being "just another" honourable and strong warrior, he's rather a warrior-scholar, more intelligent, and more personality than ever before.

My only true quarrel is that it ends prematurely (that is, until we see the 2nd half in 2009). I just wish they could have done the whole saga instead of this little piece.

Thank you John Woo for one of the finest Three Kingdom movies ever! I believe this is a great direction for your talents! You've woven the action you're so famous for with a deep, heartfelt classic tale! Wonderful job!

80 of 117 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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