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

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 30,022 users   Metascore: 73/100
Reviews: 98 user | 156 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.).

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Title: Red Cliff (2008)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Zhou Yu (as Tony Leung)
...
Fengyi Zhang ...
...
...
Jun Hu ...
...
Gan Xing (as Shidou Nakamura)
...
Xiao Qiao (as Chi-Ling Lin)
Yong You ...
Yong Hou ...
...
Jia Song ...
Ba Sen Zha Bu ...
Jinsheng Zang ...
Shan Zhang ...
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

The future will be decided. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Language:

Release Date:

10 July 2008 (China)  »

Also Known As:

Red Cliff  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

CNY 553,632,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$13,104 (USA) (20 November 2009)

Gross:

$626,809 (USA) (26 March 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(PG)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

John Woo's first Chinese film since 1992. See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

[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 ...
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Connections

Referenced in Movie Friends - Eine Videothek stellt sich vor (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Visually stunning but too short
19 June 2009 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The Battle of Red Cliffs holds a special place in Chinese history and mythology. It was a decisive conflict which occurred at the end of the Han Dynasty, immediately prior to the period of the Three Kingdoms, and it was fought in the winter of 208/209 between the allied forces of the southern warlords Liu Bei and Sun Quan and the numerically superior forces of the northern warlord Cao Cao.

The 2008 film, titled simply "Red Cliff", was deliberately timed for release in China in the lead up to the 2008 Summer Olympics and was a great success with Chinese audiences. One year later, the movie has a limited release in the West where the selling point is not so much the history (which is largely unknown outside China) as the director (Hong Kong's John Woo who is known for such Hollywood work as "Broken Arrow", "Face/Off" and "Mission: Impossible 2").

It has to be said that the Mandarin dialogue is leaden and much of the acting somewhat exaggerated, but a huge cast and considerable special effects - allied with the director's trademark style - makes the movie visually stunning with clever tactical manoeuvres, multiple battle scenes and considerable blood.

If it all seems a little confused to Western audiences, this is probably because we are seeing it in a rather different version to the original. In Asia, "Red Cliff" was released in two parts, totalling over four hours in length, whereas outside of Asia, the release is a single film of 'only' two and a half hours. For me, it's not up there with "Hero" or "House of Flying Daggers" but it is well-worth seeing and a pictorial treat.


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