Critic Reviews



Based on 32 critic reviews provided by
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.
Chicago Tribune
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.
A period spectacle, steeped in awesome splendor and lethal palace intrigue, it climaxes in a stupendous battle scene and epic tragedy.
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.
Exhaustingly action-packed.
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.
Village Voice
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.
Zhang Yimou's strangest and most troubled film, abounds in hysterical, mannered Tang Dynasty-era palace intrigue and dehumanized CGI battle sequences.
L.A. Weekly
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.
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.

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