Yimou Zhang Moviesby jackallen-67055 | created - 08 Aug 2017 | updated - 08 Aug 2017 | Public
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1. Red Sorghum (1987)
Not Rated | 91 min | Drama, History, Romance
When a leprous winery owner in 1930s China dies a few days after his arranged marriage, his young widow is forced to run the winery to make a living while contending with bandits, her drunkard lover, and the invading Japanese army.
There is a strength in the simplicity of this story, in the almost fairy-tale quality of its images and the shocking suddenness of its violence, that Hollywood in its sophistication has lost.
3. Ju Dou (1990)
PG-13 | 95 min | Drama, Romance
A woman married to the brutal and infertile owner of a dye mill in rural China conceives a boy with her husband's nephew but is forced to raise her son as her husband's heir without ... See full summary »
Votes: 6,935 | Gross: $1.99M
The film appealed to me for two reasons. First, because of its unabashed, lurid melodrama, in which the days are filled with scheming and the nights with passion and violence. Second, because of its visual beauty.
4. Raise the Red Lantern (1991)
PG | 125 min | Drama, History, Romance
A young woman becomes the fourth wife of a wealthy lord, and must learn to live with the strict rules and tensions within the household.
Votes: 26,771 | Gross: $2.60M
A Chinese film of voluptuous physical beauty and angry passions.
5. The Story of Qiu Ju (1992)
PG | 100 min | Comedy, Drama
A pregnant peasant woman seeks redress from the Chinese bureaucracy after the village chief kicks her husband in the groin in this comedy of justice. As she is frustrated by each level of ... See full summary »
Votes: 5,008 | Gross: $1.89M
This simple, repetetive tale has a mesmerizing quality able to hook audiences from beginning to end.
6. A Soul Haunted by Painting (1994)
130 min | Biography, Drama, Romance
At the beginning of the twentieth century, Yu-liang leaves a brothel in a small Chinese town, to become the second wife of Mr. Pan. While Pan is away at the revolution in Yunnan, Yu-liang ... See full summary »
7. To Live (1994)
Not Rated | 133 min | Drama, War
After Fugui and Jiazhen lose their personal fortunes, they raise a family and survive difficult cultural changes during 1940s to 1970s China.
Votes: 14,461 | Gross: $2.33M
"To Live" is a simple title, but it conceals a universe.
8. Shanghai Triad (1995)
R | 108 min | Crime, Drama, History
A provincial boy related to a Shanghai crime family is recruited by his uncle into cosmopolitan Shanghai in the 1930s to be a servant to a ganglord's mistress.
Votes: 4,849 | Gross: $2.30M
Shanghai Triad concludes the sublime seven-movie collaboration of Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou and actress Gong Li with a bang worthy of the most jubilant New Year's Eve.
9. Keep Cool (1997)
93 min | Comedy
A spurned lover seeks a rich man for revenge. A random onlooker -- who witnessed the public assault committed by the rich man against the lover -- seeks for monetary compensation for his ... See full summary »
10. Not One Less (1999)
G | 106 min | Drama
In a remote mountain village, the teacher must leave for a month, and the mayor can find only a 13-year old girl, Wei Minzhi, to substitute. The teacher leaves one stick of chalk for each ... See full summary »
Votes: 7,766 | Gross: $0.59M
For Chinese viewers, this film will play as a human drama. For Western viewers, there's almost equal interest at the edges of the screen, in the background, in the locations and incidental details that show daily life in today's China.
11. The Road Home (1999)
G | 89 min | Drama, History, Romance
Prompted by the death of his father and the grief of his mother, a man recalls the story of how they met in flashback.
Votes: 11,763 | Gross: $1.28M
Beautifully filmed, The Road Home is a simple touching and tender love story.
12. Happy Times (2000)
PG | 102 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Zhao is an aging bachelor who hasn't been lucky in love. Thinking he has finally met the woman of his dreams, Zhao leads her to believe he is wealthy and agrees to a wedding far beyond his ... See full summary »
Votes: 3,740 | Gross: $0.24M
One of Zhang's smaller films, Happy Times is nevertheless moving and bittersweet.
13. Hero (2002)
PG-13 | 107 min | Action, Adventure, History
A defense officer, Nameless, was summoned by the King of Qin regarding his success of terminating three warriors.
Votes: 167,321 | Gross: $53.71M
With death-defying action sequences and epic historic sweep, Hero offers everything a martial arts fan could ask for.
14. House of Flying Daggers (2004)
PG-13 | 119 min | Action, Adventure, Drama
A romantic police captain breaks a beautiful member of a rebel group out of prison to help her rejoin her fellows, but things are not what they seem.
Votes: 103,157 | Gross: $11.05M
The visual splendor of the movie makes up for the weak story.
15. Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles (2005)
PG | 107 min | Drama
A Japanese father travels to China's Yunnan province in the place of his ailing son to film a famous folk-opera star.
Votes: 4,675 | Gross: $0.25M
Doesn't reach the heights of Zhang Yimou's best, but this is still a heartwarming tale of love and forgiveness from the acclaimed Chinese director.
16. Curse of the Golden Flower (2006)
R | 114 min | Action, Drama, Romance
During China's Tang dynasty the emperor has taken the princess of a neighboring province as wife. She has borne him two sons and raised his eldest. Now his control over his dominion is complete, including the royal family itself.
Votes: 40,553 | Gross: $6.57M
Melodrama, swordplay, and CG armies -- fans of martial arts epic will get what they bargain for, though the baroque art direction can be both mesmerizing and exhaustively excessive.
17. To Each His Own Cinema (2007)
100 min | Comedy, Drama
A collective film of 33 shorts directed by different directors about their feeling about Cinema.
Directors: Theodoros Angelopoulos, Olivier Assayas, Bille August, Jane Campion, Youssef Chahine, Kaige Chen, Michael Cimino, Ethan Coen, Joel Coen, David Cronenberg, Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Manoel de Oliveira, Raymond Depardon, Atom Egoyan, Amos Gitai, Hsiao-Hsien Hou, Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Aki Kaurismäki, Abbas Kiarostami, Takeshi Kitano, Andrey Konchalovskiy, Claude Lelouch, Ken Loach, David Lynch, Nanni Moretti, Roman Polanski, Raoul Ruiz, Walter Salles, Elia Suleiman, Ming-liang Tsai, Gus Van Sant, Lars von Trier, Wim Wenders, Kar-Wai Wong, Yimou Zhang | Stars: Isabelle Adjani, Pegah Ahangarani, Anouk Aimée, Leonid Alexeenko
Cumulatively, the films are laced with nostalgia for a time when cinema represented the shock of the new.
19. A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop (2009)
R | 95 min | Comedy, Drama
The owner of a Chinese noodle shop's scheme to murder his adulterous wife and her lover goes awry.
Votes: 2,803 | Gross: $0.19M
There are lots of vertiginous high angles and sweeping wide-screen vistas, but they never congeal into a compelling atmosphere.
20. Under the Hawthorn Tree (2010)
114 min | Drama, Romance
Romance sparks between a young woman and a young man from different economic backgrounds during China's Cultural Revolution of the 1960s and '70s.
[Zhang Yimou] delivers between flashy epics, this tender, understated romancer touches the heart with a disarming, almost stealthy sweetness.
21. The Flowers of War (2011)
R | 146 min | Drama, History, Romance
An American finds refuge during the 1937 Japanese invasion of Nanking in a church with a group of women. Posing as a priest, he attempts to lead the women to safety.
Votes: 46,260 | Gross: $0.01M
A third of a million may be dead, but for our purposes, all depends on the survival of these young women, and the redemption of the alcoholic American. Do you get my drift?
22. Coming Home (2014)
PG-13 | 109 min | Drama, Romance
Lu and Feng are a devoted couple forced to separate when Lu is arrested and sent to a labor camp as a political prisoner during the Cultural Revolution. He finally returns home only to find that his beloved wife no longer recognizes him.
Votes: 4,724 | Gross: $0.38M
The rare tearjerking melodrama with sociopolitical subtext, Coming Home plucks the heartstrings with thought-provoking power.
23. The Great Wall (I) (2016)
PG-13 | 103 min | Action, Adventure, Fantasy
In ancient China, a group of European mercenaries encounters a secret army that maintains and defends the Great Wall of China against a horde of monstrous creatures.
Votes: 113,983 | Gross: $45.54M
For a Yimou Zhang film featuring Matt Damon and Willem Dafoe battling ancient monsters, The Great Wall is neither as exciting nor as entertainingly bonkers as one might hope.