7.4/10
43,193
117 user 167 critic

Red Cliff (2008)

Chi bi (original title)
Trailer
2:14 | Trailer
The first chapter of a two-part story centered on a battle fought in China's Three Kingdoms period (220-280 A.D.).

Director:

John Woo

Writers:

John Woo (screenplay), Khan Chan (screenplay) (as Chan Khan) | 3 more credits »
14 wins & 44 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tony Chiu-Wai Leung ... Zhou Yu (as Tony Leung)
Takeshi Kaneshiro ... Zhuge Liang
Fengyi Zhang ... Cao Cao
Chen Chang ... Sun Quan
Wei Zhao ... Sun Shangxiang
Jun Hu ... Zhao Yun
Shidô Nakamura ... Gan Xing (as Shidou Nakamura)
Chi-Ling Lin ... Xiao Qiao
Yong You Yong You ... Liu Bei
Yong Hou Yong Hou ... Lu Su
Dawei Tong ... Sun Shucai
Jia Song ... Li Ji
Baasanjav Mijid Baasanjav Mijid ... Guan Yu
Jinsheng Zang Jinsheng Zang ... Zhang Fei
Shan Zhang Shan Zhang ... Huang Gai
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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:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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 »

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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Alternate Versions

For the UK theatrical release, cuts were required to remove a shot of a cruel and dangerous horse fall (a horse being tripped and falling forward, rolling over on its neck). The cuts were required in accordance with the Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act 1937. See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Heart, War
Music by Tarô Iwashiro
Lyrics by Francis Lee
Performed by Alan
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User Reviews

Visually stunning but too short
19 June 2009 | by rogerdarlingtonSee 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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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

China | Hong Kong | Japan | Taiwan | South Korea | USA

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

4 December 2009 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Red Cliff See more »

Filming Locations:

Beijing, China See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

CNY553,632,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,104, 22 November 2009

Gross USA:

$627,047

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$129,710,514
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (PG)

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

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