6.7/10
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23 user 131 critic

Black Coal, Thin Ice (2014)

Bai ri yan huo (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Mystery, Thriller | 21 March 2014 (China)
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An ex cop and his ex partner decide to follow up on investigation of a series of murders that ended their careers and shamed them, when identical murders begin again.

Director:

Yi'nan Diao

Writer:

Yi'nan Diao
21 wins & 39 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Fan Liao ... Zhang Zili
Lun-Mei Kwei ... Wu Zhizhen
Xuebing Wang ... Liang Zhijun
Jingchun Wang ... Rong Rong
Ailei Yu Ailei Yu ... Captain Wang
Jingyang Ni Jingyang Ni ... Su Lijuan
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Storyline

An ex cop and his ex partner decide to follow up on investigation of a series of murders that ended their careers and shamed them, when identical murders begin again.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Nobody is untraceable. Answers want to be found. Bet on your life to win back love.


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

China

Language:

Mandarin

Release Date:

21 March 2014 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

Black Coal See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Trivia

The first cut was 210 minutes long. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Black Coal, Thin Ice
29 July 2015 | by ArgemalucoSee all my reviews

I have seen various Chinese films (specially during the '90s, the golden age of Hong Kong), but I think Black Coal, Thin Ice is the first (from what I have seen) genuinely Chinese movie, because it embraces the national idiosyncrasy and offers us a revealing look to the culture of that country. Black Coal, Thin Ice is also an excellent thriller on its own right. Its screenplay employs many elements of classic noir: the failed detective, a confusing but vaguely logical mystery and the obligatory femme fatale who might be guilty of the crimes or an innocent victim of circumstances. However, director and screenwriter Yi'nan Diao filters those components through his particular sensibility, and the result is so natural that it borders on the prosaic. For example, near the beginning of the film, there is a very short shootout, shot almost with apathy... the camera is midway and it barely moves; but the impact of the scene is tremendous, manifesting the easiness with which tragedy can come, completely lacking of the artifice and ornaments we see in many Hollywood films. This doesn't mean that Black Coal, Thin Ice feels flat or superficial. The "anti-style" of the scenes and their minimalistic aesthetic is obviously intentional, highlighting the characters' opaque lives and the bleak social setting of poverty and corruption, in which dignity and "political correction" are almost inexistent. And all that is framed by a grey wintry atmosphere, ready to trample human spirit even more. In conclusion, Black Coal, Thin Ice is an innovative and fascinating interpretation of contemporary neo-noir, deceiving us with false clues, obfuscating our perception and saving the revelations for an ending which is as austere and enigmatic as the rest of the film. Black Coal, Thin Ice might not be everyone's cup of tea, but whoever is willing to face the challenge of watching something new and unusual will surely appreciate Diao's intention and his strange ordinary/dreamlike style.


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