• Released
  • September 2, 2011
  • PG-13 , 2 hr 2 min
  • Action/Adventure
    Art House/Foreign
Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame Synopsis
China's future empress releases an imprisoned detective to solve the fiery deaths of two courtiers.
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Movie Reviews

Critic Ratings


The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

By Stephen Cole
Detective Dee is the action flick of the year, a two-hour epic that blows the "Pirates of the Caribbean" to the Bermuda Triangle.
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Wall Street Journal

By John Anderson
The pulp-fictional hero is inhabited by the charismatic Andy Lau who, together with Chinese stars Bingbing Li, Ms. Lau and Tony Leung...
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Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
On the basis of its scale, energy and magical events, this is the Hong Kong equivalent of a big-budget Hollywood blockbuster. But it...
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By Stephanie Zacharek
I've seen Detective Dee twice now, and I still don't think I've taken the full measure of the visual nuttiness, and lushness, Tsui has...
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Slant Magazine

By Simon Abrams
Hark's new film is a consummately bizarre crowd-pleaser that throws everything at the viewer from makeshift plastic surgery by acupuncture...
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The Hollywood Reporter

Although it lacks the historical aura of classic Chinese wuxia backdrops, James Chiu's post-"Avatar" production design is memorably...
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Boston Globe

By Mark Feeney
It's slambang in pacing, bald in exposition, and offers cast-of-hundreds spectacle.
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New York Daily News

By Elizabeth Weitzman
To maximize your entertainment budget, look no further.
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New York Post

By V.A. Musetto
All this is loads of fun, but after a while sensory overload sets in, dulling the mind. Even in a kung-fu flick, more isn't always better.
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San Francisco Chronicle

Pure escapist hokum, with action choreography by Sammo Hung, but I sure miss that old-school wire work.
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By entropicangel42
One review called this movie a cross between Guy Ritchie's Sherlock Holmes and Ang Lee's Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon. The comparison is apt. The martial arts here are over the top and amazing, and...

Action-packed foreign fun

By 2z2
Not expecting much, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality action sequences (orchestrated by the great Sammo Hung) and the general atmosphere of the film. The music was complementary throughout and...

Very pleasantly distracting

By pppasolini
I used to go to the Chinese movie theaters on Bowery before Bowery became JAHEHIM (just another high end haven in manhattan). I saw some fabulous films, both serious historical-action and modern...

Flights of Fanciful Fancy

By jshatan
This is a gorgeous & quirky tale that is perfect for adventure and fantasy lovers from about 10 years old and up. Tsui Hark brings his painterly eye to a detective tale set in 7th Century China, and...

Detective Dee

By captain_eo
This was a great movie. I really liked it. It had a good story, and a lot of action. Even if you don't read the subtitles, you will still be able to know what is going on. I watch a lot of anime, so...

engaging plot and great fight scenes.

By namelynorm

Just go!

By Bobster427
The quote "CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON meets Sherlock Holmes" doesn't do it justice....

Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame review

By matthewst
The trailer looks SO amazing, right? Well the movie totally lives up to it! The effects are awesome and the kung fu scenes alone made my ticket worth the money....

Incredible action epic!


Great I say

By Joissa
Amazing! Spectacular.......

More Info

Rated PG-13 | For disturbing images, violence and some sexuality