75

New York Observer

By Rex Reed
It's a special film of sacrifice, redemption and hope in the shadow of a holocaust that packs an emotional wallop from which there is no escape. I can't get it out of my thoughts, and I recommend it highly.
Full Review
75

Movieline

Bale's presence in the film is a kind of misdirect, a calculated element intended to better its international commercial prospects -- his character makes a clumsily predictable journey from cynical drunken expat to hero willing to sacrifice a chance to escape the country in order to care for the children who've ended up in his charge.
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63

Boston Globe

By Wesley Morris
The Flowers of War is the latest movie focused on the Nanking atrocities. Lu Chuan's "City of Life and Death'' was released in the United States last year and presented a far greater, grimmer, and more punishing re-creation of the sacking.
Full Review
63

New Orleans Times-Picayune

By Mike Scott
That's not to say it's a bad film, necessarily. It's just not as good as it could have -- and should have -- been.
Full Review
50

San Francisco Chronicle

By Walter Addiego
Affecting at times, but finally feels overblown and heavy-handed.
Full Review
50

The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

By Liam Lacey
While Bale speaks in an anachronistically modern American vernacular, the Chinese cast recite grammatically perfect, phonetic English so stilted you find yourself wishing the film would stick to subtitles. This is not so much a question of a story being lost in translation as a movie that never finds the right story to tell.
Full Review
50

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
Now let me ask you: Can you think of any reason the character John Miller is needed to tell his story? Was any consideration given to the possibility of a Chinese priest? Would that be asking for too much?
Full Review
50

Chicago Tribune

When it comes to storytelling, Zhang Yimou's 19th feature is decidedly backward-looking: A lavish period weepie set against the atrocities of the Nanking Massacre, "Flowers" abounds with well-worn movie archetypes and slathers on schmaltz.
Full Review
40

New York Daily News

By Elizabeth Weitzman
The biggest problem, however, is the way Zhang romanticizes the unimaginably awful, turning gold-hearted prostitutes and virginal orphans into cinematic martyrs. Though his talents are vast, there may be too much truth in this particular story to suit his extravagant tastes.
Full Review
30

The Hollywood Reporter

By Todd McCarthy
It's something you'd think only the crassest of Hollywood producers would come up with - injecting sex appeal into an event as ghastly at the Nanjing massacre - but it's an element central to The Flowers of War, a contrived and unpersuasive look at an oft-dramatized historical moment.
Full Review
46 out of 100
Mixed or average reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.