(2018)

Critic Reviews

81

Metascore

Based on 25 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
A martial-arts movie landmark, as strong in its performances as it is spectacularly novel in its violence.
91
This is a filmmaker in total command of every visual element — his compositions more compelling than ever, the production design almost verging on steampunk, and a special mention has to go to the extraordinary costumes — but it doesn’t feel stifling or precious either.
90
The real star of the show here is the strikingly gorgeous, often almost bi-chrome visual universe, inspired by the tai chi diagram — more commonly known in the West as yin-and-yang symbol — and traditional ink-brush painting, with its distinct combination of rich blacks and fluid shades of gray.
90
Every supremely controlled stylistic element of Zhang Yimou’s breathtakingly beautiful Shadow is an echo of another, a motif repeated, a pattern recurring in a fractionally different way each time.
83
Shadow brings heart and spectacle together, and the result is a bombastic martial arts wuxia replete with duels of breath-taking beauty that will please longtime Zhang acolytes and newbies alike.
80
After the disappointing martial-monster mash-up of The Great Wall, this represents a return to the majesty and emotional finesse of Hero and House of Flying Daggers.
80
Shadow is a sumptuous sensory feast filled with spectacle, surprise, and madness.
80
Mr. Zhang’s film is elegant fun. Along with all the ying-yangery, there’s the governing concept of movies as entertainment.
75
The scales ultimately tip slightly in favor of style, but when that style is this gorgeous, remembering a movie for the way it looks rather than its plot isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
60
Shadow isn’t a bad epic so much as a banal one.

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