Lisa Schwarzbaum
November 19, 2009 AT 05:00 AM EST

Red Cliff

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
runtime
148 minutes
Limited Release Date
11/20/09
performer
Chiling Lin, Tony Leung, Zhang Fengyi
director
John Woo
author
John Woo
genre
War, Historical

We gave it a B+

Flying arrows rain down like deadly needles. Soldiers wield their shields in formations worthy of a Busby Berkeley musical. A beautiful woman pours tea with intoxicating precision. There’s plenty of vivid action to fill two and a half hours in John Woo’s Chinese historical war epic Red Cliff, a rewarding change of terrain and era for the inventive Hong Kong director. The spectacular battle scenes are the engorged heart of the delirious adventure. But Woo also gets maximum romantic value from Tony Leung as a war hero married to Chiling Lin as the tea-pouring beauty. B+

See all of this week’s reviews

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