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At the beginning of the 20th century, China is in a state of crisis. The country is split into warring factions, the citizens are starving, and recent political reforms have made matters worse, not better. The ruling Qing Dynasty, led by a seven-year-old emperor, and his ruthless mother, Empress Dowager Longyu (Joan Chen) is completely out of touch after 250 years of unquestioned power. Huang Xing (Jackie Chan) has recently returned from Japan, where he has studied the art of modern warfare. When he finds his country falling apart, he feels he has no choice but to pick up the sword, leading an… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 8%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The Revolution will not be televised, Gil Scott-Heron once sang. Nor should it be filmed, we might add -- at least not as a costume drama with stirring speeches, an inspirational love story and gloriously heroic military charges."
‑ Stephen Cole, Globe and Mail
"Packed with so many characters and subtitled history lessons it barely allows its excellent main cast room to maneuver."
‑ G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle
"1911 meanders through its interminable two-hour running time with a collection of scenes that feel more like liner notes from a history book than an actual screenplay."
‑ Richard Haridy, Quickflix
"At two full hours the pace drags in the final quarter."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"... a dry history lesson ..."
‑ Jim Lane, Sacramento News & Review
"Earnest and studious to a fault. Rarely has a film about upheaval felt more like a textbook."
‑ Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News
"What should be rousing stuff - a republic is born! the chains of feudalism thrown off! - remains a kind of lavishly illustrated history lesson."
‑ Rachel Saltz, New York Times
"A haphazard grab-bag of context-free fight scenes, cardboard characters and constant title cards explaining key details that the film itself can't reveal in any other way."
‑ Rob Vaux, Mania.com
"A historical superproduction in which style, aside from committee-made, widescreen tedium, is spectacularly absent."
‑ Bill Weber, Slant Magazine
"This one is a noble failure."
‑ Liz Braun, Jam! Movies
"May be slow going for anyone not well-versed in this chapter of Chinese history."
‑ Sara Stewart, New York Post
"With "1911,'' art direction speaks louder than words."
‑ Mark Feeney, Boston Globe
"...this long, boring, convoluted, confusing, feeble, disgraceful film is nothing more than a clumsy Chinese Communist attempt to paint Sun Yat sen, a freedom-lover, as an early Communist."
‑ Tony Medley, Tolucan Times
"Students of revolutionary Chinese history can have fun checking them off. Look, there's Li Yuanhong! And over there, Feng Guozhang!"
‑ Burl Burlingame, Honolulu Star-Advertiser
"Plodding account of how a rebel uprising led by Sun Yat-Sen helped overthrow the Qing dynasty in China."
‑ Daniel Eagan, Film Journal International
More reviews for 1911 on Rotten Tomatoes