A Touch of Sin
Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
A Touch of Sin
A "brilliant exploration of violence and corruption in contemporary China" (Jon Frosch, The Atlantic), A TOUCH OF SIN was inspired by four shocking (and true) events that forced the world's fastest growing economy into a period of self-examination. Written and directed by master filmmaker Jia Zhangke (The World, Still Life), "one of the best and most important directors in the world" (Richard Brody, The New Yorker), this daring, poetic and grand-scale film focuses on four characters, each living in different provinces, who are driven to violent ends. An angry miner,… More

Available Online

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"This masterwork is set in contemporary China, where the gulf between those able to maneuver (or manipulate) the country's economies of change and those left behind or defeated by the seismic shifts widens."
‑ Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post
"Drawing on four news stories, writer-director Jia Zhangke portrays the plight of workers in the new China. Set in four provinces, A Touch of Sin is humanist critique of the country's turn to capitalism."
‑ Bill Stamets, Chicago Sun-Times
"It's a brilliant lyrical film, shot on a grand-scale."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Teases together four disparate stories of people driven to violence by the purgatorial pain of their modern existence."
‑ Mark Kermode, Observer [UK]
"It's been banned in China for its savage criticism of that nation's economic and social policies. But its horrors look awfully familiar to us in the West, too."
‑ MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher
"In two decades of moviemaking, China's Jia Zhangke has examined the damage of his country's explosive growth with a poetic sense of outrage. With his latest effort, the implied violence bubbles over."
‑ Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"Jia offers a stark presentation (no music, few edits) that discourages vicarious thrills; the violence is startling, not cool."
‑ John DeFore, Washington Post
"Though ultra-violent at times, those in the market for quality arthouse fare are guaranteed to be enthralled."
‑ Padraic McKiernan, Irish Independent
"Jia Zhangke's brilliantly observed A Touch of Sin paints a bleak and violent picture of a contemporary China in which corruption is endemic."
‑ Geoffrey Macnab, Independent
"Shocking. Stylish. Historic."
‑ D'Arcy Doran, Little White Lies
"Jia is passionate about his characters, but that never compromises his considerable artistic control."
‑ Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle
"Jia's primary concern here is the solitary suffering of his characters, punished to the point where they can't take anymore."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"It's that quality of directness, of purpose -- here particularly fierce purpose -- that gives Jia's plays with fiction and nonfiction both their vigour and their political perceptiveness and bite."
‑ Andrew Tracy, Sight and Sound
"It provides a brutal, compelling insight into a troubled nation and is told with a fierce sense of urgency."
‑ Allan Hunter, Daily Express
"As an eastern western it's like The Searchers with missing GPS. The spectator wants guidance - but may not want it long enough to stay the journey."
‑ Nigel Andrews, Financial Times
More reviews for A Touch of Sin on Rotten Tomatoes