A Touch of Zen
A Touch of Zen (1969)

An influential martial arts film and an acknowledged influence on Ang Lee's amazing Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, King Hu's A Touch of Zen opens with young scholar Ku Shen-chai working at his portraiture stand in a small frontier… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: December 10, 2002
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Critic Score: 92% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Tony Rayns
Time Out

The visual style will set your eyes on fire.

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David Parkinson
Radio Times

A Touch of Zen is at the same time a study of rural life, a ghost story, a discussion of philosophical ideas and a thrilling fight film, with each element being handled with rare skill by Hu.

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Fernando F. Croce

It's like Mizoguchi is alive and well and shooting kung-fu epics

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A.H. Weiler
New York Times

[King Hu] has not ignored traditional mayhem here, but he has demonstrated that pictorial artistry, Zen mysticism and the stylized martial arts, can make a fascinating mix.

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Total Film

Looking as fresh as if it was made yesterday, rather than three decades ago, A Touch Of Zen is Eastern cinema at its most dynamic and grown-up.

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Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

Hu fills his dazzling Cinemascope frame with waving foxtails, swirling fog, and stunning architecture. Each shot is like a photograph of China as we might imagine it in a dream.

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Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader

A widely acclaimed martial arts film (1971) by Hong Kong's King Hu, one of the handful of directors to have worked in the genre with artistic ambitions.

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Patrick Peters
Empire Magazine

All the lunacy and high-flown imagination you could hope for.

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Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Unique and visually stunning martial arts epic is set in the 14th-century Ming dynasty.

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More reviews for A Touch of Zen

Flixster Audience Score: 81% Flixster User Reviews
Stella Dallas
it's not a typical wuxia film. it's a philosophical epic from the most artistic of the original martial arts directors, king hu, that takes a full… More
A few months back someone recommended this to me as a predecessor to Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. The movie did exactly what it was recommended to do for me,… More
Lanning : )
The length of this movie does not bother me. I'll sit through any engaging film, no matter how long it is. What bothers me is the engagement angle. If a… More
Lesley N
Early 70's wuxia film about Ku, living with his mum in an abandoned fort, Yang mysterious and attractive and baddy Eunuch Wei who's trying to kill… More