Dark Matter
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Inspired by actual events, director Chen Shi-Zheng's socially conscious psychological drama follows the journey of an ambitious Chinese scientist working towards his Ph.D. in America, only to be marginalized to the extent that he ultimately loses his way. All Liu Xing (Liu Ye) ever wanted was to study the origins of the universe at a Western university. Upon arriving at the school, Liu immediately rents a modest apartment with a few other Chinese students and begins flirting with the pretty American who works at the local coffee shop. Personally welcomed into Department Head Jacob… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 39%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The film does a fine job of displaying the contrasts between these tense, formalized Chinese students and the faux populist American academics."
‑ Maureen M. Hart, Chicago Tribune
"Liu Ye is too inexpressive for his role's demands, and the movie doesn't build to his downfall: It just zaps itself there."
‑ Gregory Kirschling, Entertainment Weekly
"We know we're in strange territory from the opening shot."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"Buttressed by outstanding, unpredictable performances and a beguiling mood of raw nerve collegiate ambition, Matter develops erratically but intelligently."
‑ Brian Orndorf, DVDTalk.com
"There is no need for a scene in which your hero loses touch with reality via cockeyed camera trickery and thumping techno music."
‑ Josh Rosenblatt, Austin Chronicle
"There is nothing wrong with taking inspiration from actual events, but it's a tricky business, and Dark Matter does no one right by sticking to the shocking conclusion."
‑ Reyhan Harmanci, San Francisco Chronicle
"There's little in Billy Shebar's script, the rambling direction by theater and opera helmer Chen Shi-Zheng - or Liu Ye's impassive performance as the student."
‑ Lou Lumenick, New York Post
"Xing is surprised to discover Western academics are just as ruthless as communist apparatchiks and, ill equipped emotionally to handle humiliation, he takes his guns to town."
‑ Burl Burlingame, Honolulu Star-Advertiser
"Poignantly and sympathetically gets inside the confused head of an Asian immigrant rarely seen in film, a grad student flummoxed by American culture and academic politics."
‑ Nora Lee Mandel, Film-Forward.com
"While imperfect, the high caliber of acting as well as these lucid moments in the earlier part of the film are strong and memorable highlights with which to leave the theatre."
‑ Sara Maria Vizcarrondo, Boxoffice Magazine
"It is easy to see the film as two movies crammed together, neither of them being very good."
‑ Mark Olsen, Los Angeles Times
"Director Chen Shi-Zheng's film has a graceful energy, and three strong performances help make this serene drama - and its shocking conclusion - quietly moving."
‑ Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News
"Begins with a shot of Meryl Streep practicing tai chi, and therein lies a precise encapsulation of the film's attitude toward the intersection of Eastern and Western cultures"
‑ Leo Goldsmith, indieWIRE
"A remarkable whisper of a movie as well, for something that deals with a subject as alarming as campus violence."
‑ Bob Strauss, Los Angeles Daily News
"Written by Billy Shebar and directed by opera director Chen Shi-Zheng, this visually sophisticated film has been criticized for turning a deeply disturbed individual into a "hero," but nothing could be further from the truth."
‑ Ken Fox, TV Guide's Movie Guide
More reviews for Dark Matter on Rotten Tomatoes