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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 76%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The music ties together all the pretty pictures, gives the narrative some momentum, and helps to induce a kind of alert detachment, so that you're neither especially interested nor especially bored."
‑ David Edelstein, Slate
"Urged on by Philip Glass's throbbing, blaring score, the director conjures a phenomenal, trance-like climax, owing more to dreams, second sight and the mind's eye than conventional dramatic rhetoric."
‑ , Time Out
"Vigorously directed, sensual and hypnotic, Scorsese's film is a visually extraordinary meditation on ritual, nature and humanity."
‑ Sandra Contreras, TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Kundun is surely the most gentle and meditative of Scorsese's films, a placid biography with the scope of an epic, the quality of a storybook, and the dramatic stakes of a tragedy."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Turner Classic Movies Online
"Scorsese skillfully indulges his propensity for obsessive detail. Visually, the direction is varied and exhilarating"
‑ Judith Egerton, Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
"Scorsese has taken the harsh mystery out of Tibetan Buddhism, and out of its oppression, too."
‑ Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly
"A great film about a good man."
‑ , Globe and Mail
"A challenging, thought provoking, mediative film that sits uncomfortably with Scorcese's previous work is helped no end by a superb score by Philip Glass."
‑ , Film4
"There's no denying the artistry of Kundun. Its heart also appears to be in the right place. But for those like me who don't have a versed history in the modern history of Tibet or Buddhism, the scope is ultimately too big."
‑ Ryan Cracknell, Movie Views
"Though a meditative, introspective film, Scorsese's distinctive techniques cause Kundun to pulse with life under its calm surface."
‑ Carlo Cavagna, AboutFilm.com
"Disregarding commercial considerations, Scorsese's haunting meditation on Dalai Lama's early life is a majestic spectacle of images and sounds, but it's bogged down by a routine script that fails to offer fresh insights on Tibet's non-violent culture"
‑ Emanuel Levy, Variety
"Careful and respectful, it is everything a movie about the Dalai Lama should be except dramatically involving."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"Scorsese's rich tableau of image and music bears a potent emotional weight."
‑ Michael Dequina, TheMovieReport.com
"Martin Scorcese has made a meditative, low key historical drama about a truly mystical figure of our modern history, departing from his usual, violence-prone flicks."
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"All in all, Kundun is beautifully produced and honestly acted."
‑ John R. McEwen, Film Quips Online
More reviews for Kundun on Rotten Tomatoes