Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles
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Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles
On the heels of such extravagant historical swordplay epics as Hero and House of Flying Daggers, Mainland Chinese director Zhang Yimou returns to the reins to tell this intimate tale of an aging father who attempts to remedy a longstanding rift with his grown son. Summoned to Tokyo by his daughter-in-law, Rie (Shinobu Terajima), village fisherman Gou-ichi Takata (Ken Takakura), arrives at a city hospital to find his son, Ken-ichi (Kiichi Nakai), bedridden by liver cancer. Though Gou-ichi attempts to use the visit as a catalyst to heal a decade-long dispute between the pair, stubborn Ken-ichi… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 80%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The themes are universal (if a touch corny), the rugged Chinese scenery is stupendous, and the performances are touching."
‑ Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune
"It's a masterful little film, and, thanks to Zhang's seasoned hands, it's subtly heartfelt but never manipulative."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"A profound example of unashamed feeling expanding across cultural barriers"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"The story may be sentimental, but Yimou layers it by adding cultural clash to the generational ones."
‑ Laura Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"Zhang is one of the world's great filmmakers, both in technique and in his rich humanity. Riding Alone will move you."
‑ Jack Garner, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
"What remains most vividly after Riding Alone For Thousands of Miles, however, is not its story but its world--the immersion in that world of a foreigner, not a polo-shirted Yank but a stiff-necked Japanese. And it is all overseen by a Chinese director."
‑ Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic
"A father takes a spiritual journey from Japan to China to help mend a decades-long rift between himself and his dying son. The lessons learned en route are as profound as they are simple."
‑ John Monaghan, Detroit Free Press
"This may be one man's story but the themes are epic."
‑ Amber Wilkinson, Eye for Film
"From real-life opera singer Jianin to travel agent Lin Qiu and youngster Zhenbo Yang, the cast is the genuine article..."
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"Yeah, yeah. Cue the violin music. But also grab a tissue, because the film levels far more of an impact than you might expect."
‑ Phil Villarreal, Arizona Daily Star
"It sounds like a slight plot, and it is, but it is rich in detail that makes up for the simplicity of the story."
‑ Richard Nilsen, Arizona Republic
"Relatively speaking, minor Yimou, yet it retains that extraordinary cinematic sensibility and superbly observed humanity that characterizes all his work."
‑ Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"The director fails to overcome a script that ignores the backstory of the characters, and that agonizingly details minor subplots."
‑ Maria Garcia, Film Journal International
"...gorgeously photographed and, like Babel, a subtly organized commentary on the ways people strive to communicate."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"Sometimes, when the right movie people come together, a blatantly commercial decision actually strengthens the artistic impulse, as you can see from Zhang's filial treatment of Takakura in Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles."
‑ Stuart Klawans, The Nation
More reviews for Riding Alone for Thousands of Miles on Rotten Tomatoes