The Last Emperor
The Last Emperor (1987)

The Last Emperor is the true story of Aisin-Gioro Pu Yi, the last ruler of the Chinese Ching Dynasty. Told in flashback, the film covers the years 1908 to 1967. We first see the three-year-old Pu Yi being installed in the Forbidden City by… More

Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Release Date: March 20, 2001
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Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
91%
Flixster
User Score
88%

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Critic Score: 91% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: While decidedly imperfect, Bernardo Bertolucci's epic is still a feast for the eyes.

Dave Kehr
Chicago Tribune

It is a hesitant, conservative approach that yields great elegance and a rhythm that carries the viewer along. Yet the film is haunted by a sense of opportunities not taken, of an artist deliberately reining in his artistry.

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Sheila Benson
Los Angeles Times

As coolly lavish an epic as we may ever see.

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David Parkinson
Radio Times

One of the most visually arresting pictures of recent years.

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Desmond Ryan
Philadelphia Inquirer

If there is such a thing as voluptuous detachment, Bertolucci and John Lone have found it. Lone's achievement in his absorbing account of Pu Yi is to place him at a distance and yet make his plight totally involving.

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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly

The expanse of time is saturated with an expanse of visual beauty that feels absolutely right for the story.

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David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor

The story is colorful and sometimes unpredictable, so it's rarely boring. But it's rarely much deeper than the emperor's favorite rice bowl.

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Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel

There's probably a truly great movie in the story of Pu Yi, but The Last Emperor is not that movie. Still, what director Bernardo Bertolucci (Last Tango in Paris) has accomplished here is both ambitious and impressive.

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Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine

It works astonishingly well.

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Ben Yagoda
Philadelphia Daily News

Even though its ambitions sometimes get the better of it, the film succeeds often enough to make us grateful that, even in our MTV age, a director like Bertolucci is still willing to get on the mat and grapple with Personality and History.

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More reviews for The Last Emperor

Flixster Audience Score: 88% Flixster User Reviews
Adriel Lim
Endearing. Beautiful. Thoroughly poignant. Why? The music is a wonder, the visuals and production values meaningfully recreated, the atmosphere is wholly… More
Jameson Worley
Wow! Beautful, beautiful film to watch. With perfect cinematography, an epic story, and a magnificent musical score, The Last Emperor takes the audience where… More
Film Crazy
Its an okay movie, i can see why it won best picture as it is visually stunning and the costume and makeup artists did a brilliant job! Its interesting to a… More
Jennifer D
Review to come.
Chris Weber
A sweeping historical epic like no other. I sometimes forget how amazing films like this are, especially when they are made in the pre-digital era when you… More
paul oh
Overall, it was an ok movie. The strong points such as the music, costumes, and cinematography make up for some decent acting with sometimes flimsy plot lines.… More

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