Unknown Pleasures
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Unknown Pleasures takes place in China, in the small city of Datong, in 2001, where disaffected teenagers look for any kind of excitement to enliven their dreary existence. Bin Bin (Zhao Wei Wei) dates a quiet student, Yuan Yuan (Zhou Qing Feng) who's thinking of going to university in Beijing. They spend their time together holding hands, watching karaoke and Monkey King videos, and despairing for the future. Bin Bin envies the Monkey King his freedom. Bin Bin has quit his job at a local market, but he doesn't tell his mother (Bai Ru). When she finds out, she wants him to join the… More
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 63%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Jia creates some poignant images to convey key transitions in the characters' lives."
‑ David Rooney, Variety
"Too much is left unsaid."
‑ C.W. Nevius, San Francisco Chronicle
"One of the better films of the 21st century."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"In its effort to evoke pity, Unknown Pleasures chiefly evokes agitation and frustration."
‑ Shawn Levy, Oregonian
"[Music] has the ability to connect with everyone, and perhaps international audiences will connect with the Chinese youth of Unknown Pleasures for the exact same reason."
‑ Jeremiah Kipp, Filmcritic.com
"[Director Zhang-ke] Jia's virtuoso long takes, choreographed mise en scene, and feeling for character and behavior place him in a class by himself."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"A stunning study of ennui."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"The film just sits there, staring back at us."
‑ Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)
"despite the distinct lack of good times and belly laughs, Unknown Pleasures is a great film."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Hard to turn away from, but also damn hard to sit through ... there is a difference between inspiring a sense of alienation in one's audience, and merely alienating them"
‑ Brian Mckay, eFilmCritic.com
"Lays bare the tao of contemporary China, like a doctor taking a pulse."
‑ , Time Out
"May be Jia's most concentrated evocation of contemporary China's spiritual malaise."
‑ J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"Jia Zhang Ke delivers what may well be his finest work to date."
‑ Jamie Russell, BBC.com
"Despite the fact that there's little dramatic arc, little dialogue and little joy in the lives of its characters, Unknown Pleasures is riveting."
‑ Leslie Katz, culturevulture.net
"This sequel to Jia's excellent 1997 drama Xiao Wu is less original and absorbing than its predecessor, and less visually impressive than Platform."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
More reviews for Unknown Pleasures on Rotten Tomatoes