City of Life and Death
City of Life and Death (2011)

Within the scope of Asian history, few events carry the ugly and sickening connotations of the Rape of Nanking. Japanese forces invaded that Chinese city on December 9, 1937, and in the six weeks to follow, soldiers raped thousands of women… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: May 11, 2011
DVD Release Date: October 25, 2011
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Critic Score: 92% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Tom Long
Detroit News

It is not an easy film, and perhaps a touch too relentless, but it is a great reminder of how bloody, mad and awful this world can be.

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John Hartl
Seattle Times

In almost any form, the story of the Nanking atrocities can leave you profoundly shaken. But Lu Chuan's version may be the most compassionate and emotionally satisfying treatment to date.

Sarah Boslaugh

...epic in scope (truly a cast of thousands must have been recruited), but like the best war films also focuses on the cost to the individuals involved including the victors.

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David Lewis
San Francisco Chronicle

Lu Chuan makes this feature film soar by telling the story both through the eyes of the Japanese occupiers and the defenseless Chinese civilians in the ancient capital. It makes the savagery all the more senseless.

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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor

Here, in bloodless miniature, is the true obscenity of war.

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Michael Atkinson
In These Times

Lu's movie is authentic as only a war film made in a country scarred by the experience can be ...

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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch

Exquisitely shot in black and white, with a rare attention to detail and dramatic complexity, "City of Life and Death" is a timelessly great film that commands our collective attention.

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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune

Lu tells the heartbreaking, nearly unbearable story with compassion, controlled fury and unflinching realism.

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Dan Jardine

Reminiscent of exactly the sort of "important war movie" Hollywood makes.

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More reviews for City of Life and Death

Flixster Audience Score: 85% Flixster User Reviews
Cynthia S.
Disturbing. Intense. Sickening. This is one of the most harrowing, and unflinching, accounts of human barbarity ever put to film. Solidly done. Definitely not… More
Randy Tippy
Once in a great while a film comes along that is not only brilliant and artistic but meaningfully important. This is one of those films.
xGary Xx
A refugee camp comes under siege from the Japanese army during the fall of Nanjing during the Second World War. Beautifully shot in black and white and telling… More
Tsubaki Sanjuro
Seeing through the eyes of a confused japanese soldier, and several chinese civilians, City of Life and Death knows how to balance all the visual information… More
Bruce Bruce
I finished watching this film two hours ago and the punch in the stomach I received watching it still hurts. I don't recall having received such a punch in… More
EightThirty .
20/01/2012 (NetFlix, PS3)