Kundun (1997)

Martin Scorsese's magical mystery mandala on the life of the Dalai Lama is a visually exhilarating, spiritually ambitious film that goes where Scorsese has never gone before.

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Release Date: December 25, 1997
DVD Release Date: October 13, 1998
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Critic Score: 76% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Hallucinatory but lacking in characterization, Kundun is a young Dalai Lama portrait presented as a feast of sight and sound.

David Edelstein

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.

Time Out

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.

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Sandra Contreras
TV Guide

Vigorously directed, sensual and hypnotic, Scorsese's film is a visually extraordinary meditation on ritual, nature and humanity.

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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly

Scorsese has taken the harsh mystery out of Tibetan Buddhism, and out of its oppression, too.

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Globe and Mail

A great film about a good man.

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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.

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Emanuel Levy

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

Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

Careful and respectful, it is everything a movie about the Dalai Lama should be except dramatically involving.

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Michael Dequina

Scorsese's rich tableau of image and music bears a potent emotional weight.

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More reviews for Kundun

Flixster Audience Score: 78% Flixster User Reviews
Daniel Perry
The cover of Kundun makes you think "kids movie," until you see who directed it: Scorsese. No one gets whacked, and the film is nearly bloodless,… More
Ken Stachnik
Scorsese's amazing film about the life of the 14th Dalai Lama is something to behold.<br/><br/>Schoonmaker's editing and Deakins's… More
danny d
more than any of scorsese's films, kundun shows his remarkable range as a story teller. the film struggled to draw in real emotion at points and reverence… More
Tim Sigur
It was just cool to see and the movie looks amazing.
Lady D'arbanville
A film I have been wanting to see for quite some time, purely on a spiritual level and because I have an attraction toward Tibet. I feel I have learned a few… More
Mister Caple
In all of Martin Scorsese's films,this was the lowpoint of his career and "Kundun" shows this in detail.