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: November 18, 1987
DVD Release Date: March 20, 2001
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Critic Score: 92% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

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

Kathleen Carroll
New York Daily News

As pure spectacle, "The Last Emperor" is a spellbinding peek behind the gate of a lost world.

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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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Cathy Burke
United Press International

It is the grandeur of the boy king and his unreal opulent world that is best remembered, splendid and isolated, and at last, because of its loneliness, sad.

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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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Peg Aloi
Boston Phoenix

One of the most provocative and stunningly beautiful films of the past 20 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 Parkinson
Radio Times

One of the most visually arresting pictures of recent years.

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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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