The Year of the Yao
The Year of the Yao (2005)

While the traditional American stereotype of people from China portrays them as short, studious, and not especially athletic, Yao Ming turned that image on his head -- standing seven foot six, Yao became the most talked about player in… More

Rated: PG
Running Time:
Release Date: April 15, 2005
DVD Release Date: March 14, 2006
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Available Online

Critic Score: 67% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: This sports bio documentary is given a few fresh angles, including culture clash issues, and the friendship that develops between Yao and his interpreter.

Fred Camper
Chicago Reader

James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo's taut, engrossing 2004 documentary on Chinese basketball player Yao Ming's first year in the NBA offers insight into the game and its stars.

Full review…
Tim Grierson
L.A. Weekly

[A] glorified infomercial.

Jason Gorber
Film Scouts

The film never feels like some sort of shill, but an actual historical document of this strangest of cultural immersions for a national superstar.

Full review…
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune

Should be a natural for NBA fans and please non-enthusiasts as well.

Tom Long
Detroit News

There appears to be much more to Yao than is captured here. That's where the movie drops the ball.

Lewis Beale
Film Journal International

By playing up the hoopla and glitz, the filmmakers have created a vacuum at its center.

Full review…
Kevin Crust
Los Angeles Times

As bright and shiny as you would imagine something co-produced by NBA Entertainment to be, The Year of the Yao provides little insight beyond hanging out with its super-sized star.

Full review…
G. Allen Johnson
San Francisco Chronicle

A surprisingly layered portrait of a rookie with the hopes of a nation -- a big nation -- riding on his shoulders, and the frustrations and small victories that entails.

Full review…
Harvey S. Karten

The film is happily as fast paced as the sport of basketball itself: there are no bearded, stuttering academics discussing any aspect of the story.

Full review…
More reviews for The Year of the Yao

Flixster Audience Score: 69% Flixster User Reviews
Bruce Bruce
I am not a NBA or Bassketball watcher or fan. Once in a while I may watch the March Madness series. Basketball players have become spoiled with the large sums… More