Seriously, if not always elegantly, the film portrays the great Ip Man as someone trying to survive, which is to say just as often a victim as a victor.
Nicolas Rapold, New York Times, 2013-09-19
Enjoyable enough, this colorfully local, nostalgia-tinged tale focuses on the Hong Kong years of an older, gentlemanly kung fu master.
Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter, 2013-09-16
What the pic lacks in stylistic sparks compared with other renditions by Wong Kar Wai and Wilson Yip, it makes up for in sinewy action and traditional values.
Maggie Lee, Variety, 2013-09-16
Soap opera, set-bound and unexceptionally written and directed.
Soren Anderson, Seattle Times, 2013-09-19
The naturalism of Wong's performance is undercut ... by Yau's use of phony-looking sets, sterile CGI and flashy aerial shots.
Mark Jenkins, Washington Post, 2013-09-19
The overall sense is of a rushed, simplistic installment in a well-worn biography franchise.
Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, 2013-09-19
The Final Fight plays out like a collection of greatest-hits vignettes barely connected to one another.
Nick Schager, AV Club, 2013-09-19
A film that's less a kung-fu movie and more a meditation on kung fu's limitations.
Rob Staeger, Village Voice, 2013-09-17