The Flowers of War

Flowers-span-thumbstandard In 1937, as the Japanese army brutally invades the Chinese city of Nanking, an American mortician is trapped inside a western cathedral and vows to protect a group of young schoolgirls and 13 courtesans who are seeking refuge from the soldiers.
HD Available
Netflix Rating: 3.9
NYT Review
In “The Flowers of War," the director Zhang Yimou revisits the 1937 Nanjing massacre in a story narrated by a convent student taking refuge in a church. Read the review
Rotten Tomatoes® Scores
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

See all The Flowers of War Reviews

"The Flowers of War" seems like a pretty good film until you begin to think about it.
Richard Nilsen, Arizona Republic  full review
An unsettling mixture of spectacular brutality and sentimentality that might make even Steven Spielberg blush.
Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail  full review
The director's grip on the drama is often weakened by his penchant for creating spectacles.
Greg Quill, Toronto Star  full review
All Zhang's splendor does is foster cognitive dissonance in an audience.
Wesley Morris, Boston Globe  full review
A strange hybrid of "City of Life and Death" and "Father Goose" that nevertheless, in the hands of Zhang Yimou, musters a few striking moments.
Gary Thompson, Philadelphia Inquirer  full review
A third of a million may be dead, but for our purposes, all depends on the survival of these young women, and the redemption of the alcoholic American. Do you get my drift?
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times  full review
I can't get it out of my thoughts, and I recommend it highly.
Rex Reed, New York Observer  full review
"Flowers" abounds with well-worn movie archetypes and slathers on schmaltz.
Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times  full review
Affecting at times, but finally feels overblown and heavy-handed.
Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle  full review
[Yimou] turns the Rape of Nanking into a visually stunning melodrama. But the effect of such extreme contrast is unsettling to say the least.
Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News  full review
Battle scenes are spectacular - great explosions! - but most of the screen time is taken up by a contrived and schmaltzy script with little emotional punch.
V.A. Musetto, New York Post  full review
Human suffering reduced to visual showmanship.
Tim Grierson, Village Voice  full review
Zhang Yimou revisits the Nanjing massacre of 1937 by making something resembling a backstage musical, with breaks for the occasional ghastly murder or rape.
Mike Hale, New York Times  full review
Similars Available on Instant
  • Release Year: 2011
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Runtime: 141 min
  • Available From: Nov 08, 2012
  • Queued by: 1572 people
Directed By
Yimou Zhang
Christian Bale, Xinyi Zhang, Ni Ni, Tony Dawei, Atsuro Watabe, Paul Schneider, Tianyuan Huang, Shawn Dou, Kefan Cao, Dawei Tong