Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.
out of 100
Metascore®Mixed or average reviewsbased on a weighted average of allcritic review scores.
It's like "Schindler's List" crossed with "The Sound of Music," and Roger Spottiswoode directs it in a stiff, lifeless, utterly dated style of international squareness.
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Giving Jonathan Rhys Meyers the kind of manly yet paternal role Spencer Tracy once mastered, this carefully wrought international production relates the basic story of reporter George Hogg without any vibrancy, emotion or style.
If you can get past the Eurocentric focus, there are worse ways to pass the time than to see The Children of Huang Shi, if only because the glimpse into the time and place are captivating and the images are gorgeous.
Sometimes the most compelling real-life stories make better documentaries than dramas. Such would seem to be the case with The Children of Huang Shi.
Cinematographer Zhao Xiaoding manages some lovely images, and some of Spottiswoode’s compositions remind you he's capable of fine work. But Hogg never comes to life, on the page or on the screen.
Roger Spottiswoode directs with old-fashioned style, avoiding the saccharine with realistic depictions of a war-ravaged China (where he filmed) and a cast well versed in stiff-upper-lip.
Full of incident but nearly devoid of dramatic tension, The Children of Huang Shi is a based-on-fact saga that has lost much of its power on the long road to the screen.
Tells an engrossing story of a remarkable man, but nevertheless it's underwhelming. Dramatic and romantic tension never coil very tightly, as the film settles into a contented pace.
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