Box art for The Warlords

The Warlords

  • Rated R

independent, special interest


Set in the midst of the Taiping Rebellion of the 1860s, THE WARLORDS stars Jet Li as General Pang, who barely survives a brutal massacre of his fellow soldiers by playing dead, and joins a band of bandits led by Er Hu (Andy Lau) and Wu Yang.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    65%
  • Audience Score
    70%

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    65%
    reviews counted: 24
    see all The Warlords reviews
  • Audience

    70%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Veteran action choreographer Ching Siu-Tung deserves a good share of the credit, since the gritty, exciting battle scenes are the film's heart.

- Andy Klein, Christian Science Monitor, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: It is the rising friction between the blood brothers that holds the story together. The arguments about loyalty and larger missions that tear at their alliance feel both age old and completely current.

- Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times, Friday, April 2, 2010

Rotten: Warlords is so intent on expertly choreographed, but repetitive, enormo-battles that there isn't much time to develop characters (and the less said about a tacked-on romance, the better).

- Chris Hewitt (St. Paul), St. Paul Pioneer Press, Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Audience Reviews

4 stars

I've heard that Jet Li will no longer do historical-period movies. I've also heard a rumor that he may be retiring from the movie business altogether. This to me is very sad news and/or rumor all the way around. After all these years, it has become so apparent that he is finally growing into a first-class actor. Sure, he came in for the martial arts flash -- and after all these years, he can still deliver some pretty amazing physical work. But in addition to slogging through the kung fu grinder, he has also, wonderfully, grown into such a good actor along the way. Even should he limit his work to less demanding physical material from now on, I truly hope he keeps up his acting career until he really can't manage it at all anymore.

- binky013, Friday, September 17, 2010

4 stars

An extremely well done movie, the cinematography is like no other war epic. The story is powerful and one of the most emotional stories of brotherhood. Jet Li, Andy Lau and Takeshi Kaneshiro are great together. They all turn out wonderful performances that make the movie more than just an anti-war statement. The early battle scenes are beautifully done, as are the dramatic scenes that take place later on. It's an epic, but truly rooted within the characters rather than the war itself or even the politics.

- ythelastman89, Sunday, August 15, 2010

4 stars

A powerful, emotional epic about war, brotherhood and the bonds that bring men together... and how they eventually break apart. Three of Asia's finest combine to play three men drawn together to make a blood pact. Led by their Big Brother, Pang (Jet Li) a General in the Ching Army, he enlists the aid of two bandit leaders (Kaneshiro and Lau) to help form an army to conquer their enemies and provide safety for their families. Its a bloody spectacle, this one. After the audacity of Kill Bill, more and more movies are taking the bloody approach to violence, including missing body parts and plenty of blood. But the movie is not just about war, its politics, honor, intrigue, love and of course - betrayal. the movie goes through depicting the brother's relationships through the tempest of war, broken promises and loyalties. Eventually, it reaches breaking point and all that they have worked to achieve together will become undone as their blood pact ensures their fate. And enemies and political power will make sure that none of them survive. A massive bloodletting, it does well to create the story, characters and emotion, and we do see it in a downward spiral to the abyss. A story with no happy ending. Enjoy!

- kpn666, Saturday, June 12, 2010