Plot Opportunistic American John Miller (Bale) is trapped in Nanking when the Japanese attack. Taking refuge in the Catholic cathedral, he finds himself the reluctant protector of convent schoolgirls. Posing as a priest, John bluffs the Japanese while looking for a way out.
Verdict As you’d expect, it’s beautiful, emotional and exciting, if florid in style. Bale, beauties and English dialogue widen Yimou’s appeal.