Register  |   Log In  |  
Sign up to our weekly newsletter    
Search   
Empire Magazine and iPad
Follow Me on Pinterest YouTube Tumblr
Empire
Trending On Empire
Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman Revealed
The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
Guardians Of The Galaxy Review
Nick Frost:
My Movie Life

The World's End star's pick of the flicks
Subscribe: 6 Issues For £15!
Subscribe today and save 37% off the cover price!
Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
15
Cast
Hideo Nakaizumi
Liu Ye
Fan Wei
Gao Yuanyuan.
Directors
Lu Chuan.
Screenwriters
Running Time
135 minutes

LATEST DVD REVIEWS
Nashville
5 Star Empire Rating
Hustler, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Hercules
3 Star Empire Rating
Boy Meets Girl
1 Star Empire Rating
Hart's War
3 Star Empire Rating



5 STAR REVIEWS
Nashville
5 Star Empire Rating
Hustler, The
5 Star Empire Rating
French Connection, The
5 Star Empire Rating
Blazing Saddles
5 Star Empire Rating
Black Narcissus
5 Star Empire Rating

City of Life And Death
Watch from behind the sofa


submit to reddit


Plot
Nanking, 1937. As the Japanese Imperial Army closes in on the Chinese capital, a small band of soldiers are all that stand between the population and a maelstrom of violence.


Review
City of Life And Death
Chinese director Lu Chuan wrenches the 1937 Rape Of Nanking from historical footnote to cinematic headliner in this black-and-white depiction of the Sino-Japanese War’s most notorious incident. Victorious Japanese troops, the idealistic Kadokawa (Hideo Nakaizumi) apart, march into China’s capital with brutality in mind, raping and murdering on a barely believable scale.

The unfolding events are portrayed with great skill by Chuan, who spares us none of the horror, depositing the viewer in a disorientating maelstrom of violence that recalls Saving Private Ryan and Klimov’s Come And See in its ferocity. Unsanitised and at times almost unwatchable, it burns off the screen.


Extras

City Of Life And Death City Of Life And Death
Released: 20 September 2010
None.


Verdict
Passionate and expertly crafted, this black-and-white opus is well worth seeking out.


Reviewed by Phil de Semlyen

Write Your Review
To write your review please login or register.

Your Reviews

Average user rating for City of Life And Death
Empire Star Rating

Astonishing film by Lu Chuan. Pictured in black and white, many scenes are quite breathtaking in their sadness. A dream-like, action-packed war film that takes an audience in too close at times to the atrocities committed by the Japanese army, though it never judges, showing incidents from both sides. For example, the Japanese troops are genuinely delighted by their achievements in Nanking, by their swift invasion of a capital in less than 3 days. There are many touching characters, but n... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by gzus at 18:50, 30 August 2010 | Report This Post


Whilst the atrocities of the 1937 invasion of Nanking can never be put on screen (for the full, appalling details, read The Rape of Nanking by Iris Chang), City of Life and Death comes as close as can be expected to showing the true horror. Mentioning Schindler's List is inevitable, from the involvement of John Rabe (a kind of Schindler to the Chinese) to the stunning use of black and white. City of Life and Death doesn't quite hold the power of Schindler's List, but is arguably the finest war d... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by kojaksmoneybox at 22:56, 21 May 2010 | Report This Post


SPECIAL FEATURE
The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time EMPIRE READERS' POLL: THE 301 GREATEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME
You turned out in your hundreds and thousands, and here are the results... Browse the full list


CURRENT HIGHLIGHTS
Empire's The Hobbit: The Battle Of The Five Armies Covers Are Here
Bard The Bowman or Smaug The Magnificent?

A Pocket Guide To Game Of Thrones’ New Cast Members
Know your Doran Martell from your Nym Sand

Directors Special: Peter Hyams Goes Film-By-Film
The veteran director on Timecop, Outland, 2010, Enemies Closer and more

Explore The Massive Avengers: Age Of Ultron Comic-Con Banner
Use our interactive gadget to zoom in on Hulk, Iron Man, The Vision and co. in action

The 10 Biggest Stories Of Comic-Con 2014
The shocks to emerge from this year's geek-fest. Avengers! Max! Mann!

Models Inc.: The Inside Story Of Sideshow Collectibles
How the likes of Batman, Superman and Luke Skywalker become collectible figures

The Empire Podcast #121: Brett Ratner Talks Hercules On This Week's Show
Plus The Purge: Anarchy producer Jason Blum pops in to talk horror

Subscribe to Empire magazine
Get The 301 Greatest Movies Of All Time Subscribers' Cover

Subscribe today and get the cover and 3 issues for only £10!

Subscribe today

Subscribe to Empire iPad edition
Get The Empire iPad Edition Today

Subscribe and save maney on annual digital subscription

Subscribe today
Buy single issues

Get 6 issues of Empire for just £15!
Get the world's greatest movie magazine delivered straight to your door! Subscribe today!
Empire's Film Studies 101 Series
Everything you ever wanted to know about filmmaking but were afraid to ask...
The Empire iPad Edition
With exclusive extras, interactive features, trailers and much more! Download now
Home  |  News  |  Blogs  |  Reviews  |  Future Films  |  Features  |  Interviews  |  Images  |  Competitions  |  Forum  |  iPad  |  Podcast  |  Magazine Contact Us  |  Empire FAQ  |  Subscribe To Empire  |  Register
© Bauer Consumer Media Ltd  |  Legal Info  |  Privacy Policy  |  Bauer Entertainment Network
Bauer Consumer Media Ltd (company number 01176085 and registered address 1 Lincoln Court, Lincoln Road, Peterborough, England PE1 2RF)