Parents' Guide to


By Jeffrey Anderson, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 18+

Martial arts epic is more violent than others in the genre.

Movie R 2011 131 minutes
Shaolin Poster Image

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Is It Any Good?

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Kids say (3):

The movie's well executed, and it has many dazzling moments, but that's not enough to vault it to the top of the heap. Big, historical martial arts epics have been making money in China, so there are a lot of them; SHAOLIN is one of several to make the leap to the United States. Director Benny Chan, who's best known for some of Jackie Chan's more recent films, simply doesn't have the grace or style of someone like Yuen Woo Ping (True Legend) or John Woo (Red Cliff).

The plot has very few surprises, and Benny Chan's direction doesn't seem to get inside the material. However, Jackie Chan brings some warm energy to his supporting role -- a rarity for this big star -- and turns in a delightfully self-effacing performance. The character's "coming out" sequence is truly wonderful. In the other roles, while Tse doesn't bring much depth to his sneering villain, star Lau -- with his handsomely angular face -- gives a fine performance.

Movie Details

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