All member reviews for The Last Emperor

Common Sense Media says

Beautiful Chinese biography is too long, mature for tweens.

Users say

(out of 3 reviews)
age 15+
Review this title!
Teen, 16 years old Written byMissE1000 May 19, 2011

Should be rated R

I honestly think this should be rated R. There is a brief shot of a kid naked, front side. There is also a shot of a wet-nurse, and she isn't exactly covered, Historically, it's a good movie, though.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Teen, 17 years old Written byBestPicture1996 October 13, 2013

Beautifully filmed but nearly an endurance test

There are two people who will see this movie: those who are genuinely interested in circa World War II China history, and those who want to see what made this movie so good it won 9 Oscars. I fall very much into the latter category, and I pity CSM because they apparently watched a four hour version. I got the nearly three hour version, and was struggling against sleep. Its overlong and tedious portrayals of the Chinese culture were informative but unnecessary to the plot, and Bertolucci could have trimmed a lot of fat off this one.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Adult Written bysandra duca May 28, 2016

a beautiful portrait of old China, its fall, and the rise of its modern Communist state- watch it WITH your younger child

This is a film to watch WITH YOUR CHILD, so you can discuss interesting or intense issues as you go. It is a beautiful film which captures the dramatic changes of ancient, imperial China, through its brief turn-of-Century Republic days, into mid-Century Communist life. I chose it to make history more real to my 13 year old, so she could see & feel the opulence (rooms decorated ceiling to floor with gold and red, ladies similarly adorned), grandeur, and incredible slavish obedience to one person who is God-on-Earth solely for luck of birth. It is chock-full of teaching moments! Yes, a young child breast-feeds his wet-nurse, but the world-wide average wage of weaning is 4 years old, so TALK ABOUT IT with your child (cultural norms, why was he attached to her as mother, why was his real mother stolen from him??). Some issues were too violent for my family, but I simply did not bring it up (like the fact of 100's of eunichs- I did not point it out as i did not wish to expose my daughter to the horror of how these boys were mutilated). Much of the politics will go over your child's head, so I recommend you review your study of the politics and cultural issues of the time yourself: British cultural & political invasion to China, intentional addiction of the Chinese to opium, the deep reverence boys & men held for their ponytails & why it's so dramatic that Yi Pu cut off his; the lack of any choice in the face of obedience to custom, the role of (and options available to) women & girls (wife, slave, servant, courtesan). There are so many RICH TEACHING MOMENTS in this film. HOWEVER, STRONG VIOLENCE is present in the scene where a gun is placed to the temple of the male prisoner (blood & gore gushing from his head). I did NOT let my child view that scene. The lesbian sex scene involves opium and toe-sucking: for my family, it's a teaching moment about the seductiveness of drugs, need to be wary of other's motives, and how easy it is to ruin one's life by using (see the end of First Wife's story). You might choose to skip that scene. All in all, a beautiful film and, in my opinion, great for older tweens (12ish) and up, IF you watch with them (and skip over any scenes that don't work for your family). Older teens should be fine- you know your child best!