Detective Dee and the Mystery of the Phantom Flame

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Released 2011

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Movie Summary

Director:
Tsui Hark
Released:
2011
Rating:
PG-13
A bizarre murder mystery brings together the most powerful woman in China, the soon-to-be-Empress Wu Zetian (Carina Lau, 2046), and a formerly exiled detective, Dee Renjie (Andy Lau, The Warlords), at the infamous Imperial Palace. Hoping that he will solve the crime before her coronation, Wu appoints Dee Chief Judge of the Empire and implores him to combine his indisputable wisdom with his unparalleled martial arts skills to save the future of her dynasty. Director Tsui Hark (Once Upon A Time In China, Seven Swords) teams with action choreographer Sammo Hung (IP Man, Kung Fu Hustle) in this heart-pounding, epic thriller inspired by the incredible true story of one of the Tang Dynasty's most celebrated officials.

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Metacritic Score

  • 90

    Los Angeles Times Kevin Thomas

    It has opulent, stylized settings of elegance, grandeur and scope, flawless special effects, and awesome martial arts combat staged by the master, Sammo Hung. Yet bravura spectacle...

  • 80

    The New York Times A.O. Scott

    Witty but not campy, grand without being unduly somber, it is a crazy, almost-coherent riot of intrigue, color and kineticism anchored by the charisma of its cast.

  • 70

    Variety Justin Chang

    An inventive marriage of ancient China and Agatha Christie, Detective Dee and the Mystery of Phantom Flame is a lavishly overwrought historical whodunit.

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