The Warlords

Released 2010


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Movie Summary

Peter Chan
The Warlords is an epic war movie set during the Taiping Rebellion in the final years of the Qing dynasty in China. The film tells the story of three blood brothers: Pang Qingyun (Jet Li), Zhao Erhu (Andy Lau) and Zhang Wen-Xiang (Takeshi Kaneshiro). Qingyun is a Qing army general whose entire battalion is massacred while he plays dead, a cowardly act on the battlefield. Disgraced, he meets up with a bandit, Wen-Xiang, who recruits him to Erhu's gang. Qingyun gains their respect when he leads the gang to victory in a fight against a rebel army. However, defending a village from a constant cycle of invasions, battles and famines is discouraging for Qingyun. He encourages the bandits to join the Qing army, which will provide salary and food for their families. Suspicious of each other's loyalties, the three swear a blood oath, affirming their allegiance under pain of death. This oath is put through the test by ambitions, political upheavals and love affairs.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 90

    The New York Times Jeannette Catsoulis

    Epic in scope but intimate in theme, The Warlordsheaves with spectacular battles and the relentless sway of self-interest over conscience.

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times Betsy Sharkey

    Like the best war movies do, director Peter Ho-Sun Chan has woven together an intimate story of men against a backdrop of history writ large.

  • 80

    Variety Derek Elley

    Laden with gritty action, but with an emotional undertow that carries the drama even through its weaker moments, picture reps a strong comeback by Hong Kong helmer-producer Peter C...

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Foreign Language, Thrillers, Historical, Martial Arts, Military & War