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Mao's Last Dancer


Bruce Beresford

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About the Movie

Two-time Academy Award®-nominated director Bruce Beresford (Driving Miss Daisy) celebrates the inspirational true story of ballet dancer Li Cunxin in this stunning adaptation of Li’s best-selling autobiography. When granted the opportunity of a lifetime to train with the renowned Houston Ballet, eighteen-year-old Li leaves behind a life of poverty and oppression in Communist China to embark on a transformative journey to the West, where he soars to stardom and meets the love of his life. But he soon learns that his quest for freedom must come at a price.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 74
  • Fresh: 41
  • Rotten: 33
  • Average Rating: 6.1/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Rotten: The final image -- a freeze frame of a pas de deux staged to resemble a triumphal Communist poster -- perfectly captures the film's overall effect: it's strenuously brainless. – Mike Hale, New York Times, Aug 20, 2010

Fresh: Feel-good movie about a Chinese dancer presses all the right buttons. – Peter Brunette, Hollywood Reporter, Sep 10, 2010

Rotten: The life at the movie's center speaks to what an artist sometimes gives up for art. If only we experienced that sacrifice, that turmoil, more vividly. – Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, Aug 19, 2010

Fresh: The film celebrates artistic freedom without preaching a sermon, and often flies when Mr. Chi is on screen. When he is on stage, spinning and leaping to the strains of magnificent music, the film soars. – Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal, Aug 19, 2010

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


A really inspiring story, well told. And it reminds you of how far China has come in such a short while. Well worth watching.

great movie

loved this movie. highly recommend.


I would highly recommend this extremely interesting and inspiring movie. It reminded me of the high value of freedom and family. The film truly warmed my heart.