What should be rousing stuff - a republic is born! the chains of feudalism thrown off! - remains a kind of lavishly illustrated history lesson.
Rachel Saltz - New York Times
With "1911,'' art direction speaks louder than words.
Mark Feeney - Boston Globe
If the success of epic storytelling were determined by the sheer number of unnecessary on-screen name tags, 1911 would be a masterpiece. But the small matters of characterization, audience identification, and scene-making are entirely absent here.
Nick Pinkerton - Village Voice
Earnest and studious to a fault. Rarely has a film about upheaval felt more like a textbook.
Joe Neumaier - New York Daily News
The revolutionaries who fought to free China from nearly 3,000 years of dynastic oppression deserve a worthier cinematic monument than 1911.
Justin Chang - Variety
May be slow going for anyone not well-versed in this chapter of Chinese history.
Sara Stewart - New York Post
1911 serves too many masters for its own good.
Greg Quill - Toronto Star
The Revolution will not be televised, Gil Scott-Heron once sang. Nor should it be filmed, we might add -- at least not as a costume drama with stirring speeches, an inspirational love story and gloriously heroic military charges.
Stephen Cole - Globe and Mail
Chan has not injected any of his playful charm or physical virtuosity into Wang Xingdong's and Chen Baoguang's insipid, poorly structured screenplay.
Maggie Lee - Hollywood Reporter
1911 meanders through its interminable two-hour running time with a collection of scenes that feel more like liner notes from a history book than an actual screenplay.
A haphazard grab-bag of context-free fight scenes, cardboard characters and constant title cards explaining key details that the film itself can't reveal in any other way.
Rob Vaux - Mania.com
...this long, boring, convoluted, confusing, feeble, disgraceful film is nothing more than a clumsy Chinese Communist attempt to paint Sun Yat sen, a freedom-lover, as an early Communist.
Tony Medley - Tolucan Times
At two full hours the pace drags in the final quarter.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
A historical superproduction in which style, aside from committee-made, widescreen tedium, is spectacularly absent.
Bill Weber - Slant Magazine
Plodding account of how a rebel uprising led by Sun Yat-Sen helped overthrow the Qing dynasty in China.
Daniel Eagan - Film Journal International
Packed with so many characters and subtitled history lessons it barely allows its excellent main cast room to maneuver.
G. Allen Johnson - San Francisco Chronicle
Students of revolutionary Chinese history can have fun checking them off. Look, there's Li Yuanhong! And over there, Feng Guozhang!
Burl Burlingame - Honolulu Star-Advertiser
... a dry history lesson ...
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
This one is a noble failure.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
It's overlong, disjointed, a greatest hits of important moments with inadequate connective tissue, impossible to comprehend without prior detailed knowledge of everything it recounts.
Alison Willmore - Movieline
[A] bombastic, incoherent, though occasionally eloquent period epic co-directed by Jackie Chan and Zhang Li.
Peter Keough - Boston Phoenix
Corny, preachy and tedious.
Nick Schager - Time Out
Notwithstanding a few stilted moments, the film looks splendid, with extraordinary detail and a dynamic sense of action
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile