Brotherhood of Blades

2014 [CHINESE]


Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 60% · 100 ratings
IMDb Rating 6.6/10 10 3608 3.6K

Plot summary

In the late Ming Dynasty, three sworn brothers who serve as the imperial secret police are dispatched to hunt down Wei Zhongxian, a eunuch politician who had been forced to resign from his influential post and exiled from Beijing. The brothers return successfully from their quest, only to find that their task was but the beginning of a strange conspiracy.

December 05, 2023 at 06:14 PM


Yang Lu

Top cast

Chen Chang as Shen Lian
1 GB
Chinese 2.0
24 fps
1 hr 51 min
Seeds ...

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by quincytheodore 6 / 10

A nice tale of corruption in ancient China, told by overly melodramatic characters

With the betrayal and corruption theme, Brotherhood of the Blades resembles a gangster movie set in modern era, though the choice on making it with martial art effect was a sound one. It delivers the story with different perspectives of the main characters equally, as well as admirable action sequences. Nonetheless, it is bogged down by a couple of unrealistic characterizations. There are several subplots which are simply hard to relate to, especially when these characters act in such excessively theatrical manner.

Story revolves around three brothers who work as elite officers, occasionally moonlighting as assassins. Despite the dangerous line of work, they are still troubled by various issues, mostly pertaining money. When a chance to gain riches comes, with life-threatening conspiracy behind it, they must decide how to deal with the precarious situation. The film is at its best when it depicts the three leads continuously.

Each of them has their own problem, their actions have further consequences that affect the others. This results in a mild wit battle against the villain, though it's not fully realized. Acting for the leading role is good, these brothers are sympathetic and easy to cheer for, mainly since everyone else is completely corrupt. Unfortunately, this shared spotlight doesn't always work. At some points the subplots are reaching too far and the acting performance suffer from it.

Supporting characters like the courtesan occasionally acts in blank stare or unidentifiable emotion. Others seem like they are shoehorned to bolster the cast or vilified just for the sake of creating unlikeable personas. Not only that, these on-screen characters also make awful decisions. For a movie with a lot tension and drama, these moments feel forced and exhausting to watch.

Choreography is still great, a boon for martial art movie. The action moves fluidly and precisely. I personally like how the film is very confident on how it uses terrains or weapons for the spectacle. Brotherhood of Blades could've been better if it had used more restraint on a couple of its subplots, nevertheless the mix of crime drama and stylish martial art will entertain the fans of this genre.

Reviewed by kosmasp 7 / 10

Brotherhood of Blades

The international title is very fitting, though I can't tell you what the original title means. If you like Eastern movies, and especially the ones with swords involved in the action, you will like this too. The action is amazing and you can tell it's never easy to shoot and make those fights as believable as we see them here.

The story is pretty decent and easy to follow (maybe to easy for some, but you can't always have complex stories). It's about Honor, love and betrayal, so some might call it overly dramatic in its structure, but you have to have some pillars to build your story around. And then have the fighting mean something: Great stunts and good enough acting overall

Reviewed by lyx-1 9 / 10


This is one of the best Chinese period movie by far. The tale has enough plot twists to hold the audience's interest, the action is not too CGI wirefu, the persistent theme of brotherhood in Woo's movie is well-executed, the acting is low key and believable. Can't understand the low ratings, except perhaps there's disappointment in anticipating more choreographed action.

The tale of corruption, ruthlessness and court intrigues sets the backdrop for the historic fall of the Ming Dynasty to the Manchurian Qing Dynasty. The chaos, killings, double betrayals, etc. characterize the perils of a realm in decay, and the ascend of an external threat. The movie is stronger for not shying away from the portrayal and in offering an uncomfortable end.

For once, the plot, characters and the historic backdrop actually held my interest more than the swordplay. For this I awarded a higher rating to mitigate the down votes from those expecting a wuxia blood splattered wirefu action and were disappointed to see mediocre bladework.

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