Lest you have any doubt about why they call it the Rape of Nanking, here is the story of one American man’s attempt to save a group of Chinese schoolgirls from rape at the hands of Japanese invaders in the late ’30s. Subtle, it’s not; but then, war isn’t subtle. Christian Bale stars as a reluctant hero (and plays hero better than he plays reluctant), Ni Ni stars as the leader of a group of prostitutes hiding in the church basement, and the whole florid thing would make a great opera. 2012.

1.0 stars

— Matthew Lickona

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