You can watch the film at Youtube at this link.
The New York Times calls it "as visually striking as it is dramatically effective". The Guardian says, "No film had a more startling effect in the west than Yimou's Raise the Red Lantern".
Senses of Cinema discusses the film's meaning and says, "It is no wonder that Raise the Red Lantern was banned in China when it was released in 1991 and was never screened in cinemas." Rolling Stone calls it "a magnificent film that confirms Zhang as a world-class director". Empire Online closes with this: "A haunting, beautiful film ably led by the perfectly understated performances of the main actors. A delight."
Roger Ebert has it on his list of Great Movies. Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 96%.