The Killer (1989)

The Killer

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.


Movie Info

Though John Woo's lifelong admiration of Sam Peckinpah, Sergio Leone, Martin Scorsese, and Stanley Kubrick are also evident in this stylish actioner, the film is essentially a tribute to Jean-Pierre Melville and his cult thriller Le Samouraļ. During a restaurant shoot-out, hitman Jeff (Chow Yun-Fat) accidentally hurts the eyes of a singer (Sally Yeh). Later, he meets the girl and discovers that if she does not have a very expensive operation very soon, she will go blind. To get the money for the … More

Rating: R
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: John Woo
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jan 1, 1998
Runtime:
Kino

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Cast


as Jeffrey Chow

as Jennie

as Det. Lee

as Det. Randy

as Sydney

as Johnny

as Willie Tsang

as Tony Weng

as Frankie Feng

as Chief Inspector Tu

as Inspector Chan

as Bodyguard

as Bodyguard
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Critic Reviews for The Killer

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (5)

A lot of claims have been made for this campy bloodbath concerto by Hong Kong director John Woo, and I must admit that he's even better than Brian De Palma at delivering emotional and visceral excess with staccato relentlessness.

Full Review… | March 1, 2007
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

The director repeatedly places the viewer at the center of the crossfire and turns the gyrating camera into the next best thing to a lethal weapon.

Full Review… | February 11, 2006
New York Times
Top Critic

The most dementedly elegiac thriller you've ever seen.

Full Review… | February 9, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Like any true artist, Woo didn't satisfy himself with merely copying his heroes: he transcended them with his own ideas and innovations.

Full Review… | April 16, 2015
The Young Folks

For all the bullets that are spent, The Killer spends just as much time ruminating on the likes of honor, friendship and even the allure of guns themselves

Full Review… | June 30, 2014
LarsenOnFilm

One of the few films to hold a legitimate claim to the title of Greatest Action Movie of All Time.

Full Review… | February 3, 2011
Projection Booth

Audience Reviews for The Killer

½

John Woo's visceral action masterpiece The Killer is his finest directorial effort. Brilliantly acted with an exhilarating storyline, Woo delivers a film that is one of the finest examples of Asian action cinema. Chow Yun Fat is magnetic as Ah Jong, a professional assassin who gets double crossed by his employer. For action fans, this is one of the best films that you can watch. Brilliantly filmed, with memorable action sequences and a well thought storyline, which is simple in its execution, yet is highly engaging from start to finish, due to John Woo's kinetic directorial style. John Woo is famous for making pictures that are highly stylish, focusing on specifics in many scenes, such as slow motion and fast paced shoot 'em up sequences. Although nowadays, that style has been slightly overdone, Woo makes it his trademark, and makes the best use of such methods of filmmaking. The result is displayed here, and what's shown is a thrill a minute action flick that brilliantly uses its visuals to enhance the viewer's experience. I've seen many foreign action films, but none have the power that The Killer has. Woo would later direct, bolder action films, but none have the character that this film possesses. The reason is simply put, that this film is raw, gritty and ultimately more intense. John Woo's later work would be more polished with emphasis on complex stories, and excessive effects. However here, everything is handled in a way that, it does show Woo's unique directorial style, while not overwhelming you with excessive slow motion and other effects that would be a standout in his future efforts. This is John Woo's cinematic masterpiece, a brilliant, piece of cinema that relies on memorable sequences of well thought out action, and a simple plot to create something that you can just immerse yourself in, a strap in for a highly entertaining ride from start to finish. You won't find a finer film of the stature.

TheDudeLebowski65
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

½

An explosive and heart-pounding action classic. An unforgettable and killer action movie masterpiece. A full-throttle action-packed extravaganza that pushes the limit. A spectacular action flick that delivers some of the best action sequences and gun-battles in Hong Kong action cinema. The gun-fights snap and crackle of pure awesomeness. Director, John Woo is one of the true kings of action movie-making. This film stand with his best like Face/Off, Hard-Boiled and A Better Tomorrow. Chow Yun-Fat is at his best. Danny Lee is sensational. Lee and Yun-fat are fantastic together, they square off with one another nicely in scenes that include tension and great character development. A great film that has a great sense of characters. range, emotional depth and story as well as fire-power. One of the best action movies I have ever seen. It's damn near perfect.

allan913
Al S

Super Reviewer

½

A fabulous action drama. The actors do a great job, the story keeps you on the edge of your seat, and the action is so overwhelming, it's hard not to love this movie. There are also some comedic moments. This was a very entertaining movie, and I recommend it.

ajv2688
Aj V

Super Reviewer

The Killer Quotes

– Submitted by Caesar M (23 months ago)
– Submitted by Caesar M (23 months ago)

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