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Chungking Express Reviews

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Jeff Shannon
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

I've never been a big fan of technique that calls attention to itself, but Wong's frenetic blend of slow motion, pixilation, rushing backgrounds and frozen foregrounds (or vice versa) is as integral to this movie as its bubbly story and characters.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3/4

May 28, 2014
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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[Wong's] hypnotic images of love and loss finally wear down your resistance as seemingly discordant sights and sounds coalesce into a radiant, crazy quilt.

Full Review Source: Rolling Stone

May 28, 2014
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
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Chungking Express is a breezy little Hong Kong movie that has more life, energy, humanity and sheer visual zing than most other shows you'll see in a month or so.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3.5/4

May 28, 2014
Dave Kehr
New York Daily News
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Dull it is not, but Wong's trademark sense of romantic melancholy fails to jell amid all the excess.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 2/4

May 28, 2014
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
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It's the cinematic equivalent of popcorn on a hot stove with jump-cut shots, freeze frames, stirringly beautiful images and boundless energy.

May 28, 2014
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
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A lyrical and delightfully goofy study in romantic longing.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3/4

May 28, 2014
David Sterritt
Christian Science Monitor

Written and directed by Wong Kar-wai, the film is an imaginative piece of filmmaking and an evocative essay on contemporary Hong Kong as it prepares for a return to Chinese rule.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: 3/4

May 28, 2014
Roger Hurlburt
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Made in less than three months using a hand-held camera, director/writer Wong Kar-Wai's Chungking Express is a tale that only a diehard film buff might enjoy.

Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel

May 28, 2014
James Wolcott
New Yorker
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The film is so talky, repetitious, visually stuttery, and slackly paced that sitting through it once is like seeing it twice.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

May 28, 2014
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
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Wong made Chungking in just 23 days, and the film's mad-dash energy is nicely reflected in his quartet of stars. Wong, himself a star of cinema's future, has already shown that he possesses a uniquely '90s voice, eye and spirit.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

May 28, 2014
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
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Wong's singular frenetic visual style and his special feeling for lonely romantics may remind you of certain French New Wave directors, but this movie isn't a trip down memory lane; it's a vibrant commentary on young love today, packed with punch.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

May 28, 2014
Kim Newman
Empire Magazine

Wong's dreamlike tone and Doyle's stunning cinematography make this strange love story a joy to watch.

Full Review Source: Empire Magazine | Original Score: 4/5

May 28, 2014
David Parkinson
Radio Times

The performances as a whole are a joy and the script is a gem.

Full Review Source: Radio Times | Original Score: 4/5

May 28, 2014


Despite the simplicity of the stories, Chungking Express is an inventive, richly human and rewarding film that expands Hong Kong cinema in one fell swoop.

Full Review Source: Film4

May 28, 2014

Total Film

The pleasure to be had from hanging out with Wong's pale-and-interesting unrequited lovers lies in the zippy shooting style and warm, winning performances.

Full Review Source: Total Film | Original Score: 4/5

May 28, 2014
Leah Rozen
People Magazine

Neither of the movie's two stories makes complete sense, but that hardly matters. This is like being inside a pinball machine with a toddler at the controls.

Full Review Source: People Magazine

May 28, 2014
Jason Anderson

Quentin Tarantino and Xavier Dolan are just two of the directors who've worshipped at the altar of Wong Kar-wai. Chungking Express remains the best reason why.

Full Review Source: eye WEEKLY | Original Score: 5/5

April 20, 2011
Rob Nelson
City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul

Pure sensation, yes, but with a distinct point of view.

Full Review Source: City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul

September 1, 2009
Derek Elley
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A quicksilver magical mystery tour through the lives of a bunch of young downtown loners.

Full Review Source: Variety

March 26, 2009
Matt Noller
Slant Magazine

Despite the liveliness of Chungking Express's first half, it's this second story that catapults it into the company of Wong's best films.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 3.5/4

November 25, 2008
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