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Mou gaan dou (Infernal Affairs)

Mou gaan dou (Infernal Affairs) (2002)

tomatometer

95

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Reviews Counted: 60
Fresh: 57 | Rotten: 3

Smart and engrossing, this is one of Hong Kong's better cop thrillers.

100

Average Rating: 8/10
Critic Reviews: 22
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 0

Smart and engrossing, this is one of Hong Kong's better cop thrillers.

audience

95

liked it
Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 61,590

My Rating

Movie Info

As Infernal Affairs opens, Ming (Andy Lau of Full-time Killer) is being initiated into the criminal underworld by triad boss Sam (Eric Tsang of The Accidental Spy), who ends his speech to his young charges by wishing them success in the police department. Ming enters the police academy, where he excels, but sees his classmate, Yan (Tony Leung Chiu-Wai of In the Mood for Love), expelled for "breaking the rules." It turns out that Yan wasn't actually drummed out of the force, but recruited by

Dec 7, 2004

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All Critics (68) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (57) | Rotten (3) | DVD (21)

Everything you'd want in a police action thriller: powerhouse performances, Grade A production values, a good script and suspenseful direction.

February 4, 2005 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Beauty in its consistent, washed-out blues and silvers, grace in its understated, intense male performances and energy in its unyielding commitment to tone and tension.

December 24, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What makes it special is the inner turmoil caused by living a lie. If everyone you know and everything you do for 10 years indicates you are one kind of person, and you know you are another, how do you live with that?

December 24, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A beautifully crafted, exciting story that keeps on surprising you to the very end.

December 2, 2004 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is what movies are supposed to feel like -- provocative, exciting, chilling, complex and fully engaging.

November 29, 2004
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Skilfully directed by cinematographer Andrew Lau Wai-Keung, Infernal Affairs has the feel of a made-for-prime-time U.S. police thriller.

November 27, 2004 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Seductively shot and beautifully acted, this is like a summation film, bringing together all the themes, motifs, mood, and style of the gritty policier Hong Kong thriller, one that will make John Woo and Michael Mann proud.

August 18, 2006 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

This intense, explosive Hong Kong thriller ushers in a new era of hyper-intelligent action.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

well-written, well-directed and well-acted genre film

November 26, 2005 Full Review Source: Draxblog Movie Reviews

Ultimately quiet tepid.

May 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness | Comments (4)
Lessons of Darkness

Um inteligente drama policial que se preocupa mais com o desenvolvimento de seus personagens (e com as relações entre estes) do que com tiroteios e reviravoltas.

May 3, 2005
Cinema em Cena

Far too light on action to be very exciting, and far too generic and familiar to be genuinely intriguing, Infernal Affairsis ultimately a forgettable affair.

March 3, 2005 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com | Comments (4)
eFilmCritic.com

Potboiler Hong Kong cop drama with a fairly interesting plot about moral dilemmas and mixed allegiances.

February 4, 2005 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Solid character-centric piece that's more interested in psychology than in gritty action sequences.

February 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Window to the Movies
Window to the Movies

...has an intensity usually reserved for Greek tragedy.

January 5, 2005 Full Review Source: Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)
Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)

I appreciated the filmmakers' conviction to keep the story as gutsy as possible. The film doesn't flinch.

December 31, 2004 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

More reasonably plotted than most films of the action genre.

December 20, 2004 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A blistering thriller and an intelligent character study and a comic take-off on the conventions of thrillers.

December 9, 2004 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

This is the type of movie Asian action fans talk about when they say they love the genre.

December 7, 2004 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

The twists offered in Infernal Affairs ... take the genre to enthralling new heights, guaranteeing that any future such efforts will have an entirely new bar for which to aim.

December 5, 2004 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Infernal Affairs is the combustible Hong Kong fever dream that would emerge from a night spent watching Heat and Donnie Brasco back to back.

December 2, 2004 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

Audience Reviews for Mou gaan dou (Infernal Affairs)

A very smart and taut thriller that prefers to focus on its characters and the relationship between them instead of jumping into action, shootings and twists as usually expected to be seen in this kind of crime movie.
November 28, 2012
blacksheepboy

Super Reviewer

An explosive crime-thriller. It's Heat meets Resivor dogs. Sets new standards for the cops and criminals genre. It's superb and magnificent. A tense, gritty and remarkable film in every way. It`s stylish, excellent, thrilling and unforgettable. A riveting, brilliant and absolutely sensational movie that packs pure suspense and surprises. A powerful and extraordinary piece of work. Awesomely entertaining. An incredible adrenaline-rush that wont quit and is packed with blistering action and amazing twist and turns. A stunning, deeply moving, surprisingly effective and breathtaking. This is where The Departed was found. A Hong Kong classic. Andy Lau and Tony Leung give outstanding performances. A knockout that has great charisma and a theme that's all its own
October 30, 2012
allan913

Super Reviewer

Two cops face off against each other in a race against time to discover their respective identities; one honest, working within a drug runner's gang and the other corrupt, working for the criminals. The inspiration for The Departed, this is one of the seminal Asian crime dramas of the last few years. Well, ever, in fact. My main problem with it is that I REALLY wish I'd seen it first. The difference between this and The Departed highlights the difference between HK and US movie-making in general; The Departed was full of colourful language, brutal violence and macho posturing, while this is a far more understated affair. Unfortunately this means it is far more reliant on the twists and turns of the very cleverly written plot, and so anyone who has seen The Departed already will know what's going to happen in advance. If viewed the other way round, one can still enjoy Scorsese's reinterpretation of events with his colourful and characterful fleshing out of the story. It is a quality piece of film-making, but I would seriously suggest to anyone who has seen neither to go for this one first.
October 19, 2012
garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

Apparently, the original movie that inspired the American movie The Departed. I did not know this going in, but now I see the connection. Fantastic stuff here! This version is more of a psychological drama, than an action movie. Just as good, in my book.
February 1, 2012
itsjustme2004

Super Reviewer

    1. Insp. Lau Kin-ming: You really want me to die.
    2. Younger Chan: I'm sorry, I'm a cop.
    3. Insp. Lau Kin-ming: Who knows?
    – Submitted by Robert L (9 months ago)
    1. Keung: Remember this, if you see someone doing something but at the same time watching you... then he is a cop.
    – Submitted by Luong N (2 years ago)
    1. Supt. Wong: I remember a story. Two fools are waiting for their kidney transplant but only one kidney is available. Thus they play a game. They put a card on each others pockets. Whoever guesses the card in his own pocket wins.
    2. Hon Sam: You know I can see your card.
    3. Supt. Wong: I think so too
    4. Hon Sam: I will beat you.
    5. Supt. Wong: Let's see. We should be more careful.
    6. Hon Sam: I will.
    7. Supt. Wong: By the way, whoever loses the game dies.
    8. Hon Sam: Let's see when you're going to die.
    9. Supt. Wong: [extends his hand for a handshake]
    10. Hon Sam: Ever seen someone shake a corpse's hand?
    – Submitted by Dennis L (2 years ago)
View all quotes (3)

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Foreign Titles

  • Infernal Affairs (Mou gaan dou) (DE)
  • Infernal Affairs (UK)
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