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Shanghai Calling (2013)



Average Rating: 5.1/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 4

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 255

My Rating

Movie Info

Imagine a steady stream of immigrants, traveling across a vast ocean to a foreign country, searching for new jobs and better lives. But the immigrants are Americans, and the country they are moving to... is China. SHANGHAI CALLING is a romantic comedy about modern-day American immigrants in an unfamiliar land. When an ambitious New York attorney is sent to Shanghai on assignment, he immediately stumbles into a legal mess that could spell the end of his career. But with help from a beautiful


Drama, Romance, Comedy

Daniel Hsia

Sep 16, 2013

Starz Media - Official Site External Icon

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February 14, 2013:
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All Critics (15) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (8) | Rotten (7)

Daniel Henney is personable as Sam, and Eliza Coupe is even more so as Amanda. Daniel Hsia wrote and directed with agility, and he makes sure that his story doesn't get in the way of his presentation of the city.

March 11, 2013 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
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[A] modest charmer.

February 14, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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Though Mr. Hsia, a television alumnus who also wrote the script, has created a somewhat predictable story infused with stereotypes old and new, he gains mileage from light humor, buoyant energy and some appealing performers.

February 14, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
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Shanghai Calling doesn't aspire to fresh insight, let alone profundity. But it's nice to see the American migration narrative get out of the house for some fresh air.

February 14, 2013 Full Review Source: NPR
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A clear affection for its subject and setting help deepen Daniel Hsia's otherwise shallow romantic comedy.

February 14, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
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It's a sharp setup - a rich American learns what it's like to be steamrolled by unfettered capitalism - but the script cushions things completely.

February 14, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
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A star is born in Daniel Henney in the predictable film by Daniel Hsia...

September 14, 2014 Full Review Source:

Henney's lanky appeal as he tries to cope with an avalanche of language and cultural challenges is a pleasure to watch.

February 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Beliefnet

Offbeat scenarios, a fresh backdrop and warm performances enliven this vibrant, surprising, Chinese-shot treat, a fun cross-cultural romantic comedy with echoes of Jerry Maguire.

February 17, 2013 Full Review Source:

If you prefer your social commentary in the form of a glorified sitcom with broad humor and even broader caricatures, look no further.

February 13, 2013 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Light mainstream feature has enough charisma and cultural observations -- but only just

November 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Movie Habit
Movie Habit

Audience Reviews for Shanghai Calling

Shanghai Calling is an entertaining romantic comedy and very accurate portrayal of expatriate life in Shanghai, China. Daniel Hsia, the writer and director, has created a funny and strangely personal adventure of an American executive navigating the personal and professional idiosyncrasies of modern expat/Chinese culture. I can attest to this given I also was an expat executive in Shanghai. (Several scenes are shot in Vizcaya, the exact same housing complex I lived in from 2005 to 2008.) While it may not be as funny for those that haven't had similar experiences, there is still enough unique comedy scenes to make it an enjoyable romp for most. What makes it stand out from most of Hollywood's stereotypical coverage of life in China is that it takes conventional perceptions of China and turns them on its head.
February 9, 2013
Mark B.

Super Reviewer

The latest comedy written and directed by Daniel Hsia is his debut feature. It is about a Chinese American who speaks no Chinese dealing with his relocation to Shanghai. The movie opened in Chinese cinemas last week.


The film stars American Korean Daniel Henney as Sam, an attorney from New York City. Sam is sent to China by his employer with no knowledge of the local language and customs. The culture clash is huge and he tries to tackle it but with no success - we are witnessing his embarrassing encounters with locals as he tries to understand how things work in China. Eliza Coupe plays his relocation specialist and later Sam's romantic interest. The cast includes Geng Le and Zhu Zhu but even with them the acting is bellow average.

The main problem of this movie is that comes out as a kind of a cross cultural romcom with nothing behind it! You could say that there is semi-cute romance and lightweight comedy but the thing you'll remember is that the director is really trying hard taking his time to highlight the virtues of China in general and the city of Shanghai in particular.

This official US-China co-production is like some kind of advertising designed to appeal to both Asian and Western audiences... but talking with my friends from both sides - wasn't very successful doing it!
January 21, 2013
Panta Oz

Super Reviewer

    1. Sam: China's going to be a great place once it's finished.
    – Submitted by Frances H (9 months ago)
View all quotes (1)

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