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Sun Taam (Mad Detective) (2008)



Average Rating: 6.8/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 4,375

My Rating

Movie Info

A psychotic ex-policeman with a mysterious supernatural gift proves invaluable in the case of a missing police firearm and its vanished owner in this tense police thriller from co-directors Johnny To (Fulltime Killer) and Wai Ka-fai (Running on Karma). Bun is an outcast detective who always seems to crack the case despite having some rather serious personality flaws. When Bun slices off his ear and offers it up as a gift at a party staged to honor one of his superiors, he is promptly forced into

Nov 3, 2009

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July 17, 2008:
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All Critics (19) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (16) | Rotten (3)

A stylishly funky Hong Kong thriller from cult director Johnnie To and co-writer/codirector Wai Ka Fai.

August 8, 2008 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Mad Detective doesn't always make sense, and you cannot always tell what is real and what is imaginary, but viewers will be having too much zonked-out fun to care.

July 18, 2008 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If the insanely inventive and entertaining Mad Detective weren't so weird -- and in Cantonese -- hordes of action geeks would be lining the block to see it.

July 18, 2008 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Fleeting confusion and bizarre literalization aside, Mad Detective is an effective mystery story, with an oddball hero -- like TV's Monk, but far crazier -- and some moments of visceral violence that raise the stakes.

July 17, 2008 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Every moment in Mad Detective seems engineered for maximum oddity; it almost becomes overwhelming...Yet the movie feels adventuresome, too, a new bridge to Asia‚(TM)s soulful ghost canon. It‚(TM)s a metaphysical mystery masquerading as a doodle.

July 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Even if you lose track of who's shooting whom and why during the abstract climactic face-off, the clever last shot shows you're not alone.

July 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An inventive oddball pic that's diverting and borders on the ridiculous but never becomes uninteresting or completely loses its way.

May 9, 2010 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Expect an inferior American remake within five years.

September 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Oregonian

Cleverly scripted, brilliantly acted and masterfully edited, Mad Detective explores the very human capacity to lose one's moral centre in a crisis.

August 9, 2008
Little White Lies

More comical than compelling, but what do you expect of a chopsocky revolving around a head case of a hero begging to be buried alive in order to channel his psychic powers?

July 21, 2008 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze

A freewheeling narrative that twists around its central themes with manic intensity.

July 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

too cluttered to be engrossing or even entertaining

July 17, 2008 Full Review Source:

It may make no sense to throw logic out the window, but that's exactly what makes Detective such an unhinged blast.

July 16, 2008 Full Review Source: New York Press
New York Press

Director Johnny To's previous flicks are slicker affairs, but there's still plenty here to please the fans.

July 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

To and Ka-fai's widescreen lensing is both elegant and sharp, its distorted angles and flaring white lights generating a sense of unease that complements Bun's instability and Chi-Wai's fractured self.

July 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Interminable and pointless virtually from start to finish...

October 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews | Comments (2)
Reel Film Reviews

The prolific Johnny To and his occasional collaborator Wai Ka Fai here put a new twist on the standard police yarn.

September 29, 2007 Full Review Source: Screen International
Screen International

Another very, very solid crime drama from Johnnie To and Wai Ka-fai.

September 15, 2007
Planet Sick-Boy

Audience Reviews for Sun Taam (Mad Detective)

An original and intriguing Hong Kong made thriller about a detective who claims to have the supernatural ability to see the inner personalities of people, something he puts to good use in his line of work. It's an interesting idea but I think it deserved a better story to play out the use of its gimmick. It kept my attention though and I was never really sure if the characters' "gift" was real or just in his imagination until all is revealed after the climactic Mexican stand-off. It's a good film but could have been better.
May 16, 2011
Lee ?

Super Reviewer

edge of your seat thriller with an insane and/or psychic lead character keeps u guessing about what's real/not real. stylish and a lot of fun with ending straight out of lady from shanghai!
March 15, 2011
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

Very original character for a police story. Enjoyed, even if I did get extremely confused in places!
March 1, 2009

Super Reviewer

Good direction from To, solid performances from everyone (Andy On is just tolerable, nothing more) but the script doesn't help to make this something better. To works a lot better by himself.
June 21, 2008
Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

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