Take Out (2004) - Rotten Tomatoes

Take Out (2004)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Sean Baker and Shih-Ching Tsou make their feature debut as writer/directors with the documentary-style DV drama Take Out. Korean-American actor Charles Jang stars as Ming Ding, a Chinese illegal immigrant struggling to make ends meet working as a deliveryman at a take-out restaurant. His day begins when he is rousted, beaten, and threatened with more violence by two men over an 800-dollar debt, which he incurred because he felt obligated to send some money back to his wife and child in China. Ming scrapes together what he can. His co-worker, Young (Jeng-Hua Yu), lends him some money, and offers to forgo his deliveries for the day so Ming can make more cash. The film follows the stoic Ming, who speaks little English, over the course of the day as he interacts with the cooks and restaurant manager (Wang-Thye Lee, an actual employee of the restaurant where Take Out was filmed), and races in the rain on a multitude of deliveries on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, interacting with a broad spectrum of New Yorkers. The filmmakers made Take Out on an extremely low budget, even by indie standards, using the Internet to find their cast, and shooting at the restaurant during business hours with a skeleton crew. Take Out was shown at the 2004 New York Asian American Film Festival and at the 2004 Nashville Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize.more
Rating: Unrated
Genre: Art House & International, Drama
Directed By: , ,
Written By: Sean Baker (II) , Sean Baker, Shih-Ching Tsou
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 1, 2009
Cavu Pictures - Official Site


Charles Jang
as Ming Ding
Wang-Thye Lee
as Big Sister
Eva Huang
as Ming's Cousin
Shih-Yun Tsou
as Collector #1
Joe Chien
as Collector #2
Kenny Pang
as Door Opener
Waley Liu
as Ming's Roommate
Ed Jansen
as Ming's Roommate #2
David Liu
as Ming's Roommate #3
Ethel Brooks
as First Delivery
Victor Sally
as Fried Hard
Tanya Perez
as Second Delivery
Maria Greenspan
as Portuguese-Speaking ...
Sandra McCullogh
as Mother with Two Chil...
Sharinee McCullogh
as Running Toddler
Renee McCullogh
as Older Sister
Javier Cortes
as Nice Tipper
J.P. Partland
as Horn Delivery
Theodore Bouloukos I...
as No Speakee English
Yessica Amadis
as Smoking Phone Woman
Patrice A. Duffy
as Nice Woman Delivery
James Price
as Hardware Store #1
Juan Carlos Perdomo
as Hardward Store #3
Eunice Wong
as Dark Hallway Deliver...
Yaron Prywes
as Young Prep Delivery
Kevin Karagulian
as Chicken or Beef
Alia Carpenter
as Mother with Crying B...
Kamali Karagulian
as Cyring Baby
Tim Hummel
as Fighting Couple Guy
Althia A. Cline
as Fighting Couple Woma...
Rory Kelly
as Dog Hallway Delivery
Michael Fuehrer
as Mail Order Faster
Monica Kester
as Thank You Delivery
Cailin Pitt
as Barber Shop Kid
Marie Pitt
as Barber Shop Mom
Joe Franza
as Not a World Delivery
Harold Edmondson
as Fork Couple Guy
John Sloan
as Discount Customer
Barbara Levenson
as Long Hallway Deliver...
Claudia Ganzales
as Spanish-Speaking Tee...
Baqi Abdush-Shaheed
as Clean the Shrimp
Gil Selinger
as Only Euros
Preet Pannu
as Only Euros Wife
Amy Daniels
as 845 West End
Tony Roach
as Change Man
Devin E. Haqq
as Elephants and Tigers
Josh Wick
as Elephants and Tigers...
Luca Bigni
as Quiet Teen Delivery
Peter Camacho
as Other Half of the Ch...
Angel Feliciano
as Ketchup on the Fries...
Julio Lugo
as Ketchup on the Fries...
Edwin Banyar
as Ketchup on the Fries...
Omar A. Franco
as Hip-Hop Apartment Ma...
Omar Jennett
as Hip-Hop Apartment Ma...
Amin Joseph
as Hip-Hop Apartment Ma...
Jeron Moss
as Hip-Hop Apartment Ma...
Jake Walker
as Hip-Hop Apartment Ma...
Chris Espinal
as Six Girls, Six Numbe...
Sandra Cartagena
as Spanish-Speaking Mot...
Sylvan Wallach
as Side-Door Delivery
Anetra V. Humphries
as Last Delivery
Andrew Ko
as Last Delivery
Vickeya Miller
as Take-Out Customer
Peter Corrigan
as Take-Out Customer
Helen Corringan
as Take-Out Customer
Karina Sturdivant
as Take-Out Customer
Annette Sturdivant
as Take-Out Customer
Gary Garcia
as Take-Out Customer
Wilson Rodriguez
as Take-Out Customer
Fausto Peralta
as Take-Out Customer
Blake Alexander John...
as Take-Out Customer
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Take Out

Critic Reviews for Take Out

All Critics (23) | Top Critics (9)

[The] endless string of demeaning apartment-doorway interactions with a convincing cross-section of hungry customers is darkly funny, even if it never snowballs into the After Hours-type obstacle course one might hope.

Full Review… | September 19, 2008
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

A remarkable film...Baker and Tsous simple narrative feels like a richly authentic documentary.

Full Review… | July 10, 2008
New Yorker
Top Critic

A deeply affecting portrayal of a struggling Chinese emigre in contempo Gotham.

Full Review… | June 24, 2008
Top Critic

The movie took a long time to get distribution, but there's no expiration date on filmmaking this strong.

Full Review… | June 6, 2008
AV Club
Top Critic

Relying on ambient sound, a handheld camera and lots of close-ups, Take Out is realistically raw and bleak.

Full Review… | June 6, 2008
New York Post
Top Critic

The season's freshest, most sympathetic movie about making your way in modern-day Manhattan with a little help from your friends.

Full Review… | June 6, 2008
New York Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Take Out

Stay away from this movie at all costs. There is absolutely no redeeming quality this film possesses. It's repetitive, slow-paced and very dull. What could've been an interesting character study of illegal immigrants and their integration into the American society, instead, turned into a ho-hum attempt at creating a slice-of-life picture that makes you want to slice your wrists instead. "Tedious" would be a step-up for this. "Boring" is more like it.

Rico Zamora

Super Reviewer

In "Take Out," Ming Ding(Charles Jang) has been threatened by loan sharks he is in debt to. If he does not pay them $800 by the end of the day, they will double his debt. And they leave him something to remember them by. The first $500 is easy enough and his co-worker Young(Jeng-Hua Yu), who has dreams of bigger things than delivering Chinese food, gives him another $150. He also helps out Ming by giving him his deliveries for the day, and therefore his tips, because he also really does not want to be riding a bicycle in the rain in Manhattan, not exactly a bike friendly place.

"Take Out" takes a realistic approach in its depiction of immigrant life in New York City with its digitally shot footage at street level. The immigrants are here trying to make a better life for themselves but also in many cases, like Ming's and Young's, leave family behind. So, in the new country, they have to work together to survive. What separates Ming is that he has borrowed money from loan sharks to pay off his family. That's what gives the movie its driving force but also puts it at odds with its otherwise naturalistic approach.(By comparison, "Clerks" did well by just depicting one ordinary day in the life of a convenience store.) That's not to mention that we do not have any way to measure how well Ming is doing through the day(His previous record is $90.) which leads to a good deal of repetitiveness and a predictable buildup to something I could see happening a mile away.

Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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