Take Out - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Take Out Reviews

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½ November 9, 2014
"Take Out" presents the day in the life of a Chinese delivery man, complicated by the need to collect extra tips to pay off a debt. It is unassuming and, by the end, riveting in its normalcy. The story of the making of the film is almost as enticing as the film itself.
July 11, 2014
A hidden gem! You probably haven't even heard of it but it's not to be missed. The gritty, yet beautiful cinematography, coupled with the seemingly improvised acting and dialogue make for a raw, docu-style film experience that is unforgettable.
½ June 4, 2013
Take Out is a surprisingly entertaining film that takes you through the average day of an illegal chinese immigrant. The atmosphere of the film is so authentic and real that you just assume the actors actually deal with this trouble daily. The narrarive is about as simple as it gets, you just watch Ming deliver take out to many agitated customers that show very little respect for Ming and his troubles. However, the narrative is thoroughly enlightening, because it generalizes the chinese immigrant experience, but also illuminates it in the perfect light. In short, I reccomend you watch this film merely for the enlightening experience, but you may find yourself grossly entertained.
February 10, 2013
This foreign language movie delivers literally. Shih-Ching Tsou and Sean Bakers delivers a movie of a day-in-the-life of an unseen world of a illegal Chinese immigrant working as a deliveryman for a Chinese take-out shop in New York City.
July 6, 2011
Anybody who's had a food delivery position will be delighted to see this cinematic representation on how exciting their job can be.
½ June 22, 2011
A haunting and intimate documentary.
Super Reviewer
August 28, 2010
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.
February 16, 2010
For what it is, not bad. I can definitely feel the realism behind the main character and the storyline. Although, many would say, why pay to see a Korean actor play a chinese delivery person? Definitely brings back memories of my moms and pops, lol.
February 4, 2010
A very real look into immigrant life here in the states. Having worked in restaurants for many years, I have had the privledge to know many of these folks who wage everything to come here. For the people who did not like this film...wake up and realize not everything in this world is for your own self serving entertainment!
Super Reviewer
½ January 29, 2010
For a cast of professional & non professional actors, This movie was pretty good
½ January 10, 2010
This indie film about a US illegal Chinese immigrant is just fair. It got a pretty good start but after that, it's just some similar, repetitive and even annoying dialogues and situations. And the whole movie looks like a Chinese delivery guy's daily life documentary rather than a movie about the difficult life of an illegal immgrant. And compare to the docu-like first 70 minutes, the ending is far too dramatic and unreal.
January 9, 2010
I would compare this to a neorealist film like The Bicycle Thief. This follows a Chinese immigrant for one day as he struggles to make tips as a means of paying off hammer-wielding loan sharks. I add this to the list of movies I will reflect upon when I think I am having a bad day.
½ December 29, 2009
(**): Thumbs Down

Not as compelling or rewarding to watch as I was hoping.
November 3, 2009
A hidden gem! You probably haven't even heard of it, BUT it's not to be missed. The grime, yet beautiful cinematography, coupled with the seemingly improvised acting and dialogue make for a raw, docu-style film experience that is unforgettable.
October 31, 2009
I like 'subtle cinema' but you can overdo it :) 90 minutes without seeing any emotion on the face of the main character is too subtle for me. I really couldn't identify with Ming.
½ October 16, 2009
This movie shows why the public can't trust critics. Take a single, hand held camera and try to film a "documentary" at a local beehive of activity, this time a Chinese take-out. You realize half way through filming that the film is just plain dull after the first 10 minutes. So you decide to do a docudrama. Now you need a story. Back to film school. Get a central character and a plot. Make it sad, easier to do. The plot is as thin as a middle school classroom writing assignment. It has a beginning, but no middle, a predictable climax (lame as well), and a totally unlikely conclusion. But now your movie is only 40 minutes long. OK, go ahead and shoot an hour more tedious footage retelling the sad fate of food delivery and personalities buying Chinese food. Add in subtitles to make in artsy.

Like Chinese food, I hope my memory of it will be over soon. Here's something to consider,... Rotten Tomatoes gave it the same score as "Wizard of Oz". This time Rotten Tomatoes earned a "splat".
½ October 6, 2009
What feels like tedious and overlong repetition draws you into the stark reality of modern-day illegal immigrant life. The micro-budget production and handheld camera appropriately frame the story. Racial and class-based themes are explored through many brief but poignant encounters.
October 5, 2009
This "100% on rotten tomatoes" film touts the premise of exploring the struggles of poor illegal immigrants in the USA against ruthless moneylenders. In reality, 99% of the film is watching someone make entirely uneventful deliveries from a take out restaurant. Dire.
½ October 1, 2009
A fabulous film that more people need to see. It's encouraging to see this kind of filmmaking taking place in the US. The film is shot in a verite style, engenders empathy for its protagonist through repetition, and offers a humanistic vision of illegal immigrants through its quietly powerful narrative. This is the kind of film that requires active participation from the viewer, but the end result is well worth it. Truly a wonderful film.
½ September 16, 2009
Is this some kind of cruel joke? Apparently.
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