West 32nd - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

West 32nd Reviews

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½ May 2, 2015
After a murder, a lawyer and criminals mingle in NYC's Koreatown. A dark and cynical look at the underworld and the "justice" system. I'm a fan of Cho and Grace, but this feels very made-for-TV. Human trafficking for karaoke rooms? Of course!

"A well-made, street-stylish drama that defies stock Hollywood storytelling conceits with its complex themes and grey-area approach to its subject matter."

-Brian Linder, IGN Movies
½ July 17, 2011
I did see this movie and it was horrible. Wow. I don't know the director and I shudder at the craziness of this movie. It seems the director's talent just isn't there, which can be seen at the poor quality of this movie. Don't hate me for my comment, but John Cho and the legendary Jung Jun-ho was the reason why I even saw this movie in the first place. I'm NOT even going to see his other failed movie. No wonder he didn't get far at all with his directing career. LOL
August 29, 2010
Gangsters everywhere. K-town would be shut down if this were released in theaters.
Super Reviewer
May 18, 2010
If these folks had had a bigger budget, I'm sure this would have been an even better show. Still, it's very good. I'm fascinated by upwards of 50% of this movie, based in K-Town, Queens, NY, utilizing the Korean language, and by the fact that John Cho, both in real life and in the film, is barely able to speak the language. This Americanization and the distancing from one's heritage plays a key role in keeping Cho's character always slightly outside, always slightly "other." Of course this is ironic, since Cho represents mainstream America, and the payoff with this cultural distancing is that Cho distances himself not only from his Korean-ness but right out of mainstream humanity in the end. West 32nd Street is the main strip, the heart of K-Town in Queens, and Cho's venture into this heart ultimately means that he destroys his own heart. Probably my favorite aspect of this whole story is the tribute paid to Bittersweet Life -- definitely one of my all-time favorite Korean films. I watched this three times -- the final time with the commentary on. It takes a lot nowadays to get me to watch a movie more than once.
½ April 12, 2010
after attempting twice during the tribeca film festival in 2007, i finally got to see this movie. good acting by jun sung kim. john cho was ok. this movie seemed very close to typical korean gang movies. very intense, lot of blood. i didn't like the story line. but mad props to the korean americans who made this movie possible in hollywood.
Super Reviewer
½ January 30, 2010
Michael Kang is a Korean American filmmaker, and West 32nd is a crime drama that matches his description.As this picture takes place in New York City, the film does a nice job of showing Korean culture in an American setting. It is a little difficult to say if the fusing of American and Korean cultures is successful, since a good portion of the film does focus on the Korean mafia. It really does feel more like a Korean crime drama than a Hollywood one.The pacing of this 80+ minute film is slow going, despite some of the quick scene jumps and story advances. The early going is a bit bland and so is the plot. Eventually, things pick up as the story progresses.John Cho doesn't exactly steal the show here, since Jun-seong Kim is the one doing that, but his portrayal of a Korean American lawyer is not a failure. The same can be said about the acting of the beautiful Grace Park.West 32nd doesn't hit the ball out of the stadium with a big budget, intense action, or even an exciting story. It just does enough to get by.
January 12, 2010
a well-intentioned but hilariously desperate attempt to portray the gritty dark underworld of my favorite nyc street to frequent. highlights include: the representation of koreans as pro bono clients; the actress who is the azn version of tyra from friday night lights; and john cho's big hair
January 9, 2010
Well written and well acted story about Korea Town and the Korean 'mafia.' John Cho is well cast as an ambitious and anxious lawyer and Jun Sung Kim is great as the likable villain. Grace Park is good too and, beautiful as ever, shows why she is hottest Asian-American in show biz today.
½ January 1, 2010
This was an odd duck of a movie. It had some strange narrative choices and I think it was a hard role for John Cho to play because the film-making choices didn't really make sense in my opinion. Right when you really start to care about what happens to his character, the movie ends. It seems like it was trying to recapture the kind of magic made in "Better Luck Tomorrow" but totally Korean-style, which is alright--but the finished product is unsatisfying. If there was a sequel I would watch it because the characters just aren't done justice in this movie. Oh yeah, and Simon suggested this one.
November 24, 2009
GOOD JOB Hans Kim!!!! go see it guys ;p
November 15, 2009
kind of slow. performances werent bad. seemed to be somewhere in between a murder mystery and an action flick but didnt choose one or the other...maybe it should have. also a lot of huh? who? why? moments. weighty ending didnt weigh very much.
July 29, 2009
this movie was actually pretty crappy but it has john cho and grace park together. that's basically like the korean american equivalent of the pacino de niro scene in heat or the hackman hoffman scene in runaway jury. i dunno, just weird to see probably the two most famous korean americans/canadians working together. the best part of this movie for me was watching grace park speak korean. seriously is enough to make the film for me. i loved the grace park/john cho/grace park's mother scene. that felt so true to me.

the worst part of the film is the supposed hottest woman in the movie is not hot at all. why are people fighting over her? no idea.

dunno if you know, but this movie was produced by a korean film company. so it's a movie about koreans and korean americans in ny by koreans. i dunno i just thought that was an interesting mix.

anyways the plot of this movie is convoluted but not korean movie convoluted. a lot of it takes place in nyc in k-town and it's like you watch it and say, hey! i've eaten there before! i dunno, that's the best praise i can conjure up for it.

but yes please please please hollywood (or cj entertainment) cast john cho and grace park together again. and more korean from grace park please.
½ November 10, 2008
Just checked this out at the VancouverAsianFilmFest, didn't really know what to expect but i have to say i was entertained. Positives were: John Cho taking a serious role, Grace being more then just a pretty face, and the overall asian american feel of the movie, good change not having to read subtitles all day. Negatives: took me awhile to figure out who the heck John was trying to help/protect as it wasn't too clear, the opt for a happy ending when it coulda been something a lil' edgier, and the version we saw was a rather poor transfer...lots of artifacts/pixelation, camera had trouble w/lighting in a few scenes. Anyways, for it's budget, pretty well done.
½ November 10, 2008
Dark and complex, the film sucks you into its world of moral ambiguity.
½ November 10, 2008
i thought that the film was really engaging. the performances and dialogue were strong, in particular jun sung kim. i thought that the elements of comedy and violence were skilfully incorporated in a way that made the situations/lines feel realistic rather than forced or contrived. my only con is that i think that the film was not accessible enough for audiences who were not korean. all in all, a solid drama.
½ November 10, 2008
It was alright. The motives of John Cho's character was questionable at times, but overall an enjoyable movie
½ August 29, 2008
Actually, quite surprisingly bad. Derivative, uninteresting, incoherent, poorly-acted. Bizarrely, given the theme and tone - *no* sex scenes.
½ April 28, 2008
I'm a big promoter of Asian-American film and I'm glad to see Michael Kang being one of this generation's pioneers- his debut feature, The Motel, was a film I enjoyed quite a bit. It is nice to see Kang cover some different ground with West 32nd. The movie is beautifully shot, and there is a lot of great talent in it, but plot holes and some inconsistent storytelling keeps it a little thin. It is nice seeing John Cho take on a dramatic lead, and Jun Kim and Grace Park also have moments where they shine- just hope to see all three in more dramatic film, there's a lot of potential there.
April 20, 2008
Just saw this at the Chicago AAFF. Definitely a must see for anyone.
March 30, 2008
loved it. even if john cho's hair was hideous.
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