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Review: Three Old Boys (2024)

Three Old Boys 三叉戟 China, 2024, colour, 2.35:1, 109 mins. Director: Gao Qunshu 高群书. Rating: 7/10. Gruff, northern-style buddy-cop movie has no shortage of colourful characters but too…

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Review: The Last Frenzy (2024)

The Last Frenzy 末路狂花钱 China, 2024, colour, 2.35:1, 105 mins. Director: Wu Rina 乌日娜. Rating: 5/10. Black comedy about a penny-pincher who goes on a spending spree before…

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Review: Godspeed (2023)

Godspeed 人生路不熟 China, 2023, colour, 2.35:1, 99 mins. Director: Yi Xiaoxing 易小星. Rating: 5/10. A comedy road movie centred on a dysfunctional family is strongly cast, starts promisingly…

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Review: Super Villain (2024)

Super Villain 大“反”派 China, 2024, colour, 2.35/1.85/1.33:1, 97 mins. Director: Bao Bei’er 包贝尔. Associate director: Zhang Zuofeng 张作峰. Rating: 4/10. Painfully unfunny comedy about an ambitious actor who…

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Review: The Killing Performance (2024)

The Killing Performance 戏杀 China, 2024, colour/b&w, 2.35:1, 129 mins. Director: Niu Zhaoyang 牛朝阳. Rating: 6/10. Traditional period whodunit, with suspects seated round a table, looks good but…

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Review: Remember Me (2024)

Remember Me 灿烂的她 China, 2024, colour, 2.35:1, 115 mins. Director: Xu Wei 徐伟. Rating: 5/10. Light drama between a selfless fisherwoman and her grand-daughter who went missing has…

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Review: The Victims (2024)

The Victims 黄雀在后! China, 2024, colour, 2.35:1, 98 mins. Directors: Xu Wei 徐伟, He Wenchao 何文超. Rating: 7/10. Richly cast, this well-mounted whodunit is 100% plot and procedure…

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Review: YOLO (2024)

YOLO 热辣滚烫 China, 2024, colour, 2.35:1, 128 mins. Director: Jia Ling 贾玲. Rating: 7/10. Mainland comedienne Jia Ling’s second feature as writer-director-star hits the bell again, if not…

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Review: Pegasus 2 (2024)

Pegasus 2 飞驰人生2 China, 2024, colour, 2.35:1, 120 mins. Director: Han Han 韩寒. Rating: 6/10. More of the same and with knobs on, plus another effortless lead by…

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Review: Article 20 (2024)

Article 20 第二十条 China, 2024, colour, 2.35:1, 139 mins. Director: Zhang Yimou 张艺谋. Rating: 6/10. Comedy-drama, set among a city’s public prosecutors, is entertaining enough due to its…

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Review: Rob N Roll (2024)

Rob N Roll 临时劫案 Hong Kong/China, 2024, colour, 2.35:1, 96 mins. Director: Mai Qiguang 麦启光 [Albert Mak]. Rating: 7/10. Strongly cast down the line, this wacky Hong Kong…

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Review: Time Still Turns the Pages (2023)

Time Still Turns the Pages 年少日记 Hong Kong, 2023, colour, 2:1, 94 mins. Director: Zhuo Yiqian 卓亦谦 [Nick Cheuk]. Rating: 6/10. Psychological drama, sparked by an unknown student’s…

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Review: Wolf Hiding (2023)

Wolf Hiding 怒潮 China, 2023, colour, 2.35:1, 105 mins. Director: Ma Yuke 马浴柯. Rating: 7/10. A hard-driven, stygian tale of gangsterly ambition, deceit and murder is a striking…

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Review: Raid on the Lethal Zone (2023)

Raid on the Lethal Zone 绝地追击 China/Hong Kong, 2023, colour, 2.35:1, 110 mins. Director: Qiu Litao 邱礼涛 [Herman Yau]. Rating: 7/10. Half drugs-busting thriller, half disaster movie, this…

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Review: Hidden Blade (2023)

Hidden Blade 无名 China, 2023, colour, 2.35:1, 128 mins. Director: Cheng Er 程耳. Rating: 9/10. Cracking WW2 spy drama set among collaborationists in Japanese-controlled Shanghai is challenging but…

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Review: What’s in the Zoo? (2024)

What’s in the Zoo? 动物园里有什么? China, 2024, colour, 2.35:1, 94 mins. Director: An Xiaoman 安小满 [Bao Bei’er 包贝尔]. Rating: 4/10. Comedy centred on an ailing zoo in which…

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Review: The Hotel (2022)

The Hotel 旅馆 Hong Kong, 2022, b&w, 1.33:1, 104 mins. Director: Wang Xiaoshuai 王小帅. Rating: 5/10. Sleekly-shot chamber drama about characters stranded in a hotel during the Covid…

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Review: Leap (2020)

Leap 夺冠 Hong Kong/China, 2020, colour, 2.35:1, 134 mins. Director: Chen Kexin 陈可辛 [Peter Chan]. Rating: 8/10. Celebration of women’s volleyball in China’s modern development is shaded by…

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Review: Us and Them (2018)

Us and Them 后来的我们 China, 2018, colour/b&w, 2.35:1, 118 mins. Director: Liu Ruoying 刘若英 [René Liu]. Rating: 8/10. Long-limbed story, spread across 11 years, is an engaging reflection…

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Review: Full River Red (2023)

Full River Red 满江红 China, 2023, colour, 2.35:1, 156 mins. Director: Zhang Yimou 张艺谋. Rating: 6/10. A top cast, led by comedian Shen Teng, initially makes this costume…

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Review: Shining for One Thing (2023)

Shining for One Thing 一闪一闪亮星星 China, 2023, colour, 2.35:1, 105 mins. Directors: Chen Xiaoming 陈小明, Zhang Pan 张攀. Rating: 4/10. Good-looking but nonsensical teenage romantic fantasy spun off…

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Review: If You Are the One III (2023)

If You Are the One III 非诚勿扰III China, 2023, colour, 2.35:1, 118 mins. Director: Feng Xiaogang 冯小刚. Rating: 6/10. Belated finale to the on-again/off-again love affair is made…

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Review: One and Only (2023)

One and Only 热烈 China, 2023, colour, 2.35:1, 123 mins. Director: Da Peng 大鹏 [Dong Chengpeng 董成鹏]. Rating: 6/10. Comedian Huang Bo’s performance as a wily manager is…

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Review: Beyond the Clouds (2023)

Beyond the Clouds 我本是高山 China, 2023, colour, 1.85:1, 129 mins. Directors: Zheng Dasheng 郑大圣, Yang Jin 杨瑾. Rating: 6/10. Portrait of a pioneering Mainland teacher rises above simple…

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Review: Endless Journey (2023)

Endless Journey 三大队 China, 2023, colour, 1.85:1, 132 mins. Director: Dai Mo 戴墨. Rating: 6/10. The best is in the first half in this performance-driven drama centred on…

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Review: Moonlight Warrior (2023)

Moonlight Warrior 月光武士 China, 2023, colour, 16:9, 109 mins. Director: Hong Ying 虹影. Rating: 5/10. Decent but conventional light drama between a young teenage boy and an older…

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Review: Seven Killings (2023)

Seven Killings 刀尖 China, 2023, colour, 2.35:1, 120 mins. Director: Gao Qunshu 高群书. Rating: 7/10. Low-key but absorbing WW2 spy thriller set in Japanese-occupied Nanjing, with a strong…

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Review: Records without Words (2023)

Records without Words 沉默笔录 China, 2023, colour, 2.35:1, 92 mins. Director: Hao Feihuan 郝飞环. Rating: 7/10. Psychodrama-cum-whodunit set in mid-1990s rural China is strongly written and nicely mounted,…

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Review: Across the Furious Sea (2023)

Across the Furious Sea 涉过愤怒的海 China, 2023, colour, 2.35:1, 142 mins. Director: Cao Baoping 曹保平. Rating: 3/10. Overheated drama-thriller about a father hunting his daughter’s killer is ludicrously…

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Review: Revival (2023)

Revival 回廊亭 China, 2023, colour, 2.35:1, 98 mins. Director: Lai Mukuan 来牧宽. Rating: 4/10. Atmospheric, well-cast whodunit, set in a remote villa, is severely unbalanced by an over-twisty…

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Review: Trending Topic (2023)

Trending Topic 热搜 China, 2023, colour, 2.35:1, 120 mins. Director: Xin Yukun 忻钰坤. Rating: 8/10. Actress Zhou Dongyu shines in a quality mainstream drama centred on corporate corruption…

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Review: Lose to Win (2023)

Lose to Win 好像也没那么热血沸腾 China, 2023, colour, 2.35:1, 133 mins. Director: Gao Hu 高虎. Rating: 5/10. Remake of a Spanish hit about a tricky basketball trainer and his…

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Review: Only the River Flows (2023)

Only the River Flows 河边的错误 China, 2023, colour, 1.85:1, 101 mins. Director: Wei Shujun 魏书钧. Rating: 5/10. Darkly-shot psychodrama-cum-whodunit is a brave stab at a China Noir but…

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Review: Last Suspect (2023)

Last Suspect 拯救嫌疑人 China, 2023, colour, 2.35:1, 118 mins. Director: Zhang Mo 张末. Rating: 4/10. Remake of Korean crime thriller 7 Days, about a hot-shot lawyer and her…

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Review: Death Stranding (2023)

Death Stranding 困兽 China/Hong Kong, 2023, colour, 2.35:1, 96 mins. Director: Peng Fa 彭发 [Danny Pang]. Rating: 5/10. Generic, Hong Kong-style crime drama is poorly scripted, but watchable…

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Review: All Ears (2023)

All Ears 不虚此行。 China, 2023, colour, 16:9, 117 mins. Director: Liu Jiayin 刘伽茵. Rating: 4/10. Over-long study of an introverted funeral eulogist and his various clients doesn’t go…

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Review: Dust to Dust (2023)

Dust to Dust 第八个嫌疑人 China, 2023, colour, 2.35:1, 111 mins. Director: Li Zijun 李子俊 [Jonathan Li]. Rating: 7/10. Complexly structured, psychological crime drama is largely involving, with scene-stealing…

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Review: Wonder Family (2023)

Wonder Family 超能一家人 China, 2023, colour, 2.35:1, 111 mins. Director: Song Yang 宋阳. Rating: 5/10. Ma Hua FunAge comedy about a crazy family with super powers has a…

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Review: Lost Love (2022)

Lost Love 流水落花 Hong Kong, 2022, colour, 2.35:1, 92 mins. Director: Jia Shengfeng 贾胜枫. Rating: 5/10. Over-schematic story of a wife who devotes her life to fostering kids…

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Review: Love Never Ends (2023)

Love Never Ends 我爱你! China, 2023, colour, 2.35:1, 114 mins. Director: Han Yan 韩延. Rating: 5/10. Initially offbeat oldies rom-com becomes more and more generic as it progresses,…

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Review: Flaming Cloud (2023)

Flaming Cloud 三贵情史 China, 2023, colour, 2.35:1, 106 mins. Director: Liu Siyi 刘斯逸. Rating: 6/10. Mainland actress Yao Chen is the main delight in this post-modern fairytale that…

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Review: The Ex-Files 4: Marriage Plan (2023)

The Ex-Files 4: Marriage Plan 前任4    英年早婚 China, 2023, colour, 2.35:1, 128 mins. Director: Tian Yusheng 田羽生. Rating: 7/10. A direct sequel (in real time) to the…

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Review: Death Notice (2023)

Death Notice 暗杀风暴 Hong Kong/China, 2023, colour/b&w, 2.35:1, 99 mins. Director: Qiu Litao 邱礼涛 [Herman Yau]. Rating: 6/10. Despite a shapeless script, this serial-killer mystery is largely entertaining…

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Review: Moscow Mission (2023)

Moscow Mission 93国际列车大劫案   莫斯科行动 China, 2023, colour, 2.35:1, 127 mins. Director: Qiu Litao 邱礼涛 [Herman Yau]. Rating: 6/10. Action-packed crime story, based on a real event, with Chinese…

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Review: The Volunteers: To the War (2023)

The Volunteers: To the War 志愿军   雄兵出击 China, 2023, colour, 2.35:1, 140 mins. Director: Chen Kaige 陈凯歌. Rating: 6/10. Korean War blockbuster, as Chinese troops battle US-led western…

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Review: Under the Light (2023)

Under the Light 坚如磐石 China, 2023, colour, 2.35:1, 127 mins. Director: Zhang Yimou 张艺谋. Rating: 7/10. Stygian drama of municipal corruption and deadly powerplay has a terrific first…

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Review: Cliff Walkers (2021)

Cliff Walkers 悬崖之上 China/Hong Kong, 2021, colour, 2.35:1, 119 mins. Director: Zhang Yimou 张艺谋. Rating: 6/10. Period spy adventure, set in Japanese-occupied northeast China during the 1930s, is…

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Review: Tainted Love (2023)

Tainted Love 鹦鹉杀 China, 2023, colour, 2.35:1, 100 mins. Director: Ma Yingxin 麻赢心. Rating: 4/10. Ambitious but stylistically messy drama about a woman who hunts down her online…

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Review: No More Bets (2023)

No More Bets 孤注一掷 China, 2023, colour, 2.35:1, 129 mins. Director: Shen Ao 申奥. Rating: 7/10. A dark, often violent but mostly gripping drama centred on an online…

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Review: Papa (2023)

Papa 学爸 China, 2023, colour, 2.35:1, 117 mins. Director: Su Liang 苏亮. Rating: 5/10. A working-class widower becomes obsessed with his young son’s education in this light drama…

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