films seen
35
average score
2.64*
nationality
China - 75 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

Hong Kong ambassador and undisputed king of gun-fu cinema. Woo is also one of the few Hong Kong directors who managed to cross over to Hollywood. If you're in the mood for some kick-ass action, Woo has you covered.

The good stuff

Face/Off

by John Woo
Specifics
1997 / 138m - USA
Genre
Sci-fi, Action, Thriller, Crime
More info:
rating
4.0*/5.0*
Face/Off poster

The Killer

by John Woo
Also known as
Dip Huet Seung Hung
Specifics
1989 / 111m - Hong Kong
Genre
Drama, Action, Thriller, Crime
More info:
rating
4.0*/5.0*
The Killer poster

Reign of Assassins

by Chao-bin Su, John Woo
Also known as
Jianyu
Specifics
2010 / 117m - China
Genre
Fantasy
More info:
rating
4.0*/5.0*
toplist position
Reign of Assassins poster

If you're looking for a quality martial arts epic, look no further because this film has everything to quench your thirst.

Hard Boiled

by John Woo
Also known as
Lat Sau San Taam
Specifics
1992 / 128m - Hong Kong
Genre
Action, Crime
More info:
rating
4.0*/5.0*
toplist position
Hard Boiled poster

John Woo's gun-fu/heroic bloodshed masterpiece. The balance between the melodrama and action is perfect here (read very little of the former, tons of the latter), the acting talent is tremendous, the action scenes are simply baffling. The second hour is an almost endless barrage of superbly shot and choreographed gun fights, by far one of the best pieces of film in Woo's rich and varied oeuvre. An epic film, even 30 years later.

Solid pieces

Red Cliff: Part II

by John Woo
Also known as
Chi Bi Part II: Jue Zhan Tian Xia
Specifics
2009 / 142m - China
Genre
Action, War
More info:
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Red Cliff: Part II poster

Heroes Shed No Tears

by John Woo
Also known as
Ying Xiong Wu Lei
Specifics
1986 / 82m - Hong Kong
Genre
Drama, Action, War
More info:
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Heroes Shed No Tears poster

Run Tiger, Run

by John Woo
Also known as
Liang Zhi Lao Hu
Specifics
1985 / 91m - Hong Kong
Genre
Comedy, Fantasy
More info:
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Run Tiger, Run poster

Laughing Times

by John Woo
Also known as
Hua Ji Shi Dai
Specifics
1981 / 101m - Hong Kong
Genre
Comedy, Action
More info:
rating
3.5*/5.0*
Laughing Times poster

The inoffensive

Manhunt

by John Woo
Also known as
Zhuibu
Specifics
2017 / 106m - China
Genre
Action, Thriller
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Manhunt poster

Manhunt feels like the remnant of a great film that died on the editing table. It's so incredibly hasty that it's like watching a 105 minute highlight reel. Some wooly English dialogue doesn't help either, luckily Woo still shoots a mean action scene and there's no time to get bored.

The Crossing 2

by John Woo
Also known as
Taiping Lun - Bian
Specifics
2015 / 131m - China
Genre
Drama, Romance
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
The Crossing 2 poster

The Crossing

by John Woo
Also known as
Tai Ping Lun
Specifics
2014 / 129m - China
Genre
Drama, Romance
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
The Crossing poster

Red Cliff

by John Woo
Also known as
Chi Bi
Specifics
2008 / 148m - China
Genre
Action, War, Adventure
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Red Cliff poster

Once a Thief

by John Woo
Also known as
Zong Heng Si Hai
Specifics
1991 / 108m - Hong Kong
Genre
Comedy, Action, Thriller, Crime
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Once a Thief poster

Just Heroes

by John Woo, Wu Ma
Also known as
Yi Dan Qun Ying
Specifics
1989 / 97m - Hong Kong
Genre
Drama, Action, Crime
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Just Heroes poster

A Better Tomorrow

by John Woo
Also known as
Ying Hung Boon Sik
Specifics
1986 / 95m - Hong Kong
Genre
Drama, Action, Thriller, Crime
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
A Better Tomorrow poster

The Time You Need a Friend

by John Woo
Also known as
Xiao Jiang
Specifics
1984 / 91m - Taiwan
Genre
Drama
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
The Time You Need a Friend poster

To Hell with the Devil

by John Woo
Also known as
Mo Deng Tian Shi
Specifics
1981 / 88m - Hong Kong
Genre
Comedy, Fantasy, Horror
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
To Hell with the Devil poster

From Riches to Rags

by John Woo
Also known as
Qian Zuo Guai
Specifics
1980 / 101m - Hong Kong
Genre
Comedy, Action, Adventure
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
From Riches to Rags poster

Bullet in the Head

by John Woo
Also known as
Die Xue Jie Tou
Specifics
1990 / 136m - Hong Kong
Genre
Action, Crime
More info:
rating
3.0*/5.0*
Bullet in the Head poster

Worthy but flawed

Plain Jane to the Rescue

by John Woo
Also known as
Ba Cai Lin Ya Zhen
Specifics
1982 / 86m - Hong Kong
Genre
Comedy, Action
More info:
rating
2.5*/5.0*
Plain Jane to the Rescue poster

Last Hurrah For Chivalry

by John Woo
Also known as
Hao Xia
Specifics
1979 / 106m - Hong Kong
Genre
Drama, Action
More info:
rating
2.5*/5.0*
Last Hurrah For Chivalry poster

Countdown in Kung Fu

by John Woo
Also known as
Shao Lin Men
Specifics
1976 / 95m - Hong Kong
Genre
Drama, Action
More info:
rating
2.5*/5.0*
Countdown in Kung Fu poster

The Young Dragons

by John Woo
Also known as
Tie Han Rou Qing
Specifics
1974 / 95m - Hong Kong
Genre
Action
More info:
rating
2.5*/5.0*
The Young Dragons poster

Dubious filler

Wind Talkers

by John Woo
Also known as
Windtalkers
Specifics
2002 / 134m - USA
Genre
Drama, Action, War
More info:
rating
2.0*/5.0*
Wind Talkers poster

Mission: Impossible 2

by John Woo
Specifics
2000 / 123m - USA
Genre
Action, Thriller, Adventure
More info:
rating
2.0*/5.0*
Mission: Impossible 2 poster

Blackjack

by John Woo
Specifics
1998 / 112m - USA
Genre
Comedy, Action, Thriller, Crime
More info:
rating
2.0*/5.0*
Blackjack poster

Broken Arrow

by John Woo
Specifics
1996 / 108m - USA
Genre
Action, Thriller, Adventure
More info:
rating
2.0*/5.0*
Broken Arrow poster

A Better Tomorrow II

by John Woo
Also known as
Ying Hung Boon Sik II
Specifics
1987 / 105m - Hong Kong
Genre
Drama, Action, Thriller, Crime
More info:
rating
2.0*/5.0*
A Better Tomorrow II poster

Money Crazy

by John Woo
Also known as
Fa Qian Han
Specifics
1977 / 92m - Hong Kong
Genre
Comedy, Action, Crime
More info:
rating
2.0*/5.0*
Money Crazy poster

Plain forgettable

All the Invisible Children

by Mehdi Charef, Emir Kusturica, Spike Lee, Kátia Lund, Jordan Scott, Ridley Scott, Stefano Veneruso, John Woo
Specifics
2005 / 124m - Italy
Genre
Drama
More info:
rating
1.5*/5.0*
All the Invisible Children poster

Princess Chang Ping

by John Woo
Also known as
Dinu Hua
Specifics
1976 / 102m - Hong Kong
Genre
Romance, Musical
More info:
rating
1.5*/5.0*
Princess Chang Ping poster

John Woo doing Chinese opera sounds intriguing, but the result is mostly just grating and tiresome. The film looks nice enough and the romantic plot is sufficient, but the music is ever-present and did get on my nerves after a while. Unless you're a big fan of Chinese opera, or a Woo completist, you might think twice about watching this one.

The Dragon Tamers

by John Woo
Also known as
Nu Zi Tai Quan Qun Ying Hui
Specifics
1975 / 107m - Hong Kong
Genre
Action
More info:
rating
1.5*/5.0*
The Dragon Tamers poster

John Woo took a rather hesitant start to his career, but that is not uncommon for a Hong Kong director. The Dragon Tamers is a basic martial arts film that features one of two decent fight scenes, but fails on pretty much every other level. Woo's signature is also completely absent, but that shouldn't come as a surprise.

The plot is nothing special. A righteous martial art students vows to stop a criminal organization from taking over the martial schools in Korea, but before he can make a real difference he needs to be humbled first. If you've seen a couple of these oldskool martial arts flick, you've probably seen this plot a thousand times before.

The actors are mediocre and the fight choreographies are tame, especially when you compare them to Shaw Bros films from that time. The drama is very poor and the first half doesn't nearly have enough fight scenes to overcome that. Luckily the ending is quite action-packed, but it's not good enough to save this film.

Big nopes

Once a Thief

by John Woo
Specifics
1996 / 92m - Canada
Genre
Action, Thriller, Crime
More info:
rating
1.0*/5.0*
Once a Thief poster

Hard Target

by John Woo
Specifics
1993 / 97m - USA
Genre
Drama, Action, Thriller, Adventure
More info:
rating
1.0*/5.0*
Hard Target poster

Paycheck

by John Woo
Specifics
2003 / 119m - USA
Genre
Action, Thriller
More info:
rating
1.0*/5.0*
Paycheck poster