films seen
57
average score
3.13*
nationality
Hong Kong - 65 years old
status
Alive and kicking
more info

Master of the Hong Kong Triad cinema, though To's arsenal is way broader than the crime films that brought him international fame. Offbeat soundtracks, stylish cinematography and absurd touches make his films stand out from the competition.

Rare treats

Sparrow poster

Sparrow

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Man Jeuk
Specifics: Hong Kong [2008] - 87 mins
Genre: Comedy, Crime
More info on :IMDb
4.5

To's passion for the job shows in every scene, in every choice and in every detail. The film has its very own, unique flow and knows to charm from the first minute.

Exiled poster

Exiled

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Fong Juk
Specifics: Hong Kong [2006] - 110 mins
Genre: Action, Crime
More info on :IMDb
4.5

One of the most stylish To films. The story is simple, but the cast is first class and every single scene is a little masterpiece in itself. Exiled is a string of iconic, vintage To moments that's even more impressive the second time around. An absolute must if you're a To fan, a good film to start with if you're not.

Mad Detective poster

Mad Detective

by Johnnie To, Ka-Fai Wai
Also know as: Sun Taam
Specifics: Hong Kong [2007] - 89 mins
Genre: Crime
More info on :IMDb
4.5

Together with Sparrow, To proves himself to be one of the most interesting directors in cinema today. His genre films are strong, original and seamlessly executed and seem to lack any weak points.

The good stuff

Vengeance poster

Vengeance

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Fuk Sau
Specifics: Hong Kong [2009] - 108 mins
Genre: Crime
More info on :IMDb
4.0

A very solid film in all departments, allowing you to sink back into your couch and let the film drift over you like a warm, dark blanket.

PTU poster

PTU

by Johnnie To
Specifics: Hong Kong [2003] - 88 mins
Genre: Crime
More info on :IMDb
4.0

PTU is first class film making. Lam en Yam are good actors and know how to play their parts. The soundtrack is solid and the film is visually impressive.

Throw Down poster

Throw Down

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Yau Doh Lung Fu Bong
Specifics: Hong Kong [2004] - 95 mins
Genre: Drama, Action
More info on :IMDb
4.0

It's just a very fun and entertaining film with a good few memorable scenes. In the end it's not one of To's absolute bests, but definitely worth watching.

Fulltime Killer poster

Fulltime Killer

by Johnnie To, Ka-Fai Wai
Also know as: Chuen Jik Sat Sau
Specifics: Hong Kong [2001] - 102 mins
Genre: Action, Crime
More info on :IMDb
4.0

One of the films that foreshadowed a new beginning for Johnnie To. Stylish action, brooding crime and quirky details would come to define his films in the 00s. Fulltime Killer puts the most emphasis on action, but all the elements that would launch To as one of the prime HK directors of the decade are already present. Good stuff.

Election 2 poster

Election 2

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Hak Se Wui Yi Wo Wai Kwai
Specifics: Hong Kong [2006] - 95 mins
Genre: Crime
More info on :IMDb
4.0

The ultimate proof that To can do serious crime cinema. It's a stylish and intriguing crime drama surrounding the chairman election of a Triad organization. It's a definite step up from the first film, with a powerhouse performance of Louis Koo, an amazing soundtrack and slick visuals to boot.

Drug War poster

Drug War

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Du Zhan
Specifics: Hong Kong, China [2012] - 107 mins
Genre: Crime
More info on :IMDb
4.0

If you like the HK police flicks Drug War is one of the best offerings around. It's a stylish, tense and strong crime flick, helmed by one of the most seasoned crime cinema veterans.

Blind Detective poster

Blind Detective

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Man Tam
Specifics: Hong Kong [2013] - 127 mins
Genre: Comedy, Crime
More info on :IMDb
4.0

The package is stylish, quirky and fun at the same time. In the end I prefer To's more arthouse-oriented work, but a film like this is a welcome diversion, especially when executed so wonderfully.

Flying Butterfly poster

Flying Butterfly

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Hu Die Fei
Specifics: Hong Kong [2008] - 88 mins
Genre: Drama, Romance
More info on :IMDb
4.0
Triangle poster

Triangle

by Ringo Lam, Johnnie To, Hark Tsui
Also know as: Tie Saam Gok
Specifics: Hong Kong, China [2007] - 93 mins
Genre: Drama, Action
More info on :IMDb
4.0
Turn Left, Turn Right poster

Turn Left, Turn Right

by Johnnie To, Ka-Fai Wai
Also know as: Heung Joh Chow Heung Yau Chow
Specifics: Hong Kong [2003] - 102 mins
Genre: Romance
More info on :IMDb
4.0

Turn Left, Turn Right is a simple, light-hearted drama, but conceptually quite strong and pure. The film demands that you go along with its concept and leave it at that.

Solid pieces

Chasing Dream poster

Chasing Dream

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Chihuo Quan Wang
Specifics: China [2019] - 118 mins
Genre: Romance, Sport
More info on :IMDb
3.5

Decent To/Ka-Fai collaboration, but a little too safe and expected to compete with their high profile work. It's obvious the film was made by competent people with a long history in the business, but maybe that's finally starting to work against To, as there are very few surprises left. Still, the execution was top-notch, so To fans should surely seek it out.

Three poster

Three

by Johnnie To
Also know as: San Ren Xing
Specifics: Hong Kong, China [2016] - 88 mins
Genre: Action, Thriller, Crime
More info on :IMDb
3.5
Office poster

Office

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Hua Li Shang Ban Zu
Specifics: Hong Kong, China [2015] - 119 mins
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Musical
More info on :IMDb
3.5
High Altitude of Love II poster

High Altitude of Love II

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Gao Hai Ba Zhi Lian II
Specifics: Hong Kong, China [2012] - 111 mins
Genre: Drama, Romance
More info on :IMDb
3.5
Life without Principle poster

Life without Principle

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Dyut Meng Gam
Specifics: Hong Kong [2011] - 107 mins
Genre: Drama, Crime
More info on :IMDb
3.5
Don't Go Breaking My Heart poster

Don't Go Breaking My Heart

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Daan Gyun Naam Yu
Specifics: Hong Kong [2011] - 115 mins
Genre: Romance
More info on :IMDb
3.5
Yesterday Once More poster

Yesterday Once More

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Lung Fung Dau
Specifics: Hong Kong [2004] - 99 mins
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Crime
More info on :IMDb
3.5
Breaking News poster

Breaking News

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Daai Si Gin
Specifics: Hong Kong [2004] - 90 mins
Genre: Drama, Action, Crime
More info on :IMDb
3.5
Help!!! poster

Help!!!

by Johnnie To, Ka-Fai Wai
Also know as: Lat Sau Wui Cheun
Specifics: Hong Kong [2000] - 92 mins
Genre: Comedy
More info on :IMDb
3.5
Where a Good Man Goes poster

Where a Good Man Goes

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Joi Gin A Long
Specifics: Hong Kong [1999] - 90 mins
Genre: Drama, Action, Thriller
More info on :IMDb
3.5
Running Out of Time poster

Running Out of Time

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Am Zin
Specifics: Hong Kong [1999] - 93 mins
Genre: Drama, Action, Thriller, Crime
More info on :IMDb
3.5
The Longest Nite poster

The Longest Nite

by Tat-Chi Yau, Johnnie To
Also know as: Am Faa
Specifics: Hong Kong [1998] - 81 mins
Genre: Action, Mystery, Crime
More info on :IMDb
3.5

Tat-Chi Yau. Who is he, where did he come from and where did he go? That's what I've been wondering after seeing two films of him last week. I've seen quite a few Hong Kong films the past couple of years, but somehow Tat-Chi Yau never appeared on my radar. That's more than just a little odd, considering the talent he worked with (Tony Leung Chiu Wai, Simon Yam, Eric Tsang, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Ching Wan Lau, Francis Ng). And that's just for a total of 4 feature films, directed between 1997 and 2001.

If you know a thing or two about Hong Kong cinema, you may look at the dates and think "Oh, but that's a pretty dire period for Hong Kong films". Fair enough, but apparently Yau's films didn't suffer from the industry's local depression. The two films I've seen so far (that's 50% of is his feature film oeuvre) are well above average, even signalling Hong Kong's return to form during the early '00s. So why didn't Tat-Chi Yau's career take off? Well, your guess is as good as mine, the fact of the matter is that he made at least two worthy films, one of which is Um Fa [The Longest Nite].

Um Fa feels almost like a stepping stone to Johnnie To's '00 successes. That's not even all that far-fetched if you consider To produced Yau's first feature film only one year earlier. At its core, Um Fa is a pretty simple Triad film, resulting in a game of cat and mouse between the police and a killer hired by the Triads. Tony Leung Chiu Wai takes on the role of stone cold cop, Ching Wan Lau is the ruthless killer.

Leung and Lau are excellent, but it's Yau's deliberate direction that stands out. A remarkable soundtrack and lots of visual prowess complement Yau's flair and make Um Fa a film to remember. All of this comes together in a kick-ass finale, where the stand-off between Leung and Lau reaches a more than satisfactory conclusion. It would take To a couple years longer to reach the quality of Um Fa's finale, which is saying something.

Tat-Chi Yau is one of the mysteries of Hong Kong cinema. If you're a fan of Johnnie To's 21st century films then I can wholeheartedly recommend Yau's films, Um Fa in particular. I'm not sure why his films haven't garnered a greater following or how I could've missed his films for so long, but I'm glad that wrong has been righted once and for all.

A Hero Never Dies poster

A Hero Never Dies

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Chan Sam Ying Hung
Specifics: Hong Kong [1998] - 86 mins
Genre: Drama, Action, Crime
More info on :IMDb
3.5
Loving You poster

Loving You

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Wu Wei Shen Tan
Specifics: Hong Kong [1995] - 84 mins
Genre: Drama, Action, Thriller, Crime
More info on :IMDb
3.5
The Mad Monk poster

The Mad Monk

by Siu-Tung Ching, Johnnie To
Also know as: Chai Gong
Specifics: Hong Kong [1993] - 89 mins
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy
More info on :IMDb
3.5
Justice, My Foot poster

Justice, My Foot

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Sam Sei Goon
Specifics: Hong Kong [1992] - 102 mins
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Action
More info on :IMDb
3.5

The inoffensive

Election poster

Election

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Hak Se Wui
Specifics: Hong Kong [2005] - 100 mins
Genre: Drama, Thriller, Crime
More info on :IMDb
3.0
Running on Karma poster

Running on Karma

by Johnnie To, Ka-Fai Wai
Also know as: Daai Zek Lou
Specifics: Hong Kong, China [2003] - 93 mins
Genre: Drama, Action, Thriller
More info on :IMDb
3.0
1:99 Shorts poster

1:99 Shorts

by Fruit Chan, Teddy Chan, Stephen Chow, Wai-Keung Lau, Joe Ma, Alan Mak, Johnnie To, Brian Tse, Hark Tsui, Ka-Fai Wai, Mabel Cheung, Alex Law, Dante Lam, Adam Wong, Peter Ho-Sun Chan, Gordon Chan
Specifics: Hong Kong [2003] - 70 mins
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Animation
More info on :IMDb
3.0

Commissioned anthology that was made to lift the spirit of Hong Kong during the SARS epidemic. The who's who of Hong Kong cinema participated, but the result is a little uneven. Not too surprising considering the exterior motives behind this anthology, and there are a couple of worthwhile entries, but overall it's probably best to lower your expectations when watching this.

My Left Eye Sees Ghosts poster

My Left Eye Sees Ghosts

by Johnnie To, Ka-Fai Wai
Also know as: Ngo Joh Ngan Gin Do Gwai
Specifics: Hong Kong [2002] - 98 mins
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Horror, Family
More info on :IMDb
3.0
Fat Choi Spirit poster

Fat Choi Spirit

by Johnnie To, Ka-Fai Wai
Also know as: Lik Goo Lik Goo San Nin Choi
Specifics: Hong Kong [2002] - 96 mins
Genre: Comedy, Romance
More info on :IMDb
3.0
Running Out of Time 2 poster

Running Out of Time 2

by Wing-Cheong Law, Johnnie To
Also know as: Aau Chin 2
Specifics: Hong Kong [2001] - 95 mins
Genre: Action, Crime
More info on :IMDb
3.0
Love on a Diet poster

Love on a Diet

by Johnnie To, Ka-Fai Wai
Also know as: Sau Sun Nam Nui
Specifics: Japan, Hong Kong [2001] - 94 mins
Genre: Comedy, Romance
More info on :IMDb
3.0
Wu Yen poster

Wu Yen

by Johnnie To, Ka-Fai Wai
Also know as: Chung Mo Yim
Specifics: Hong Kong [2001] - 123 mins
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy
More info on :IMDb
3.0
Needing You poster

Needing You

by Johnnie To, Ka-Fai Wai
Also know as: Goo Laam Gwa Lui
Specifics: Hong Kong [2000] - 101 mins
Genre: Comedy, Romance
More info on :IMDb
3.0
The Mission poster

The Mission

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Cheung Foh
Specifics: Hong Kong [1999] - 84 mins
Genre: Drama, Action, Thriller, Crime
More info on :IMDb
3.0
Casino Raiders II poster

Casino Raiders II

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Zhi Zu Wu Shang II Yong Ba Tian Xia
Specifics: Hong Kong [1993] - 91 mins
Genre: Drama, Action, Crime
More info on :IMDb
3.0
Heroic Trio 2: Executioners poster

Heroic Trio 2: Executioners

by Siu-Tung Ching, Johnnie To
Also know as: Xian Dai Hao Xia Zhuan
Specifics: Hong Kong [1993] - 101 mins
Genre: Comedy, Sci-fi, Action
More info on :IMDb
3.0
The Barefoot Kid poster

The Barefoot Kid

by Johnnie To, Patrick Leung, Johnny Mak
Also know as: Chik Geuk Siu Ji
Specifics: Hong Kong [1993] - 90 mins
Genre: Drama, Action
More info on :IMDb
3.0
Lucky Encounter poster

Lucky Encounter

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Ti Dao Bao
Specifics: Hong Kong [1992] - 88 mins
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy
More info on :IMDb
3.0

Worthy but flawed

Don't Go Breaking My Heart 2 poster

Don't Go Breaking My Heart 2

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Daan Gyun Naam Yu 2
Specifics: Hong Kong, China [2014] - 113 mins
Genre: Romance
More info on :IMDb
2.5
A Moment of Romance III poster

A Moment of Romance III

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Tian Ruo You Qing III: Feng Huo Jia Ren
Specifics: Hong Kong [1996] - 95 mins
Genre: Romance, War
More info on :IMDb
2.5
The Heroic Trio poster

The Heroic Trio

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Dung Fong Saam Hap
Specifics: Hong Kong [1993] - 88 mins
Genre: Fantasy, Action
More info on :IMDb
2.5
The Royal Scoundrel poster

The Royal Scoundrel

by Ki Yee Chik, Johnnie To
Also know as: Sha Tan-Zi yu Zhou Shih-Nai
Specifics: Hong Kong [1991] - 89 mins
Genre: Comedy
More info on :IMDb
2.5
The Fun, the Luck & the Tycoon poster

The Fun, the Luck & the Tycoon

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Ji Xing Gong Zhao
Specifics: Hong Kong [1989] - 90 mins
Genre: Comedy, Romance
More info on :IMDb
2.5

Dubious filler

Love for All Seasons poster

Love for All Seasons

by Johnnie To, Ka-Fai Wai
Also know as: Baak Nin Hiu Gap
Specifics: Hong Kong [2003] - 93 mins
Genre: Comedy
More info on :IMDb
2.0
The Story of My Son poster

The Story of My Son

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Ai De Shi Jie
Specifics: Hong Kong [1990] - 75 mins
Genre: Drama
More info on :IMDb
2.0
All About Ah-Long poster

All About Ah-Long

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Ah Long dik Goo Si
Specifics: Hong Kong [1989] - 95 mins
Genre: Drama
More info on :IMDb
2.0
The Enigmatic Case poster

The Enigmatic Case

by Yeung-Wah Kam, Johnnie To
Also know as: Bi Shui Han Shan Duo Ming Jin
Specifics: Hong Kong [1980] - 91 mins
Genre: Action, Mystery
More info on :IMDb
2.0

Plain forgettable

Fireline poster

Fireline

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Shi Wan Huo Ji
Specifics: Hong Kong [1997] - 108 mins
Genre: Action, Thriller
More info on :IMDb
1.5
The Eighth Happiness poster

The Eighth Happiness

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Ba Xing Bao Xi
Specifics: Hong Kong [1988] - 91 mins
Genre: Comedy
More info on :IMDb
1.5
Happy Ghost III poster

Happy Ghost III

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Kai Xin Gui Zhuang Gui
Specifics: Hong Kong [1986] - 89 mins
Genre: Comedy, Fantasy, Crime
More info on :IMDb
1.5

Big nopes

The Big Heat poster

The Big Heat

by Yeung-Wah Kam, Johnnie To, Hark Tsui
Also know as: Seng Fat Dak Ging
Specifics: Hong Kong [1988] - 98 mins
Genre: Action, Thriller, Crime
More info on :IMDb
1.0
Seven Years Itch poster

Seven Years Itch

by Johnnie To
Also know as: Qi Nian Zhi Yang
Specifics: Hong Kong [1987] - 82 mins
Genre: Comedy, Drama
More info on :IMDb