films seen
24/25
average score
2.35*
nationality
Hong Kong - 63 years old
status
R.I.P.
more info

Hong Kong's undisputed king of gritty crime/action cinema. Lam likes adding a social aspect to his films, but because he's not the most gifted director its impact can be somewhat underwhelming. Still, he has an extensive oeuvre worth exploring.

The good stuff

Triangle poster

Triangle

by Ringo Lam, Johnnie To, Hark Tsui
Also known as
Tie Saam Gok
Specifics
Hong Kong, China [2007] - 93 mins
Genre
Action, Drama
More info on
4.0*/5.0*

Solid pieces

Wild City poster

Wild City

by Ringo Lam
Also known as
Bou Chau Mai Sing
Specifics
Hong Kong [2015] - 120 mins
Genre
Action, Crime, Thriller
More info on
3.5*/5.0*
Burning Paradise poster

Burning Paradise

by Ringo Lam
Also known as
Huo Shao Hong Lian Si
Specifics
Hong Kong [1994] - 104 mins
Genre
Adventure, Action, Fantasy
More info on
3.5*/5.0*

The inoffensive

Sky on Fire poster

Sky on Fire

by Ringo Lam
Also known as
Chongtian Huo
Specifics
China, Hong Kong [2016] - 99 mins
Genre
Action, Crime, Thriller
More info on
3.0*/5.0*

Ringo Lam trying to relive his former glory days. A rather typical film from an oldskool director who isn't quite with the times anymore. There are some decent action scenes and the drama is above average for a Hong Kong action film, but overall it lacks panache and it fails to stand out from the rest. Not bad, not great.

Victim poster

Victim

by Ringo Lam
Also known as
Muk Lau Hung Gwong
Specifics
Hong Kong [1999] - 104 mins
Genre
Crime, Horror, Mystery
More info on
3.0*/5.0*
The Suspect poster

The Suspect

by Ringo Lam
Also known as
Jidu Zhongfan
Specifics
Hong Kong [1998] - 109 mins
Genre
Action, Crime, Thriller
More info on
3.0*/5.0*
Full Contact poster

Full Contact

by Ringo Lam
Also known as
Xia Dao Gao Fei
Specifics
Hong Kong [1992] - 96 mins
Genre
Action, Crime, Drama
More info on
3.0*/5.0*

Worthy but flawed

Full Alert poster

Full Alert

by Ringo Lam
Also known as
Ko Dou Gai Bei
Specifics
Hong Kong [1997] - 98 mins
Genre
Action, Drama
More info on
2.5*/5.0*
Twin Dragons poster

Twin Dragons

by Ringo Lam, Hark Tsui
Also known as
Shuang Long Hui
Specifics
Hong Kong [1992] - 104 mins
Genre
Action, Comedy
More info on
2.5*/5.0*
Prison on Fire II poster

Prison on Fire II

by Ringo Lam
Also known as
Jian Yu Feng Yun II: Tao Fan
Specifics
Hong Kong [1991] - 109 mins
Genre
Action, Crime, Drama
More info on
2.5*/5.0*
Prison on Fire poster

Prison on Fire

by Ringo Lam
Also known as
Gaam Yuk Fung Wan
Specifics
Hong Kong [1987] - 98 mins
Genre
Action, Crime, Drama, Thriller
More info on
2.5*/5.0*
Aces Go Places IV: You Never Die Twice poster

Aces Go Places IV: You Never Die Twice

by Ringo Lam
Also known as
Zuijia Paidang Zhi Qianli Jiu Chaipo
Specifics
Hong Kong, New Zealand [1986] - 86 mins
Genre
Action, Comedy
More info on
2.5*/5.0*
Esprit d'Amour poster

Esprit d'Amour

by Ringo Lam
Also known as
Yam Yeung Choh
Specifics
Hong Kong [1983] - 98 mins
Genre
Drama, Fantasy, Romance
More info on
2.5*/5.0*

Ringo Lam's first feature film. Like many other Hong Kong directors, Lam started out as a somewhat generic cog in the machine. Esprit d'amour is a rather typical mix of horror, comedy and romance that never quite succeeds. The pacing is alright though and it's an easy watch, it's just not that memorable.

Dubious filler

Looking for Mr. Perfect poster

Looking for Mr. Perfect

by Ringo Lam
Also known as
Kei Fung Dik Sau
Specifics
Hong Kong, Malaysia [2003] - 101 mins
Genre
Drama, Action, Comedy
More info on
2.0*/5.0*
Wild Search poster

Wild Search

by Ringo Lam
Also known as
Ban Wo Chuang Tian Ya
Specifics
Hong Kong [1989] - 98 mins
Genre
Action, Drama, Romance, Thriller
More info on
2.0*/5.0*
School on Fire poster

School on Fire

by Ringo Lam
Also known as
Hok Haau Fung Wan
Specifics
Hong Kong [1988] - 101 mins
Genre
Action, Crime, Drama
More info on
2.0*/5.0*

A very typical Lam film. Ten minutes of censored material, more gruesome than most of its Hong Kong counterparts and set up as a social commentary. But the direction is pretty poor and the film lacks true impact. Lam tried his whole career to balance drama and action but never really found a way to do it well.

City on Fire poster

City on Fire

by Ringo Lam
Also known as
Lung Fu Fong Wan
Specifics
Hong Kong [1987] - 101 mins
Genre
Action, Crime, Drama
More info on
2.0*/5.0*
Cupid One poster

Cupid One

by Ringo Lam
Also known as
Oi San Yat Ho
Specifics
Hong Kong [1985] - 95 mins
Genre
Romance
More info on
2.0*/5.0*
The Other Side of Gentleman poster

The Other Side of Gentleman

by Ringo Lam
Also known as
Jun Zi Hao Qiu
Specifics
Hong Kong [1984] - 93 mins
Genre
Comedy
More info on
2.0*/5.0*

An old Ringo Lam comedy. Clearly a training film for Lam. You won't recognize much of his typical style, there are no real crime elements and the grittiness is almost completely absent. It's a typical 80s Hong Kong comedy, not great but passable and somewhat entertaining. Hard to recommend, unless you're a completist.

Plain forgettable

Replicant poster

Replicant

by Ringo Lam
Specifics
USA [2001] - 100 mins
Genre
Action, Sci-fi, Thriller
More info on
1.5*/5.0*
Great Adventurers poster

Great Adventurers

by Ringo Lam
Also known as
Da Mao Xian Jia
Specifics
Hong Kong [1995] - 108 mins
Genre
Action, Drama
More info on
1.5*/5.0*
Undeclared War poster

Undeclared War

by Ringo Lam
Also known as
Sheng Zhan Feng Yun
Specifics
Hong Kong [1990] - 103 mins
Genre
Action, Crime
More info on
1.5*/5.0*

A pretty tame and lifeless police thriller. The international elements add very little, Lam's direction is uninspired and functional and the story fails to engage. I've seen a million of these already and Undeclared War seems unwilling to add anything meaningful to the genre. It's simple filler, but even by that standard it's not very good.

Big nopes

In Hell poster

In Hell

by Ringo Lam
Specifics
USA [2003] - 98 mins
Genre
Action, Crime
More info on
1.0*/5.0*

Extremely cheesy and third-grade action flick. Ringo Lam takes his prison drama outside of Hong Kong, but fails to make it enticing. The acting is atrocious, the plot is laughable and the attempts at make it a little more poetic are simply painful. The action is dull too, which makes you wonder why they even bothered with this at all.

Maximum Risk poster

Maximum Risk

by Ringo Lam
Specifics
USA [1996] - 101 mins
Genre
Action, Crime, Mystery, Romance, Thriller
More info on
1.0*/5.0*

Horrible 90s action flick. Ringo Lam's first try in America is pretty depressing. The action scenes are pretty lame, the actors are eye-watering bad, the film looks at least 10 years older than it should and the plot is a complete waste of time. The entire film is in fact, best to avoid this one.