Infernal Affairs

Infernal Affairs

Infernal Affairs

Directed by Wai-Keung Lau and Alan Mak and later remade as The Departed by Martin Scorcese, this Hong Kong crime-thriller follows an undercover cop (Tony Chiu Wai Leung) and a triad member (Andy Lau) working as a police department mole.

Ten years after their appointment as moles, undercover policeman Chan Wing-Yan (Leung) and triad member Lau Kin Ming (Lau) are growing confused about their true identities while their respective employers, police superintendent Wong (Anthony Wong) and crime boss Hon Sam (Eric Tsang) continue to wage a battle of wits against each other. Each boss learns that the other has a mole working for him and Ming and Yan have to scramble to expose one another's identity in an effort to save their own skins.

Co-director Wai-Keung (AKA Andrew) Lau previously worked as a cinematographer on several of Wong Kar-Wai's films (Chungking Express, As Tears Go By). Renowned cinematographer Christopher Doyle served as visual consultant.

2002Rating: M, Moderate violence, Moderate drug references101 minsHong KongCantonese with English subtitles
CrimeMysteryThrillerWorld Cinema

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Infernal Affairs / Reviews

Village Voice

Village Voice

The sensationally matched Lau and Leung, lupine and doe-eyed respectively, spark fireworks that make Heat‘s De Niro-Pacino summit look like an awkward blind date.

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Chicago Tribune

Chicago Tribune

A relentlessly taut Hong Kong cop thriller that, unlike many of its cinematic peers, doesn't burn off tension in choreographed action sequences.

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BBC

BBC

It's refreshing enough to make up for its occasional missteps in the storytelling department.

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Rolling Stone

Rolling Stone

This is a movie that gets its hooks into you early, and no chance is it letting go.

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The New Yorker

The New Yorker

There is a perceptible thinness to the sheen of the proceedings, and the actors... rely on a flow of soulful, impassive cool.

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Entertainment Weekly

Entertainment Weekly

What gives Infernal Affairs its heat is the friction of who-am-I psychology and cool Hong Kong-style action.

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New York Daily News

New York Daily News

The movie's engine is the relationships and the characters' inner lives, all of it boiling with emotional intensity.

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New York Post

New York Post

It overflows with psychological intrigue, something often missing from such offerings.

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Variety

Variety

Superbly honed at both script and performance levels, with character taking precedence over action.

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Time Out

Time Out

...careful plotting, rich characterisations and sleek mise-en-scène give this an impact rarely seen in HK films these days.

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Time Magazine

Time Magazine

The relentless pace of Infernal Affairs, briskly spinning a story of two men on a collision course with their principles, offers lessons for Hollywood. This is how movies can move. This is how mature an action movie can be.

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The New York Times

The New York Times

This stripped-down noir, about a pair of detectives leading undercover lives, signals a new era for Hong Kong filmmaking.

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Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

What makes it special is the inner turmoil caused by living a lie. If everyone you know and everything you do for 10 years indicates you are one kind of person, and you know you are another, how do you live with that?

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Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

With gloss as well as depth, this super-stylish Asian crime thriller should play beyond UK arthouses to become more than another cult favourite.

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