John Woo


John Woo Yu-Sen SBS (吳宇森; May 1, 1946) is a Hong Kong film director, producer and screenwriter. He is considered a major influence on the action genre, known for his highly chaotic action sequences, stylized imagery, Mexican standoffs, frequent use of slow motion and allusions to neo-noir, wuxia and Western cinema. Considered one of the major figures of Hong Kong cinema, Woo has directed several notable action films in his adopted home, among them, A Better Tomorrow (1986), The Killer (1989), Hard Boiled (1992), and Red Cliff (2008/2009). He is a winner of the Hong Kong Film Awards for Best Director, Best Editing, and Best Picture, as well as a Golden Horse Award, an Asia Pacific Screen Award, and a Saturn Award.

Woo’s Hollywood films include the Hard Target (1993), with Jean-Claude Van Damme, Lance Henriksen, Yancy Butler, and Wilford Brimley; and Broken Arrow (1996), with John Travolta and Christian Slater; Face/Off (1997), with Travolta and Nicolas Cage; Mission: Impossible 2 (2000), with Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Dougray Scott, Thandie Newton, Richard Roxburgh, and Brendan Gleeson; Windtalkers (2002), with Cage, Adam Beach, Peter Stormare, Noah Emmerich, Mark Ruffalo, and Slater; and Paycheck (2003), with Ben Affleck, Uma Thurman, Aaron Eckhart, Paul Giamatti, Michael C. Hall, Joe Morton, and Colm Feore.

He also created the comic series Seven Brothers, published by Virgin Comics. He cites his three favorite films as David Lean‘s Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Akira Kurosawa‘s Seven Samurai (1954) and Jean-Pierre Melville‘s Le Samouraï (1967). He is the founder and chairman of the production company Lion Rock Productions.

Each review will be linked to the title below.

(*seen originally in theaters)

(**seen rereleased in theaters)

  • Dead Knot (1968) – short
  • Ouran (1968) – short
  • The Young Dragons (1974)
  • The Dragon Tamers (1975)
  • Princess Chang Ping (1976)
  • Hand of Death (1976)
  • Money Crazy (1977)
  • Hello, Late Homecomers (1978)
  • Follow the Star (1978)
  • Last Hurrah for Chivalry (1979)
  • From Riches to Rags (1980)
  • To Hell with the Devil (1981)
  • Laughing Times (1981)
  • Plain Jane to the Rescue (1982)
  • The Time You Need a Friend (1984)
  • Run, Tiger, Run (1985)
  • Heroes Shed No Tears (1986)
  • A Better Tomorrow (1986)
  • A Better Tomorrow II (1987)
  • The Killer (1989)
  • Just Heroes (1989)
  • A Bullet in the Head (1990)
  • Once a Thief (1991)
  • Hard Boiled (1992)
  • Hard Target (1993)
  • Broken Arrow (1996)
  • Face/Off (1997)
  • Mission: Impossible 2 (2000)
  • Windtalkers (2002)
  • Paycheck (2003)
  • Red Cliff: Part I (2008)
  • Red Cliff: Part II (2009)
  • Reign of Assassins (2010)
  • The Crossing (2014)
  • The Crossing: Part II (2015)
  • Manhunt (2017)