MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 8,717 this week

A Better Tomorrow (1986)
"Ying hung boon sik" (original title)

7.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.6/10 from 13,835 users  
Reviews: 85 user | 58 critic

A reforming ex-gangster tries to reconcile with his estranged policeman brother, but the ties to his former gang are difficult to break.

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

Venice Film Festival

See the latest from the 2014 Venice Film Festival


User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 08 Aug 2011
 
a list of 24 titles
created 06 Mar 2012
 
a list of 31 titles
created 21 Mar 2012
 
a list of 46 titles
created 29 Jan 2013
 
list image
a list of 31 titles
created 6 months ago
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: A Better Tomorrow (1986)

A Better Tomorrow (1986) on IMDb 7.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of A Better Tomorrow.

User Polls

4 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Hard Boiled (1992)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A tough-as-nails cop teams up with an undercover agent to shut down a sinister mobster and his crew.

Director: John Woo
Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Teresa Mo
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When three close friends escape from Hong Kong to war-time Saigon to start a criminal's life, they all go through a harrowing experience which totally shatters their lives and their friendship forever.

Director: John Woo
Stars: Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Jacky Cheung, Waise Lee
Action | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

A man travels from China to Vietnam, on the brink of war with America, to retrieve his uncle and cousin but find complications when he falls in love with a female gangster with a dangerous ex.

Director: Hark Tsui
Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Tony Leung Ka Fai, Anita Mui
Once a Thief (1991)
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A romantic and action packed story of three best friends, a group of high end art thieves, who come into trouble when a love-triangle forms between them.

Director: John Woo
Stars: Leslie Cheung, Yun-Fat Chow, Cherie Chung
Just Heroes (1989)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A respected and well liked gang-boss is betrayed and killed. One of his three adopted sons are to take his place. One of them is the traitor.

Directors: John Woo, Ma Wu
Stars: Kuan Tai Chen, Kang-Yeh Cheng, Lei Cheng
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Thai government hires group of Chinese mercenaries to capture powerful druglord from Golden Triangle. The mercenaries manage to capture the druglord, but his men are trying to set him free.

Director: John Woo
Stars: Yuet Sang Chin, Doo Hee Jang, Ho Kon Kim
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Arms trafficker Hyuk and Young-chun are practically brothers and nothing can separate them. When the two managed to escape from North Korea, they left behind Hyuk's younger brother Chul. ... See full summary »

Director: Hae-sung Song
Stars: Jin-mo Ju, Seung-heon Song, Kang-woo Kim
City on Fire (1987)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

An undercover cop infiltrates a gang of thieves who plan to rob a jewelry store.

Director: Ringo Lam
Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Danny Lee, Yueh Sun
Xiao jiang (1985)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
Director: John Woo
Stars: Yueh Sun, David Tao, Linda Shui-chi Liu
Full Contact (1992)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two disreputable friends get tied in with a group of criminals who turn out to be excessively violent and deceptive.

Director: Ringo Lam
Stars: Yun-Fat Chow, Simon Yam, Ann Bridgewater
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A restauranteur teams up with a police officer and his ex-con brother to avenge the death of a friend's daughter.

Director: John Woo
Stars: Leslie Cheung, Yun-Fat Chow, Lung Ti
Comedy | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Josephine Siao is hired by a C.E.O. to teach his father manners and how to act like a "gentleman" in public. A goofy slapstick comedy that also features Ricky Hui as Josephine's long ... See full summary »

Director: John Woo
Stars: Josephine Siao, Ricky Hui, Sing Chen
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Lung Ti ...
Sung Tse-Ho (as Ti Lung)
...
Mark (as Chow Yun Fat)
Leslie Cheung ...
Emily Chu ...
Waise Lee ...
Shing (as Lee Chi Hung)
Feng Tien ...
Father Sung
...
Yanzi Shi ...
Mr. Yiu
...
Ken
Fui-On Shing ...
Hsieh Wang ...
Mr. Wang (as Hap Wong)
Chi Fai Chan ...
'Little' Wang
Ming Leung ...
Uncle Chan
Hing-Yin Kam ...
Mr. Mok
Pierre Tremblay ...
Interpol Officer
Edit

Storyline

This story is the tale of two brothers: one a successful counterfeiter and the younger a fledgling graduate of the HK police academy. The plot revolves around the split when the younger brother learns the other is a criminal and the efforts of the criminal brother to reform. Along the way are plenty of heists, double-crosses, and shoot outs. Written by Victor R. Volkman <sysop@hal9k.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

gangster | police | prison | friend | criminal | See more »

Taglines:

The movie that began it all......... See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

2 August 1986 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

A Better Tomorrow  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Hark Tsui instructed the screenwriters to portray the mobsters as counterfeiters rather than drug traffickers to up the "hero" factor. See more »

Goofs

The cello playing at the "audition" (c.11 minutes) is inaccurately mimed. See more »

Quotes

Shing: There's nothing better than having one of your own on the force.
See more »

Connections

Followed by A Better Tomorrow II (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Birdy's Flight
Written and performed by Peter Gabriel
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

.....and the rest is history
12 April 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Mark and Ho are gangsters for a major syndicate. Ho's brother Kit is unaware of his brother's lifestyle and himself is an ambitious police officer. However when Ho is betrayed by the bosses he is sent to jail and his father murdered, leaving Kit marked within the force and bitter towards Ho. Mark takes revenge on those who set up Ho but suffers severe damage to his leg as a result. When Ho comes out of prison Mark is reduced to cleaning up for new boss Shing. Ho and Mark resolve to move on, but Shing has other ideas and also plans to deal with Kit to stop him investigating. With the police and mob closing in Ho, Mark and Kit are forced to take a stand.

As part of my build up to see Bullet Proof Monk I have been watching some of Mr Chow's HK action movies again – just to remind me how good an actor he is when he is used well. A Better Tomorrow was Chow's big break through from television to movies and also the film that kick started John Woo's career after a couple of commercial failures. The plot is nicely overwrought and has a strong focus on the male relationship of friends and brothers. Honour plays strong in all scenes and it is actually quite involving despite the focus on gun play and action.

The action is good but dated. This is to be expected after about 20 years but it does still stand up well. The action is pretty over the top but also well choreographed to appear even more exciting than it is. Happily the plot stands up by itself and the film has a lot less action than later Woo films The Killer and Hard Boiled. I really got into the lives and destinies of the men involved and the strength of feeling and, perhaps, debts of honour, between them was palatable.

The strong characters are greatly helped by strong actors in all the leads. Chow is particularly good as he has to play two very different stages of his character and does them both very well (although the supercool part must have come easier to him). Ti Lung is clearly the lead here and does good work even if he is a little too righteous and moral to be a gangster. Leslie Cheung is good after a slow start required by his character. Lee Waise plays a good villain and only the female characters are as weak as they often are in these films.

Overall this film is regarded as a classic and responsible for the birth of the genre and certainly the genesis of many Hollywood action movies of today (how many multiplex goers who marvelled over the lobby shootout in the Matrix have even heard of this film?). It has dated a little bit but the action is still as outrageous as ever and still as exciting, despite a slight feeling of seeing it bigger somewhere else. The film's main strength to me is simply the male characters' relationships within the plot – they get me involved in the film and make the action even more dramatic.


19 of 21 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
7.5 really? egonz011-1
Where can I get the soundtrack? jimiisthething
A Better Tomorrow remake is coming bm_eat_tree
A Better Tommorow VS. Infernal Affairs adamcsays
song in restaurant shoot-out huevudo
soundtrack wkdnwld
Discuss A Better Tomorrow (1986) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?