MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 14,871 this week

Sparrow (2008)
"Man jeuk" (original title)

6.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.7/10 from 2,024 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 46 critic

A gang of pickpockets roam the streets of Hong Kong.

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

Editors' Spotlight

Top 10 TV Shows

Brooke Anderson from "Entertainment Tonight" and Melanie McFarland take a look at the Top 10 TV Shows of 2014 in our new series "IMDb Countdown".

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 36 titles
created 01 Dec 2011
 
a list of 2013 titles
created 18 Jan 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 10 Nov 2013
 
a list of 37 titles
created 08 Dec 2013
 
a list of 30 titles
created 9 months ago
 

Related Items

Search for "Sparrow" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Sparrow (2008)

Sparrow (2008) on IMDb 6.7/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Sparrow.
1 win & 13 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

PTU (2003)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Over the course of one night, a team of cops frantically search for their colleague's missing gun.

Director: Johnnie To
Stars: Simon Yam, Suet Lam, Ruby Wong
Romance | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Wah and Kinki both working at the same department of a computer company. Both of them are not getting on very well initially, but friendship develops when they get to know each other after ... See full summary »

Directors: Johnnie To, Ka-Fai Wai
Stars: Andy Lau, Sammi Cheng, Fiona Leung
Drama | Thriller | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  
Director: Tat-Chi Yau
Stars: Ching Wan Lau, Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Maggie Siu
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Fresh from a prison term, a former Triad boss resides in a hotel in Macau, where he befriends its owner and her young son.

Director: Johnnie To
Stars: Ching Wan Lau, Ruby Wong, Yiu-Cheung Lai
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Sammi Cheng plays Mimi Mo, a young exchange student to Japan who met and fell in love with a budding pianist, Kurokawa, played by Rikiya Kurokawa. Kurokawa eventually leaves to study music ... See full summary »

Directors: Johnnie To, Ka-Fai Wai
Stars: Andy Lau, Sammi Cheng, Rikiya Kurokawa
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Director: Nai-Hoi Yau
Stars: Simon Yam, Tony Ka Fai Leung, Kate Tsui
Sparrow I (2010)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Six teenage friends take a camping trip to a forest which is the site of a presumed historic murder. But their disbelief in this urban legend is soon changed when strange happenings begin to occur to each of them.

Director: Shaun Troke
Stars: Faye Sewell, Thomas James Longley, Alexis Jayne Defoe
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Director: Tat-Chi Yau
Stars: Simon Yam, Ching Wan Lau, YoYo Mung
Drama | Crime | Action
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Jack and Martin are members of rival Chinese triads in the middle of a gang war. Both of their gang leaders like to get advice from a fortune teller living in Thailand. On one such trip, ... See full summary »

Director: Johnnie To
Stars: Leon Lai, Ching Wan Lau, Fiona Leung
Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

This is a movie about two people (Gigi Leung and Takeshi Kaneshiro), who are destined to be together but by some twist of circumstances they never find each other.

Directors: Johnnie To, Ka-Fai Wai
Stars: Takeshi Kaneshiro, Gigi Leung, Edmund Chen
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Directors: Johnnie To, Ka-Fai Wai
Stars: Andy Lau, Ching Wan Lau, Louis Koo
Wu yen (2001)
Comedy | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  
Directors: Johnnie To, Ka-Fai Wai
Stars: Ho-Yin Wong, Sammi Cheng, Anita Mui
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Kei
...
Chung Chun Lei
Ka Tung Lam ...
Bo (as Lam Ka Tung)
Hoi-Pang Lo ...
Mr. Fu Kim Tong (as Lo Hoi Pang)
Wing-cheong Law ...
Sak (as Law Wing Cheong)
Kenneth Cheung ...
Mac
Suet Lam ...
Lung (as Lam Suet)
Chun-shun Lo ...
Mr. Fu's Henchman (as Lo Chun Shun)
Jonathan Yat-Sing Lee ...
Boy in Cap (as Jonathan Lee)
Jackson Ha
Ka-kit Cheung ...
(as Jeff Cheung)
Wai Leung Hung ...
Policeman (as Hung Wai Leung)
Yee-Yee Yeung ...
(as Yeung Yee Yee)
Chiang Lo ...
Old Pickpocket (as Lo Hau Keung)
Chi Ping Cheung ...
Old Pickpocket (as Cheung Chi Ping)
Edit

Storyline

A gang of pickpockets roam the streets of Hong Kong.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Free as a Bird...

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

19 June 2008 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Sparrow  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$800,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The title, Man jeuk which means Sparrow in Cantonese, is a slang for pickpockets who are very good at what their job. See more »

Connections

Featured in Johnnie Got His Gun! (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
A Nutshell Review: Sparrow
24 June 2008 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

Taking almost 3 years to make, and finally making its way to our shores, Sparrow is worth every moment of waiting, and again cements Johnnie To's reputation as a living maestro who conjures up magical cinematic moments from the tired Hong Kong crime genre. This time though it's totally sans violence and elaborate gunplay, and what came across was a short film idea that's brimming with class, injected with well placed humour, postcard picturesque framing and the unflappable Simon Yam who can do no wrong as the lead.

Clearly this movie plays up on the sparrow motif, of a bird trapped in a cage, and one from the avian family associated with, as this story goes, ill fortune that will soon befall. The figural bird here refers to Kelly Lin's Chung Chun Lei, a mysterious, statuesque beauty who baits our gang into unlocking the cage that's trapping her in a life of misery. The first act plays out like a little mystery, weaving in a deeper introduction of our gang of pickpockets, played by Lam Ka Tung, Kenneth Cheung, Law Wing-cheong and led by their leader Kei (Simon Yam). Thinking they got lucky individually when they each encounter Chun Lei, they soon realize the hard way about who they're dealing with, and realize that they stand a better chance as a group, with unity in strength rather than playing individual lone wolf.

Here's where you'll find the quintessential To movie dripping with camaraderie and brotherhood, written by Chan Kin Chung and Fung Chi Keung. The story unfolds in a rather unconventional manner that leaves you guessing, before it even keels into a mid-section, all the while avoiding big sets and big action sequences. They allow for Yam to play up on his well known photography hobby by working it into the story, and Yam delivers what audiences and fans would have expected, that of a charismatic leader.

Unlike To's previous movies like Exiled and the Election series which were rather heavy in nature and tone, Sparrow, like the bird, is very much light and breezy. It doesn't try to cram too many subplots into its close to 90 minute running time, and provides you a main thread to focus your thoughts on. As mentioned, it is like a short film idea extrapolated effectively into a feature film length, allowing moments of To's signature style of stand-offs to enter the fray, building much needed anticipation, with good natured humour. Some however, might want to draw parallels with Feng Xiaogang's World Without Thieves given its subject matter and its core one-upmanship challenge.

There are two gems in Sparrow that makes its ticket price more than worthwhile. First, the wonderful original music and score by Fred Avril and Xavier Jamaux, whose theme for Sparrow will definitely linger in your mind for quite a while after the end credits roll. With a jazzy feel and a combination of western and eastern musical instruments, the score has a life of its own, and elevates Sparrow to a higher plateau with something memorable to take away, emphasizing the lightness the general tone of the movie takes.

The other gem, will be its fantastically designed major action piece that occurs in the last act. Probably the only "action" you'll see in the movie, it decompresses normal time into slow- motion, in order to exaggerate the lightning quick reflexes all the operatives in the movie possess. The rain, the umbrellas, action designed around them and all done at a single traffic light crossing, remains a cinematic marvel which deserves a second, third helping, and more. Just thinking how it's done technically will already send you into a frenzy, and this likely served undoubtedly as a showpiece for Sparrow.

Sparrow is an elegant movie, which reminds us that while To might have his off-days with movies like Linger, he's back at the top of his game again delivering a movie with deftness in skill, and adding to his already glowing repertoire of movies defining the new wave of crime genre stories that speak volumes of his signature style.


16 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
USA? torifica
Ending ededed
Berlinale 2008- photos.... news-268
Phone she is using leonthecleaner-1
Discuss Sparrow (2008) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?