MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 2,683 this week

Life Without Principle (2011)
"Dyut meng gam" (original title)

6.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.9/10 from 1,366 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 41 critic

Three people - a criminal, a bank officer and a cop - end up in a catastrophic situation in the midst of a global economical crisis and are forced to betray any morals and principles to solve their financial problems.

Director:

Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 30 titles
created 14 Jan 2012
 
a list of 26 titles
created 14 Jul 2012
 
a list of 45 titles
created 20 Jul 2012
 
a list of 31 titles
created 18 Nov 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 06 Feb 2013
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Life Without Principle (2011)

Life Without Principle (2011) on IMDb 6.9/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Life Without Principle.
13 wins & 12 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Director: Ka-Fai Wai
Stars: Ching Wan Lau, Francis Ng, Tat-Ming Cheung
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
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
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Two very different hitmen find themselves to be in each other's way. They use all their skill to solve the problem.

Directors: Johnnie To, Ka-Fai Wai
Stars: Andy Lau, Takashi Sorimachi, Kelly Lin
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
Action | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Son Donglu, a newly promoted detective teams up with Guo Zhui, fastest gunman in Tiancheng and Xiaowu, a novice policeman to investigate the mystery deaths in a bullet factory.

Director: Chi-Leung Law
Stars: Xiang Bin, Gang Chen, Hei-Yi Cheng
Overheard 2 (2011)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Directors: Felix Chong, Alan Mak
Stars: Louis Koo, Ching Wan Lau, Michelle Ye
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
Overheard (2009)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A trio of police officers conduct surveillance on a listed company.

Directors: Felix Chong, Alan Mak
Stars: Daniel Wu, Grace Huang, Jingchu Zhang
Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

Two former lovers find themselves irresistibly drawn back together, despite the fact that each of them is engaged to someone else.

Director: Johnnie To
Stars: Vic Chow, Yuanyuan Gao, Louis Koo
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
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Panther
...
Mr. Sung
Richie Ren ...
Inspector Cheung
Denise Ho ...
Teresa
Wing-cheong Law ...
Wing
Felix Wong ...
Sum
Siu-Fai Cheung ...
Wah
Vincent Sze
Siu-Kei Lee ...
Brother Four
Stephanie Che ...
Jackie
Chi Hung Ng ...
Brother B
Hoi-Pang Lo ...
Yuen
J.J. Jia ...
Ms Ho
Myolie Wu ...
Connie
Singh Hartihan Bitto ...
Bank security guard
Edit

Storyline

Three people - a criminal, a bank officer and a cop - end up in a catastrophic situation in the midst of a global economical crisis and are forced to betray any morals and principles to solve their financial problems.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 October 2011 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

Death of a Hostage  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Debuted at the second spot of the Hong Kong box office and held the position in its second week. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Boundless (2013) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Venturing away from his usual gangland milieu, Johnnie To's latest is a riveting examination of modern-day greed that is immensely captivating and thought-provoking
13 October 2011 | by (Singapore) – See all my reviews

The long-gestating Johnnie To movie 'Life Without Principle' chooses as its theme the interminable greed of mankind, set against the backdrop of the current financial crisis. Taking almost three years for the auteur to get it off the page onto the screen, it is also his most narratively complex film since 'Election', intertwining the stories of a bank employee, a cop and two triad gangsters over the course of one fateful day when the Greek economy essentially goes 'kaput'.

Unfolding quite independently of each other at first, To requests the patience of his audience as he slowly builds up each narrative thread to flesh out the key characters. First in line is bank employee Teresa (Denise Ho), who is under pressure from the team manager to meet her sales targets for a new complex financial product before the New Year. She makes cold calls from a list of bank customers, the derision she faces enough to make one think twice about being mean to the person on the other end of the line in similar real-life situations.

The focus of this segment is Teresa's persuasion of an elderly woman (So Hang-Shuen) to invest her life savings into a high-risk fund, despite the mismatch between the investment product and the client's risk appetite. The client laments about the bank's low interest rates on deposits, and Teresa sees an opportunity to be less than scrupulous- despite her nagging conscience. This is certainly a parallel between this and our very own DBS 'High Notes 5' saga not too long ago- and To mines the realities of this sequence to highlight the pitfalls many ordinary citizens often fall into when making poorly informed investment decisions.

To also uses this segment to introduce two supporting characters- the balding loan shark Yuen (Lo Hoi-Pang) who gets robbed immediately after withdrawing five million from the bank; and the soon-to-be-married Connie (Myolie Wu) frustrated at her fiancée's reluctance at buying an apartment for investment. Yuen will figure later in the second story thread led by triad runner Panther (Lau Ching Wan) and his buddy Lung (Philip Keung), who runs an illegal business operation dabbling in Internet stock trading.

Thanks to Lau's fine turn playing the exceedingly righteous Panther with just the right balance of levity and gravity, this is easily the most colourfully entertaining segment- and because of the gangster milieu also the one which To's fans will find most familiar. Using the first half to emphasise Panther's servility as he tries to post bail for a fellow triad honcho (Eddie Cheung), To's investment in character development pays off in understanding Panther's loyalty to Lung and the extent he is willing to go to help Lung out of his financial doldrums.

The third, and perhaps least developed, story concerns Inspector Cheung (Ritchie Jen), whose dedication to his work is another reason for his fiancé Connie's frustration. Though Cheung is seen earlier crossing paths with Panther, it is Cheung's heroism saving another elderly man from committing suicide and his subsequent change in perspective that this segment is concerned with- though there Is a severely undercooked subplot involving Cheung's father's death from cancer and the fate of his young half-sister. This and the other two seemingly disparate plot threads only coalesce towards the last half hour of the film- but rest assured that To rewards your patience with a riveting conclusion that connects the various characters brilliantly, albeit with some degree of deus ex machina especially towards the end.

But beyond the plotting, To's film is also extremely meaningful as a reflection of the interconnectedness of our livelihoods with the ups and downs of the world economy. Bearing great thematic relevance and prescience, the movie paints a stark picture of how the very wellbeing of ordinary and disparate folk can be affected so drastically by something happening on a different continent. It is also not afraid to expose the flaws within the growing complexities of our financial industries, which entraps the sweat-soaked dollars and cents of good hardworking people.

If the above discourse on the film's themes isn't yet clear enough, then let us also state categorically that those looking for To's trademark shoot-em-up actioners will likely be disappointed. There is nary a shootout in sight, nor a bullet fired for that matter, but To's gamble to attempt a multi-strand narrative built around pertinent social issues (think 'Traffic', 'Crash' or even this autumn's 'Contagion') pays off handsomely- thanks also to solid acting from To's usual band of regulars and some expert editing from David Richardson. As the fruit of To's labour for the past three years, it also reaffirms his position as one of the best, if not the best, directors in Hong Kong today.

  • www.moviexclusive.com



10 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
'I understand completely' ghtx
Mega Star's Region Free Blu-Ray michael-339
Johnnie To has left the production? Zabadoh
An entertaining slow burner dmar9147
Discuss Life Without Principle (2011) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?