As Tears Go By
As Tears Go By (1989)

Hong Kong auteur Wong Kar-wai makes his feature film debut with this gritty romantic crime-drama inspired by Scorsese's Mean Streets. The film opens with young gangster Wah (Andy Lau) getting a visit for the day from his beautiful… More

Directed By:
Rated: Unrated
Running Time:
Release Date: December 31, 1989
DVD Release Date: October 19, 2004
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Critic Score: 82% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader

Some of the editing has a giddy, overeager quality, the natural excess of a young prodigy, but when the action and the tempo align, the results are exhilarating: an early brawl in a pool hall fairly leaps off the screen.

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Nathan Lee
New York Times

Unpersuasive as drama, Tears is the first and last Wong movie touched by any feel of the obligatory.

David Phelps
MUBI reckless that once it starts it never stops to breathe.

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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe

This sounds like a fairly standard debut. But Wong smothers the story with tremendous style.

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David Fear
Time Out

Long before Wong Kar-wai perfected his dreamy, ennui-infused aesthetic (or got hopelessly stuck in blueberry goo), he made a name for himself with this warhorse tale of small-time hoods on the road to ruin.

Fernando F. Croce

The pinwheeling, phosphorescent spirit is undiluted Wong Kar-wai

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V.A. Musetto
New York Post

As Tears Go By doesn't measure up to Wong's later classics, such as In the Mood for Love (2000) and Chungking Express (1994), but it shows a master in the making.

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J. Hoberman
Village Voice

Ostensibly a conventional tale of triad loyalty, As Tears Go By announced the presence of a genuine Hong Kong new wave -- as well as an ambitious cineaste.

Leo Goldsmith
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

A rich and kinetic portrait of the Hong Kong underworld and its system of pseudo-familial relationships and obligations

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More reviews for As Tears Go By

Flixster Audience Score: 66% Flixster User Reviews
Arash Xak
Wong Kar Wai's Promising debut
Anthony Valletta
Great first effort by Wong Kar Wai
Sarah Gaish
This is Wong Kar-Wai's debut from 1988. Starring Maggie Cheung and Andy Lau. Fiited with typical 80's ambiant soundtrack and two narrtives told.… More
Patrick Dolan
This film uses the era it was made to it's full advantage. It's actually a really interesting romance/gangster film, something I'd assume could… More
Luke Baldock
The film is influenced by Martin Scorsese's "Mean Streets", but of course contains some moments that would later become part of Wai's… More