Election

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Released 2005

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Movie Summary

Director:
Johnnie To
Released:
2005
Rating:
R
Election is a Hong Kong crime drama about rival triads, gangster organizations that originally emerged to liberate the Chinese from foreign oppressors. Over time, these "brotherhoods" have become crime syndicates, though they retain the rituals and codes from their patriotic past. The Wo Shing triad must elect a new chairman. Traditionally, the senior members of the organization select a promising young candidate. This time, the elders are split between two candidates: Simon Lam (Lam Lok), a low-key business man with a family or Big D (Tony Leung Ka Fai), a gambler who gets the job done. The split in votes leads to a civil war within the triad. The members of this "brotherhood" will question their long-standing traditions and ideas of honor as the conflict leads to a brutal climax. Director Johnnie To received a 2005 Cannes Film Festival nomination for the Palm D'Or for this gangland thriller and followed up with a 2006 sequel entitled "Triad Election."

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Metacritic Score

  • 80

    The New York Times A.O. Scott

    By the end, Mr. To has proven himself to be a genre hack of uncommon intelligence and soul: a first-rate entertainer who can thrill you into thinking.

  • 75

    Boston Globe Ty Burr

    Mostly Election tracks the shifting of power among men for whom power is all that matters, no matter how much lip service they pay to loyalty. The final sequence is a shocker but i...

  • 70

    Variety Derek Elley

    Some general viewers may feel let down by the relatively scant action.

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Themes

Foreign Language, Martial Arts, Dramedy