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480 Ratings

Year of the Dragon

Directed by Michael Cimino
United States, 1985
Crime, Drama


Using unprecedented degrees of violence, young Joey Tai becomes the head of Chinese mafia in New York and undisputed leader of the Chinese community. Stanley White, the most decorated cop in New York, who hates Asian people since his service in Vietnam, is put in charge of Chinatown.

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Year of the Dragon Directed by Michael Cimino

Awards & Festivals

César Awards

1986 | Nominee: Best Foreign Film

Golden Globes (USA)

1986 | 2 nominations including: Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

A troubling, engrossing mix of complete pulp and grandiose grandstanding about gang wars in New York’s Chinatown and a Vietnam vet (Mickey Rourke) turned maverick cop’s efforts to prove the existence of and then violently smash the Triads, one could hardly point to another film as ridiculously, vividly and offensively cartoonish or one as sublimely dedicated to reality in all its granular, effortful detailing of language, environment, underworlds, and profession.
August 10, 2015
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It has to be seen as a (sometimes futile) exercise in style on this question of what’s close and what’s a long way away… What has to be seen is how Cimino tries everything before getting to the only confrontation which could tie up every loose end in the film. What has to be seen is the way Cimino builds up his scenes from big camera movements, within which there’s a proliferation of actions which aren’t simultaneous (as on TV), but parallel (as in the cinema).
October 14, 1988
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As an experiment in excess, Year of the Dragon is eye-popping: A shootout in a Chinese restaurant is obvious inspiration for some of Quentin Tarantino’s later over-the-top choreographies and a Chinese-Japanese-American reporter’s (Tracy Tzu, played by Ariane) apartment in DUMBO is so breathtaking that it’s hard to pay attention to the characters in the foreground.
October 09, 2017
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