Shanghai Triad

Watch Shanghai Triad

"In 1930, Shanghai violence was not the problem. It was the solution."
  • R
  • 1995
  • 1 hr 43 min
  • 7.1  (6,014)
  • 77

Shanghai Triad is a crime drama film directed by Zhang Yimou and starring Gong Li. The film is set in 1930s Shanghai and follows the story of a young boy named Shuisheng who is sent to work as a servant for his uncle, a powerful triad boss named Tang Shuisheng. Tang Shuisheng is the ruler of the city's criminal underworld and has a beautiful mistress named Xiao Jingbao. Shuisheng quickly becomes enamored with Xiao, but his infatuation is short-lived as he soon learns the dark secrets behind Tang's empire.

The film's opening scenes are set aboard a luxurious yacht cruising off the coast of Shanghai. Here we meet Tang Shuisheng, the young boy Shuisheng, and Xiao Jingbao. Shuisheng is sent to work for his uncle as an errand boy, but quickly becomes entranced by the glamour and excitement of Tang's lifestyle.

As the story unfolds, we witness the intricate and dangerous relationships between the triad members. The film shows the gritty underbelly of Shanghai's criminal underworld - a world where life is cheap and loyalties are fleeting. We see how violence and corruption are the currency of the day, and how Tang Shuisheng is master of this dark empire.

Despite her role as Tang's mistress, Xiao Jingbao is portrayed as a strong, independent woman who is not afraid to challenge her lover's authority. Gong Li's performance is truly captivating, and she perfectly captures Jingbao's complex mix of vulnerability, strength, and cunning.

As the story progresses, we see the characters' relationships become more strained and desperate. Shuisheng is forced to confront the brutal realities of the triad lifestyle, and Jingbao's position becomes increasingly precarious. The tension in the film builds towards a dramatic and violent finale, which brings all of the characters' stories to a head.

Shanghai Triad is a beautifully crafted film with stunning visuals and a powerful emotional impact. The location and set design create an authentic sense of 1930s Shanghai, and the performances from the entire cast are exceptional. The film's exploration of power, loyalty, and betrayal makes for a compelling and thought-provoking experience.

Overall, Shanghai Triad is an outstanding film that showcases the talents of its director and cast. It is a powerful exploration of the criminal underworld in 1930s Shanghai and a testament to the enduring appeal of crime drama cinema. Audiences who appreciate strong storytelling and nuanced characterizations will find much to enjoy in this classic film.

Shanghai Triad is a 1995 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 43 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.1 and a MetaScore of 77.

Shanghai Triad
Where to Watch Shanghai Triad
Shanghai Triad is available to watch free on Kanopy. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Apple TV, Amazon, Google Play and Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent Shanghai Triad for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 43 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.1  (6,014)
  • Metascore