Infernal Affairs

User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 89 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 59 out of 89
  2. Negative: 25 out of 89

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User Reviews

  1. Terry
    Apr 30, 2007
    10
    I liked this one better. People don't realize that the Departed is a remake of the Infernal Affairs trilogy. The Departed does take sources from IA 2 and 3. To say that this movie is a rough draft of Departed is downright insulting. WIthout this movie, there goes the Departed as well as Scorsese's career. This movie is much better. The characters are more interesting and this I liked this one better. People don't realize that the Departed is a remake of the Infernal Affairs trilogy. The Departed does take sources from IA 2 and 3. To say that this movie is a rough draft of Departed is downright insulting. WIthout this movie, there goes the Departed as well as Scorsese's career. This movie is much better. The characters are more interesting and this film has more soul than the American counterpart. A much better thriller overall. Expand
  2. Sep 22, 2011
    8
    A artistically bizarre, action packed movie that has the untouchable tension between its characters. In my opinion, "Internal Affairs" is better than the American version of the movie, "The Departed".
  3. DanB.
    Mar 14, 2007
    6
    It's like a rough draft for The Departed. I think if you've seen The Departed first, this movie won't seem so or as good. If you see this first, maybe it'll play better. They really took all this movie's good elements and sharpened them, played them up, in The Departed. Side note--they use so many English words! And who knew, they play bagpipes in HK. Fascinating.
  4. Burns
    Feb 27, 2007
    10
    Excellent! Pity it got a pathetic carbon copy.
  5. VinceH.
    Sep 26, 2004
    10
    This is still the best of the 3. I liked this film so much I purchased VCD's of the sequels and was highly dissapointed. IA2 was great, but IA3 was just sad and tired, sorta reminded me of what "Godfather 3" did to the legacy of the first 2. See this one before the American screw-up...oh I'm sorry, I meant remake.
  6. ArnoldH.
    Oct 2, 2004
    10
    What a terrific movie! After a somewhat confusing beginning, this movie draws you in with an unrelenting power, and builds to a startling climax. Never before has the theme of the similarity betweem criminals and cops been so forcefully portrayed. Not to be missed!
  7. Stu
    Sep 25, 2004
    10
    What a film! It starts with the premise/story, and this one is a great one. The cinematography, the acting, the directing is right on. This is being remade by Hollywood, and has the chance to be a great film here too, but Hollywood's track record on reamkes is not alwaysa the best. So let's hope!
  8. JDavis
    Apr 8, 2006
    10
    The first half of the movie introduces the characters and builds a strong plot, while the second half of the movie is a rollercoaster fulls of twists and suprises.
  9. ChadS.
    Feb 17, 2005
    6
    When Hollywood gets its hands on "Infernal Affairs", one way to avoid slavish imitation, and possibly improve the story, is if they choose the other cop as its switcher of allegiances. "Infernal Affairs" doesn't quite get down-and-dirty enough. We're supposed to like both cops, and that's a problem. Subtitles automatically makes "Infernal Affairs" an art film, but really, When Hollywood gets its hands on "Infernal Affairs", one way to avoid slavish imitation, and possibly improve the story, is if they choose the other cop as its switcher of allegiances. "Infernal Affairs" doesn't quite get down-and-dirty enough. We're supposed to like both cops, and that's a problem. Subtitles automatically makes "Infernal Affairs" an art film, but really, it has mainstream intentions which prevents us from getting too acquainted with the interior lives of the conflicted. But as slick entertainment goes, "Infernal Affairs" is mostly winning and should be seen. Expand
  10. CongaT.
    Oct 6, 2006
    9
    A masterpiece of storyline, cinematography and characterization. A bit of overacting gives it not a perfect ten but nothing real is perfect in this life.
  11. [Anonymous]
    Dec 18, 2004
    10
    One of the best movies i'd ever watched (and im very critical of movies). Its THAT good.
  12. Aug 19, 2010
    9
    Undercover cop works as henchman for gangster, new man is brought in to Internal Affairs to find mole in Police Department, paths cross, deceit & a right hullabaloo.
    Riveting thriller with an excellent story, brilliantly acted & played out.
    I had seen The Departed (Western remake) before this so expected the twists & turns throughout but both films do stand-up in their own right. Also
    Undercover cop works as henchman for gangster, new man is brought in to Internal Affairs to find mole in Police Department, paths cross, deceit & a right hullabaloo.
    Riveting thriller with an excellent story, brilliantly acted & played out.
    I had seen The Departed (Western remake) before this so expected the twists & turns throughout but both films do stand-up in their own right.
    Also really liked the Hong-Kong back drop in this & some really good cinematography.
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  13. Aug 29, 2010
    10
    Probably the best Hong Kong film ever. A perfect combination of commercial and art.

    And, being a Chinese, this film means so much to us. It revived the industry and set up a new set of standards there.

    10 /10
  14. Sep 22, 2012
    8
    The film that got Scorsese his first Oscar is a remake of this wonderful film, a very perplex and masterfully weaved chess match of wit and ingenuity. The scenario deserves all possible accolades and the directing is very sharp indeed.
  15. Nov 8, 2010
    9
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  16. Sep 16, 2011
    9
    Je savais que Les Infiltrés était le remake de cet Infernal Affairs, mais jamais je n'aurais pensé que le film de Martin Scorsese en était la copie conforme (la moindre scène a été refaite dans le film américain). De ce fait, cela m'a paru bizarre de regarder ce film hongkongais. MaisJe savais que Les Infiltrés était le remake de cet Infernal Affairs, mais jamais je n'aurais pensé que le film de Martin Scorsese en était la copie conforme (la moindre scène a été refaite dans le film américain). De ce fait, cela m'a paru bizarre de regarder ce film hongkongais. Mais heureusement, cela ne m'a pas empêcher d'admirer ce thriller à ça juste valeur! Entrainant, passionnant, haletant, mise en scène avec brio, des personnages interprétés avec talent... C'est sûr, je préfère légèrement Les Infiltrés, de part l'immense talent de Scorsese. Mais Infernal Affairs n'est pas à oublier de si tôt non plus! Expand
  17. Feb 17, 2014
    9
    To compare the Departed with Infernal Affairs is insane. While the story is almost mirror, the style of direction and the cast could not be more night and day. Mainly because there are two different cultures at play here. The Chinese and the U.S.

    @DanB. Learn your history. Hong Kong was once a British colony and their entire judicial and law enforcement system is based on the British
    To compare the Departed with Infernal Affairs is insane. While the story is almost mirror, the style of direction and the cast could not be more night and day. Mainly because there are two different cultures at play here. The Chinese and the U.S.

    @DanB. Learn your history. Hong Kong was once a British colony and their entire judicial and law enforcement system is based on the British hence the bagpipes. HK is also an international hub so naturally there's a lot of English. While the majority of HK are Chinese people, they still hold do things the way the British taught them.
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  18. May 30, 2016
    3
    I've been looking around Rotten Tomatoes to find some negative reviews of 2002's ''Infernal Affairs'' by either critics or the audience, but i cant seem to find any *really* negative reviews (except the 3 rotten scores by critics) so i guess, i'm yet again, back in a dark corner with my opinion on this one.

    Me, like many of this films' viewers, watched this film after having seen the
    I've been looking around Rotten Tomatoes to find some negative reviews of 2002's ''Infernal Affairs'' by either critics or the audience, but i cant seem to find any *really* negative reviews (except the 3 rotten scores by critics) so i guess, i'm yet again, back in a dark corner with my opinion on this one.

    Me, like many of this films' viewers, watched this film after having seen the wildly succesfull (critically acclaimed, and loved by audiences) Martin Scorsese picture: ''The Departed'' which is the remake/retelling of this story, staring a massive A-list cast, slick style, superb screenwriting, confident directing and an additional 40 minutes to sink your teeth into. It's basically an upgrade in every filmmaking aspect, as you would hope with every remake, which is unfortunately not always the case..

    As you can tell, i did not like Infernal Affairs at all, maybe a scene here and there, but as a whole, i was vastly disappointed. If i hadnt have seen The Departed before viewing Infernal Affairs i would have had no clue what this film is about, the only reason i understood what it was about after 40 minutes is because i watched The Departed before seeing this, which resulted in me having some sort of a clue what it was all about, but it really is not clear at all. Which is a perfect segway for my first complaint: The script is not confident of itself and has no clue what it wants to be, it goes all over the place and it feels so disconnected with the audience. Like i said, i got a fair idea what the movie was doing and what it wants to be after a whopping 40 minutes of struggling to know what the hell it was about, and to remind you, i allready saw The Departed, and i still had no clue what it wants to be. When watching the first 40 minutes i thought: ''Well, Scorsese and the screenwriters sure changed a whole lot, it seems a completely different film.''

    There are always those people that always claim that the original is better than the remake, even though the remake is an incredible masterpiece. But i really cant take people like that siriously, use your brain, and anyone who has one will clearly see that Scorsese's The Departed is a much superior film than Infernal Affairs, even though you might've liked the original, i think then everyone would agree too that The Departed is the superior film. It has one of the best casts of all time and they all deliver incredible A+ performances, but in the original except maybe the 2 leads, every other character and performance is not memorable. Scorsese has crafted memorable characters out of every character that has a slight role in the film, even the smaller ones, which is an incredible feit. The original does no attempt at trying this, except with the 2 leads, which is poor. The Departed is 40 minutes longer, which is additional runtime it clearly needed because The Departed is a well fleshed-out, coherent, and streamlined script which is engaging, entertaining and thrilling from minute one. Infernal Affairs however, is disjoint, unclear of itself, confusing, badly paced, and incoherent at many points in the film, neither is it thrilling nor that entertaining, which is a shame.

    The only thing i can praise wholeheartedly is that the ending/climax of Infernal Affairs is handled much better than in The Departed. The ending of The Departed is almost cartoonish and tonely-off. In Internal Affairs the ending is handled which much more precision and matureness. However, the ending to The Departed comes as more of a surprise and is more shocking, despite being a bit cartoonish.

    That's all i have to say, watching Infernal Affairs was a chore, i did not have a fun time watching it, it was a difficult watch, and i have no intention in ever watching it again.
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Awards & Rankings

Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 19
  2. Negative: 0 out of 19
  1. Driven by two great performances surrounded by solid supporting acts, Infernal Affairs is the rare testosterone movie that is also mature and thoughtful.
  2. 40
    The directors, Andrew Lau and Alan Mak, manage to convince us that we have witnessed an action movie, although in fact the quantity of violence is so minimal that, under Hong Kong law, Infernal Affairs barely qualifies as a motion picture.
  3. 88
    Throbs with action, suspense and a seductive rhythm all its own.