Year of the Dragon (1985) - Rotten Tomatoes

Year of the Dragon1985

Year of the Dragon (1985)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Year of the Dragon Photos

Movie Info

Best known for his 1978 film The Deer Hunter or perhaps the less-successful Heaven's Gate, director Michael Cimino turned to this fast-paced actioner set in an authentic (back lot) Chinatown. This thriller stars a rogue Polish-American cop (Mickey Rourke) out to not only keep Chinatown safe for the local consumers, but to dismantle its deep-rooted crime and drug cartels as well. No one backs the crusading cop in the latter objective, and as he faces a suave and wily crime boss (John Lone of The Last Emperor) and a libidinous newscaster (Ariane), he may be taking on more than he can handle. At least his wife thinks so, and the guys at City Hall think so -- but mayhem and murder will strew the streets with corpses before the smoke clears and the dust settles, and a vague, unresolved future sets in. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi

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Mickey Rourke
as Stanley White
John Lone
as Joey Tai
Ariane Koizumi
as Tracy Tzu
Leonard Termo
as Angelo Rizzo
Raymond J. Barry
as Louis Bukowski
Ray Barry
as Louis Bukowski
Caroline Kava
as Connie White
Eddie Jones
as William McKenna
Joey Chin
as Ronnie Chang
Victor Wong
as Harry Yung
K. Dock Yip
as Milton Bin
Pao Han Lin
as Fred Hung
Jimmy Sun
as Elder
Daniel Davin
as Francis Kearney
Mark Hammer
as Commissioner
Dennis Dun
as Herbert Kwong
Jack Kehler
as Alan Perez
Steven Chen
as Tony Ho
Paul Scaglione
as Teddy Tedesco
Tony Lip
as Lenny Carranza
Gerald Orange
as Bear Siku
Mui Sang Fan
as White Powder Ma
Doreen Chan
as Red Hair
Harry Yip
as Old General
Dermot McNamara
as Scappy Peck
Myra Chen
as Shanghai Palace Singer
Feng Chin
as Dragon King Boy
Yuk Fan Yiu
as Dragon King Boy
Richie Hsiu
as Dragon King Boy
Jack Lee
as Dragon King Boy
David Lee
as Dragon King Boy
Irene Jung
as Dragon King Girl
Josie Lee
as Dragon King Girl
Jiwon Chang
as Dragon King Girl
Kelly Wong
as Dragon King Girl
Chi Moy
as Dragon King Girl
Gardell Tung
as Jade Cobra Boy
Jeff Khowong
as Jade Cobra Boy
Jerry Chan
as Jade Cobra Boy
Jerry Chang
as Jade Cobra Boy
Aileen Ho
as Jade Cobra Girl
Lisa Lee
as Jade Cobra Girl
Sammy Lee
as Pei Brother
Keenan Leung
as Pei Brother
James Scales
as Connie's Assassin
Ming C. Lee
as Jackie Wong
Kader Ma
as Jackie Wong's Assassin
Manny Fung
as Jackie Wong's 2nd Son
Emily Woo
as Mrs. Wong
Roza Ng
as Laura Wong Tai
Gloria Au
as Joey Tai's Daughter
Paul L.Q. Lee
as Jackie Wong's Son
Jadin Wong
as Mrs. Harry Yung
Lin Ngan Ng
as Chinese Widow
Bruno Millotti
as Italian Waiter
Lucille D'Agnillo
as Mrs. Bukowski
Julian Szumilo
as Roman Catholic Priest
Cecelia Pei
as Harry Yung's Secretary
Quan Eng
as Mortician
George Kodish
as Police Sergeant
George Kodisch
as Police Sergeant
Bruce Kennedy
as Surveillance Technician
James Chin
as Southwind Waiter
Matthew Tung
as Southwind Waiter
Pat Fuji
as Shanghai Palace Hostess
Geoffrey Lee
as Shanghai Palace Hostess
Kuni Mikami
as Shanghai Palace Musician
Billy Asai
as Shanghai Palace Musician
Chi On Soo Hoo
as Shanghai Palace Musician
John Sparks
as Tracy's TV Cameraman
Carmine Venezia
as Funeral Musician
Anthony Parrillo
as Funeral Musician
Matthew Castiglione
as Funeral Musician
Steve Hanson
as Funeral Musician
Raymond Gardner
as Funeral Musician
Michael Acampora
as Funeral Musician
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Critic Reviews for Year of the Dragon

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (2)

The bottom line: Year of the Dragon is a first-rate cops vs the mob melodrama that restores Michael Cimino's reputation as a gifted filmmaker.

October 22, 2018 | Full Review…

... the movie ends up looking cluttered.

January 2, 2018 | Full Review…

Defenders claim it's a blow against racism and sexism while detractors insist it embraces racism and sexism. One's opinion will perhaps depend on whether the viewing ends with admiration for its technical prowess or annoyance at its narrative ugliness.

March 9, 2019 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

A stunning, hard-edged crime thriller from Michael Cimino with a mesmerizing lead performance by Mickey Rourke. An incredibly gutsy effort that's my favorite film of 1985.

October 10, 2005 | Rating: 5/5

Bullets, blood, and bodies fly, but little rings true.

May 28, 2005 | Rating: 6/10 | Full Review…

Screwy but fascinating.

December 1, 2003 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Year of the Dragon

Many people claim that The Deer Hunter is Michael Cimino's only good movie. However, this is just as good if not better. Probably one of the greatest crime epics to ever be made, this really has it all. Mickey Rourke shows his muscle and stubbornness, his manliness is almost off the scale. It takes the concept of a one man war on crime and really puts it to a realistic test. You can't win anything without losing some too. The action in this movie is flawless, violent yet somehow incredibly tasteful. It's almost like a French Connection type of cop mentality thrown into Chinatown.

Conner Rainwater
Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

Year of the Dragon is something of a little known masterpiece. It is well written by Oliver Stone, and directed by Cimino at a turning point in his career. The centre piece, however, is Rourkes performance, which was caught while he most likely was at the peak of his acting ability's. You will be totally blown away by the realism of his acting, and it's even more noteworthy that the film was made while Rourke was youthful while making this and was made to look more senior (that grey hair is dye). A heartfelt performance from an actor playing a cop with "scar tissue on his soul", will never be forgotten once seen. While the main character is far from perfect, it is just that which makes him believable as well. Stanley White is on a crusade and would die for his principles, which effects all those involved with him. It is a complex film, often talky, which is punctuated throughout with explosive violence, well shot with use of excellent set pieces. Bloody in places and above all gritty and realistic, in parts it is even beautiful. The film works on many levels from it's slow burn beginnings with emphasis on conspiracy to the final pay off on the dock yards. Well drawn characters are everywhere in this film, and it never losses its hard edge. Rourke has seen a much needed and deserved return in recent years. He may have lost his handsome good looks due to boxing and due to too many face lifts, but the guy will never lose his acting ability. We, the true fans, never gave up on this chance. And now he's finally gaining popularity with a new generation, who need to see and experience The Year Of The Dragon, To believe the hype. Also check out his other classics Angel Heart and Barfly.

Cassandra Maples
Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer

Not quite bad thriller of an obsessed cop takes on the Chinese mafia, determined to reassert America's supremacy at home, having failed in the East. John Lone should become a major movie star. Mickey Rourke gives a good performance. Director Michael Cimino has talent to burn... his work is smashing.

Dean McKenna
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

Year of the Dragon Quotes

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