Plot: Wang Bo and Wang Li are couple of professional swindlers, Bo is a master pickpocket, and Li is a femme fatale grafter. Together they stripping their victims of money more effective than your average thief. However, Li suddenly gets tired of criminal lifestyle and wants to quit even if it means to break up with Bo.
Abandoning her partner she takes the train with her new friend, naive construction worker Dumbo, she met at the temple. Dumbo is headed back home to make a new life of his own with all his earnings, 60,000 Yuan in his bag. Touched by his innocence and purity, Wang Li is determined to make sure that Dumbo’s life savings are protected throughout the journey. But Bo, who took the same train following Li, sees the vulnerable young man as an easy target too tempting to ignore. Also on board the train is an another team of skilled thieves and pickpockets lead by legendary crook Uncle Li, all have their eyes on Dumbo's money.
The movie is based on a novel by Zhao Benfu and the script won a Golden Horse Award in 2005 for best adapted material.
With budget in $3.9 millions the movie became China's box-office record-breaker. Within ten days of release the total box office in Mainland China exceeded ¥80 million and this figure rose to ¥100 million on the last day of 2004.
«A World Without Thieves accomplishes that magical thing called suspension of disbelief. Feng Xiaogang and company manage to neatly skirt most of their given cinema landmines to deliver an enjoyable, and even subtly touching commercial film.»
«“A World Without Thieves” has an agenda, but so does a great deal of multiplex fodder the world over. Feng Xiaogang’s movie is pure popcorn at heart, no matter how desperate it is to not offend State censors. And despite the somewhat unpleasant aftertaste the ending leaves you with, and the knowledge that ultimately this is a fairly disposable piece of cinema, there’s more than enough style, grace and emotion to “A World Without Thieves” to make it worth a look.»
«Filmed with a spiritual backdrop, breath-taking landscape, and groundbreaking pick pocketing stunts and action choreography, audience will be deeply touched as they watch the return of one's conscience only to be met with an unjust end.»
«"A World Without Thieves" isn´t a bad film, but it´s not something to write home about. The story is decent, just not very involving, though it does pick up towards the end. It´s such a middle of the road kind of picture. Devoted fans of Andy Lau will likely enjoy it, but I found my attention wavering from time to time.»
«While the ending left a little bit to be desired and the film's horrible commercial product placement and obvious political slant knock it down a few points, A World Without Thieves still has enough going for it to make it worth a watch. It's hardly all that inventive but it is entertaining and quite pretty to look at.»
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