Critic Reviews



Based on 19 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Chon’s dense, ambitious, and observant film is full of impressive craft and insight.
Gook rises above message-movie mediocrity, enjoying its characters too much to use them as political mouthpieces.
Touching, disheartening and surprising, Gook punches through the noise of 2017’s clamor over race with a sobering look at a defining moment in modern American history. It’s a simple, straight-forward and compelling reminder that the villains and the victims were spread further across the spectrum than we’ve ever dared to accept.
Chon has a vision and a voice and a good story to tell, full of social relevance and fiery emotion. Something this energetic and cared for is hard to criticize all that much. It’s a film worth seeking out and telling others about.
If the plot becomes a bit scattered in its third act, a generous interpretation might be that it’s a reflection of the chaotic cultural backdrop. Chon directs with style and a humane eye for all parties; he’s a dynamic young director to keep your eye on.
Chon’s sophomore feature wavers uncertainly in tone, getting a little too cute for comfort in spots, but is otherwise a lively, auspicious breakthrough.
The low-budget movie, shot in artful black-and-white by Ante Cheng, pulses with yearning and sorrow and love for its characters. Its brightening touches of underplayed humor strengthen and comment on the main action.
The images of polo-shirt wearing Asian men with rifles lining the rooftops of Koreatown is one of the more troubling images from April 1992. Gook purposefully chooses not to tell a story of that scale, but I did wish it could have found more moral complexity in the corner of the city it chose to depict.
The Playlist
In only his second film, it’s evident that Chon possesses a forcible voice for storytelling and a keen eye for character building.
Justin Chon fumbles the take on how his characters' anger fits into the greater landscape of a L.A. during the aftermath of the Rodney King beating.

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