SHEEP WITHOUT A SHEPHERD is a thriller from China that almost feels like a South Korean movie. This movie is actually a remake of the 2013 Indian Malayalam Movie Drishyam and for this Chinese version, Joan Chen co-stars. Full Sheep Without a Shepherd movie review here!

SHEEP WITHOUT A SHEPHERD is a crime thriller from China (org. title Wu sha). It should get international interest due to Joan Chen being part of the cast. However, while she might draw in viewers (and is pretty damn awesome), the movie itself is very entertaining and worth your time.

The runtime is 1 hour and 52 minutes and the plot is not unlike some of the wonderful crime thrillers from South Korea. The story is very character-based and the plot has several surprises along the way.

Continue reading our Sheep Without a Shepherd movie review below.

A good story is universal

Honestly, the less you know about the plot of Sheep Without a Shepherd, the better. The official plot is rather vague as well and simply sets the stage, which is all you need.

From the strong opening scene of Sheep Without a Shepherd to the tough ending, this Chinese movie has a very international plot. Of course, this should come as no surprise since it’s already been remade a few times in various languages. For this Chinese remake, the addition of Joan Chen (Judge Dredd, 1995) to the cast is a golden ticket. 

She is tough as nails and brings an intensity to the screen that matches the plot perfectly. Overall, the cast of this Chinese movie is absolutely wonderful. We get some amazing performances from all sides. Especially the four family members who struggle to fight for the lives and freedom. 

Sheep Without a Shepherd – Crime Thriller Review

Watch Sheep Without a Shepherd on DVD or VOD

Sam Quah is the director of Sheep Without a Shepherd (as Boon-lip Quah). I am not familiar with this director in any way. However, I definitely like the style of this film. And yes, as already mentioned, it is in great part due to the fact that it feels like a South Korean production. A strong story with a character-driven plot is simply my jam!

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Our list of “Must-Watch South Korean genre productions” here >

While it feels like a production from South Korea, this crime thriller is actually a remake of the 2013 Indian Malayalam movie. This had the title of Drishyam and was written and directed by Jeethu Joseph. A Hindi version was also made back in 2015, so we’re getting quite a few remakes. However, when you watch this movie (and you really should), you’ll understand why.

In fact, I suspect it’s only a matter of time before we get a South Korean, a Spanish, and (obviously) a US remake of Drishyam. Be sure to check out this Chinese version which should speak to film buffs. Mostly because the lead protagonist loves movies and therefore there are many mentions of classic and iconic movies.

Sheep Without a Shepherd is released on DVD and Streaming on May 25, 2021.


Director: Sam Quah
Writers: Kaihua Fan, Jeethu Joseph, Sheng Lei, Peng Li, Yuqian Qin, Weiwei Yang, Pei Zhai
Cast: Joan Chen, Yang Xiao, Zhuo Tan, Philip Keung, Audrey Hui, Tianyang Bian, Xiran Zhang, Paul Chun, Ming-Shuai Shih, Jerry Chih-Wei Huang, Yang Gu, Julian Chen


A re-make of the Indian/Malaysian film Drishyam, this Chinese box-office blockbuster is a Hollywood-esque cat-and-mouse crime thriller. Working family man and self-described movie-geek Li (Xiao Yang) is thrown into a battle of wits with the law after his daughter accidentally kills, and his wife hurriedly buries, a fellow student who had sexually molested her. The dead boy’s father is an ambitious politician, and his mother (Twin Peaks’ Joan Chen) is La Wen, a steely eyed, morally corrupt police chief. Utilizing his encyclopedic knowledge of crime cinema, Li concocts a complicated alibi but for La Wen, the crime is personal, and she smells a coverup. An inventive twisty-plotted tale of blackmail, murder and justice and the two families caught up in the deadly game.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard
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