The annals of history are littered with wartime plots and intrigue that film-makers delight in bringing to the big screen.
Shanghai tells one such story, a disturbing journey into Shanghai in the early years of World War II.
With Japanese forces becoming all-powerful across Asia, Shanghai was an uneasy mix of Chinese, Japanese and diplomats from throughout the world.
While the world stayed neutral, the Japanese and the Chinese fought a running battle for control of the crucial city.
United States naval intelligence officer Paul Soames (John Cusack) is sent to Shanghai to find out what happened to his best mate and colleague Connor (Jeffrey Dean Morgan).
Connor was found dead in a street one night after mysteriously working behind the scenes for a month.
No one knows what he was working on or why he died, but Soames is sure it is tied up with the increasing Japanese presence in the city.
With key contacts already established with German diplomats, Soames gets to know Chinese resistance operatives and the Japanese leaders in the city to get some answers.
He knows every move he makes must be the right one as lives are not worth much and his could be over just as quickly as his mate's.
Shanghai tells the intriguing story of a time in history largely hidden from the West.
It was high-powered and deadly and events there helped shape the outcome of the war.
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(R16) Roadshow Entertainment
Rating: 3.5 / 5 stars