On the Job

OTJ-Movie-PosterVerdict: Essential Viewing

Pinoy Rebyu Score: 4.29 (28 ratings)

Genre: Action, Drama

Director: Erik Matti

Writers: Erik Matti and Michiko Yamamoto

Cast: Joel Torre, Gerald Anderson, Piolo Pascual, Joey Marquez, Angel Aquino, Michael de Mesa, Leo Martinez, Shaina Magdayao, Empress Schuck, Vivian Velez, Rayver Cruz

Synopsis: Tatang (Joel Torre) is a prison hitman: a convict occasionally set loose to kill someone on the orders of someone in power. His status as a prisoner provides the perfect alibi for his crimes. The film follows him and his protégé Daniel (Gerald Anderson) as they carry out a series of hits. Upright cop SPO1 Acosta (Joey Marquez) is investigating these murders, along with rising NBI agent Francis Coronel Jr. (Piolo Pascual). But while Francis wants to stay clean, he’s compromised by the fact that his politician father-in-law might be involved in these killings. (Click the CIty)

MTRCB Rating: R-16

Running Time: 120 mins.



5.0         Alfred A. Yuson (The Philippine Star)

On the Job is a complex film, with parallel narratives and intertwining threads coursing through the city streets like chaotic traffic. With its powerful story, ambitious scenario, envisioned gravitas and a myriad of characters, it is a difficult film to make.” (Read full review)

5.0         Mikhail Lecaros (GMA News Online)

“From the story to the performances to the choices in cinematography, On the Job is that rare sort of film where everything works. Indeed, as far as changing the game in terms of the types (and quality) of stories major Philippine studios will bankroll, Matti and his cohorts have scored a homerun here.” (Read full review)

5.0         Phillip Cu-Unjieng (The Philippine Star)

“This is a new standard for the Filipino noir film. Dark, brooding, muscular and visceral, yet complex and concise in its story-telling, On the Job fully deserves its Cannes screening and should be a wonderful eye-opener for the mainstream Filipino audience.” (Read full review)

5.0         Eric Cabahug (InterAksyon)

“The pivot on which everything is hinged — prison inmates given a free secret day pass to carry out clean, clear, concise assassinations — is pure genius and informs the entire movie, from the cinematography and the music to the editing and the performances.” (Read full review)

5.0         Carljoe Javier (Rappler)

“It gives us no quarter. It makes no concessions to the audience in terms of theme and story, but it is decidedly compelling and entertaining.” (Read full review)

5.0         Renelson Morelos (Re[e]l Thoughts)

“While watching the film, one feels it to be coming alive just on its own onscreen, without any ‘self-conscious’ effort by the director to shove it down to us. In its own way, the film is an involving viewing experience.” (Read full review)

5.0         Nicol Latayan (Tit for Tat)

“There’s a lot of great things to say about this, but If there’s a clear standout in it, no doubt it is Erik Matti. His slick direction is the main core which holds the film together and gives it the necessary oomph.” (Read full review)

4.5         Philbert Dy (Click the City)

On The Job is an ambitious, serious crime drama for adults, one that manages to entertain without sacrificing its depth. It is a breath of fresh air in the increasingly stagnant environment of the Filipino mainstream.” (Read full review)

4.5         Rito Asilo (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

“If you have no bias against the Third World sleaze that frames the production’s tenebrous criminal underbelly, Matti’s persuasively proficient depiction of crime, greed and police corruption will shake you out of your apathy—to the edge of your seat!” (Read full review)

4.5         Zig Marasigan (Kristn)

On the Job is a Philippine crime drama done right. Tense, stylish, and intelligent, the film goes well beyond genre conventions and manages to showcase its own unique identity as a film that is proud to be Filipino.” (Read full review)

4.5         Mario Bautista (Showbiz Portal)

“This is Matti’s best work so far. He has a sure grasp of his material, particularly the hard hitting action sequences that starts with the opening scene where Joel and Gerald do their first hit while the annual ‘basaan’ festival is going on in San Juan.” (Read full review)

4.5         Mari-An Santos (PEP)

“The story of corruption and need, poverty and greed, and the lengths people will go to advance their interests is universal. But the characters and the cityscape lend to the film a unique, undeniable Filipino feel.” (Read full review)

4.5         Paul Alcantara (Katipunan)

“Yamamoto and Matti’s script is well crafted with its plotlines moving at a nice albeit imperfect pace. The characters are fleshed out just right, letting the story tell itself naturally.” (Read full review)

4.5         Jay Rosas (Edge Davao)

“The real star of OTJ is director Matti. He plays his cards expertly and blends the technical elements into a coherent whole, taking in references of the action-crime thriller that are inspired of and respects the genre.” (Read full review)

4.5         Nel Costales (1505 Film Avenue)

OTJ is one, big dirty finger pointed towards all corrupt politicians. It is alsoan entertaining film with amazing action set-pieces.” (Read full review)

4.5         Reel Advice

“By the time the main protagonists physically meet, On the Job will have you at its reins easily and finding out the overall arc is the only thing on your mind.” (Read full review)

4.5         Emil Nor Urao (E-Reviews)

On the Job excels at being a cerebral and entertaining action flick for its mature audience. It will let you experience the different kinds of prison in the Philippines. I’m not a fan of films that demoralizes my country, but it’s hard to hate an awesomely-written movie like this.” (Read full review)

4.0         Oggs Cruz (Twitch)

On the Job is not satisfied in what pundits consider a safe and viable middle-ground. It opts to simply just move forward, always consistent to an aesthetic that is both true to the filmmaker and not manufactured simply to please a market.” (Read full review)

4.0         Derek Elley (Film Business Asia)

“At the end of the day, On the Job is simply a well-packaged, tenebrous crime thriller with a clever idea, and doesn’t pretend to be anything more. Its high-up villains are standard politicians, and its heroes and killers are street-level types who operate in a separate universe.” (Read full review)

4.0         Nestor Torre (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

“One of the film’s most unique strengths is its complex and sometimes even contradictory view of life, eschewing facile black-and-white renditions in favor of a more realistically complicated depiction and interpretation, depending on the characters involved, and their apparent or hidden motives.” (Read full review)

4.0         Skilty Labastilla (Young Critics Circle)

On the Job is a thoroughly enjoyable, immensely gripping thrill ride that takes full advantage of the grit and grime of Manila’s seedy underbelly and of the unfathomable moral corruption of the country’s political and military elite. Matti and his team are firing on full cylinders here to give us the best that genre movie-making can offer.”

4.0         Fred Hawson (Fred Said)

“This is as timely as the present headlines.  You will understand why fugitives and whistle-blowers are morbidly obsessed about their security.  This film lives up to its hype, guys.  This is a must-see Filipino film.” (Read full review)

4.0         Macky Macarayan (Death of Traditional Cinema)

“While it is true that the story has been more or less explored in previous action flicks both local and international, it’s the inspired performances of OTJ‘s leads (and even supporting characters), a rich back story for its protagonists and antagonists, and more notably, the seamless fusion of cinematography, editing and music that gives OTJ a gritty feel more than enough to satisfy fans of the action genre.” (Read full review)

4.0         Jansen Musico (Pelikula Tumblr)

OTJ does not engross its viewers in cheap explosions and over-the-top setpieces. The film respects its audience too much for that. Though there is definitely no lack in action, it doesn’t sidetrack its intentions. Behind the blatant machismo and gunfire is a hard truth that cuts deeper than a blade.” (Read full review)

3.75         Irvin Malcolm Contreras (A Girl and a Gun)

“I’m not a fan of Tiktik but this solid thriller, which is an improvement, shows that he’s a force to be reckoned with. Though far from perfect, it’s got flair, style and very well-paced (though I must say he should stop casting Joey Marquez).” (Read capsule review)

3.5         Richard Bolisay (Lilok Pelikula)

“The main weapon of On the Job is its unapologetic preference for action, its clear-cut view of crime and redemption, and its apparent lack of disguise.” (Read full review)

3.0         Rob San Miguel (Brun Magazine)

“May it be incidental or accidental, Matti just crafted a perfect example on how celebrities can be utilized to highlight a social issue but such use inevitably betrays the original purpose. Celebrities get the attention but they also distract and dilute the issues because, in the end, we just remember how lovable, sympathetic, and talented the celebrities are. We forget the real issues.” (Read full review)

2.0         J. Pilapil Jacobo (Young Critics Circle)

On the Job preoccupies itself too much with the techniques of cinema which make ‘action’ a legitimate object of Filipino film that its so-called treatise on Philippine violence barely works even as police reportage.” (Read full review)

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