50 Best Korean Movies of All Time

50 Best Korean Movies of All Time

By now, you’ve probably already heard all about the great triumph of the South Korean movie Parasite, directed by Bong Joon Ho; won an Oscar in the category of best film, best foreign film, best screenplay and best director. Real film fans have long known how strong Korean cinema is, and we suspect that interest in similar titles could rise sharply. This is why we have decided to make you this list of the best Korean movies of all time, so check them out below.

When it comes to the quality of the movie, rarely can anyone compete with South Koreans today. But that has not always been the case. It was only with the appearance of directors like Chan wook-Park, Kim-ki Duk, Kim Jee-woon and Bong Joon-ho that South Korean cinema actually started to flourish.

South Korean directors are signing cult titles like Oldboy, Memories of Murder, and A Tale Of Two Sisters, but there are a number of others, somewhat lesser-known, that you might also like. We have singled out a series of humorous dramas, romantic stories, unpredictable crime thrillers, but also horror movies that could provoke similar emotions as the great Parasite.

Best Korean Movies of All Time

For those who don’t know, the new South Korean movie wave was created in 1998, with the appearance of a couple of fantastic titles, directed by the above-mentioned artists. Their works then shattered even the wildest expectations to such an extent that the world had no choice but to simply take off its hat and accept South Korea as a new film power.

After the bizarrely great success of a couple of leading projects of that new wave, people from all over the world began to take an interest in South Korean film. The vast majority of true film lovers began to be interested in what else the cinematography of this country has to offer, which of course influenced the big film houses, and the state itself, to start investing much more seriously in the development of the domestic film.

This has also forced us to make a list of the best Korean movies that you must watch and that will completely draw you to Korean cinema. So check them out below.

A Tale of Two Sisters

While in a psychiatric hospital, teenager Soo-mi Bae recalls in a conversation with a psychiatrist the circumstances that led to her hospitalization. After her mother’s death, Soo-mi returned to her parent’s home, to her younger sister Soo-Yeon and father Moo-Hyeon. Both sisters did not like their father’s new wife and their stepmother Eun-Joo Heo, whom they had to call mom. When Soo-Yeon discovered the scars on her hands, Soo-mi concluded that her stepmother was abusing her sister. Everything was further complicated when they were both frightened by frightening sounds during the night, when they saw unreal characters and when something started to creep into their beds. Soo-mi then concluded that her stepmother was responsible for it and that she was hiding some dark secret.

Freely based on a previously three-screen South Korean fairy tale, the award-winning horror drama is an extremely layered achievement, an intriguing family drama focused on a small number of characters, their characters and interrelationships. The whole is characterized by aestheticized photography with the use of unusual and unexpected angles, extremely suggestive anxious atmosphere to which limited and claustrophobic interiors in which events take place, skillful upgrade of drama with brilliantly used elements of horror. skillful playing with the expectations of the audience and a very cheerful acting interpretation.

Thirst

A horror thriller partly based on Emil Zola’s novel “Thérese Raquin”

Sang-Hyun is a priest on duty at a local hospital. He goes to Africa to test if he has found a cure for the disease caused by the Emmanuel virus. But he soon became infected and died. He will soon return to this world as a vampire. When he returns home he becomes a hero and people believe he works miracles. Then he starts a love affair with his old friend’s wife. She wants to kill her husband and involve Sang-Hyun in her intrigues…

Burning

The film “Burning” is based on a short story by Haruki Murakami.

Jong-Su is a twenty-something-year-old delivery man who meets Haemi at work, a girl he knew as a child but hadn’t thought about in years. Reminding him that he treated her physical appearance cruelly (which Jongsu doesn’t remember at all) this beautiful girl seduces the delivery man thus starting their abrupt relationship. However, soon Hae-mi asks Jong-us for a favor: while she is on a trip to Africa, he should keep an eye on her cat. Jong-Su, of course, agrees even though he begins to doubt her feelings for him, especially after Hae-mi returns from the trip with Ben – a mysterious young man and his new (rich) friend.

Hope

Hope, also known as Wish, is a 2013 South Korean film directed by Lee Joon-Ik, starring Sol Kyung-gu, Uhm Ji-won and Lee Re. It won Best Film at the 34th Blue Dragon Film Awards.

The film is based on a true story, the infamous Cho Doo-Soon case in 2008, in which an 8-year-old girl, named “Na-young” in the Korean press, was raped and beaten by a drunk 57-year-old man in a public toilet. The court sentenced the man to only 12 years in prison, which caused outrage in the country due to the brutality of the crime and the man’s history of physical and sexual violence.

The Chaser

Director Hong’s debut film “The Chaser” reminded many of the most successful Korean thriller ‘Memories of Murder,’ Bong’s masterpiece. True, the debut On Hong-jin Heritage has some similarities, but it is a self-conscious, original, moving and great Korean movie, superior to all contemporary Hollywood films with similar themes.

Former police officer Eom Joong-ho (Kim Yoon-Seok) is now a pimp. Joong-Ho finds himself in big financial trouble after two of his prostitutes disappear. Among that left at his disposal is the beautiful Kim Mi-jin (Seo Yeong-he), the mother of the girl Eun-Ji (Kim Yoo-Jeong). It is only after he sends Mi-Jin to a client that the pimp realizes that that client may be responsible for his girlfriends ’disappearance. The unfortunate Mi-Jin soon finds herself in the basement of a brutal serial killer…

Il Mare

The meaning of the title, Il Mare, means “The Sea” in Italian, and in this amazing Korean movie it is the name of the seaside house which is the setting of the story. The two protagonists both live there two years apart in time, but are able to communicate through a mysterious mailbox.

Chilsu and Mansu

Chilsu and Mansu is the directorial debut of Park Kwang-Su, who would go on to become not only an accomplished director in his own right but an influential role model for a new generation of socially conscious filmmakers. The film also marks one of the most memorable performances of two famous veteran actors, Ahn Sung-ki and Park Joong-hoon.

The easy and convincing onscreen camaraderie shown by the two men would foreshadow their being cast together again in hit comedy Two Cops (1993) and action/art film Nowhere to Hide (1999). Even Bae Jong-ok, who plays Chil-Su’s girlfriend, continues to make her mark on contemporary cinema, taking on an acclaimed role in the award-winning Jealousy Is My Middle Name (2003).

The plot follows a painter that quits his job and looks to an old acquaintance for work and a place to stay.

New World

New World comes from the director Park Hun-Jeong (The Tiger: An Old Hunter’s Tale, Night in Paradise) and stars Lee Jung-Jae, Choi Min-Sik, Hwang Jung-min, Park Sung-Woong, Song Ji-Hyo.

Undercover officer Ja-sung (Jung-Jae Lee) infiltrates the biggest crime syndicate in Korea and spends eight years rising in the ranks. When the head of the organization is killed, Ja-sung becomes torn between his loyalties.

Extreme Job

From the director, Lee Byeong-heon comes a Korean movie Extreme Job. It stars Ryu Seung-ryong, Lee Ha-nee, Jin Sun-kyu, Lee Dong-hwi, Gong Myoung, Shin Ha-kyun, Oh Jung-se, Kim Eui-sung, Song Young-gyu, Heo Joon-seok, Kim Ji-young, Kim Jong-soo, Yang Hyun-min, Lee Joong-ok, Kim Kang-hyun, Tae Won-seok, Jang Ji-woong, Jang Jin-hee, Shin Shin-ae, Na Chul, Ji Chan, Jung Won-chang, and Yoo Je-yoon.

A drug squad attempts to take down a criminal organization and they must go undercover to do so, so they begin working at a chicken restaurant, that becomes famous for its delicious chicken. Due to the unexpected popularity, the detectives find themselves in a situation they never expected.

The Dark Figure of Crime

Dark Figure of Crime is a 2018 South Korean crime drama movie directed by Kim Tae-kyun. The stars of the movie are Kim Yoon-seok and Ju Ji-hoon. It was released on October 3, 2018. Dark Figure of Crime was loosely inspired by the 869th episode of Unanswered, a South Korean investigation TV program, which tells a real story that happened in Busan, where murders were never reported, bodies were never found, and investigations never happened.

A serial killer is caught for his seventh murder. A cop tries to solve the first six cases with the killer’s help, but starts to suspect that he has ulterior motives. Based on a true story.

The Handmaiden

In the 1930s, South Korea was under Japanese occupation. On the magnificent estate, the Japanese heiress lives with a dominant uncle. Once they hire a new maid, they will get involved in an amazing mix of events. The maid, in fact, has a wicked plan. She decided to seduce the heiress with her partner, rob her and imprison her in a mental institution. But when they fall in love, all the plans go wrong.

The Bow

The Bow is a 2005 film written and directed by Kim Ki-duk. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.

The Bow is primarily focused on a 60-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl living in near seclusion on a fishing boat. It is agreed that they will marry when the girl turns 17. Like other movies by Kim Ki-duk, the film contains very little dialogue and is full of symbolism.

The Host

The Host is a 2006 South Korean monster movie directed by Bong Joon-ho and stars Song Kang-ho, Byun Hee-bong, Park Hae-il, Bae Doona, and Go Ah-sung. The film concerns a monster kidnapping a man’s daughter and his attempts to rescue her. According to the director, his inspiration for this movie came from a local article about a deformed fish with an S-shaped spine caught in the Han River.

In February 2000, toxic chemicals were released into the Han River from a U.S. military base in South Korea. Six years later, a monstrous reptile fish emerges from the river and begins attacking Seoul residents. The monster grabs the girl Hyun-seo and takes her with him into the river, and her father, other members of his family and other citizens who came in contact with the monster end up in quarantine. Gang-du gets a cell phone call from his daughter who tells him that she survived the monster attack and is in the city sewer. Since the authorities do not trust him, thinking that it is the illusion of a father overwhelmed with pain, Gang-du and other family members flee quarantine to save Hyun-seo.

The World of Us

The World of Us is a 2016 South Korean drama film written and directed by Yoon Ga-eun in her feature-length directorial debut. The movie was released in South Korea on June 16, 2016.

The film focuses on Sun (Choi Soo-in), an elementary school girl and social outcast who befriends a transfer student named Jia (Seol Hye-in) during summer vacation. When the new semester begins, their new friendship is put to the test as Sun and Jia are subject to bullying and internal problems. Will they be able to get past their boundaries?

House of Hummingbird

House of Hummingbird is a 2018 South Korean drama movie written and directed by Kim Bora. The film debuted in competition at the Busan International Film Festival’s New Currents section in October 2018, where it won the NETPAC Award and the KNN Audience Award. The movie has collected 59 awards, including the Grand Prix of Generation 14 plus International Jury for the Best Film at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival and the Best International Narrative Feature Award at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.

Whatever she does, Eunhee feels like an outsider. Then her new Chinese teacher turns out to be so utterly different from everybody else. A compassionate and meticulously told narrative of a seemingly regular summer that leaves nothing unchanged.

A Bittersweet Life

After the amazing drama “The Story of Two Sisters,” award-winning South Korean filmmaker Kim Ji-won (The Quiet Family, Three Extremes 2, The Good, the Bad, the Weird) shot this stylized, visually impressive, grotesquely violent, black humor, and surprisingly emotional gangster drama.

The young Sun-woo (L. Byung-hun) is a successful hotel manager, a quiet and determined guy who always solves all problems effectively. As a member of the gangster organization of the ruthless boss Kang (K. Yeong-cheol), Sun-woo often resorts to violence. When Kang entrusts him with the duty of a kind of bodyguard to his young girlfriend Hee-soo (S. Min), a gifted cellist whom Kang suspects has a lover, Sun-woo will suddenly find himself in big trouble.

Namely, after falling in love with the attractive Hee-soo at first sight, Sun-woo decides to keep Kangu silent that the girl really has a lover. Driven by jealousy and devotion to his boss, he beats the young man, Sun-woo gets into a conflict with two members of the opposing gangster clan during a night car ride. That same night, thugs broke into his apartment, beat him and threw him out on a rainy and muddy street. The young man finds out that Kang is behind everything, who does not want a conflict with the opposing clan and suspects that Sun-woo is the lover of Hee-soo.

The Housemaid

The Housemaid is a 2010 South Korean melodramatic erotic thriller movie directed by Im Sang-soo. The story centers on Eun-yi, played by Jeon Do-yeon, who becomes involved in a destructive love triangle while working as a housemaid for an upper-class family. Other cast members include Seo Woo, Lee Jung-jae, and Youn Yuh-jung. The film is a remake of Kim Ki-young’s 1960 film of the same name. It competed for the Palme d’Or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.

A man’s affair with his family’s housemaid leads to dark consequences. Eun-yi is hired as an au pair for Hae-ra (pregnant with twins) and her rich husband Hoon. Eun-yi’s primary task is watching the couple’s young daughter, Nami. Eun-yi is eager to connect to Nami, who gradually warms to her.

Hoon begins to secretly flirt with Eun-yi, enticing her with glasses of wine and his piano playing, and they eventually begin a sexual relationship. Despite the affair, Eun-yi is still warm and friendly to Hoon’s oblivious wife, Hae-ra. She even expresses enthusiasm and delight at the progress of Hae-ra’s pregnancy.

Scattered Night

Im Sang-soo directs scattered Night, and stars of the movie are Jeon Do-yeon, Lee Jung-jae, Seo Woo, Youn Yuh-jung, Park Ji-young, Ahn Seo-hyun, Hwang Jeong-min, Moon So-ri, Chae Tae-back, Jeon Sin-hwan, Noh Sang-min, Jang Soon-kyu, Cho Yong-jae, and Lim Hyun-kyung.

Sumin and Jinho are siblings living together. Their parents declare to them that they will divorce soon. They say that it is not decided yet how the four members of the family live apart and ask them to wait for about 2 weeks. Sumin spends every day worrying about which parents she’s going to live with and whether she will live apart from Jinho. One day, her parents offer her a suggestion.

I Saw the Devil

I saw the devil - poster

Jank Kyung Chul is a dangerous psychopath who kills for human flesh. Its victims range from young women to even children. The police have been hunting him for a long time. Soon he will kill the daughter of a retired police officer. Her fiancé is a police agent who will do anything to find the killer. He decides to prepare fierce revenge for the inhuman killer even if he became a monster like him.

Oasis

Oasis is a 2002 South Korean movie directed by Lee Chang-dong. The film’s plot tells about the difficult romance between a mildly mentally disabled man who has just been released from jail after a ​212-year sentence for involuntary manslaughter and a woman with severe cerebral palsy. Starring in these roles are the couple from Lee Chang-dong’s previous film Peppermint Candy: Sol Kyung-gu and Moon So-ri. The movie also shows how the two main characters are treated by their families and perceived by the people around them.

Oasis is a love story of two young people abandoned by families. A young man released from prison visits the widow of the man he killed drunk driving. There he meets her daughter, wheelchair-bound with cerebral palsy. Will these two lost people find a way to make their relationship work?

Memories of Murder

October 1986 A young girl’s body is found in a small town not far from Seoul. The investigation is taken over by local police detective Park Doo-man (S. Kang-ho) who is determined to resolve the case quickly. But things get complicated when another murdered woman is soon found, leading police to conclude that the crimes were linked and that the victims dressed in red were killed during the rain.

Thinking that a bystander was the perpetrator, Park Doo-man beats him up, but realizes that his colleague from the capital Seu Tae-yoon (K. Sang-kyung) came to help him with the investigation. And while Park is an incorrigibly rude man, Sao tries to find the killer by different methods. However, their first detainee is not the one they are looking for.

Oki’s Movie

In a multipart narrative divided into four chapters, Hong fashions a new kind of love triangle. Oki is a young and beautiful college student majoring in film production and torn between the affections of two men: an older cinema professor and a former student/budding filmmaker. As the story of the movie shifts perspectives and timelines, Hong depicts each relationship with the authentically awkward rhythms of real life.

My Sassy Girl

My Sassy Girl is a 2001 South Korean romantic comedy movie directed by Kwak Jae-yong, starring Jun Ji-hyun and Cha Tae-hyun. The movie is based on a true story told in a series of blog posts written by Kim Ho-sik, who later adapted them into a fictional novel.

A dweeby, mild-mannered man comes to the aid of a drunk young woman on a subway platform. Little does he know how much trouble he’s in for.

No Regret

No Regret is a 2006 South Korean movie and the feature film directorial debut of Leesong Hee-il, based on his earlier short Good Romance. No Regret is also regarded as “the first ‘real’ Korean gay feature”, and is also the first South Korean feature to be directed by an openly gay Korean filmmaker.

Sumin is an orphan trying to balance work in a factory with study at an art college and an evening job. One night, a rich young businessman makes an advance on him during one of his driving jobs.

Minari

Directed by Lee Isaac Chung, Minari is a tender and sweeping story about what roots us. It follows a Korean-American family that moves to an Arkansas farm in search of their own American Dream. The family home changes completely with the arrival of their sly, foul-mouthed, but incredibly loving grandmother. Amidst the instability and challenges of this new life in the rugged Ozarks, Minari shows the undeniable resilience of family and what really makes a home.

The Way Home

The Way Home is a 2002 movie written and directed by Lee Jeong-hyang. It tells the heart-warming story of a grandmother and her city-born grandson who comes to live with her in a rural village. The film, which reminds the younger generation of the unconditional love and care that older people selflessly give, won South Korea’s equivalent of the Oscars for best picture and screenplay. It was the second-highest-grossing homegrown film in South Korea in 2002.

The story begins on a fine summer morning when San-woo and his mother board a bus to the country. It is soon clear that the unsophisticated rural passengers annoy the seven-year-old urban boy. His mother is taking him to live with his 78-year-old mute, but not deaf, grandmother while she looks for a new job after a business venture failed in Seoul.

Obaltan

Obaltan is a 1960 South Korean tragedy movie directed by Yu Hyun-mok. The plot is based on the novella of the same name by Yi Beomseon. It has often been called the best Korean movie ever made.

Two brothers – Chul-ho, an accountant with a toothache and a pregnant wife, and Yong-ho, an unemployed ex-soldier wounded in battle – navigate life in post-war Korea.

The Day He Arrives

The Day He Arrives is a 2011 South Korean drama movie written and directed by Hong Sang-soo. The movie is in black and white. It premiered on 19 May 2011 in the Un Certain Regard section of the 64th Cannes Film Festival. It has received 45,223 admissions on its domestic release.

Sang-Joon is a professor in the film department at a provincial university. He goes to Seoul to meet his senior, Young-Ho, who works as a film critic. Sang-Joon stays in a northern village in Seoul for 3 days.

Assassination

Best Korean Movies

Assassination is a 2015 South Korean espionage action film co-written and directed by Choi Dong-hoon.

In Japanese-occupied Korea, three freedom fighters are assigned a mission to assassinate a genocidal military leader and his top collaborator. But the plan goes completely awry amidst double-crossings, counter-assassinations, and a shocking revelation about one of the assassins’ past.

The Outlaws

The Outlaws is a 2017 South Korean crime action movie directed by Kang Yoon-sung. The stars of the movie are Ma Dong-seok and Yoon Kye-sang.

In Chinatown, law and order are turned upside down when a trio of feral Chinese gangsters arrive, start terrorizing civilians and usurping territory. The beleaguered local gangsters team up with the police, lead by the badass loose cannon Ma Seok-do, to bring them down. Based on a true story.

Painted Fire

Chi-hwa-seon or Chwi-hwa-seon, (also known as Painted Fire, Strokes of Fire or Drunk on Women and Poetry), is a 2002 South Korean drama movie directed by Im Kwon-taek about Jang Seung-eop (commonly known by his pen name, Owon), a nineteenth-century Korean painter who changed the direction of Korean art.

It begins with the Korean artist being suspicious of a Japanese art-lover who values his work. The story then goes back to his man’s early years. Beginning as a vagabond with a talent for drawing, he has a talent for imitating other people’s art, but is urged to go on and develop a style of his own. This process is painful and he often behaves very badly, getting drunk and being hostile to those who care about him and try to help him.

Poetry

Poetry is a 2010 South Korean drama movie written and directed by Lee Chang-dong. It tells the story of a suburban woman in her 60s who begins to develop an interest in poetry while struggling with Alzheimer’s disease and her irresponsible grandson.

Yoon Jeong-hee stars in the leading role, which was her first role in a film since 1994. Poetry was selected for the main competition at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Best Screenplay Award. Other accolades include the Grand Bell Awards for Best Picture and Best Actress, the Blue Dragon Film Awards for Best Actress, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress and the Asia Pacific Screen Award for Achievement in Directing and Best Performance by an Actress.

Take Care of My Cat

Take Care of My Cat is a 2001 South Korean coming of age movie, the feature debut of director Jeong Jae-eun. It chronicles the lives of a group of friends — five young women — a year after they graduate from high school, showing the heartbreaking changes and inspiring difficulties they face in both their friendships and the working world in the context of globalization.

The fashionable Hye-joo focuses on her career at a brokerage house. She’s making a decent living, but her co-workers look down on her. Tae-hee becomes sick of living under the thumb of her domineering father. She spends her time doing volunteer work for a poet with cerebral palsy. Sullen Ji-young lives in poverty with her grandparents and struggles to find work. The girls, close friends in high school, find themselves drifting apart as their adult lives begin to take shape.

Save the Green Planet!

Save the Green Planet!

Save the Green Planet! is a South Korean science fiction comedy movie written and directed by Jang Joon-hwan, released on 4 April 2003. The basic story begins when the main character, Lee Byeong-gu, kidnaps another man, convinced that the latter is an alien.

A young man believes that his country’s leaders are actually toxic reptilian aliens sent down to launch a takeover of his beloved Earth. So he decides to abduct them and force the truth out on camera in his basement that doubles as a film studio and torture chamber.

Mother

Mother

Another film on this list signed by the genius Bong Joon-ho. The story of the film Mother, i.e. Madeo is quite simple. Here we follow a widow who is trying in all possible ways to prove that her mentally disturbed son did not kill the girl for whom he is serving a life sentence in prison.

Madeo is an ideal recommendation for all those film lovers who like to deal with details and re-evaluate what is actually happening on the screen.

Okja

Okja

Bong Joon-Ho centers the focus of his sixth feature film on Miya, a girl growing up in the South Korean mountains, with her faithful friend, the super-pig Okya. Okja is one of 26 creatures bred “naturally” in the laboratories of Mirando Corporation to solve the problem of world hunger. These animals leave a minimal trace on nature, grow to incredible dimensions, eat minimal food and, of course, one day become a dinner of superior taste. The reason Okja grows up in the wild rather than the captivity of Mirando Corp is the marketing move by Lucy Mirando (Tilda Swinton), the corporation’s CEO, who is trying to raise her firm’s positive rating. Lucy has distributed superpigs to local farmers around the world. After ten years, she intends to return for her animals, select and award the best specimen, and then expand the mass production of meat products.

Mirando Corp. sends his crazy scientist Johnny Wilcox (Jake Gyllenhaal) to separate Mia and Okju and bring the superpig to a competition in New York. Of course, Mija does not let her friend go without a fight, and the Animal Liberation Front (Paul Dano, Steven Yeun, Devon Bostick, Lily Collins) gets involved in the story, a terrorist organization that wants to “save” Okja for its own tribal goals.

Director Joon-ho serves us an emotional, action-packed journey of the heroine Mija accompanied by a comment on social media, an obsession with digital technologies and success.

Train to Busan

Train to Busan

Yeon-Sang ho (The Fake) is the director and screenwriter of a film that follows a group of survivors during the Korean zombie invasion. These people have a simple task, they have to survive on the train that travels to Busan.

Train to Busan has become one of the most popular zombie movies ever. Also, one of the most successful and lucrative South Korean works. A typical film about zombies in which zombies are just a tool to show human character is actually a contemporary story about our behavior.

Seok is a very busy divorced father trying to balance work and private life. Dissatisfied with his father’s efforts, his daughter wanted to go to her mother. He couldn’t let her go alone by train so he decided to go with her. Stretched between caring for his daughter and phone calls, something even worse happened. Zombies appeared. In critical situations, our true face comes to the surface. Therefore, through the film you will see different characters and their pros and cons.

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… And Spring Again follows a Buddhist monk who lives with a certain boy in an unusual temple in the middle of the water, far hidden in the heart of the Korean forest. Every day, the two of them sit in a boat and row towards the forest, in order to find groceries and other small things that are necessary for them to survive in this unusual environment.

Although he spends the vast majority of his time in silence, the Buddhist tries to raise the boy as best he can during the first half of the film. During the first 40 minutes, he teaches him important life lessons, as well as all those values ​​that he should nurture as a sane person.

However, as time goes on, the student listens less and less to the monk. His nature and instincts lead him in a completely different direction. He becomes interested in all the little things of life in the modern environment that the monk denied him. Determined to build his life somewhere else, the boy leaves the monk at some point, but due to a combination of unfortunate circumstances, he soon returns to his teacher, seeking redemption for certain deeds he has committed in the meantime.

Oldboy

Choi Min-sik simply excels as a martyr who is kidnapped by a group of unknown characters for inexplicable reasons and held for 15 years in a room in an unknown location, only to be released one day suddenly, also without any real and meaningful reason.

For those who don’t know, Oldboy is considered to be the most popular, most important and most esteemed film title originating from Korea. He has forever redefined the genre to which he belongs and started an avalanche of fantastic South Korean crime thrillers, which can be seen from the plane trying hard to imitate as much as possible what Park showed in this film.

Treeless Mountain

Treeless Mountain is a 2008 South Korean drama movie written and directed by So Yong Kim. It stars Hee Yeon Kim, Song Hee Kim, Soo Ah Lee, Mi Hyang Kim, and Boon Tak Park. The movie premiered on 5 September 2008 at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival and was given a limited release in the United States on 22 April 2009.

In Seoul, Korea, two sisters must look after each other when their mother leaves them to search for their estranged father.

The Whispering Corridors Series

Whispering Corridors is a South Korean supernatural horror movie series. The series uses an all-girls high school for the setting of its films. Each Whispering Corridors film features a different plot, characters and atmosphere. This drama series is famous for establishing the New Korean Wave as a distinct cinematic movement, while also examining taboo topics, such as an oppressive education system, homosexuality, and teen suicide following the liberalization of censorship.

Mrs. Park, who is fearful, begins to call the young teacher Eun-young Hur, telling her that the deceased Jin-ju Jang has returned. The line goes dead, and Mrs. Park is attacked and killed by a ghost. The next day, the teenager Jae-yi Yoon waits for her friend Ji-oh Lim, who has the ability to summon spirits, and they form a close bond. A dangerous and aggressive Mr. Oh, a.k.a. Mad Dog, replaces Mrs. Park and prohibits Ji-oh from painting and compares the performances of the lovely So-young Park and the weird Jung-sook Kim, separating the two friends. Miss Hur misses her former friend Jin-ju, who committed suicide, and as she reaches out to her, she exposes a dark secret surrounding Mrs. Park and her friend.

Secret Sunshine

Secret Sunshine is a 2007 South Korean drama movie directed by Lee Chang-dong. The screenplay is based on the short fiction “The Story of a Bug” by Lee Cheong-jun that focuses on a woman as she wrestles with the questions of grief, madness and faith. The Korean title Miryang (or Milyang) is named after the city that served as the film’s setting and filming location, of which “Secret Sunshine” is the literal translation.

Jeon Do-yeon won the Prix d’interprétation féminine (Best Actress) at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival for her performance in the film. The film also won the award for Best Film at the Asian Film Awards and at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

The King and The Clown

The King and the Clown is a 2005 South Korean historical drama film, starring Kam Woo-sung, Lee Joon-gi and Jung Jin-young. It was adapted from the 2000 stage play, Yi (“You”) about Yeonsangun of Joseon, a Joseon dynasty king and a court clown who mocks him.

Set in the late 15th century during the reign of King Yeonsan, two male street clowns and tightrope walkers, Jangsaeng (Gam Wu-seong) and Gong-gil (Lee Joon-gi), are part of an entertainer troupe. Their manager prostitutes the beautiful Gong-gil to rich customers, and Jangsaeng is sickened by this practice. After Gong-gil kills the manager in defense of Jangsaeng, the pair flee to Seoul, where they form a new group with three other street performers.

The Wailing

Incompetent police officer Jong-gu faces the most difficult challenge of his career when he is forced to uncover the truth behind a series of bloody murders that took place in a remote village in South Korea. He faces an extremely difficult task because the crimes have no meaning or motive. The only thing that connects them is the unusual behavior of the killers. Can Jong-gu reveal the truth before the epidemic of violence spreads?

Parasite

The film “Parasite” went down in history as the first foreign-language film to win an Oscar for Best Picture and for Best Foreign Language Film.

The Oscar-winning film by the esteemed South Korean director is the story of two families: wealthy Parks and poor Kim. After their lives are unexpectedly intertwined, the cunning Ki-woo Kim decides to use Park’s naivety to allow his family to escape poverty.

Peppermint Candy

Peppermint Candy is a 1999 movie, the second by South Korean director Lee Chang-dong. The film starts with the suicide of the protagonist and uses reverse chronology to depict some of the key events of the past 20 years of his life that led to his death. It was the ninth highest-grossing domestic film of 2000 with 311,000 admissions in Seoul.

In the spring of 1999, a group of old friends gathers to celebrate their 20-year reunion. Among the group is Yeong-ho, a cold, unhappy man whose demeanor puts a damper on the festivities. However, the seriousness of Yeong-ho’s depression becomes apparent when he climbs a railroad bridge and looks like he might jump. At this crucial moment, memories of seven crucial episodes from Yeong-ho’s past flood his mind.

A Taxi Driver

The plot is based on a true story, and the center of events is the famous democratic uprising in the city of Gwangju in 1980.

The story follows taxi driver Kim from Seoul (Kang-ho Song), who after the death of his wife sees the only reason to push forward in his daughter. He makes ends meet, he is obliged to rent for several months, and for the money, he turns to a man who is also his landlord. He sees an opportunity for salvation in a random comment from a colleague, who brags that he has the task of driving a foreigner to Gwangju for fine money. Kim steals his counter, it turns out that the foreigner is in fact a German reporter named Jürgen (Thomas Kretschmann), and when he arrived in the city, he inadvertently interfered in famous events.

Forgotten

Forgotten

Forgotten is a 2017 South Korean mystery thriller movie directed by Jang Hang-jun. The film stars Kang Ha-neul, Kim Mu-yeol, Moon Sung-keun and Na Young-hee.

When his abducted brother returns seemingly a different man with no memory of the past 19 days, Jin-seok chases after the truth behind the kidnapping.

Pieta

South Korean film that won 13 awards at various film festivals and was nominated for 17 more.

Kang-do is a heartless man without a living family whose job is to threaten debtors to repay money to his clients, who in turn demand 10 times more than they gave the loan. One day he is visited by an unusual woman who claims to be his long-lost mother. Kang-do doesn’t trust her, but she continues to follow him for the next few weeks, which arouses previously unknown feelings in him.

Snowpiercer

Snowpiercer is a science fiction movie by Bong Joon Hoa with elements of drama, action and a lot of social criticism.

The story takes you to the future in which the attempt to bring down the temperature in the world, as a kind of fight against global warming, went wrong … Just wrong. The temperature is so low that the whole planet is covered in snow and ice. No one survived except those who managed to board a huge train called the Snowpiercer

It is a train that travels around the world non-stop – for years and decades. Many were born in it and do not know what flowers, earth, or trees look like. Of course, society has developed in the wagons in the meantime – the poor and those without any life rights are crammed into the back wagons, and the gentlemen enjoy the way forward. And for those who have nothing, everything is painful.

This is the most expensive Korean-produced film in history and is mostly in English. Chris Evans plays the main role, and there are also Ed Harris, John Hurt and Song Kang Ho.

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50 Best Korean Movies of All Time

50 Best Korean Movies of All Time

By now, you’ve probably already heard all about the great triumph of the South Korean movie Parasite, directed by Bong Joon Ho; won an Oscar in the category of best film, best foreign film, best screenplay and best director. Real film fans have long known how strong Korean cinema is, and we suspect that interest in similar titles could rise sharply. This is why we have decided to make you this list of the best Korean movies of all time, so check them out below.

When it comes to the quality of the movie, rarely can anyone compete with South Koreans today. But that has not always been the case. It was only with the appearance of directors like Chan wook-Park, Kim-ki Duk, Kim Jee-woon and Bong Joon-ho that South Korean cinema actually started to flourish.

South Korean directors are signing cult titles like Oldboy, Memories of Murder, and A Tale Of Two Sisters, but there are a number of others, somewhat lesser-known, that you might also like. We have singled out a series of humorous dramas, romantic stories, unpredictable crime thrillers, but also horror movies that could provoke similar emotions as the great Parasite.

Best Korean Movies of All Time

For those who don’t know, the new South Korean movie wave was created in 1998, with the appearance of a couple of fantastic titles, directed by the above-mentioned artists. Their works then shattered even the wildest expectations to such an extent that the world had no choice but to simply take off its hat and accept South Korea as a new film power.

After the bizarrely great success of a couple of leading projects of that new wave, people from all over the world began to take an interest in South Korean film. The vast majority of true film lovers began to be interested in what else the cinematography of this country has to offer, which of course influenced the big film houses, and the state itself, to start investing much more seriously in the development of the domestic film.

This has also forced us to make a list of the best Korean movies that you must watch and that will completely draw you to Korean cinema. So check them out below.

A Tale of Two Sisters

While in a psychiatric hospital, teenager Soo-mi Bae recalls in a conversation with a psychiatrist the circumstances that led to her hospitalization. After her mother’s death, Soo-mi returned to her parent’s home, to her younger sister Soo-Yeon and father Moo-Hyeon. Both sisters did not like their father’s new wife and their stepmother Eun-Joo Heo, whom they had to call mom. When Soo-Yeon discovered the scars on her hands, Soo-mi concluded that her stepmother was abusing her sister. Everything was further complicated when they were both frightened by frightening sounds during the night, when they saw unreal characters and when something started to creep into their beds. Soo-mi then concluded that her stepmother was responsible for it and that she was hiding some dark secret.

Freely based on a previously three-screen South Korean fairy tale, the award-winning horror drama is an extremely layered achievement, an intriguing family drama focused on a small number of characters, their characters and interrelationships. The whole is characterized by aestheticized photography with the use of unusual and unexpected angles, extremely suggestive anxious atmosphere to which limited and claustrophobic interiors in which events take place, skillful upgrade of drama with brilliantly used elements of horror. skillful playing with the expectations of the audience and a very cheerful acting interpretation.

Thirst

A horror thriller partly based on Emil Zola’s novel “Thérese Raquin”

Sang-Hyun is a priest on duty at a local hospital. He goes to Africa to test if he has found a cure for the disease caused by the Emmanuel virus. But he soon became infected and died. He will soon return to this world as a vampire. When he returns home he becomes a hero and people believe he works miracles. Then he starts a love affair with his old friend’s wife. She wants to kill her husband and involve Sang-Hyun in her intrigues…

Burning

The film “Burning” is based on a short story by Haruki Murakami.

Jong-Su is a twenty-something-year-old delivery man who meets Haemi at work, a girl he knew as a child but hadn’t thought about in years. Reminding him that he treated her physical appearance cruelly (which Jongsu doesn’t remember at all) this beautiful girl seduces the delivery man thus starting their abrupt relationship. However, soon Hae-mi asks Jong-us for a favor: while she is on a trip to Africa, he should keep an eye on her cat. Jong-Su, of course, agrees even though he begins to doubt her feelings for him, especially after Hae-mi returns from the trip with Ben – a mysterious young man and his new (rich) friend.

Hope

Hope, also known as Wish, is a 2013 South Korean film directed by Lee Joon-Ik, starring Sol Kyung-gu, Uhm Ji-won and Lee Re. It won Best Film at the 34th Blue Dragon Film Awards.

The film is based on a true story, the infamous Cho Doo-Soon case in 2008, in which an 8-year-old girl, named “Na-young” in the Korean press, was raped and beaten by a drunk 57-year-old man in a public toilet. The court sentenced the man to only 12 years in prison, which caused outrage in the country due to the brutality of the crime and the man’s history of physical and sexual violence.

The Chaser

Director Hong’s debut film “The Chaser” reminded many of the most successful Korean thriller ‘Memories of Murder,’ Bong’s masterpiece. True, the debut On Hong-jin Heritage has some similarities, but it is a self-conscious, original, moving and great Korean movie, superior to all contemporary Hollywood films with similar themes.

Former police officer Eom Joong-ho (Kim Yoon-Seok) is now a pimp. Joong-Ho finds himself in big financial trouble after two of his prostitutes disappear. Among that left at his disposal is the beautiful Kim Mi-jin (Seo Yeong-he), the mother of the girl Eun-Ji (Kim Yoo-Jeong). It is only after he sends Mi-Jin to a client that the pimp realizes that that client may be responsible for his girlfriends ’disappearance. The unfortunate Mi-Jin soon finds herself in the basement of a brutal serial killer…

Il Mare

The meaning of the title, Il Mare, means “The Sea” in Italian, and in this amazing Korean movie it is the name of the seaside house which is the setting of the story. The two protagonists both live there two years apart in time, but are able to communicate through a mysterious mailbox.

Chilsu and Mansu

Chilsu and Mansu is the directorial debut of Park Kwang-Su, who would go on to become not only an accomplished director in his own right but an influential role model for a new generation of socially conscious filmmakers. The film also marks one of the most memorable performances of two famous veteran actors, Ahn Sung-ki and Park Joong-hoon.

The easy and convincing onscreen camaraderie shown by the two men would foreshadow their being cast together again in hit comedy Two Cops (1993) and action/art film Nowhere to Hide (1999). Even Bae Jong-ok, who plays Chil-Su’s girlfriend, continues to make her mark on contemporary cinema, taking on an acclaimed role in the award-winning Jealousy Is My Middle Name (2003).

The plot follows a painter that quits his job and looks to an old acquaintance for work and a place to stay.

New World

New World comes from the director Park Hun-Jeong (The Tiger: An Old Hunter’s Tale, Night in Paradise) and stars Lee Jung-Jae, Choi Min-Sik, Hwang Jung-min, Park Sung-Woong, Song Ji-Hyo.

Undercover officer Ja-sung (Jung-Jae Lee) infiltrates the biggest crime syndicate in Korea and spends eight years rising in the ranks. When the head of the organization is killed, Ja-sung becomes torn between his loyalties.

Extreme Job

From the director, Lee Byeong-heon comes a Korean movie Extreme Job. It stars Ryu Seung-ryong, Lee Ha-nee, Jin Sun-kyu, Lee Dong-hwi, Gong Myoung, Shin Ha-kyun, Oh Jung-se, Kim Eui-sung, Song Young-gyu, Heo Joon-seok, Kim Ji-young, Kim Jong-soo, Yang Hyun-min, Lee Joong-ok, Kim Kang-hyun, Tae Won-seok, Jang Ji-woong, Jang Jin-hee, Shin Shin-ae, Na Chul, Ji Chan, Jung Won-chang, and Yoo Je-yoon.

A drug squad attempts to take down a criminal organization and they must go undercover to do so, so they begin working at a chicken restaurant, that becomes famous for its delicious chicken. Due to the unexpected popularity, the detectives find themselves in a situation they never expected.

The Dark Figure of Crime

Dark Figure of Crime is a 2018 South Korean crime drama movie directed by Kim Tae-kyun. The stars of the movie are Kim Yoon-seok and Ju Ji-hoon. It was released on October 3, 2018. Dark Figure of Crime was loosely inspired by the 869th episode of Unanswered, a South Korean investigation TV program, which tells a real story that happened in Busan, where murders were never reported, bodies were never found, and investigations never happened.

A serial killer is caught for his seventh murder. A cop tries to solve the first six cases with the killer’s help, but starts to suspect that he has ulterior motives. Based on a true story.

The Handmaiden

In the 1930s, South Korea was under Japanese occupation. On the magnificent estate, the Japanese heiress lives with a dominant uncle. Once they hire a new maid, they will get involved in an amazing mix of events. The maid, in fact, has a wicked plan. She decided to seduce the heiress with her partner, rob her and imprison her in a mental institution. But when they fall in love, all the plans go wrong.

The Bow

The Bow is a 2005 film written and directed by Kim Ki-duk. It was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival.

The Bow is primarily focused on a 60-year-old man and a 16-year-old girl living in near seclusion on a fishing boat. It is agreed that they will marry when the girl turns 17. Like other movies by Kim Ki-duk, the film contains very little dialogue and is full of symbolism.

The Host

The Host is a 2006 South Korean monster movie directed by Bong Joon-ho and stars Song Kang-ho, Byun Hee-bong, Park Hae-il, Bae Doona, and Go Ah-sung. The film concerns a monster kidnapping a man’s daughter and his attempts to rescue her. According to the director, his inspiration for this movie came from a local article about a deformed fish with an S-shaped spine caught in the Han River.

In February 2000, toxic chemicals were released into the Han River from a U.S. military base in South Korea. Six years later, a monstrous reptile fish emerges from the river and begins attacking Seoul residents. The monster grabs the girl Hyun-seo and takes her with him into the river, and her father, other members of his family and other citizens who came in contact with the monster end up in quarantine. Gang-du gets a cell phone call from his daughter who tells him that she survived the monster attack and is in the city sewer. Since the authorities do not trust him, thinking that it is the illusion of a father overwhelmed with pain, Gang-du and other family members flee quarantine to save Hyun-seo.

The World of Us

The World of Us is a 2016 South Korean drama film written and directed by Yoon Ga-eun in her feature-length directorial debut. The movie was released in South Korea on June 16, 2016.

The film focuses on Sun (Choi Soo-in), an elementary school girl and social outcast who befriends a transfer student named Jia (Seol Hye-in) during summer vacation. When the new semester begins, their new friendship is put to the test as Sun and Jia are subject to bullying and internal problems. Will they be able to get past their boundaries?

House of Hummingbird

House of Hummingbird is a 2018 South Korean drama movie written and directed by Kim Bora. The film debuted in competition at the Busan International Film Festival’s New Currents section in October 2018, where it won the NETPAC Award and the KNN Audience Award. The movie has collected 59 awards, including the Grand Prix of Generation 14 plus International Jury for the Best Film at the 69th Berlin International Film Festival and the Best International Narrative Feature Award at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival.

Whatever she does, Eunhee feels like an outsider. Then her new Chinese teacher turns out to be so utterly different from everybody else. A compassionate and meticulously told narrative of a seemingly regular summer that leaves nothing unchanged.

A Bittersweet Life

After the amazing drama “The Story of Two Sisters,” award-winning South Korean filmmaker Kim Ji-won (The Quiet Family, Three Extremes 2, The Good, the Bad, the Weird) shot this stylized, visually impressive, grotesquely violent, black humor, and surprisingly emotional gangster drama.

The young Sun-woo (L. Byung-hun) is a successful hotel manager, a quiet and determined guy who always solves all problems effectively. As a member of the gangster organization of the ruthless boss Kang (K. Yeong-cheol), Sun-woo often resorts to violence. When Kang entrusts him with the duty of a kind of bodyguard to his young girlfriend Hee-soo (S. Min), a gifted cellist whom Kang suspects has a lover, Sun-woo will suddenly find himself in big trouble.

Namely, after falling in love with the attractive Hee-soo at first sight, Sun-woo decides to keep Kangu silent that the girl really has a lover. Driven by jealousy and devotion to his boss, he beats the young man, Sun-woo gets into a conflict with two members of the opposing gangster clan during a night car ride. That same night, thugs broke into his apartment, beat him and threw him out on a rainy and muddy street. The young man finds out that Kang is behind everything, who does not want a conflict with the opposing clan and suspects that Sun-woo is the lover of Hee-soo.

The Housemaid

The Housemaid is a 2010 South Korean melodramatic erotic thriller movie directed by Im Sang-soo. The story centers on Eun-yi, played by Jeon Do-yeon, who becomes involved in a destructive love triangle while working as a housemaid for an upper-class family. Other cast members include Seo Woo, Lee Jung-jae, and Youn Yuh-jung. The film is a remake of Kim Ki-young’s 1960 film of the same name. It competed for the Palme d’Or at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival.

A man’s affair with his family’s housemaid leads to dark consequences. Eun-yi is hired as an au pair for Hae-ra (pregnant with twins) and her rich husband Hoon. Eun-yi’s primary task is watching the couple’s young daughter, Nami. Eun-yi is eager to connect to Nami, who gradually warms to her.

Hoon begins to secretly flirt with Eun-yi, enticing her with glasses of wine and his piano playing, and they eventually begin a sexual relationship. Despite the affair, Eun-yi is still warm and friendly to Hoon’s oblivious wife, Hae-ra. She even expresses enthusiasm and delight at the progress of Hae-ra’s pregnancy.

Scattered Night

Im Sang-soo directs scattered Night, and stars of the movie are Jeon Do-yeon, Lee Jung-jae, Seo Woo, Youn Yuh-jung, Park Ji-young, Ahn Seo-hyun, Hwang Jeong-min, Moon So-ri, Chae Tae-back, Jeon Sin-hwan, Noh Sang-min, Jang Soon-kyu, Cho Yong-jae, and Lim Hyun-kyung.

Sumin and Jinho are siblings living together. Their parents declare to them that they will divorce soon. They say that it is not decided yet how the four members of the family live apart and ask them to wait for about 2 weeks. Sumin spends every day worrying about which parents she’s going to live with and whether she will live apart from Jinho. One day, her parents offer her a suggestion.

I Saw the Devil

I saw the devil - poster

Jank Kyung Chul is a dangerous psychopath who kills for human flesh. Its victims range from young women to even children. The police have been hunting him for a long time. Soon he will kill the daughter of a retired police officer. Her fiancé is a police agent who will do anything to find the killer. He decides to prepare fierce revenge for the inhuman killer even if he became a monster like him.

Oasis

Oasis is a 2002 South Korean movie directed by Lee Chang-dong. The film’s plot tells about the difficult romance between a mildly mentally disabled man who has just been released from jail after a ​212-year sentence for involuntary manslaughter and a woman with severe cerebral palsy. Starring in these roles are the couple from Lee Chang-dong’s previous film Peppermint Candy: Sol Kyung-gu and Moon So-ri. The movie also shows how the two main characters are treated by their families and perceived by the people around them.

Oasis is a love story of two young people abandoned by families. A young man released from prison visits the widow of the man he killed drunk driving. There he meets her daughter, wheelchair-bound with cerebral palsy. Will these two lost people find a way to make their relationship work?

Memories of Murder

October 1986 A young girl’s body is found in a small town not far from Seoul. The investigation is taken over by local police detective Park Doo-man (S. Kang-ho) who is determined to resolve the case quickly. But things get complicated when another murdered woman is soon found, leading police to conclude that the crimes were linked and that the victims dressed in red were killed during the rain.

Thinking that a bystander was the perpetrator, Park Doo-man beats him up, but realizes that his colleague from the capital Seu Tae-yoon (K. Sang-kyung) came to help him with the investigation. And while Park is an incorrigibly rude man, Sao tries to find the killer by different methods. However, their first detainee is not the one they are looking for.

Oki’s Movie

In a multipart narrative divided into four chapters, Hong fashions a new kind of love triangle. Oki is a young and beautiful college student majoring in film production and torn between the affections of two men: an older cinema professor and a former student/budding filmmaker. As the story of the movie shifts perspectives and timelines, Hong depicts each relationship with the authentically awkward rhythms of real life.

My Sassy Girl

My Sassy Girl is a 2001 South Korean romantic comedy movie directed by Kwak Jae-yong, starring Jun Ji-hyun and Cha Tae-hyun. The movie is based on a true story told in a series of blog posts written by Kim Ho-sik, who later adapted them into a fictional novel.

A dweeby, mild-mannered man comes to the aid of a drunk young woman on a subway platform. Little does he know how much trouble he’s in for.

No Regret

No Regret is a 2006 South Korean movie and the feature film directorial debut of Leesong Hee-il, based on his earlier short Good Romance. No Regret is also regarded as “the first ‘real’ Korean gay feature”, and is also the first South Korean feature to be directed by an openly gay Korean filmmaker.

Sumin is an orphan trying to balance work in a factory with study at an art college and an evening job. One night, a rich young businessman makes an advance on him during one of his driving jobs.

Minari

Directed by Lee Isaac Chung, Minari is a tender and sweeping story about what roots us. It follows a Korean-American family that moves to an Arkansas farm in search of their own American Dream. The family home changes completely with the arrival of their sly, foul-mouthed, but incredibly loving grandmother. Amidst the instability and challenges of this new life in the rugged Ozarks, Minari shows the undeniable resilience of family and what really makes a home.

The Way Home

The Way Home is a 2002 movie written and directed by Lee Jeong-hyang. It tells the heart-warming story of a grandmother and her city-born grandson who comes to live with her in a rural village. The film, which reminds the younger generation of the unconditional love and care that older people selflessly give, won South Korea’s equivalent of the Oscars for best picture and screenplay. It was the second-highest-grossing homegrown film in South Korea in 2002.

The story begins on a fine summer morning when San-woo and his mother board a bus to the country. It is soon clear that the unsophisticated rural passengers annoy the seven-year-old urban boy. His mother is taking him to live with his 78-year-old mute, but not deaf, grandmother while she looks for a new job after a business venture failed in Seoul.

Obaltan

Obaltan is a 1960 South Korean tragedy movie directed by Yu Hyun-mok. The plot is based on the novella of the same name by Yi Beomseon. It has often been called the best Korean movie ever made.

Two brothers – Chul-ho, an accountant with a toothache and a pregnant wife, and Yong-ho, an unemployed ex-soldier wounded in battle – navigate life in post-war Korea.

The Day He Arrives

The Day He Arrives is a 2011 South Korean drama movie written and directed by Hong Sang-soo. The movie is in black and white. It premiered on 19 May 2011 in the Un Certain Regard section of the 64th Cannes Film Festival. It has received 45,223 admissions on its domestic release.

Sang-Joon is a professor in the film department at a provincial university. He goes to Seoul to meet his senior, Young-Ho, who works as a film critic. Sang-Joon stays in a northern village in Seoul for 3 days.

Assassination

Best Korean Movies

Assassination is a 2015 South Korean espionage action film co-written and directed by Choi Dong-hoon.

In Japanese-occupied Korea, three freedom fighters are assigned a mission to assassinate a genocidal military leader and his top collaborator. But the plan goes completely awry amidst double-crossings, counter-assassinations, and a shocking revelation about one of the assassins’ past.

The Outlaws

The Outlaws is a 2017 South Korean crime action movie directed by Kang Yoon-sung. The stars of the movie are Ma Dong-seok and Yoon Kye-sang.

In Chinatown, law and order are turned upside down when a trio of feral Chinese gangsters arrive, start terrorizing civilians and usurping territory. The beleaguered local gangsters team up with the police, lead by the badass loose cannon Ma Seok-do, to bring them down. Based on a true story.

Painted Fire

Chi-hwa-seon or Chwi-hwa-seon, (also known as Painted Fire, Strokes of Fire or Drunk on Women and Poetry), is a 2002 South Korean drama movie directed by Im Kwon-taek about Jang Seung-eop (commonly known by his pen name, Owon), a nineteenth-century Korean painter who changed the direction of Korean art.

It begins with the Korean artist being suspicious of a Japanese art-lover who values his work. The story then goes back to his man’s early years. Beginning as a vagabond with a talent for drawing, he has a talent for imitating other people’s art, but is urged to go on and develop a style of his own. This process is painful and he often behaves very badly, getting drunk and being hostile to those who care about him and try to help him.

Poetry

Poetry is a 2010 South Korean drama movie written and directed by Lee Chang-dong. It tells the story of a suburban woman in her 60s who begins to develop an interest in poetry while struggling with Alzheimer’s disease and her irresponsible grandson.

Yoon Jeong-hee stars in the leading role, which was her first role in a film since 1994. Poetry was selected for the main competition at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the Best Screenplay Award. Other accolades include the Grand Bell Awards for Best Picture and Best Actress, the Blue Dragon Film Awards for Best Actress, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association Award for Best Actress and the Asia Pacific Screen Award for Achievement in Directing and Best Performance by an Actress.

Take Care of My Cat

Take Care of My Cat is a 2001 South Korean coming of age movie, the feature debut of director Jeong Jae-eun. It chronicles the lives of a group of friends — five young women — a year after they graduate from high school, showing the heartbreaking changes and inspiring difficulties they face in both their friendships and the working world in the context of globalization.

The fashionable Hye-joo focuses on her career at a brokerage house. She’s making a decent living, but her co-workers look down on her. Tae-hee becomes sick of living under the thumb of her domineering father. She spends her time doing volunteer work for a poet with cerebral palsy. Sullen Ji-young lives in poverty with her grandparents and struggles to find work. The girls, close friends in high school, find themselves drifting apart as their adult lives begin to take shape.

Save the Green Planet!

Save the Green Planet!

Save the Green Planet! is a South Korean science fiction comedy movie written and directed by Jang Joon-hwan, released on 4 April 2003. The basic story begins when the main character, Lee Byeong-gu, kidnaps another man, convinced that the latter is an alien.

A young man believes that his country’s leaders are actually toxic reptilian aliens sent down to launch a takeover of his beloved Earth. So he decides to abduct them and force the truth out on camera in his basement that doubles as a film studio and torture chamber.

Mother

Mother

Another film on this list signed by the genius Bong Joon-ho. The story of the film Mother, i.e. Madeo is quite simple. Here we follow a widow who is trying in all possible ways to prove that her mentally disturbed son did not kill the girl for whom he is serving a life sentence in prison.

Madeo is an ideal recommendation for all those film lovers who like to deal with details and re-evaluate what is actually happening on the screen.

Okja

Okja

Bong Joon-Ho centers the focus of his sixth feature film on Miya, a girl growing up in the South Korean mountains, with her faithful friend, the super-pig Okya. Okja is one of 26 creatures bred “naturally” in the laboratories of Mirando Corporation to solve the problem of world hunger. These animals leave a minimal trace on nature, grow to incredible dimensions, eat minimal food and, of course, one day become a dinner of superior taste. The reason Okja grows up in the wild rather than the captivity of Mirando Corp is the marketing move by Lucy Mirando (Tilda Swinton), the corporation’s CEO, who is trying to raise her firm’s positive rating. Lucy has distributed superpigs to local farmers around the world. After ten years, she intends to return for her animals, select and award the best specimen, and then expand the mass production of meat products.

Mirando Corp. sends his crazy scientist Johnny Wilcox (Jake Gyllenhaal) to separate Mia and Okju and bring the superpig to a competition in New York. Of course, Mija does not let her friend go without a fight, and the Animal Liberation Front (Paul Dano, Steven Yeun, Devon Bostick, Lily Collins) gets involved in the story, a terrorist organization that wants to “save” Okja for its own tribal goals.

Director Joon-ho serves us an emotional, action-packed journey of the heroine Mija accompanied by a comment on social media, an obsession with digital technologies and success.

Train to Busan

Train to Busan

Yeon-Sang ho (The Fake) is the director and screenwriter of a film that follows a group of survivors during the Korean zombie invasion. These people have a simple task, they have to survive on the train that travels to Busan.

Train to Busan has become one of the most popular zombie movies ever. Also, one of the most successful and lucrative South Korean works. A typical film about zombies in which zombies are just a tool to show human character is actually a contemporary story about our behavior.

Seok is a very busy divorced father trying to balance work and private life. Dissatisfied with his father’s efforts, his daughter wanted to go to her mother. He couldn’t let her go alone by train so he decided to go with her. Stretched between caring for his daughter and phone calls, something even worse happened. Zombies appeared. In critical situations, our true face comes to the surface. Therefore, through the film you will see different characters and their pros and cons.

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… And Spring Again follows a Buddhist monk who lives with a certain boy in an unusual temple in the middle of the water, far hidden in the heart of the Korean forest. Every day, the two of them sit in a boat and row towards the forest, in order to find groceries and other small things that are necessary for them to survive in this unusual environment.

Although he spends the vast majority of his time in silence, the Buddhist tries to raise the boy as best he can during the first half of the film. During the first 40 minutes, he teaches him important life lessons, as well as all those values ​​that he should nurture as a sane person.

However, as time goes on, the student listens less and less to the monk. His nature and instincts lead him in a completely different direction. He becomes interested in all the little things of life in the modern environment that the monk denied him. Determined to build his life somewhere else, the boy leaves the monk at some point, but due to a combination of unfortunate circumstances, he soon returns to his teacher, seeking redemption for certain deeds he has committed in the meantime.

Oldboy

Choi Min-sik simply excels as a martyr who is kidnapped by a group of unknown characters for inexplicable reasons and held for 15 years in a room in an unknown location, only to be released one day suddenly, also without any real and meaningful reason.

For those who don’t know, Oldboy is considered to be the most popular, most important and most esteemed film title originating from Korea. He has forever redefined the genre to which he belongs and started an avalanche of fantastic South Korean crime thrillers, which can be seen from the plane trying hard to imitate as much as possible what Park showed in this film.

Treeless Mountain

Treeless Mountain is a 2008 South Korean drama movie written and directed by So Yong Kim. It stars Hee Yeon Kim, Song Hee Kim, Soo Ah Lee, Mi Hyang Kim, and Boon Tak Park. The movie premiered on 5 September 2008 at the 2008 Toronto International Film Festival and was given a limited release in the United States on 22 April 2009.

In Seoul, Korea, two sisters must look after each other when their mother leaves them to search for their estranged father.

The Whispering Corridors Series

Whispering Corridors is a South Korean supernatural horror movie series. The series uses an all-girls high school for the setting of its films. Each Whispering Corridors film features a different plot, characters and atmosphere. This drama series is famous for establishing the New Korean Wave as a distinct cinematic movement, while also examining taboo topics, such as an oppressive education system, homosexuality, and teen suicide following the liberalization of censorship.

Mrs. Park, who is fearful, begins to call the young teacher Eun-young Hur, telling her that the deceased Jin-ju Jang has returned. The line goes dead, and Mrs. Park is attacked and killed by a ghost. The next day, the teenager Jae-yi Yoon waits for her friend Ji-oh Lim, who has the ability to summon spirits, and they form a close bond. A dangerous and aggressive Mr. Oh, a.k.a. Mad Dog, replaces Mrs. Park and prohibits Ji-oh from painting and compares the performances of the lovely So-young Park and the weird Jung-sook Kim, separating the two friends. Miss Hur misses her former friend Jin-ju, who committed suicide, and as she reaches out to her, she exposes a dark secret surrounding Mrs. Park and her friend.

Secret Sunshine

Secret Sunshine is a 2007 South Korean drama movie directed by Lee Chang-dong. The screenplay is based on the short fiction “The Story of a Bug” by Lee Cheong-jun that focuses on a woman as she wrestles with the questions of grief, madness and faith. The Korean title Miryang (or Milyang) is named after the city that served as the film’s setting and filming location, of which “Secret Sunshine” is the literal translation.

Jeon Do-yeon won the Prix d’interprétation féminine (Best Actress) at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival for her performance in the film. The film also won the award for Best Film at the Asian Film Awards and at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards.

The King and The Clown

The King and the Clown is a 2005 South Korean historical drama film, starring Kam Woo-sung, Lee Joon-gi and Jung Jin-young. It was adapted from the 2000 stage play, Yi (“You”) about Yeonsangun of Joseon, a Joseon dynasty king and a court clown who mocks him.

Set in the late 15th century during the reign of King Yeonsan, two male street clowns and tightrope walkers, Jangsaeng (Gam Wu-seong) and Gong-gil (Lee Joon-gi), are part of an entertainer troupe. Their manager prostitutes the beautiful Gong-gil to rich customers, and Jangsaeng is sickened by this practice. After Gong-gil kills the manager in defense of Jangsaeng, the pair flee to Seoul, where they form a new group with three other street performers.

The Wailing

Incompetent police officer Jong-gu faces the most difficult challenge of his career when he is forced to uncover the truth behind a series of bloody murders that took place in a remote village in South Korea. He faces an extremely difficult task because the crimes have no meaning or motive. The only thing that connects them is the unusual behavior of the killers. Can Jong-gu reveal the truth before the epidemic of violence spreads?

Parasite

The film “Parasite” went down in history as the first foreign-language film to win an Oscar for Best Picture and for Best Foreign Language Film.

The Oscar-winning film by the esteemed South Korean director is the story of two families: wealthy Parks and poor Kim. After their lives are unexpectedly intertwined, the cunning Ki-woo Kim decides to use Park’s naivety to allow his family to escape poverty.

Peppermint Candy

Peppermint Candy is a 1999 movie, the second by South Korean director Lee Chang-dong. The film starts with the suicide of the protagonist and uses reverse chronology to depict some of the key events of the past 20 years of his life that led to his death. It was the ninth highest-grossing domestic film of 2000 with 311,000 admissions in Seoul.

In the spring of 1999, a group of old friends gathers to celebrate their 20-year reunion. Among the group is Yeong-ho, a cold, unhappy man whose demeanor puts a damper on the festivities. However, the seriousness of Yeong-ho’s depression becomes apparent when he climbs a railroad bridge and looks like he might jump. At this crucial moment, memories of seven crucial episodes from Yeong-ho’s past flood his mind.

A Taxi Driver

The plot is based on a true story, and the center of events is the famous democratic uprising in the city of Gwangju in 1980.

The story follows taxi driver Kim from Seoul (Kang-ho Song), who after the death of his wife sees the only reason to push forward in his daughter. He makes ends meet, he is obliged to rent for several months, and for the money, he turns to a man who is also his landlord. He sees an opportunity for salvation in a random comment from a colleague, who brags that he has the task of driving a foreigner to Gwangju for fine money. Kim steals his counter, it turns out that the foreigner is in fact a German reporter named Jürgen (Thomas Kretschmann), and when he arrived in the city, he inadvertently interfered in famous events.

Forgotten

Forgotten

Forgotten is a 2017 South Korean mystery thriller movie directed by Jang Hang-jun. The film stars Kang Ha-neul, Kim Mu-yeol, Moon Sung-keun and Na Young-hee.

When his abducted brother returns seemingly a different man with no memory of the past 19 days, Jin-seok chases after the truth behind the kidnapping.

Pieta

South Korean film that won 13 awards at various film festivals and was nominated for 17 more.

Kang-do is a heartless man without a living family whose job is to threaten debtors to repay money to his clients, who in turn demand 10 times more than they gave the loan. One day he is visited by an unusual woman who claims to be his long-lost mother. Kang-do doesn’t trust her, but she continues to follow him for the next few weeks, which arouses previously unknown feelings in him.

Snowpiercer

Snowpiercer is a science fiction movie by Bong Joon Hoa with elements of drama, action and a lot of social criticism.

The story takes you to the future in which the attempt to bring down the temperature in the world, as a kind of fight against global warming, went wrong … Just wrong. The temperature is so low that the whole planet is covered in snow and ice. No one survived except those who managed to board a huge train called the Snowpiercer

It is a train that travels around the world non-stop – for years and decades. Many were born in it and do not know what flowers, earth, or trees look like. Of course, society has developed in the wagons in the meantime – the poor and those without any life rights are crammed into the back wagons, and the gentlemen enjoy the way forward. And for those who have nothing, everything is painful.

This is the most expensive Korean-produced film in history and is mostly in English. Chris Evans plays the main role, and there are also Ed Harris, John Hurt and Song Kang Ho.

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