The best of movies from South Korea

I was recently introduced to movies from the southern part of the Korean peninsula, and oh boy i cannot digest the fact that they have made, and still make, the best of movies. Movies which are being remade in Hollywood as you read. Listed below are the movies i have seen so far. Many more to go.

PS: Must watch and highly recommended!

PS: I am no movie critic, description from wiki and rotten tomatoes. 

Memories Of Murder( Salinui Chueok):

MEMORIES_OF_MURDERMemories of Murder is a 2003 South Korean crime-drama film directed by Bong Joon-ho. It is based on the true story of the country’s first known serial murders, which took place between 1986 and 1991 in Hwaseong, Gyeonggi Province. Director Quentin Tarantino named it, along with Bong’s The Host, as one of his Top 20 favorite movies since 1992.

Mesmerizing. It will get under your skin.



Imprisoned for 15 years, 5 days to seek revenge.

The film follows the story of one Oh Dae-su, who is locked in a hotel room for 15 years without knowing his captor’s motives. When he is finally released, Dae-su finds himself still trapped in a web of conspiracy and violence. His own quest for vengeance becomes tied in with romance when he falls for an attractive sushi chef.

The ending is quite unsettling to the heart.


Joint Security Area:

joint security areaJSA is a 2000 South Korean mystery thriller film starring Lee Young-aeLee Byung-hun and Song Kang-ho. It was directed by Park Chan-wook and is based on the novel DMZ by Park Sang-yeon.

The film, shot on location in South Korea, concerns an investigation into the circumstances surrounding a fatal shooting incident within the DMZ, the heavily fortified border that separates North and South Korea.

It was the highest grossing film in Korean film history at the time and won Best Film at the 2000 Blue Dragon Awards and the 2001 Grand Bell Awards.


Mother (Madeo):

mother 2009When a mentally disabled man is implicated in the brutal killing of a high school girl, his widowed mother moves heaven and earth to find the proof that can exonerate her only son.

The review on the poster says it all.

Directed by Bong Joon-ho.


Crossing 2008

The movie is based on a real story about the life of a North Korean defector and his family. The story shares the hardship of North Korean refugees in the late 1990s, with famine striking the country and killed an estimated 1 million people.

The North Koreans couldnt cross into South Korea directly because of landmines and heavy military presence at the border these defectors had to cross into China and made a detour to South Korea instead.

The Chinese government, an ally of the North Korean regime, does not recognize the defectors as refugees and would send them back to North Korea to face stiff action.

Emotionally engaging and searchingly humanistic, it stands as a genuine film to explore the North and South Korean divide.


4 thoughts on “The best of movies from South Korea

  1. You should watch Crossing a movie about a man who escapes from North-Korea to find medicine for his wife. According to a North-Korean refuge I spoke after seeing this movie the movie is pretty close to reality which makes it an even more amazing movie!
    And if you liked oldboy I recommend you watch the entire vengeance trilogy with sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and sympathy for Mrs. Vengeance.
    And one of my all time favorite Korean thrillers is the man from nowhere. Words cannot describe it, just watch it!

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