The Top 10 South Korean Movies You Should Watch

Lights, camera, action! | © Injeongwon / Wikimedia Commons
Lights, camera, action! | © Injeongwon / Wikimedia Commons
Photo of Mimsie Ladner
8 June 2017

Whether you’ve only just recently begun to take an interest in Korean film, or you’re a long-time, hardcore Hallyu fan, be certain to add these top ten South Korean movies to your watch list.

Oldboy (2003)

This radically twisted and rather disturbing film by the prominent Korean director Park Chan-wook tells the tale of a man who was kept prisoner in a hotel room for 15 years without any apparent reason. His quest for vengeance upon his release is portrayed with impeccable pacing and unprecedented artistry – so much so that Hollywood was inspired to make their own version of the film.

#최민식 #minsikchoi #올드보이 #oldboy #강혜정 #haejungkang #koreanactor

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Train to Busan (2016)

Acclaimed animation director Yeon Sangho showcased his filmmaking making chops with his thoroughly engaging live action debut, Train to Busan, the most successful Korean film outside of Korea to date. Conflating the pleasures of its effective premise – a motley group of Seoulites attempt to escape a zombie attack on a train – with several contemporary social critiques, this is a blockbuster that works on numerous levels.

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring (2003)

In the middle of the Korean wilderness, a Buddhist master diligently raises a young boy, teaching him to live a life of compassion. When the boy discovers his sexual lust, he seems abandon his contemplative life altogether, following his first love. However, he fails to adapt to the modern world, and after a series of unfortunate events, returns to the master in search of spiritual redemption. Along with breathtaking cinematography, the movie offers viewers a valuable message.

#봄여름가을겨울그리고봄 무달김기덕님

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The Admiral: Roaring Currents (2014)

This movie depicts the 1597 Battle of Myeongnyang, in which legendary admiral Yi Sunsin defeated a fleet of invading Japanese ships – a conflict that is often considered Korea’s version of Sparta. With the odds stacked against him, Admiral Yi defends his land by luring the enemy’s massive armada into a deadly trap. A perfect combination of action and drama, The Admiral: Roaring Currents is the highest-grossing Korean movie of all time.

Sunny (2011)

While visiting her mother-in-law at a hospital, Nami (Yu Ho-jeong) runs into an old friend admitted for terminal cancer. As the two reconnect, she asks Nami to reunite their old clique — one that they had named “Sunny.” As Na-mi goes out in search for her friends, the film goes back to colorful time in the ’80s, recounting the moments in the glory days of “Sunny” and the tragedy that ultimately broke their bond. As the group slowly but surely comes back together, a heartwarming tale of friendship is told.


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The Man From Nowhere (2010)

A quiet pawnshop keeper (Won Bin) with a violent past as a former black ops soldier embarks on a bloody rampage, taking on a drug-and-organ trafficking ring in hope of saving the child who is his only friend. Rated 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, The Man From Nowhere is a gripping film with assured direction and excellent central performances.

– 大叔 아저씨 The Man from Nowhere 元斌撐起整部片,帥慘了🤣🤣🤣 10年的電影了,不過非常的好看,沒看過的朋友一定要選看👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 – 劇情: 車泰植(元斌 飾)是一個靠營運當舖維生,幾乎從不與人來往或外出的神秘人物,不少鄰居甚至懷疑他是隱性埋名的罪犯。他唯一的朋友,是叫他「大叔」的鄰居小女孩素美(金賽綸 飾)。素美和大叔一樣,都是孤伶一人,對於常圍在自己身邊的素美,大叔雖然總是冷冷對待,但也逐漸打開心房。 素美的媽媽被捲入黑社會之間的金錢紛爭,黑社會也把素美當成人質抓走她。素美與媽媽的遭遇,激發了車泰植的正義感,為了救出素美,大叔開始展開與黑社會之間的鬥爭。此時警方介入調查,由於懷疑大叔涉嫌案情,開始調查他的背景,警方發現大叔的過去特殊且神祕。隨著大叔一步步的使用非常手段來試圖救回素美,他的一切也逐漸清晰起來……。 – #個人評價:9.0/10 # IMDb:7.8/10 #爛番茄:新鮮度100% 爆米花90% #豆瓣:8.1/10 – #大叔 #아저씨 #TheManfromNowhere #孤膽特工 #殺手代父 #元斌 #金賽綸 #金太勳 #金希沅 #金盛吳 #坦納永王特拉庫 #金孝書 #宋永彰 #柳妍美 #瞇眼看世界 #瞇眼看電影 #瞇眼追韓影 #instamovie #instafilm #like4like #like4follow #likeforlike #likeforfollow #instagram

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A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

After spending time in a mental institution, two sisters who return to the home of their father and cruel stepmother. There, their stepmother’s obsessive and unbalanced ways – in addition to an interfering ghost – affect their recovery. Incredibly creepy, this psychological thriller marvelously blurs the lines between reality and the occurrences inside the chief character’s mind with crafty skills of storytelling.

The Host (2006)

When a mysterious monster emerges from Seoul’s Han River, a slow-witted man (Song Kangho) and his family (including Bae Doona of Sense 8 fame) must protect their daughter. Entertaining while appropriately intellectual, The Host is one of the best South Korean movies of all times, receiving much critical success following its release. In fact, it gained accolades not only from international festivals, but also renowned film buff (and former North Korean dictator) Kim Jong-il.

A Moment to Remember (2004)

A Moment to Remember is the heartbreaking tale about a young couple’s enduring love, which is tested when 27-year-old Sunjin is diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer’s disease. It was a major success domestically, topping the box office for two consecutive weeks to become the fifth highest-grossing film of 2004.

My Sassy Girl (2001)

Based on a series of true stories posted by engineering student Kim Hosik on the Internet describing his relationship with his girlfriend, this movie illustrates the ups and downs of a rather comical accidental love story. The highest grossing South Korean comedy of all time, My Sassy Girl has inspired many remakes, including a Japanese drama adaptation as well as an American version starring Jesse Bradford and Elisha Cuthbert.

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