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20 Must See Korean Movies

It is hard to pick 20 movies that can be considered the best from Korean Industry. We’ve tried. Check if this list satisfied you. We’d like for you to tell us which films we’ve missed or whether our selections make us look like a bad-movie-fans. List yours.

1. Memories of Murder

In a small Korean province in 1986, three detectives struggle with the case of multiple young women being found raped and murdered by an unknown culprit.

Director: Joon-ho Bong

2. Oldboy (2003)

After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days.

Director: Chan-wook Park

3. A Bittersweet Life (2005)

Things go wrong for a high ranking mobster when he doesn’t proceed by his boss’s orders.

Director: Jee-woon Kim

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

A young and truth seeking boy travels to an isolated lake, where an old Buddhist master lives on a small floating temple.

Director: Ki-duk Kim

5. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)

A recently laid off factory worker kidnaps his former boss’ friend’s daughter, hoping to use the ransom money to pay for his sister’s kidney transplant.

Director: Chan-wook Park

6. Joint Security Area (2000)

After a shootout at the common security area at the border of the two Koreas, when two soldiers were murdered, Maj. Sophie E. Jean is assigned by the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission to investigate the incident. The smart Major finds lack of consistency in the statements of the survivors, and in spite of being pressed by her superior, she interviews South Koreans Sgt. Lee Soo-hyeok and private Nam Sung-shik, and the North Korean Sgt. Oh Kyeong-pil, disclosing a tragic story of friendship.

Director: Chan-wook Park

7. Mother (2009)

A mother desperately searches for the killer who framed her son for a girl’s horrific murder.

Director: Joon-ho Bong

8. My Sassy Girl (2001)

Based on a series of true stories posted by Ho-sik Kim on the Internet describing his relationship with his girlfriend.

Director: Jae-young Kwak

9. I Saw the Devil (2010)

A secret agent exacts revenge on a serial killer through a series of captures and releases.

Director: Jee-woon Kim

10. A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)

A family is haunted by the tragedies of deaths within the family.

Director: Jee-woon Kim

11. Sympathy for Lady Vengeance (2005)

After a thirteen-year imprisonment for the kidnap and murder of a six-year-old boy, Guem-Ja Lee seeks vengeance on the man truly responsible for the boy’s death.

Director: Chan-wook Park

12. 3-Iron (2004)

A transient young man breaks into empty homes to partake of the vacationing residents’ lives for a few days.

Director: Ki-duk Kim

13. The Chaser (2008)

A cash-strapped pimp and former police detective draws upon the skills of his old job to track down his missing stable of prostitutes.

Director: Hong-jin Na

14. Train To Busan (2016)

While a zombie virus breaks out in South Korea, passengers struggle to survive on the train from Seoul to Busan.

Director: Sang-ho Yeon

15. The Host (2006)

A monster emerges from Seoul’s Han River and focuses its attention on attacking people. One victim’s loving family does what it can to rescue her from its clutches.

Director: Joon-ho Bong

16. The City of Violence (2006)

Tae-su, a detective fighting organized crime, returns to his hometown for his high school friend Wang-jae’s funeral. At the funeral, he meets his old friends Pil-ho, Dong-hwan and Seok-hwan and they reminisce. Suspecting something fishy about Wang-jae’s death, Tae-su and Seok-hwan start investigating it each in his own way. Both of their investigations lead to a land development project that Pil-ho is directing and the two embark on a difficult battle.

Director: Seung-wan Ryoo

17. New World (2013)

A melodrama revolving around an undercover cop who finds it difficult to play both a cop and a goon.

Director: Hoon-jung Park

18. The Man From Nowhere (2010)

A quiet pawnshop keeper with a violent past takes on a drug-and-organ trafficking ring in hope of saving the child who is his only friend.

Director: Jeong-beom Lee

19. A Violent Prosecutor (2016)

After a prosecution lawyer is framed and convicted for murder, he tries to catch the real murderer from jail with the help of a con artist.

Director: Il-Hyeong Lee

20. Okja (2017)

Meet Mija, a young girl who risks everything to prevent a powerful, multi-national company from kidnapping her best friend – a fascinating animal named Okja.

Director: Joon-ho Bong




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