100 Amazing Korean Movies. Available Online.

  1. Memories of Murder (2003) – (Murder Mystery) directed by Bong Joon-ho starring Song Kang-ho and Kim Sang-kyung, is based on the true story of Korea’s first serial murders in history, which took place between 1986 and 1991. It was screened at Cannes Film Festival, Hawaii International Film Festival, London International Film Festival, Tokyo International Film Festival and San Sebastian International Film Festival.
  2. Ode To My Father (2014) – (Drama) directed by Yoon Je-kyoon starring Hwang Jung-min and Yunjin Kim. Currently the third highest-grossing film in the history of Korean cinema. It is the story of a completely ordinary man, who in the face of unimaginable events, marshals the extraordinary courage to protect his family.
  3. The Admiral (2014) – (War) directed and co-written by Kim Han-min starring Choi Min-sik. ‘The Admiral’ surpassed Avatar’s record to become the highest-grossing film of all time in South Korea. Trailer
  4. Veteran (2015) – (Action Comedy) written and directed by Ryoo Seung-wan starring Hwang Jung-min, Yoo Ah-in, Yoo Hae-jin. Currently the Fourth highest-grossing film in the history of Korean cinema. IMDB
  5. Oldboy (2003) – (Neo-Noir Action Thriller) Oldboy is the second instalment of The Vengeance Trilogy, preceded by Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and followed by Lady Vengeance directed by Park Chan-wook. The film won the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. IMDB
  6. The Spy Gone North (2018) – Spy Thriller directed by Yoon Jong-bin starring Hwang Jung-min, Lee Sung-min, Cho Jin-woong and Ju Ji-hoon, is based on the true story of Park Chae-seo, a former South Korean agent who infiltrated North Korea’s nuclear facilities. It shows the complex political situation of North and South Korea.
  7. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002) – Crime Thriller directed by Park Chan-wook starring Song Kang-ho and Shin Ha-kyun is about a man trying to earn enough money for his sister’s kidney transplant and his one and only mistake. A modern masterpiece. IMDB
  8. My Sassy Girl (2001) – Romantic Comedy directed by Kwak Jae-yong, starring Jun Ji-hyun and Cha Tae-hyun, is based on a true story told in a series of blog posts written by Kim Ho-sik. It has a cult following all over the world. My Sassy Girl clicked the international breakthrough for Korean cinema. IMDB
  9. Extreme Job (2019) – Action Comedy directed by Lee Byeong-heon starring Ryu Seung-ryong, and Lee Hanee. It is the highest-grossing film of all time in South Korea, and also reported to be the second-most-watched film in Korea of all time. IMDB
  10. The Thieves (2012) – Action Comedy directed by Choi Dong-hoon is now the eighth highest-grossing film in Korean film history. IMDB
  11. The Chaser (2008) – Crime Thriller directed by Na Hong-jin starring Kim Yoon-seok and Ha Jung-woo, is inspired by real-life Korean serial killer. IMDB
  12. A Taxi Driver (2017) – Action Drama directed by Jang Hoon starring Song Kang-ho, became the tenth most-watched local film of all time in South Korea, and It is also Song Kang-ho’s third film to have sold more than 10 million tickets. IMDB
  13. The King & The Clown (2005) – Historical Drama starring Kam Woo-sung, Jung Jin-young and Lee Joon-gi, directed by Lee Joon-ik. It was the South Korea’s official submission for the 2006 Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. It is also the ninth highest-grossing film in South Korea.
  14. Snowpiercer (2013) – English language Korean Sci-fi movie, starring Chris Evans, Song Kang-ho, Tilda Swinton, and Jamie Bell, directed by Bong Joon-ho, is the most expensive Korean film ever.
  15. Inside Men (2015) – Political Crime Drama directed by Woo Min-ho starring Lee Byung-hun, Cho Seung-woo and Baek Yoon-sik.
  16. Train To Busan (2016) – Zombie Apocalypse Action film directed by Yeon Sang-ho, starring Gong Yoo, Jung Yu-mi, and Ma Dong-seok, was premiered in the Midnight Screenings section of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival.
  17. The Attorney (2013) – Courtroom Drama directed by Yang Woo-suk, starring Song Kang-ho, Kim Young-ae and Oh Dal-su, went on to win 32 awards at various festivals. IMDB
  18. I Saw the Devil (2010) – Crime Thriller film directed by Kim Jee-woon, starring Lee Byung-hun and Choi Min-sik. A secret agent exacts revenge on a serial killer through a series of captures and releases. Rolling Stone magazine put I Saw the Devil in the top 20 of “the scariest movies you’ve never seen”
  19. A Violent Prosecutor (2016) – Crime Drama directed by Lee Il-hyung, produced by Guk Su Ran and starring Hwang Jung-min, Kang Dong-won, Lee Sung-min and Park Sung-woong. It was the 2nd highest-grossing South Korean film of 2016.
  20. A Bittersweet life (2005) – Action Film written and directed by Kim Jee-woon starring Lee Byung-hun, is an epic tale of revenge. IMDB
  21. Masquerade (2012) – Historical film directed by Choo Chang-min starring Lee Byung-hun won awards in 15 categories in the 49th Grand Bell Awards, including Best Film, Director, Screenplay and Actor. Upon release it became all-time third highest-grossing film.
  22. A Tale Of Two Sisters (2003) – Horror film from the director of ‘A Bittersweet Life’, Kim Jee-woon, is about a recently released patient from a mental institution who returns home with her sister, only to face disturbing events between her stepmother and her sister. It is the highest-grossing Korean horror film
  23. The Face Reader (2013) – Thriller Drama starring Song Kang-ho and Lee Jung-jae, directed by Han Jae-rim, went on to win six awards at the 50th Grand Bell Awards, including Best Film, Best Director for Han Jae-rim, and Best Actor for Song Kang-ho.
  24. Handmaiden (2016) – Erotic Psychological Thriller film directed by Park Chan-wook and starring Kim Min-hee, Kim Tae-ri, Ha Jung-woo and Cho Jin-woong, is inspired from the novel Fingersmith by Welsh writer Sarah Waters. It went on to win Best Film Not in the English Language at 71st British Academy Film Awards. IMDB
  25. Mother (2009) – Crime drama directed by Bong Joon-ho, starring Kim Hye-ja and Won Bin, is about a mother who is desperately searching for the killer who framed her son for a horrific murder.
  26. Lady Vengeance (2005) – Psychological Thriller director by Park Chan-wook, is the third installment in Park’s The Vengeance Trilogy, following Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002) and Oldboy (2003). It is about a woman who was in prison for a murder she did not commit.
  27. Assassination (2015) – Action Film directed by Choi Dong-hoon, starring Jun Ji-hyun, Lee Jung-jae and Ha Jung-woo, is the eighth-highest-grossing movie in Korean film history with over 12.7 million admissions.
  28. The King (2017) – Political Crime film starring Jo In-sung and Jung Woo-sung directed by Han Jae-rim, make it as 7th highest-grossing South Korean film in 2017.
  29. No Mercy (2010) – Action Thriller written and directed by Kim Hyeong-jun starring Sol Kyung-gu and Ryoo Seung-bum. Plot: A serial killer threatens to kill the daughter of a forensic pathologist if he doesn’t get him bailed out. Sol Kyung-gu won Best Actor at the 18th Chunsa Film Art Awards for his performance.
  30. The Outlaws (2017) – Crime Action film directed by Kang Yoon-sung starring Ma Dong-seok and Yoon Kye-sang. It was the 3rd highest-grossing domestic film of the year in South Korea and the third best-selling R-rated Korean film of all time. Trailer
  31. The Age of Shadows (2016) – Period Action Thriller directed by Kim Jee-woon starring Song Kang-ho and Gong Yoo. The film won the Best Picture award in the Action Features category at the 2016 Fantastic Fest held in Austin, Texas.
  32. The Merciless (2017) – Crime-action film directed by Byun Sung-hyun, and starring Sol Kyung-gu and Im Si-wan. It is about a young cop who finds it hard to divide his loyalty between his new friend, a notorious criminal, and his profession.
  33. Public Enemy (2002) – Action film directed by Kang Woo-suk. Sol Kyung-gu went on to win the Best Actor Award at the Grand Bell Awards and Blue Dragon Film Awards.
  34. A Dirty Carnival (2006) – Action film directed by Yoo Ha. It is about a small time thug struggles between his criminal aspirations and his devotion to family.
  35. Confidential Assignment (2017) – Action film directed by Kim Sung-hoon starring Hyun Bin, Yoo Hae-jin and Kim Joo-hyuk.
  36. Welcome to Dongmakgol (2005) – War Drama directed by Park Kwang-hyun was South Korea’s official entry for the foreign language film category of the Academy Awards in 2005.
  37. New World (2013) – Crime Drama written and directed by Park Hoon-jung starring Choi Min-sik, Hwang Jung-min and Lee Jung-jae, is about an undercover cop who struggles between his two jobs. IMDB
  38. Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time (2012) – Gangster film directed by Yoon Jong-bin starring Choi Min-sik and Ha Jung-woo, is set in the 1980s in Busan when corruption was so high that the government declared war on it in 1990. IMDB
  39. War of the Arrows (2011) – Period Action film directed by Kim Han-min starring Park Hae-il, Ryu Seung-ryong and Moon Chae-won. Won Best Actor for Park, Best Supporting Actor for Ryu, and Best New Actress for Moon at the 48th Grand Bell Awards and the 32nd Blue Dragon Film Awards.
  40. The Wailing (2016) – Crime Drama directed by Na Hong-jin, starring Kwak Do-won and Hwang Jung-min, is about a policeman who investigates a series of mysterious killings and illnesses in a village.
  41. The Way Home (2002) – Drama written and directed by Lee Jeong-hyang, is the story of a grandmother and her grandson who comes to live with her in a rural village.
  42. Tazza: The Hidden Rollers(2006) – Thriller film directed by Choi Dong-hoon starring Cho Seung-woo and Kim Hye-soo, revolves around a group of gambling drifters involved in the Korean card game Hwatu.
  43. Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds (2017) – (Action Fantasy) directed by Kim Yong-hwa starring Ha Jung-woo, Cha Tae-hyun, Ju Ji-hoon and Kim Hyang-gi. Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds is the second most viewed film in South Korean film history. Became the second highest-grossing film in South Korea.
  44. Silmido (2003) – Action Drama directed by Kang Woo-suk went on to become the first film to have a box office audience of over 10 million in South Korea, and held the record for the most viewed film in theatres until the release of Taegukgi in 2004.
  45. The Man From Nowhere (2010) – Action Thriller starring Won Bin and directed by Lee Jeong-beom is the story of a mysterious man who starts a bloody rampage when his neighbouring kid is kidnapped. IMDB
  46. The Throne (2015) – Historical Period film directed by Lee Joon-ik, starring Song Kang-ho and Yoo Ah-in, is about the life of Crown Prince Sado, the heir to the throne who was deemed unfit to rule and was condemned to death by his own father by locking in a rice chest for eight days.
  47. The Good The Bad and The Weird (2008) – Western Action film directed by Kim Jee-woon, starring Song Kang-ho, Lee Byung-hun, and Jung Woo-sung, was premiered at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. Inspired by Sergio Leone’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.
  48. The Host (2006) – Monster film directed by Bong Joon-ho starring Song Kang-ho, Byun Hee-bong, and Park Hae-il. Was premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on May 21, 2006. It was also listed at #81 on Empire’s list of The 100 Best Films of World Cinema.
  49. Joint Security Area – JSA (2000) – Suspense Thriller starring Lee Young-ae, Lee Byung-hun and Song Kang-ho. From the director of Oldboy, Park Chan-wook.
  50. Northern Limit Line (2015) – Periodic Thriller directed by Kim Hak-soon starring Kim Mu-yeol, Jin Goo, and Lee Hyun-woo, is based on the real-life events of the Second Battle of Yeonpyeong.
  51. The Last Princess (2016) – Periodic Drama directed by Hur Jin-ho starring Son Ye-jin as Princess Deokhye. The film is all about Princess Deokhye’s life in Japan after she was forced to move there at age 13 by the Imperial Japanese government, and her attempts to return to Korea.
  52. Marrying the Mafia ll (2005) – Sequel to Marrying the Mafia (2002), the Comedy film directed by Jeong Yong-gi. Was one of the biggest hits of the year.
  53. The Phone (2015) – Action Thriller film directed by Kim Bong-ju starring Son Hyun-joo. Story is about a man who communicate with his wife, who is killed by somebody, through a magnetic field.
  54. 3 – Iron (2004) – Romantic Drama directed by Kim Ki-duk starring Jae Hee Lee and Seung-yeon. An unusual love story.
  55. Shiri (1999) – Action film, written and directed by Kang Je-gyu starring Han Suk-kyu, Choi Min-sik and Yunjin Kim, was the first Hollywood-style big-budget blockbuster to be produced in the “new” Korean film industry.
  56. Jeon Woo-chi: The Taoist Wizard (2009) – Fantasy Action Comedy film directed by Choi Dong-hoon, it stars Gang Dong-won in the title role. The story is based on the Korean folklore “Tale of Jeon Woo Chi”.
  57. A Moment to Remember (2004) – Romantic Drama directed by John H. Lee starring Son Ye-jin and Jung Woo-sung. A top class tear jerker. To put in simple words.
  58. 1987: When The Day Comes (2017) – Political Thriller based on a true story, the film focuses on the events that led up to the June Democratic Uprising in Korea. Directed by Jang Joon-hwan starring Kim Yoon-seok, Ha Jung-woo, Yoo Hae-jin, and Kim Tae-ri.
  59. The Priest (2015) – Supernatural Thriller film written and directed by Jang Jae-hyun starring Kim Yoon-seok and Gang Dong-won, based on the director’s own award-winning short film 12th Assistant Deacon.
  60. The Suspect (2013) – Action Thriller starring Gong Yoo, and directed by Won Shin-yun, is a very well made absolutely action packed spy thriller.
  61. 200 Pounds Beauty (2006) – Romantic Comedy film written and directed by Kim Yong-hwa, starring Kim Ah-joong and Joo Jin-mo, is about an overweight ghost singer who undergoes plastic surgery to become a pop sensation.
  62. Steel Rain (2017) – Action Thriller directed by Yang Woo-suk starring Jung Woo-sung and Kwak Do-won, based on his 2011 webtoon of the same name.
  63. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter And Spring (2003) – Drama directed by Kim Ki-duk. The story is about the life of a Buddhist monk as he passes through the seasons of his life
  64. Miracle in Cell No. 7 (2013) – Comedy Drama directed by Lee Hwan-kyung starring Ryu Seung-ryong, Kal So-won and Park Shin-hye, is the fifth highest grossing Korean film of all time.
  65. Thirst (2009) – Horror film written, and directed by Park Chan-wook starring Song Kang-ho and Kim Ok-bin. Thirst is based on the novel Thérèse Raquin by Émile Zola. Yet another Song Kang-ho movie in the list.
  66. Il Mare (2000) – Romantic Drama starring Jun Ji-hyun and Lee Jung-jae, and directed by Lee Hyun-seung. The film was later remade in Hollywood as The Lake House (2006) starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock.
  67. The Yellow Sea (2010) – Action Thriller directed by Na Hong-jin and starring Ha Jung-woo and Kim Yoon-seok. A spectacular action movie. IMDB
  68. Seven Years of Night (2018) – Thriller film directed by Choo Chang-min, starring Ryu Seung-ryong, Jang Dong-gun, Song Sae-byeok and Go Kyung-pyo. Is based on Jung Yoo-jung’s novel of the same name. It is another fantastic revenge movie from Korea.
  69. The Chronicles of Evil (2015) – Thriller film directed by Beak Woon-hak starring Son Hyun-joo, Ma Dong-seok, Choi Daniel and Park Seo-joon. Beautifully shot and expertly scripted.
  70. Diary Of June (2005) – Mystery Crime film directed by Im Kyeong-soo starring Shin Eun-kyung, Yunjin Kim and Eric Mun. Plot: Two cops find a diary which have all details of few murders happened and also predictions.
  71. The Accidental Detective (2015) – Action Comedy film directed by Kim Joung-hoon. Like ‘Bad Boys’ but it is worth your time. It is entertaining and thrilling.
  72. Confession of Murder (2012) – Action Thriller directed by Jung Byung-gil, starring Jung Jae-young and Park Si-hoo. Plot: A man publishes an autobiography describing murders he committed after the statute of limitations expires.
  73. Cold Eyes (2013) – Crime Action film starring Sol Kyung-gu, Jung Woo-sung, Han Hyo-joo, Jin Kyung and Lee Junho, directed by Cho Ui-seok and Kim Byeong-seo, is about detectives from the surveillance team of a special crime unit who work together to take down a bank robbing organization.
  74. Taegukgi (2004) – War-Action directed by Kang Je-gyu, starring Jang Dong-gun and Won Bin, won the “Best Film” award at the 50th Asia Pacific Film Festival and Kang Je-gyu received the “Best Director” award.
  75. A Hard day (2014) – Crime Action Thriller written and directed by Kim Seong-hun, and starring Lee Sun-kyun and Cho Jin-woong. Plot: After trying to cover up a car accident that left a man dead, a crooked homicide detective is stalked by a mysterious man claiming to have witnessed the event.
  76. Hope (2013) – Drama directed by Lee Joon-ik, starring Sol Kyung-gu, Uhm Ji-won and Lee Re. It is based on a true story, the infamous Nayoung 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
  77. Private Eye (2009) – Period Film Noir directed by Park Dae-min, starring Hwang Jung-min and Ryu Deok-hwan. A fantastic thriller. Must not miss.
  78. Blue Beard (2017) – Psychological thriller film directed by Lee Soo-yeon starring Cho Jin-woong. Plot: A doctor sedates his landlord before medical check-up, when the old man begins telling him a convincing murder confession.
  79. Perfect Number (2012) – Mystery Drama film directed by Bang Eun-jin based on Keigo Higashino’s novel The Devotion of Suspect X. A math teacher formulates the perfect cover-up, after his neighbor murders her abusive ex-husband.
  80. The Tiger: An Old Hunters Tale (2015) – Period Action film about a hunter prepared to kill the last tiger of Joseon. Directed by Park Hoon-jung starring Choi Min-shik.
  81. Silenced (2011) – Real life based Drama starring Gong Yoo and Jung Yu-mi, directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk based on the novel The Crucible by Gong Ji-young.
  82. Howling (2012) – directed by Yoo Ha, based on the novel ‘The Hunter’ by Japanese writer Asa Nonami, starring Song Kang-ho and Lee Na-young. We think almost all Song Kang-ho movies are in the list.
  83. Flu (2013) – Disaster film written and directed by Kim Sung-su, about an outbreak of a deadly strain of H5N1 that kills its victims within 36 hours.
  84. The Terror Live (2013) – Action Thriller written and directed by Kim Byung-woo starring Ha Jung-woo. Plot: A newsman discovers he’s been rigged with a bomb after he has an exclusive interview with a terrorist who blew up a bridge.
  85. Montage (2013) – Thriller film starring Uhm Jung-hwa, Kim Sang-kyung, and Song Young-chang, directed by Jeong Keun-seob. Plot: 15 years ago, a mother lost her child in a kidnapping case. A similar crime happens again and she won’t let him go this time. IMDB
  86. The Battleship Island (2017) – Period Action film starring Hwang Jung-min, So Ji-sub, Song Joong-ki and Lee Jung-hyun, directed by Ryoo Seung-wan revolves around an attempted prison break from a forced labor camp on Hashima Island.
  87. A Werewolf Boy (2012) – Fantasy Romantic film directed by Jo Sung-hee starring Song Joong-ki and Park Bo-young. Had its world premiere in the “Contemporary World Cinema” section of the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival, and also screened at the 17th Busan International Film Festival.
  88. Hwayi – A Monster Boy (2013) – Action Thriller directed by Jang Joon-hwan is about a boy who was kidnapped as an infant and raised in isolation by five notorious criminals.
  89. Secret Reunion (2010) – Another Song Kang-ho film in the list. Action film directed by Jang Hoon starring Song Kang-ho and Gang Dong-won. It is the second highest grossing Korean film of the year 2010.
  90. Deranged (2012) – Science Fiction Thriller starring Kim Myung-min, Kim Dong-wan, Moon Jung-hee and Lee Ha-nui, directed by Park Jung-woo, is Korea’s first medical thriller on an infectious disease epidemic.
  91. Secretly, Greatly (2013) – Action Comedy starring Kim Soo-hyun, Park Ki-woong, and Lee Hyun-woo, directed by Jang Cheol-soo. North Korean spies who infiltrate South Korea assimilate to small town life while awaiting their orders, and one day their mission turns out to be an order to commit suicide.
  92. Tunnel (2016) – Survival Drama directed by Kim Seong-hun starring Ha Jung-woo. It is about a salesman who gets trapped when a tunnel collapses.
  93. Sunny (2011) – Comedy Drama directed by Kang Hyeong-cheol starring Shim Eun-kyung, Kang So-ra, Yoo Ho-jeong and Jin Hee-kyung.
  94. The Berlin file (2013) – Action Thriller directed by Ryoo Seung-wan starring Ha Jung-woo. A must watch fast paced thriller which won critically acclamation and did extremely well at box office as well.
  95. Friend (2001) – Action film directed by Kwak Kyung-taek starring Yu Oh-seong, Jang Dong-gun, and Seo Tae-hwa. Yu Oh-seong and Jang Dong-gun won the Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor awards at the 46th Asia-Pacific Film Festival. It won the Holden Award for best script at the 16th Torino International Festival of Young Cinema.
  96. Master (2016) – Crime Action film starring Lee Byung-hun, Gang Dong-won and Kim Woo-bin, directed by Cho Ui-seok.
  97. Scandal Makers (2008) – Comedy Drama directed by Kang Hyeong-cheol and starring Cha Tae-hyun, Park Bo-young and Wang Seok-hyeon. Was the highest grossing Korean film of the year.
  98. Miss Granny (2014) – Comedy drama directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk starring Na Moon-hee. A granny in her 70s finds herself in the body of her 20-year-old self after having her picture taken at a studio.
  99. Punch (2011) – Drama directed by Lee Han starring Yoo Ah-in Kim and Yoon-seok is based on the bestselling novel Wandeuk by Kim Ryeo-ryeong.
  100. Tower (2012) – Thriller directed by Kim Ji-hoon, and stars Sol Kyung-gu, Kim Sang-kyung and Son Ye-jin, is about a fire that breaks out in a skyscraper on a Christmas Eve.

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