Oldboy is a monumental movie of New Korean Cinema (Picture: CJ Leisure)

South Korean cinema has risen to international recognition with the skills of outstanding administrators and performers. Uncover gems in cinematic historical past with a number of the finest Korean films of all time.

With the Korean Wave that has been slowly taking over the world, curiosity in South Korean vogue, journey, and meals has reached an all-time excessive. Arguably one of many largest successes of the Hallyu cultural phenomenon has been the rise of South Korean cinema. With revered administrators like Bong Joon-ho and Park Chan-wook, the affect of Korean cinema has now seeped into Hollywood – most visibly with Parasite’s win of the Greatest Image Oscar in 2020. Conquering a number of genres from horror to comedy to motion, our favorite and one of the best Korean films of all time deserve a spot in your to-watch listing.

Watch these subsequent: Greatest Korean films of all time

1. Burning (2018)

best korean movies burning
Many questions are left for viewers to reply for themselves within the mysterious movie Burning (Picture: CGV Arthouse)

An exhilarating adaptation of Haruki Murakami’s brief story Barn Burning (1992), the psychological thriller Burning is taken into account to be among the best Korean films of all time. Lee Chang-dong directs the then-rising star, Yoo Ah-in, in a breakthrough position as aspiring novelist Jong-su, whose life takes a flip after working into Hae-mi, his childhood pal. Whereas Jong-su feeds her cat, Hae-mi travels to Africa and returns with a mysterious man named Ben, performed by Hollywood star Steven Yeun. The movie has been praised for its enigmatic storytelling, as Ben quickly reveals his twisted interest of burning down greenhouses. Very a lot a movie that invitations the viewer to interpret key facets for themselves, Yoo shines as a bewildered man struggling to decipher the stoic Ben, who’s by no means explicitly seen doing something unsuitable. This sluggish burn of a film topped many “Better of” lists in 2018, in addition to profitable Greatest Movie and Greatest Director on the Asian Movie Awards.

2. Reminiscences of Homicide (2003)

memories of murder
Based mostly on true occasions, Reminiscences of Homicide isn’t afraid to depict the harrowing nature of the historic crimes (Picture: CJ Leisure)

Bong Joon-ho – the director of Parasite – has now turn out to be synonymous with Korean cinema for good cause. His prowess is on full show in his now-classic second function Reminiscences of Homicide, against the law thriller based mostly on the true story of South Korea’s first serial killer. Bong’s frequent collaborator, Track Kang-ho (yep, additionally one of many principal actors in Parasite), performs a decided native detective who’s overwhelmed by a string of murders that plunges a small city into concern. Because the educated Seoul detective Tae-yoon joins the case, the 2 delve into the grittiness of the elusive killer’s crimes and really feel the strain as he continually slips away. In actuality, the Hwaseong Serial Murders weren’t solved till 2019, leaving this 2003 movie naturally and not using a conclusive decision. Nevertheless, in a chief show of Bong and Track’s abilities, the ultimate scene of this movie will stick with you lengthy after the credit roll.

3. My Sassy Lady (2001)

best korean movies my sassy girl
Romantic-comedy My Sassy Lady grew to become a global hit (Picture: Cinema Service)

One of many highest-grossing movies of all time in South Korea, the romantic-comedy My Sassy Lady introduced a brand new stage of worldwide recognition to Korean films – sparking the start of the Korean Wave (Hallyu). Based mostly on a real sequence of weblog posts, the movie chronicles the unconventional relationship between Gyeon-woo (performed by future selection present star Cha Tae-hyun) and the unnamed lady (a breakthrough position for star Jun Ji-hyun). An instantaneous hit, the movie gained a cult following and spawned quite a few worldwide remakes and spin-offs. Capturing an ideal steadiness of guffaws, romance, and sudden coronary heart, few movies have since been in a position to spark fairly as giant of a phenomenon as My Sassy Lady has.

4. The Handmaiden (2016)

best korean movies the handmaiden
A contemporary traditional of queer cinema, The Handmaiden options a phenomenal rating and breathtaking cinematography (Picture: CJ Leisure)

If requested who the definitive determine of recent Korean cinema is, those that don’t say Bong Joon-ho will definitely identify Park Chan-wook. Thought-about among the best filmmakers of all time, Park’s movies are notable for his or her brutal storytelling and darkish humour. The BAFTA-winning film, The Handmaiden, is a fantastically shot movie, instructed via a good script tailored from the novel Fingersmith (2002) by Sarah Waters. Turning a Victorian-era setting into the extra culturally related world of Japanese-occupied Korea, the movie is instructed in three components that work collectively to finally reveal a full image. When frequent thief, Sook-hee, is shipped by a con-man to trick the heiress, Girl Hideko, into marriage, issues take a flip when the 2 ladies start to fall for one another. The chemistry between the lead characters from then-newcomer, Kim Tae-ri, and seasoned star, Kim Min-hee, anchor the twists and turns of the movie. The critically acclaimed movie is now thought-about among the best queer Korean films of all time.

5. The Quiet Household (1998)

best korean movies the quiet family
Home points are taken up a notch in The Quiet Household (Pictures: Myung Movies)

That includes a number of the earliest performances from future superstars Choi Min-sik and Track Kang-ho, The Quiet Household is the gripping first function from acclaimed director Kim Jee-woon. The black comedy horror centres on a household who owns a distant mountain lodge for hikers, the place the friends at all times find yourself dying. With a terrific ensemble forged that is ready to convey darkish humour to disturbing conditions, the movie isn’t shy in breaking the foundations of the style. Later spawning a free Japanese remake in 2001, The Quiet Household is an insightful take a look at not solely the beginnings of three magnetic careers, but additionally arguably one of many first movies of “New Korean Cinema” – and the transformation of South Korea’s movie trade.

cinemas in hong kong

6. The Wailing (2016)

best korean movies the wailing
The whole lot isn’t fairly what it appears in The Wailing (Picture: twentieth Century Fox)

South Korean cinema is understood for churning out a number of the scariest horror films on the planet, and a chief instance is Na Hong-jin’s The Wailing. The movie centres on a policeman in a distant Korean village, as he investigates a sequence of mysterious diseases and murders that seemingly begin with the arrival of an odd Japanese man. Revolutionising traditional horror tropes like demonic possession and historic mythological rituals, the sharp script is at all times two steps forward and, most significantly, brings the scares. Selecting up a number of Greatest Director awards, The Wailing is excellently shot and written, modelling Korean cinema’s potential to create contemporary takes on the horror style.

7. Oldboy (2003)

best korean movies oldboy
The motion sequences in Oldboy have influenced many movies after it (Picture: CJ Leisure)

The discharge of Oldboy in 2003 was a watershed second in New Korean Cinema. Though debates proceed on what counts as Park Chan-wook’s prime movie, there’s no argument that Oldboy stands as among the best and most influential Korean films of all time. Unafraid to depict graphic violence and delve into controversial subject material, the movie follows Dae-su, a person launched from a 15-year captivity, as he begins to hunt revenge towards his captors. With an unflinching lead efficiency by Choi Min-sik, the extreme single-shot hallway combat sequence has turn out to be an iconic scene in cinematic historical past. A cult traditional whose affect reaches even past Korean cinema into Hollywood, Oldboy’s longevity could be attributed to the truth that Park channels the movie’s brutality with out sacrificing the energy of the plot. Profitable the Grand Prix on the Cannes Movie Competition, this movie helped convey worldwide recognition to South Korean cinema.

8. Sunny (2011)

best korean movies sunny
Sunny explores the friendship between a gaggle of ladies within the 80s and their reunion years later (Picture: CJ Leisure)

A touching ode to feminine friendship, comedy-drama Sunny grew to become successful for its poignant portrayal of girlhood and womanhood. Shifting between the present-day and the Nineteen Eighties, the movie explores the deep friendship of a gaggle of schoolgirls and a dying pal’s want to see the group reunited once more years later. A humorous and heartwarming take a look at friendship in addition to South Korea within the 80s for teenage women, the movie permits the expertise of every member of the ensemble forged to shine. A essential and industrial success, Sunny later impressed a free Hong Kong TV adaptation in addition to a number of worldwide film remakes.

9. Silenced (2011)

best korean movies silenced
Delicate topics are explored in Silenced (Picture: CJ Leisure)

Heartthrob Gong Yoo leads a heartbreaking movie based mostly on the novel The Crucible (2009) by Gong Ji-young in regards to the true occasions of abuse that occurred on the Gwangju Inhwa Faculty for the deaf. When Kang In-ho (performed by Gong) begins a educating place at a faculty for deaf youngsters, he slowly uncovers the ugly fact of bodily and sexual abuse inside the establishment. Future Squid Sport director, Hwang Dong-hyuk, isn’t afraid to probe into the very actual horrors inflicted on youngsters by college members in Silenced. The movie led to public outcries over courtroom leniencies and even new convictions. A sober depiction of shameful occasions in South Korean historical past, Silenced obtained essential and industrial acclaim.

10. Parasite (2019)

best korean movies parasite
Parasite is considered among the best movies of all time (Picture: CJ Leisure)

No listing of one of the best Korean films can be full with out the behemoth that’s Parasite. Bong Joon-ho’s legacy-defining movie broke information as the primary Korean winner of the Palme d’or on the Cannes Movie Competition, and the primary non-English language movie to win the Greatest Image Oscar. Centred on a low-class household that manages to sneakily infiltrate a rich house, Parasite presents a stark take a look at social and financial inequality in South Korea. With a robust lead position from Bong’s frequent collaborator Track Kang-ho and a breakthrough efficiency from Park So-dam, the gorgeous twists in Bong’s script are depicted masterfully. A essential and industrial success, Parasite is taken into account among the best movies of all time.

You May Also Like

More From Author