20 Top Korean Movies For A Fun Movie Night

Top Korean Movies

Wanna find the greatest movies for your movie night? Here are some top Korean movies (–영화 yeonghwa) that are binge-worthy.

In the hit K-drama series Twenty-Five Twenty-One, the first episode talks about the IMF and the crisis that Korea is facing. The country of South Korea, along with other Southeast Asian Countries, suffered considerable damage, not just in the finance. It is mentioned there that IMF badly affects the Korean film industry because Western movies are killing native Korean movies. With the 1997 crisis that Korea faced, it’s almost unimaginable how the country was able to make the Korean culture known all over the world. But yes, they were able to pull it off.

Today, we were going to talk about the top Korean movies of all time. We will go back in time to learn a brief history of Korean movies. We will also mention the directors and actors behind these awesome movies.

Top 20 Korean Movies To Watch Now!

  1. Parasite (2019)
  2. Train To Busan (2016)
  3. The Beauty Inside (2015)
  4. Space Sweepers (2021)
  5. The Age Of Shadows (2016)
  6. I Saw The Devil (2010)
  7. Memories Of Murder (2003)
  8. The Host (2006)
  9. The Chaser (2008)
  10. Oldboy (2003)
  11. The Handmaiden (2016)
  12. The Wailing (2016)
  13. Mother (2009)
  14. My Sassy Girl (2001)
  15. Burning (2018)
  16. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… And Spring (2003)
  17. Thirst (2009)
  18. The Way Home (2002)
  19. A Tale Of Two Sisters (2003)
  20. Tae Guk Gi: Brotherhood Of War (2004)
Brief History Top Korean Movies

Brief History Of Korean Movies

South Korea has proven its place on the world stage in the film industry. Their K-dramas and movies are continuously being known and recognized all over the world. But, how did Korea manage to successfully make its films known? Here is a brief history of Korean movies.

1903-1945 – Japanese Colonization Period

  • During this time, Korea was under Japanese occupation. Korea’s early film history is only known in bits. The vast bulk of Korea’s early film footage was lost owing to negligence or destruction caused by the Korean War, and currently, no feature film produced before 1934 exists in its entirety.
  • A number of theaters were established in Seoul and neighboring cities such as Pusan and Pyongyang between 1909 and 1920. Japanese businesspeople owned the majority of these cinemas, but a few Korean theater owners amassed considerable wealth by displaying European and American imports. This money would eventually be put towards the first domestic productions.
  • In 1919, the Danseongsa Theater in Seoul hosted Korea’s first “film,” The Righteous Revenge, a kinodrama in which performers played against the backdrop of a projected picture. In short, it is not actually a movie.
  • In 1924, Korea’s first silent film was released. This silent film is entitled Jang-hwa and Hong-ryeon. It is based on a Korean folktale about two sisters and their evil stepmother. Seven Korean film companies also emerged over the next few years. Na Un-Arirang kyu’s is regarded as the era’s finest.
  • Despite the growing popularity of local cinema, Japanese censorship has significantly impacted its development. Foreign movies began to arrive in the country, but the Japanese government was in control of the content. When no Japanese soldiers were around, the Korean narrators would engage in political criticism and mockery.
  • Local films needed to be approved by a government censorship board, and police were present at screenings. Although a few works praising Korean nationalism were released in the late 1920s, censorship tightened dramatically after 1930, resulting in a rise in melodramas, costume dramas, and pro-Japanese films. Several features were outright forbidden and then destroyed.
  • In 1935, Lee Myung-woo, with the help of pioneering sound specialist Lee Pil-woo, directed the first sound feature Korean ‘talkie’ Chunhyang-jeon. But, this film came with even more censorship and restrictions from the Japanese. Local filmmakers during this time struggled to obtain sufficient funds to produce sound films.
  • In 1937, the first standard for sound films was set. This was also when the Japanese invaded China, so Korean filmmakers were pressured to make films supporting the Japanese government. In 1942, Korean-language films were openly banned by the government.
  • In total, only 157 movies were produced during the Japanese colonization period.

1945-1955 – End Of Japanese Colonization And Korean War

  • After the Japanese occupation, Korea enjoyed a brief time of creative expression.
  • Between the American takeover of Korea and the end of the Korean War, just five films have survived. One of these five films is Chayu Manse! (“Hoorah! Freedom”) by Choi Un-gyu’s.
  • From 1950 to 1953, the Korean War happened. The war greatly damaged the country’s film infrastructure, and the industry’s headquarters was temporarily relocated to Busan. Very few films were produced during this time. Newsreels and war documentaries attracted a large number of filmmakers.
  • In 1953, President Rhee Syngman proclaimed cinema exempt from all taxes following the armistice agreement in the hopes of revitalizing the sector. Movies are still highly censored and focused on nationalism. Foreign aid programs gave film technology and equipment to South Korea, paving the way for the resurgence of Korean cinema in the late 1950s and 1960s.

1955-1969 – A Golden Age For Korean Cinema

  • The Korean cinema industry saw a renaissance in the latter part of the 1950s, with the number of local films increasing from 8 in 1954 to 108 in 1959. The remake of Chunhyang-jeon was the country’s first blockbuster.
  • In the late 1950s and the early 1960s, some of Korea’s most talented directors emerged. These directors worked at a time when the domestic film industry was experiencing unparalleled box office success.
  • Kim Ki-young – He became the most shockingly original director who is known for his gritty local dramas like ‘The Housemaid’ in 1960, which is about a manipulative housemaid who seduces his master. This is regarded as one of the best movies of all time in Korean cinema and was remade in 2010.
  • Yu Hyun-mok – He directed the film ‘Obaltan ‘ (Aimless Bullet), and it was released in 1961. It is about a poor accountant struggling to support his family after the war.
  • Shin Sang-ok – He released the films entitled ‘A Flower in Hell” (1958), ‘The Houseguest and My Mother (1961), The Dream (1967), and ‘Eunuch’ (1968). He even released a film entitled ‘The Ninjas’ when he moved to Hollywood under the name of Simon Sheen.
  • This was indeed the golden era of South Korean cinema, but an unexpected thing happened again. In 1962, military ruler Park Chung Hee enacted a rigorous Motion Picture Law that significantly reduced the number of film studios and reinforced government control over all parts of the industry.
  • The number of local production companies was limited from 71-16 in one year. Films about illegal subjects and topics that could harm the country’s image were also censored. This includes communism and obscenity.

The 1970s Korean Motion Picture Promotion Corporation And Korean Film Archive

  • The film industry experienced a protracted period of dwindling admissions and rising government control in the 1970s. In an attempt to revitalize the industry, the Korean Motion Picture Promotion Corporation was established in 1973, and the Korean Film Archive was established the following year. Still, Korean film would not recover its commercial footing until the mid-1990s.
  • Some of the films during this era are:
    • Kim Ki-young’s ‘Insect Woman,’ ‘Iodo,’ and ‘Woman Chasing Killer Butterfly’
    • Lee Jang-ho’s ‘The Hometown of Stars,’ and ‘Road to Sampo’
    • Ha Kil-jong’s March of Fools.

1980-1996 – Infusion Of New Directorial Talent

  • Although attendance remained modest, the 1980s saw a slight loosening of censorship and increased recognition from the world cinema community.
  • Kang Su-yeon won the Best Actress Award at the 1987 Venice Film Festival for her portrayal in Surrogate Mother.
  • Many significant names in the Korean film industry were known, like Im Kwon Taek, who was known for his films Mandala (1981) and Sopyonje (1993).
  • With numerous significant changes in the 1980s, the Korean film industry began the initial steps toward a major shift. In 1988, military leader Roh Tae-woo approved a new constitution, which gradually eased political repression.
  • The Motion Picture Law was revised in 1984, loosening some of the regulatory constraints on Korean filmmakers. As a result, by the late 1980s, a new generation of young producers had entered the film industry. Their innovative approaches to filming would have a significant impact on Korean cinema.
  • Foreign film import restrictions were relaxed in 1988, and Hollywood businesses were allowed to open branch offices on Korean territory.
  • Until now, the government had always strictly monitored and banned the exhibition of Hollywood or Hong Kong films in various ways. These new laws would force Korean films to compete directly with Hollywood productions for the first time.
  • The film‘Marriage Story,’ directed by director Kim Ui-seok, premiered in 1992 to rapturous critical and popular acclaim, ushering in not only a new popular genre (sex-war comedy) but also a new era. Samsung, one of South Korea’s five main corporations, would be the first of the “chaebol” to join the film industry with this film.
  • After the 1997 (“IMF”) financial crisis, many chaebol, including Samsung, nonetheless, large conglomerates like CJ, the Orion Group (Showbox), and Lotte remain the industry’s most powerful players today.
  • Other films produced during this era are Jang Sun-woo’s ‘Seoul Jesus’ (1986), ‘Road to the Racetrack’ (1993), and ‘A Petal’ (1996).

1996-Present – The New Generation

  • A new generation of directors took over the industry in 1996. Some of the renowned directors who made their debut during this time are:
    • Hong Sang-soo –The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well.’
    • Kim Ki-duk – The Isle (2000)
    • Lee Chang-dong – Green Fish (1997)
  • Also making their debut were a group of younger, more commercially orientated filmmakers.
    • Chang Yoon-hyun – The Contact“; This marked the return of domestic feature film popularity at the box office.
    • Kang Je-gyu Shiri (1999)
  • Since then, Korea has seen a boom era, one of the most unexpected and significant changes in contemporary world cinema. Local audiences flocked to local films, and by 2001, the 60-70 Korean films released each year had sold much more tickets than the 200-300 Hollywood and other titles.
  • Korean cinema finally had a supportive government, a stable economic environment, and a coherent film policy in the 1990s.
  • Today, South Korea is experiencing an incredible commercial boom that has fueled the film industry in recent years. Korean movies and Korean dramas are widely recognized internationally. Many Korean directors, actors, and actresses are slowly making their names known on the international stage.

Top Korean Movies In South Korean Cinema

Now that we already know the colorful history of Korean movies let us now discover the best Korean movies that are loved by Korean society and even the world. Here is a list of the best Korean movies of all time.

1. Parasite (2019)

  • Director: Bong Joon-ho
  • Genre: Thriller/Drama
  • Main Casts:
    • Song Kang-Ho – Ki-Taek
    • Jang Hye-Jin – Choong-Sook
    • Choi Woo-Sik – Ki-Woo
    • Park So-Dam – Ki-Jung

“You know what kind of plan never fails? No plan. No plan at all. You know why? Because life cannot be planned.” – Ki-taek

This is one of the most unforgettable lines in the award-winning Korean film Parasite. This film is the story of Kim’s family, who lives in a damp, insect-infested semi-basement apartment in a low-income district of Seoul. Kim’s family is composed of Ki-Taek (father), his wife Choong-Sook (Jang Hye-Jin), his son Ki-Woo (Choi Woo-Sik), and his daughter Ki-Jung (Park So-Dam). This family cheats their way into working for the Parks, an affluent family. When a threat to expose their surfaces in the form of the family’s ex-maid, their good fortune comes to an end.

Parasite won in different awards ceremonies like the following:

  • 2020 (56th) BaekSang Arts Awards – Grand Prize (Daesang) (Bong Joon-Ho), Best Film, and Best New Actor (Park Myoung-Hoon)
  • 2020 (56th) Daejong Film Awards – Best Film, Best Director (Bong Joon-Ho), Best Screenplay (Bong Joon-Ho) & (Han Jin-Won), Best Supporting Actress (Lee Jung-Eun), and Best Music (Jung Jae-Il)
  • 2020 92nd Academy Awards – Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best International Film
  • 2019 (40th) Blue Dragon Film Awards – Best Film, Best Director (Bong Joon-Ho), Best Actress (Cho Yeo-Jeong), Best Supporting Actress (Lee Jung-Eun), and Best Art Design (Lee Ha-Joon)

2. Train To Busan (2016)

  • Director: Yeon Sang-ho
  • Genre: Horror/Action
  • Main Casts:
    • Gong Yoo – Seok-Woo
    • Jung Yu-Mi – Sung-Gyeong
    • Ma Dong-Seok – Sang-Hwa
    • Kim Soo-Ahn – Soo-An
    • Kim Eui-Sung – Yong-Suk
    • Choi Woo-Sik – Young-Gook
    • Ahn So-Hee – Jin-Hee
    • Jang Hyuk-Jin – Ki-Chul
    • Shim Eun-Kyung – stowaway

When it comes to a zombie outbreak, it’s impossible not to think about ‘Train To Busan.’ The film follows Sok-woo and his daughter as they travel from Seoul to Busan via fast train. But while they are on the train, the zombie apocalypse begins. The planet is overrun by zombies throughout their voyage, compelling the passengers to battle for their lives and protect their families.

It also won different awards like Best Technical Award and Top Box Office Seller in the 2016 (37th) Blue Dragon Film Awards. Kim Eui-Sung also won Best Supporting Actor, and Yeon Sang-ho won Best New Director because of this film. It was also screened at the 2016 (69th) Cannes Film Festival.

3. The Beauty Inside (2015)

  • Director: Baik
  • Genre: Romance/Drama
  • Main Casts:
    • Han Hyo-joo -Yi-Soo
    • Park Seo-joon – Woo-Jin
    • Ueno Juri – Woo-Jin
    • Park Shin-Hye – Woo-Jin

This movie is about Woo-jin, a man who wakes up in a different body every day. When Woo-Jin wakes up, he transforms into a different person. Woo-jin’s situation is not limited by age, gender, or ethnicity in this romance drama. Though on the inside, he is the same guy, the picture he displays to the public is always changing. He has feelings for Yi-Soo (Han Hyo-Joo). Yi-reaction Soo’s to Woo-secret Jin’s will be interesting to see.

The film The Beauty Inside gave way to Baek Jong-Yeol winning Best New Director in the 2015 (52nd) Daejong Film Awards. It also won Best Film Editing in the 2015 (36th) Blue Dragon Film Awards.

4. Space Sweepers (2021)

  • Director: Jo Sung-hee
  • Genre: Sci-fi/Space opera
  • Main Casts:
    • Song Joong-Ki – Tae-Ho
    • Kim Tae-Ri – Captain Jang
    • Jin Sun-Kyu – Tiger Park

The Sci-fi movie Space Sweepers is about a ragtag group of space junk collectors composed of Tae-Ho (Song Joong-Ki), Captain Jang (Kim Tae-Ri), and Tiger Park (Jin Sun-kyu), and the reprogrammed military robot Bubs scavenge space trash for a living. Tae-Ho will go to any length to make money, but he is never wealthy.

In the story, citizens and non-citizens are divided; governance is maintained. There is a growing sense of a divided society, with the impoverished forced to sabotage systems to survive. Space Sweepers won awards like Best Technical Award in the 2021 (42nd) Blue Dragon Film Awards and Art Award in the 2021 (57th) BaekSang Arts Awards.

5. The Age Of Shadows (2016)

  • Director: Kim Jee-woon
  • Genre: Action/Thriller
  • Main Casts:
    • Song Kang-Ho – Lee Jung-Chool
    • Gong Yoo – Kim Woo-Jin
    • Han Ji-Min – Yun Gye-Soon
    • Um Tae-Goo – Hashimoto
    • Shingo Tsurumi – Higashi

The Age Of Shadows depicts Korean resistance fighters attempting to smuggle bombs into Seoul under Japanese rule in the 1920s. The story masterfully illustrates and explores how friends and fellow countrymen might find themselves on opposing sides during times of political persecution, as well as the enormous personal difficulties that can result. This is a very timely film that is very relevant in Korean society nowadays.

This film made Um Tae-Goo win the Best Supporting Actor and Jo Hwa-Sung with Best Art Design in the 2016 (53rd) Daejong Film Awards. Song Kang-ho also won Best Actor, and Kim Jee-Woon won Best Director in the2017 (53rd) BaekSang Arts Awards.

6. I Saw The Devil (2010)

  • Director: Kim Jee-Woon
  • Genre: Thriller/Action
  • Main Casts:
    • Lee Byung-hun – Soo-Hyun
    • Choi Min-sik – Kyung-Chul
    • Jeon Gook-hwan – Det. Jang

Now that you know the history of Korean movies, it’s hard to imagine that violent horror-thriller films like I Saw The Devil would be released. This film is about a highly-trained secret agent named Kim Soo-hyeon. After his wife is brutally killed, he sets out to uncover a psychopathic serial killer. When Kim Soo-hyeon discovers the serial killer, he embarks on a macabre game of catch-and-release, disregarding his own humanity.

7. Memories Of Murder (2003)

  • Director: Bong Joon-ho
  • Genre: Mystery/Thriller
  • Main Casts:
    • Song Kang-ho – Det. Park Doo-Man
    • Kim Sang-kyung – Det. Seo Tae-Yoon
    • Kim Roe-ha – Det. Cho Yong-koo

This award-winning film is about Park and Cho, two detectives assigned to a double murder case in a South Korean province in 1986. However, as the murderer repeats the pattern, the police realize they are on the trail of the country’s first documented serial killer. The two detectives struggled to solve the mystery behind these rapes and murders. In this true-crime thriller, Park and Jo try to piece together the facts and solve the case using just their basic abilities and instruments.

8. The Host (2006)

  • Director: Bong Joon-ho
  • Genre: Horror/Action
  • Main Casts:
    • Song Kang-ho – Park Kang-Doo
    • Byun Hee-Bong – Park Hee-Bong
    • Park Hae-il – Park Nam-Il

Director Bong Joon-ho is known for creating award-winning movies. You might think that the Movie Parasite is already a monster movie, but you might be thinking twice if you have watched “The Host.”

The story revolves around a monster who kidnaps a man’s daughter and attempts to save her. The story follows Park Hee-family, bong’s, an ordinary family living and working in Seoul. When a monster is discovered in Han River, one family must do everything possible to free their daughter from the monster’s clutches.

9. The Chaser (2008)

  • Director: Na Hong-jin
  • Genre: Thriller
  • Main Casts:
    • Kim Yoon-seok – Jung-Ho
    • Ha Jung-woo – Ji Young-Min
    • Se0 Yeong-hie – Mi-Jin

Remember when the government banned negative topics in Korean movies? Well, the movie The Chaser will surely not be allowed by the government during those times. The film tells the life of Joong-ho, a former cop-turned-pimp who operates a prostitution ring in Korea. He is enraged because his females continue to vanish without paying their bills.

Joong-ho realizes they’ve been abducted by a sadistic serial killer when several girls vanish without paying what he owes. Joong-ho must seek them down before it’s too late in a desperate attempt to save them.

This film has gathered many awards at 2008 (12th) Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival, the 2008 (45th) Daejong Film Awards, 2008 (41st) Sitges Film Festival, 2008 (29th) Blue Dragon Film Award, and more. It was also featured in different film festivals like the 2008 (61st) Cannes Film Festival, the 2008 (12th) Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival, and the 2008 (13th) Pusan International Film Festival.

10. Oldboy (2003)

  • Director: Park Chan-wook
  • Genre: Mystery / Revenge / Suspense-Thriller
  • Main Casts:
    • Choi Min-Sik – Oh Dae-Su
    • Yoo Ji-Tae – Lee Woo-Jin
    • Kang Hye-Jung – Mi-Do
    • Kim Byung-Ok – Mr. Han
    • Oh Dal-Su – Park Cheol-Woong

Because of the Japanese occupation of Korea, it’s no surprise that their films have a large influence on the Japanese. This film is a loose adaptation of the Japanese Manga with the same title. The plot follows Oh Dae-su, who has been imprisoned in a cell that looks like a hotel room for 15 years without knowing his captor’s name or reasons.

When he is ultimately released, Dae-su finds himself still caught in a labyrinth of plot and brutality. When he falls in love with Mi-do, a beautiful young sushi chef, his own desire for vengeance becomes entwined with romance.

11. The Handmaiden (2016)

  • Director: Park Chan-Wook
  • Genre: Drama/Romance/Erotic Thriller
  • Main Casts:
    • Kim Min-Hee – Lady Hideko
    • Kim Tae-Ri – Sook-Hee
    • Ha Jung-Woo – Count Fujiwara
    • Cho Jin-Woong – Uncle Kouzuki
    • Moon So-Ri – Aunt
    • Kim Hae-Sook – Sasaki
    • Lee Dong-Hwi – Goo-Gai

The story is about Sook-Hee, a young woman who is engaged as a handmaiden to Lady Hideko, a Japanese heiress. Unbeknownst to Hideko, the new aide is a con artist who is collaborating with outside forces to have her committed to an asylum and lose her fortune.

12. The Wailing (2016)

  • Director: Na Hong-jin
  • Genre: Mystery/Horror/Thriller
  • Casts:
    • Kwak Do-won – Jong-Goo
    • Hwang Jung-min – Il-Gwang
    • Jun Kunimura – Japanese man

The story of this award-winning film is set in a tiny South Korean village where a weird ailment has begun to spread among the locals after the appearance of a mysterious stranger who is assumed to be an evil ghost. When rural villagers link a string of gruesome killings to the advent of a mystery visitor, suspicion turns to frenzy. In order to save his daughter, a local cop is required to unravel the stranger’s secret.

13. Mother (2009)

  • Director: Bong Joon-ho
  • Genre: Drama/Mystery
  • Main Casts:
    • Kim Hye-Ja – Hye-Ja
    • Won Bin – Do-Jun
    • Jin Goo – Jin-Tae
    • Yoon Je-Moon – Jae-Mun

Another award-winning Korean movie that has been recognized locally and internationally is the film, Mother. This film is about a widow named Hye-Ja and his mentally-ill son, Do-Jun. When Do-jun is jailed for the murder of a teenage girl, Hye Ja does everything she can to provide for and protect him. The mother is convinced of his innocence and will stop at nothing to find out the truth. Mother is a taut and gritty thrill that was an early indicator of Bong Joon Ho’s cinematic talent. The Bong Joo Ho Collection includes this piece.

14. My Sassy Girl (2001)

  • Director: Kwak Jae-yong
  • Genre: Romance/Comedy
  • Main Casts:
    • Cha Tae-Hyun – Gyun-woo
    • Gianna Jun – The Girl

Koreans are also great at doing films that give us romantic feelings. These films are well-loved by the viewers even up to this day. One of these films is My Sassy Girl. The story of this film tells the life of Gyun-Woo, a college student who prefers to pick up females, drink with his friends, and avoid his nagging mother at all costs. But his life changed forever when he met a girl while riding the metro.

She passes out on the train and vomits on an older gentleman. Everyone suspects she is Gyun-girlfriend Woo’s when she leans over to him! Gyun-Woo quickly finds himself in a relationship he didn’t want, yet he can’t seem to get away from this spunky girl.

15. Burning (2018)

  • Director: Lee Chang-dong
  • Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Drama
  • Main Casts:
    • Yoo Ah-In – Jong-Soo
    • Steven Yeun – Ben
    • Jun Jong-Seo – Hae-Mi

If you enjoyed the movie Parasite, the film Burning would also move you. The story is about Jong-Soo, who aspires to be a writer, but he now works part-time for a distribution company as a delivery man. He runs into his childhood buddy Hae-Mi while on the job. They form a bond, but things become tricky when she returns from a trip to Africa with Steven Yeun’s well-to-do Ben.

16. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… And Spring (2003)

  • Director: Kim Ki-Duk
  • Genre: Drama/Romance
  • Main Casts:
    • Kim Ki-duk – Adult Monk
    • Oh Yeong-su – Old Monk
    • Kim Jong-ho – Child Monk
    • Yeo Jin-ha – The Girl

This Korean movie set in the Korean wilderness is about the life of a Buddhist monk who lives with his master in an exquisite temple on a serene lake and explores how the concepts of joy, grief, memory, and regret play different roles in our lives.

17. Thirst (2009)

  • Director: Park Chan-wook
  • Genre: Drama / Romance / Supernatural
  • Main Casts:
    • Song Kang-Ho – Sang-Hyun
    • Kim Ok-Vin – Tae-Ju
    • Shin Ha-Kyun – Kang-Woo
    • Kim Hae-Sook – Mrs. Ra
    • Park In-Hwan – Old Priest

This story is about a priest who becomes vampiric after a botched medical experiment, forcing him to renounce his monastic lifestyle. Sang-hyun, a Catholic priest, volunteers for a covert medical experiment that mistakenly transforms him into a vampire with a powerful thirst for blood and human flesh. After starting an affair with Tae-ju, a member of his congregation and the wife of an ailing husband, a covert love triangle mixed with religious guilt and passion is sparked.

Top Korean Movies The Way Home

18. The Way Home (2002)

  • Director: Jeong-Hyang Lee
  • Genre: Family/Drama
  • Main Casts:
    • Kim Eul-Boon – Grandmother
    • Yoo Seung-Ho – Sang-Woo
    • Dong Hyo-Hee – Sang-Woo’s Mother
    • Min Kyung-Hyun – Cheol-e
    • Yim Eun-Kyung – Hae Yeon

The film is about a six-year-old boy named Sang-woo who is taken to his grandmother’s house in the country for a bit because his mother has to work. He despises his grandmother, who has never heard of fast food, and he despises country life, where there is nothing fancy to do. But the way back home to the city is not as nice as he expected.

19. A Tale Of Two Sisters (2003)

  • Director: Kim Jee-won
  • Genre: Horror/Thriller
  • Main Casts:
    • Lim Soo-Jung – Bae Soo-Mi
    • Moon Geun-Young – Bae Soo-Yeon
    • Yum Jung-Ah – Eun-Joo
    • Kim Kap-Soo – Bae Moo-Hyeon

After an extended illness and hospital stay, Soo-Mi and Su-Yeon come home. Since their mother’s death, things have changed dramatically. Their return is welcomed by their stepmother Eun-Joo. When it comes to their family problems, Soo-Mi, the older and stronger of the two, isn’t hesitant to speak her thoughts. Su-Yeon is more fearful of their stepmother and seeks help from Soo-Mi.

The two had no choice but to put up with their stepmother’s bullying and harassment for the sake of their father. Soo-Mi swears to Su-Yeon that she will never again allow their stepmother to beat them. Strange things start to happen in the house. No one knows what has changed.

20. Tae Guk Gi: Brotherhood Of War (2004)

  • Director: Kang Je-gyu
  • Genre:
  • Main Casts:
    • Jang Dong-Gun – Lee Jin-Tae
    • Won Bin – Lee Jin-Seok
    • Lee Eun-Ju – Kim Young-Shin
    • Choi Min-Sik – North Korean commander

Following the commencement of the Korean War in June 1950, Jin-Tae and Jin-Seok are brothers who were drafted into the South Korean army against their choice. Meanwhile, Jin-fiancee Tae’s Young-Shin joins the communist party in order to provide food for her family.

Jin-Tae, the older of the two brothers, swears to protect his younger brother Jin-Seok from harm. Jin-Tae begins to fight without fear after an official military pledge to send Jin-Seok home if Jin-Tae gets a medal of honor.

More Korean Films To Discover

26 Years (2012)Thriller/DramaKeun-hyun Cho
A Bittersweet Life (2005)Action/DramaKim Jee-Woon
Always (2011)Romance/DramaSong Il-gon
Alive (2020)Thriller/DramaIl Cho
Battle Ground 625 (2005)War/DramaPark Kwang-hyun
Be With You (2018)Romance/FantasyLee Jang-hoon
Drunk Women and Poetry (2002)Drama/HistoryIm Kwon-taek
Forgotten (2017)Thriller/MysteryJang Hang-jun
High Society (2019)Romance/DramaJung Ji-woo
Hope (2013)DramaLee Joon-Ik
House of Hummingbird (2019)DramaBora Kim
Il Mare (2000)Romance/FantasyLee Hyun-Seung
Kingdom: Ashin of the North (2021)Action /Drama /History /Horror /ThrillerKim Seong-Hun
Lady Vengeance (2005)Thriller/CrimePark Chan-wook
Lucid Dream (2007)Thriller/Sci-fiJun-sung Kim
Minari (2020)DramaLee Isaac Chung
Moonlit Winter (2019)Drama/RomanceDae Hyung Lim
Microhabitat (2017)Drama/RomanceJeon Go-woon
Night in Paradise (2020)DramaPark Hoon-jung
Oasis (2002)Romance/DramaLee Chang-dong
Oki’s Movie (2010)Drama/ComedyHong Sang-soo
Okja (2017)Adventure/DramaBong Joon-ho
On the Occasion of Remembering
the Turning Gate (2002)
DramaHong Sangsoo
Pandora (2016)Thriller/DramaPark Jung-woo
Peppermint Candy (2000)DramaLee Chang-dong
Pietà (2012)Drama/ThrillerKim Ki-Duk
Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure (2022)Adventure/ActionKim Jeong-Hoon
Poetry (2010)DramaLee Chang-dong
Psychokinesis (2018)Action/FantasyYeon Sang-ho
Scattered Night (2019)DramaSol Kim and Jihyoung Lee
Secret Sunshine (2007)DramaLee Chang-dong
Seoul Searching (2015)Romance/DramaBenson Lee
Snowpiercer (2013)Action/Sci-fiBong Joon Ho
Steel Rain (2017)Action/ThrillerWoo-seok Yang
Svaha: The Sixth Finger (2019)Mystery/ThrillerChae-hyŏn Chang
Take Care of my Cat (2001)Drama/ComedyJae-Eun Jeong
The Bow (2005)Drama/RomanceKim Ki-Duk
The Bros (2017)ComedyChang You-jeong
The Call (2013)Thriller/MysteryLee Chung-hyeon
The Dark Figure of Crime (2019)Crime/ThrillerKim Tae-Kyun, Kim Tae-Gyun
The Day He Arrives (2011)DramaHang Sang-soo
The Drug King (2018)Action/CrimeWoo Min-ho
The Good, The Bad, The Weird (2008)Western/ActionKim Jee-woon
The King And The Clown (2005)Drama/ThrillerLee Joon-Ik
The Witch: Subversion (2019)Action/MysteryPark Hoon-jung
The World Of Us (2016)Drama/FamilyYoon Ga-Eun
The Villainess (2017)Action/ThrillerJeong Byeong-gil
Treeless Mountain (2008)DramaSo Yong Kim
Tune in for Love (2019)Romance/DramaJung Ji-woo
Wish You (2021)Music/Romance/ DramaDo Joon Sung
Top Korean Movies How To Learn Korean

How To Learn Korean With Korean Movies?

Did you know that RM of BTS revealed that he learned English by just watching the popular sitcom Friends? So, if you’re watching K-drama and you want to learn Korean, you are already in the first step. Here are some tips on how to learn Korean with Korean movies and K-dramas:

  1. Get to know the movie/Kdrama. Before you begin watching, read about the plot or the storyline. It will also be helpful if you pick a film that suits your taste so that you’ll feel motivated and interested. You need to understand first what this film is all about so that you can relate to the words and the story. It’s better to begin with some information than to watch without knowing anything.
  2. Focus. It’s easy to be carried away by your emotions when you’re watching Korean movies or K-dramas. But, if you really want to learn Korean, you need to focus on the lines that the characters are saying. With this, you’ll remember the words that are commonly used as well as the way the characters say them. Watch the movie with learning a language as your goal.
  3. Watch with subtitles. Subtitles are your key to understanding what you are watching, but it is also an important factor in learning a language. There are platforms that have dubs available, but this won’t help you learn Korean. Subtitles are similar to training wheels in that they can assist you in gaining balance in a foreign language, even if they aren’t intended to do so indefinitely. After you familiarize yourself, you may try to watch it without subtitles and see if you can understand it. Well, repetition is really key in learning a language.
  4. Do not watch in just one sitting. If you are worried that you might not enjoy what you are watching, then you can watch the movie solely for entertainment purposes only. You can watch it again, but divide the whole film into chunks this time. This way, you won’t feel overwhelmed. You can take your time studying the words as well as the pronunciations, gestures, facial expressions, and others.
  5. Takedown notes. Taking down notes is still one of the best ways to retain information. You can write all the words you hear. It can be overwhelming at first, but you may start with the words that are somehow familiar to you, the words that the characters are commonly using. This way, you can go back and review it anytime.
  6. Practice speaking. Learning vocabulary words does not guarantee a successful language journey. You need to use the language. The films are perfect for teaching you how words are delivered and the appropriate situations where you can use a certain word. The Korean language has different levels of formality and a different way of pronouncing words, so you can use the movies to have ideas about these things. Some people even reenact the scene just to learn the words effectively.
  7. Assess yourself. The best thing about learning Korean with movies is that you are learning while having fun watching. But, this doesn’t mean that you don’t need to assess yourself anymore. Even if no language tutor or teacher gives you a test, you can do it yourself. You can simply compose your own mini-quiz or watch the movie without subtitles. There are lots of things you can do to test if you have learned or not.

Watch Korean Movies Without Subtitles. Learn Korean Now!

You can learn Korean while watching top Korean movies, but it will take time, and you need other resources to support your learning. Imagine how great it would be to watch Korean movies and K-dramas without subtitles. If you have this dream, try to learn Korean with the Ling app now.

This language-learning platform will give you a fun-filled Korean language-learning journey with well-developed features and lessons. It is made to help you develop your language skills and achieve fluency in record time. All you need to do is go to the website or download the app on the Play Store or App Store, and you can start your first lesson right away. So, do not waste any of your time. Learn Korean with the Ling app now!

Updated by: CJ

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