de Lily Alice, maio 27, 2023

If K-dramas thrive on rom-coms, the Korean film industry blooms with action flicks. From hard-hitting punches to wild shootouts to jaw-dropping stunts and blood-drenching fights, these movies are just what you need for an adrenaline rush. So, buckle up and allow us to present to you a few of the many gems of Korean cinema. 

Note: The movies are numbered in order of their release dates, starting from the latest to the oldest. Also, some of these films may not be available on the mentioned OTT platforms in some countries. 

1. The Point Men (2023)

Amidst a brewing international conflict, a group of evangelists from a South Korean Presbyterian church lands in Afghanistan - ignoring the government's protocol - to bring the Afghan people into the fold of Christianity. They are kidnapped by the Afghani terrorist group Taliban, which then puts forward its demands in exchange for the hostages. 

To bring them back, the Korean government dispatches a NIS agent and a diplomat - Dae Sik (Hyun Bin) and Jae Ho (Hwang Jung Min) - to tackle the critical situation and bring the hostages back safely.

Inspired by true events and casting seasoned actors, The Point Men is a fascinating and gripping thriller that will leave action-movie fans craving for more.

Watch The Point Men on Viki

2. Alienoid 1 (2022)

In an intriguing tale, the realms of time intertwine, connecting a swordfighter from the Goryeo Dynasty - who strives to seize the fabled divine sword - and relentless pursuers hot on the trail of an extraterrestrial fugitive trapped within a human's body in the year 2022. As the door of time swings open, an epic saga unfolds, merging the ambitions of the swordsman and the intense pursuit of those seeking to capture the otherworldly prisoner.

Top-notch CGI, hard-hitting action, adrenaline-pumping adventure, and a star-studded cast - Alienoid 1 is a perfect pick-me-up flick seamlessly blending genres. 

Watch Alienoid 1 on Prime Video.

3. The Roundup (2022)

Detective Ma Seok Do (Ma Dong Seok) and Captain Jeon Il Man (Choi Gwi Hwa) come together four years after the Garibong district incident to embark on a new mission to capture a notorious criminal in Vietnam. The murderer is targeting Koreans and foreigners for profit, leading the detectives on a complex chase brimming with bloodshed and peril.

The sequel to The OutlawsRoundup is a thrilling action movie with bone-crushing fights and chucklesome humor that will keep you hooked to your screens throughout. 

Watch Roundup on  Amazon Prime and Viki.

4. Yaksha: Ruthless Operations (2022)

Ji Kang In, a.k.a "Yaksha" (Sol Kyung Gu), leads a secret operation team of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) stationed in Shenyang, China. Well known for his mercilessness, Kang In doesn't hesitate to bend or break the law to achieve his goals. On the other hand, Han Ji Hoon (Park Hae Soo) is an upright prosecutor who strictly adheres to legal protocols. Unexpected circumstances lead Ji Hoon to be transferred to Shenyang, where he clashes with Kang In.

Yaksha: Ruthless Operations brims with intense espionage fights, unexpected plot twists, and audacious stunts that will leave you on the edge of their seats.

Watch Yaksha: Ruthless Operations on Netflix

5. Night in Paradise (2021)

Park Tae Goo (Uhm Tae Goo) decides to leave his life of crime behind for the sake of his sister and niece. However, an unexpected tragedy strikes, causing him to seek revenge for the loss of his only remaining family. After exacting his revenge, he escapes to Jeju Island, where he encounters Jae Yeon (Jeon Yeo Been), a woman with her own problems to contend with.

From intense blood-soaked fights to jocular dark humor, this action flick has it all. Although the film progresses at a slower pace, the developing characters and underlying mystery are sure to hold your interest.

Watch Night in Paradise on Netflix

6. The Gangster, the Cop, the Devil (2019)

Jang Dong Soo (Ma Dong Seok), a Cheonan (a city in South Korea) gang leader, is attacked by a notorious serial killer known as "K". Dong Soo, however, luckily survives the attempted murder. With no other known survivors of K's attacks, Detective Jung Tae Seok (Kim Mu Yeol) reluctantly teams up with the gang boss, despite his disdain for organized crime, to catch the elusive killer.

With a fast-paced plot, flawless performances, and intriguing plot twists, The Gangster, the Cop and the Devil marks its name among those one-of-a-kind action flicks that are too good to be missed. 

Watch The Gangster, the Cop and the Devil on TubiPrime VideoiQIYIViki, and Netflix

7. Revenger (2018)

On a prison island, where the most treacherous criminals are housed, a former detective Yool (Bruce Khan) goes undercover as a death-row convict, driven by the sole purpose of avenging the brutal murder of his family. 

Revenger serves up a gripping blend of intense mixed martial arts sequences, extreme gore, and non-stop action that will satisfy the cravings of any true action movie enthusiast. Despite a relatively weaker plot, the film compensates with its slick fight choreography, delivering a thrilling and worthwhile cinematic experience.

Watch Revenger on Netflix

8. The Great Battle (2018)

Loosely based on history, The Great Battle takes place in 645AD. 

Emperor Li of the Tang Dynasty has set his eyes on invading the Korean kingdom of Goguryeo. 

Following a feat of triumphs Tang army advances towards Ansi, a fortress safeguarded by General Yang, also its noble lord. Forsaken by his nation and vastly outnumbered, the courageous general assembles his army of men and women in a valiant stand against the approaching foreign forces.

With clever military tactics, awe-inspiring battle scenes, and an empowering message, The Great Battle is one of those highly-recommended historical action thrillers that give a dose of adrenaline rush. 

Watch The Great Battle on TubiPrime Video, and Viki

9. Psychokinesis (2018)

Shin Seok Heon (Ryu Seung Ryong) works as a bank security guard, leading a life separated from his wife and daughter. His lonely life takes an unexpected turn when he suddenly acquires the extraordinary ability of psychokinesis, granting him the power to move objects with his mind. When Suk Hun's family is threatened by thugs to close down their restaurant, he decides to employ his newfound superhuman abilities to protect his daughter Shin Roo Mi (Shim Eun Kyung).

Helmed by the director of Train to Busan, Psychokinesis stands out among the notable Korean superhero films that have garnered wide popularity. Apart from impressive CGI and abundant action sequences, the movie also offers deep humor. 

Watch Psychokinesis on Netflix.

10. Steel Rain (2017)

Eom Chul Woo (Jung Woo Sung) is a former top agent from North Korea who narrowly survives a life-threatening coup. He manages to flee with his country's wounded leader to South Korea and must now collaborate with his enemy country's officials to prevent a catastrophic war.

Based on a webtoon, Steel Rain is a gripping political drama film that incorporates well-executed action scenes and heart-pumping tension.

Watch Steel Rain on Netflix

11. The Outlaws (2017)

When a ruthless Chinese gang, led by loan shark Jang Chen (Yoon Kye Sang), sets its sight on taking over Garibong-dong in Guro District, where a local gang already has its base set, chaos erupts. 

Backed by his deadly henchmen, Wei Sung Rak (Jin Seon Kyu) and Yang Tae(Kim Sung Gyu), Chen a force to be reckoned with. 

Facing the criminals head-on is Detective Ma Suk Do (Ma Dong Seok). With the help of his team of fellow officers, the detective is determined to restore peace in the area. 

Will Ma Suk Do and his team be able to overturn the chaos? Or will the neighborhood fall into peril resulting from the pandemonium of the gangs' clashes? 

Based on a true story, The Outlaws is a high-octane, adrenaline-fueled thriller that is sure to find a fan in you. 

Watch The Outlaws on TubiPrime VideoiQIYIand Viki

12. The Villainess (2017)

Sook Hee (Kim Ok Bin), trained in China to become a ruthless assassin, comes to South Korea and agrees to work as a sleeper agent for the country's intelligence agency for ten years in exchange for her freedom. However, her past comes back to haunt her when two men unexpectedly reappear in her life, threatening to expose her dark secrets.

With intense action scenes, bloody battles, and soulful performances, The Villainess packs quite a punch. 

Watch The Villainess on Prime VideoHuluApple TVand Tubi.  

13. Confidential Assignment (2017)

When a North Korean criminal Cha Ki Sung (Kim Joo Hyuk) infiltrates South Korea, South Korean detective Kang Jin Tae (Yoo Hae Jin) must join hands with North Korean detective Im Chul Ryung (Hyun Bin) to track down the criminal, compelling the officials putting their animosities aside as citizens of enemy countries. 

If you are looking for a fast-paced actioner with rib-tickling comedy, then look no further. Confidential Assignment promises to be an exciting thriller brought by a talented cast who won't fail to delight you with their solid performances. 

Watch Confidential Assignment on Prime Video

14. Veteran (2015)

Following an international operation of dismantling an auto theft ring, Seo Do Cheol (Hwang Jung Min), a not-so-bright detective, is treated at a local nightclub. There, he crosses paths with Tae Oh (Yoo Ah In), the domineering heir to a mega-corporation. Tae Oh's offensive demeanor immediately irks Do Chul.

In a turn of events, Tae Oh publicly humiliates and brutally beats a truck driver who was protesting to get his overdue wages. The incident unfolds before the driver's nine-year-old son. The injured father lies in a near-fatal coma at the hospital, while his desperate son seeks Do Chul's help. 

Realizing that Tae Oh will stop at nothing to sabotage anyone standing in his way, the detective decides to mete out a form of justice that will deliver a severe blow to the spoiled heir.

Veteran is a refreshing action-comedy whose splendid plot, charismatic characters, and phenomenal performances by talented actors will make even a non-admirer of action movies seated till the end. 

Watch Veteran on Prime Video and Netflix

15. The Admiral: Roaring Currents (2014)

Set in the year 1597, during a time when the Joseon Dynasty is on the brink of destruction at the hands of the Japanese, the disgraced Admiral Yi Sun Shin (Choi Min Shik) is called upon as a final hope to command the kingdom's last 12 ships and an army of uncertain soldiers against the might of 333 Japanese vessels. 

With $138.3 million, The Admiral: Roaring Currents stands amongst the highest-grossing Korean movies of all time. With impeccable cinematography, flawless - but not over-the-top - performances by veteran actors, and a top-notch script, this historical actioner is sure to leave you spellbound. 

Watch The Admiral: Roaring Currents on Apple TV and Prime Video

16. The Suspect (2013)

Dong Chul (Gong Yoo) - a highly skilled special field agent in North Korea - gets abandoned by his government amidst a mission. The agent is now on the run while searching for his wife and child, who were sold as slaves to China. However, Dong Chul's quest leads him to his family's corpses. To search for the killer, who happens to be his colleague, Dong Chul defects to South Korea.

During the day, Dong Chul searches for his nemesis, and at night he works as a temp driver and a personal driver for Chairman Park. The events again take a drastic turn when the chairman is attacked and killed by an assassin, but not before he manages to hand over a pair of glasses to Dong Chul. Now accused of the chairman's murder, Dong Chul is on the run again while he attempts to unearth the secret the pair of glasses hide.

With well-coordinated fights, rough car chases, passionate performances, and tons of shootouts, The Suspect stands among the must-watch Korean action movies of all time. 

Watch The Suspect on Prime Video and Apple TV

17. Snowpiercer (2013)

In the year 2014, a chemical was released into the atmosphere as a solution to combat global warming. However, this attempt leads to catastrophic consequences. The entire world is soon engulfed in ice and snow, rendering it desolate.

Fast forward to the year 2031, life on Earth has become barren, except for the occupants of the Snowpiercer train. This train has been ceaselessly circling the globe for years. With a total of 1001 coaches, the passengers are segregated between the affluent first-class and the less fortunate coach class. The first-class passengers are wealthy individuals who secured their expensive tickets prior to the train's departure, while the coach class comprises desperate people who managed to board the train out of sheer necessity.

For the coach passengers, life is a nightmarish ordeal. They live on a mysterious edible called protein jelly and are threatened by security personnel.

One man from the coach section, named Curtis (Chris Evans), emerges as a leader and embarks on a mission to seize control of the engine room, aiming to liberate his fellow passengers from the oppression of the first-class occupants. 

Will he be able to break the class system?

Starring renowned Hollywood and Korean actors, Snowpiercer holds its reputation for its stunning visuals, unique plot, and a perfect blend of action and moral themes.  

Watch Snowpiercer on Netflix

18. The Berlin File (2013)

In a Berlin hotel, a highly tense and illicit arms deal erupts into chaos when a "ghost" agent named Pyo Jong Sung (Ha Jung Woo) unexpectedly makes his entrance. 

Observing the situation are South Korean intelligence chief Jin Soo (Han Seok Kyu), the CIA, and the North Koreans. Jin Soo must now decide whether Jong Sung is a double agent or merely a scapegoat for a more sinister conspiracy. 

Then, Dong Myung Soo (Ryu Seung Beom) - an infamous North Korean agent - jumps into these perilous waters to test the loyalties of all involved, and uncovers damning evidence that points Jong Sung's wife and a translator at the North Korean embassy in Germany Jung Hee (Jun Ji Hyun) as a traitor.  

Jong Sung is now trapped between his devotion to his country and his love for his wife. Will the ghost agent choose his country over his love, or will he go down as a traitor?

The Berlin File is one of those excellent action thrillers that will give you Bourne movie vibes. Jaw-dropping action-sequences, moving performances, and nerve-racking tensions - The Berlin File has everything the genre demands. 

Watch The Berlin File on Apple TVPrime Video, and Netflix

19. Confession of Murder (2012)

When the statute of limitation for his crimes expires, Lee Doo Suk (Park Shi Hoo) brazenly publishes an autobiography providing intricate descriptions of the murders he committed. 

This triggers the resurgence of Detective Choi (Jung Jae Young), who had tirelessly chased Lee for his crimes 15 years ago. Simultaneously, Han Ji Soo (Kim Young Ae), a grieving mother who tragically lost her daughter at the hands of Lee, vows to seek retribution on the criminal. 

Shocking twists, blood-chilling mystery, fast-paced action sequences, and nail-biting chase scenes make Confession of Murder a Korean gem every Hallyu fan must watch. 

Watch Confession of Murder on Tubi

20. The Man From Nowhere (2010)

Cha Tae Sik (Won Bin) used to work as a Spy for the Army Intelligence, but he has now retired from that dangerous profession and runs a dingy pawnshop. His only friend is a young girl called So Mi (Kim Sae Ron), who has a mother struggling with drug addiction. So Mi's mother invites trouble by stealing drugs which gets her and So Mi abducted by the mafia. Coming to the rescue is the former agent, who must resort to his old tactics to save the little girl.

The Man From Nowhere will captivate you with its thrilling action sequences, while also evoking a deep emotional resonance and impressing with its well-paced plot.

Watch The Man From Nowhere on Prime VideoApple TVTubiiQIYIViki, and Alamo on Demand.  

21. Shiri (1999)

After the unfortunate death of an arms smuggler-turned-informant, South Korea's special agent Ryu (Han Seok Kyu) becomes instinctively suspicious of Hee's potential role. Hee (Park Ha), a mysterious sniper affiliated with a North Korean terrorist organization, possesses exceptional skills and a penchant for disguises. She has successfully eliminated numerous government officials in the past, and escaped the pursuit of South Korean agents. Now, it seems that she has resurfaced once again.

If gory bloodshed doesn't churn your stomach, then you will find Shiri an entertaining watch. Ornamented with well-choreographed action sequences and plot twists, this thrilling masterpiece secures a spot among the timeless classic South Korean actioners.

Watch Shiri on Vudu