de Lily Alice, dezembro 10, 2022

The Hallyu wave has made K-pop and K-dramas the talk of the entertainment town. But true entertainment enthusiasts know that Korean movies deserve no less fame. The Korean entertainment industry has some of the best action flicks, mind-boggling mystery thrillers, heart-wrenching melodramas, and uproarious comedy movies you will ever watch. So, to get a taste of this amazing film cinema, we bring you this article containing the list of the best Korean movies that will entertain you non-stop. 

"What are the criteria that put these Korean movies on this list?" you may ask. Well, ratings certainly played a part. But most importantly the interesting scripts, box office collection, national and international popularity, originality, and the teams' (of the movies) extraordinary efforts in making these films a success, drove the decision to put the following titles in this article. 

"What are the criteria for ranking these movies?" you may also ask.  

When listing the best cinema, it is quite difficult to put one movie on top of the other, considering all of these have been dynamic flicks. So, to avoid the conflict of "this is better than that", the movies are numbered according to their release dates, starting from the latest to the oldest. 

Note: Some of the movies may not be available on the mentioned OTT platforms in some countries. 

1. Confidential Assignment 2: International (2022)

When a North Korean gangster escapes by attacking FBI officials, North Korean detective Im Cheol Ryong (Hyun Bin) is sent to Seoul to catch the criminal. He reunites with Kang Jin Tae (Yoo Hae Jin), a South Korean Detective, and is joined by the FBI agent Jack (Daniel Henney). The best detectives from three countries put their heads and arms together to catch the criminal. 

A sequel of “Confidential Assignment”, “Confidential Assignment 2: International” is a mixture of fast-paced action, jaw-dropping stunts, and light humor. Moreover, with Hyun Bin and Im Yoon Ah as the leads, there is no reason to miss this action comedy!

Where to watch?

The movie is currently not streaming on OTT platforms.

2. Hunt (2022)

When the KCIA Foreign Unit Chief Park Pyong Ho (Lee Jung Jae) and Domestic Unit Chief Kim Jung Do (Jung Woo Sung) are tasked with a mission to find a North Korean spy within the intelligence agency, an unusual series of events unfurl with each side raising doubts on the other. 

Set in the 1980s and inspired by true events, "Hunt" is an action thriller with shocking twists, intense action, dramatic investigations, wild shootouts, and an extensive conspiracy. 

Where to watch?

Watch on Amazon Prime.

3. Hansan: The Rising Dragon (2022)

Set in 1592 at the time of the Battle of Hansando when the Japanese navy was forcing its way into the Korean peninsula, “Hansan: The Rising Dragon” is a historical war movie depicting how Korean forces, under the guidance of admiral Yi Sun Sin (Park Hae Il), battled their enemies and changed the tide of the war at sea. 

A prequel to “The Admiral: Roaring Currents”, “Hansan: The Rising Dragon” is a tension-filled war movie with epic sea battle scenes, strategic tactics, remarkable historical costumes, and plenty of moments that leave you in awe of this historical blockbuster. 

Where to watch?

Watch on Amazon Prime.

4. The Roundup (2022)

When detective Ma Seok Do (Ma Dong Seok) and Captain Jeon Il Man (Choi Gwi Hwa) travel to Vietnam to catch a suspect, they find him dead in his hideout. They connect the murder to Gang Hae Sang (Son Seok Koo) - a vicious assassin who has killed several Koreans and foreigners in exchange for money. Now, detective Ma Seok Do and Captain Jeon Il Man undertake a new mission to capture the vicious Gang Hae Sang and bring him to South Korea. But what at first seemed like child’s play turns into a much tougher task. Will they succeed in their mission? 

This action-packed movie is brimming with adventure, twists and turns, and enough tension to keep you hooked right til the end!  

Where to watch?

Watch on Amazon Prime and Viki.

5. Special Delivery (2022)

Jang Eun Ha (Park So Dam) is a delivery girl who delivers “special” items and has a 100% track record. But, one day when she goes to Seoul to pick up a client, she finds his son holding a security key to a bank account with $30 million. Chasing the little boy is Jo Kyeong Pil (Song Sae Byuk) - a police officer with ties to organized crime. Eun-Ha now has to protect this child from criminals as well as the police. 

From messy car chases to near-death experiences, this action-packed  Korean movie will captivate you. Throw in the female lead’s slaying performance and the dynamic storyline, there is no reason to miss this thriller!

Where to watch?

Watch on Amazon Prime

6. Hostage: Missing Celebrity (2021)

Hwang Jung Min is a renowned action movie star whose success is coveted by many. One day after a movie premiere, the actor is kidnapped and is demanded a huge ransom for his release. What he first thought to be a prank, turns out to be a cruel reality and he must prove his action credentials in real life to escape the dire situation. Will Jung-Min make it out alive? 

Based on a true story, “Hostage: Missing Celebrity” is a Korean movie with unexpected plot twists, a chilling OST, and soulful performances from its star-studded cast.  

Where to watch?

Watch on Netflix, Viki, and Tubi

7. Sinkhole (2021)

After 11 years of hard manual work, Park Dong Won (Kim Sung Kyun) and his family finally move into their newly purchased home feeling accomplished and overjoyed. But the happiness is short-lived when a heavy downpour creates a massive sinkhole engulfing the entire building and the people inside it down to 500 meters. To make things worse, it starts raining again filling the sinkhole with water. And the people trapped must find a way out quickly before time runs out. 

"Sinkhole" is a misadventure with a deft balance of sorrow and comedy. The lovable characters and the actors' splendid performances will surely leave you touched. 

Where to watch?

Watch on Netflix

8. Escape From Mogadishu (2021)

When a civil war breaks out in Mogadishu, Somalia, the embassy officials of North and South Korea are trapped. With no help from their governments, their only way out of the crisis is to unite while putting their bitter adversaries aside. 

Based on true events, "Escape From Mogadishu" is a Korean movie that involves political greed, heavy gunfire, violence, and light-hearted humor. The nerve-wracking tension combined with warm comedy will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the entire movie.  

Where to watch?

Watch on Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Viki

9. Midnight (2021)

When Kyeong Mi (Jin Ki Joo) - a deaf counselor at a sign language call center - witnesses a murder, the killer chases her as his new target. The silent cat-and-mouse chase takes a brutal turn throughout the film. 

“Midnight” is sure to impress you with its excellent execution, intelligent strategy, well-calculated scenes, and pulse-pounding thrills that will have you biting your nails. 

Where to watch?

Watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Tubi

10. Miracle: Letters To The President (2021)

“Miracle: Letters To The President '' is the story of Jung Jun Kyung (Park Jung Min), a man from a small village in North Gyeongsang Province who dreams of building a train station in his village. He writes endless letters to the President seeking permission to build one, but to no avail, When he loses his sense of hope and is on the verge of giving up, he regains determination after befriending Song Ra Hee (Im Yoon Ah). 

Jun Kyung and the village residents finally set out to fulfill their dream of getting a train station. Will they achieve what they desire?

“Miracle: Letters To The President“ is a heartwarming romantic drama film that will inspire you to go after your own dreams. The movie is a fun watch with light humor and a few twists. 

Where to watch?

Watch on Netflix, Viki, Amazon Prime, and Tubi

11. Collectors (2020)

When Kang Dong Goo (Lee Je Hoon) - an elite grave robber - is offered an appealing but audacious heist idea by curator and antique expert Yoon Se Hee (Shin Hye Sun), he finds himself unable to resist it. What follows is a fun adventure involving Professor Jones (Jo Woo Jin) - an expert in tomb murals - and legendary shoveler Sabdari (Im Won Hee).

“Collectors” is a fast-paced adventure movie with good humor and a charismatic cast. 

Where to watch?

Watch on Netflix

12. Samjin Company English Class (2020)

Set in the 1990s, "Samjin Company English Class" is a story about three women co-workers - Lee Ja Young (Go Ah Sung), Jung Yoo Na (Esom), and Sim Bo Ram (Park Hye Soo) - at Samjin Company. Despite being hardworking employees, they have not been able to get promotions at the company due to their lack of college degrees.

So, when the company announces that any employee who scores 600 or higher on the TOEIC (Test of English for International Communication) exam will be promoted to the post of assistant manager, the trio jump at the opportunity and enroll themselves in the Samjin Co. English Class. But one day, Ja Young discovers that polluted wastewater is leaking from the company factory and decides to investigate the matter along with Yoo Na and Bo Ram. The trio now faces the challenge of exposing the truth about their company's illegal activities all while trying not to lose their jobs.  

“Samjin Company English Class” is a women-centric light-hearted comedy with a powerful message and suspenseful narrative. 

Where to watch?

Watch on Netflix.  

13. Innocence (2020)

When her Alzheimer-diagnosed mother is accused of murder, Jung In (Shin Hye Sun) - a successful lawyer at an elite law firm - decides to undertake the investigation and prove her mother's innocence. 

”Innocence” is a true-story-based courtroom and investigative movie that tackles many social and moral issues like greed, guilt, corruption, injustice, the vulnerability of the poor and disabled, and more. On the whole, it is a heart-touching thriller that will hook you with its suspense.

Where to watch?

Watch on Netflix.

14. Time To Hunt (2020)

Set in a dystopian South Korea where poverty reigns, Joon Seok (Lee Je Hoon) concocts a heist to escape and start afresh. He seeks the help of Gi Hoon (Choi Woo Shik), Jang Ho (Ahn Jae Hong), and Sang Soo (Park Jung Min) for the operation. But soon, they realize they have a mysterious man on their tails who has no intention of sparing their lives. Will the quartet escape the dystopian world while being chased by the vicious killer?

"Time To Hunt" is a gangster thriller with bloody gunfights, gripping action sequences, well-choreographed car chases, heart-pounding suspense, and a star-studded cast. 

Where to watch?

Watch on Netflix.   

15. The Man Standing Next (2020)

Set in the 1970s, when South Korea and KCIA (the most powerful government organization in the country) are under the absolute control of President Park (Lee Sung Min), "The Man Standing Next" is a story depicting the political tension that emerged when Park Yong Gak (Kwak Do Won) - former KCIA director - testified against President Park in front of the U.S. Congress. 

And following that are scrutinizing investigations and political battles to gain power in the country. 

"The Man Standing Next" is a tension-filled film with shocking betrayals, political drama, and an insightful portrayal of Korean political history. Though the Korean movie takes dramatic license, the movie is actually inspired by the novel of the same name (written by Kim Choong Sik) and delves into the true events of the assassination of Korean President, Park Chung Hee back in October 1979. 

Where to watch?

Watch on Netflix and Tubi

16. Extreme Job (2019)

When their last mission fails, a team of narcotics detectives have one last chance to save their jobs. And to make this mission a success, the desperate detectives are willing to go to any extent, even if it means going undercover as employees at a chicken restaurant. 

But their undercover operation brings an unexpected turn of events when their chicken recipe unexpectedly starts bringing in customers and turns what was once an empty restaurant into the most famous eatery in the town. 

Crime, action, and comedy - a perfect blend of three and you have a delicious entertaining mix. "Extreme Job" is one of the most famous Korean movies famed for its dynamic storyline, quirky characters, and side-splitting comedy that will make you cry tears of laughter. 

Where to watch?

Watch on Netflix

17. The Negotiation (2018)

Min Tae Goo (Hyun Bin) - a notorious international weapons dealer based in Korea - has held Korean nationals as hostages and broadcasts the terrifying situation. Face-to-face with this cold-blooded criminal is Ha Chae Yoon (Son Ye Jin) - an ace crisis negotiator at Seoul Metropolitan Police Agency. She has only 21 hours to figure out Tae Gu's intentions and save the hostages. 

"Negotiation" is a fast-paced film that stars real-life husband and wife duo Hyun Bin and Son Ye Jin. The Korean movie will entertain you with its unexpected twists, burgeoning crisis, and compelling plot.

Where to watch?

Watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Tubi

18. The Spy Gone North (2018)

Inspired by a true story and as the name suggests, “The Spy Gone North" is an espionage movie that tells the story of Park Suk Young (Hwang Jung Min) - a former military officer who goes undercover to North Korea to acquire information about North Korea's nuclear program. 

But as Park Suk-Young progresses in his mission, he discovers secret schemes plotted by the ruling officials of both countries. And the former military officer now faces a conflict of whether to stay loyal to his corrupt leaders or his country. 

Named the "masterpiece of spy thrillers" by fans, the movie slowly engrosses you with its intricately woven plot and top-notch performances. 

Where to watch?

Watch on Netflix and Amazon Prime

19. The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion (2018)

After narrowly escaping a bizarre secret hospital where scientists experiment on innocent children, Ja Yun (Kim Da Mi) is taken in and raised by a farmhouse couple. She grows up to be an exceptional young woman with telekinetic powers and no recollection of her past. 

When Ja Yoon's adoptive parents encounter financial problems, she decides to win the prize money from a reality TV contest to help them. But on her journey, she comes face-to-face with a mysterious man (Choi Woo Shik) who seems to “truly” know Ja Yoon and her past. And after that encounter, Ja Yoon's life is never the same. 

"The Witch" is a sci-fi thriller with surprising plot twists and plenty of blood, gore, and adventure. 

Where to watch?

Watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Viki.

20. Along With The Gods: The Two Worlds (2017)

After dying a heroic death, Kim Ja Hong (Cha Tae Hyun) is accompanied into the afterlife by three guardians - Gang Rim (Ha Jung Woo), Hae Won Maek (Joo Ji Hoon), and Lee Deok Choon (Kim Hyang Gi). 

For them and Kim Ja Hong to be re-incarnated, they have to prove Kim Ja Hong (Cha Tae Hyun) lived a virtuous life, in 7 trials in the otherworldly courts in 49 days. Will his three guardians succeed in proving Ja Hong's virtues?

"Along With the Gods: The Two Worlds" is a fantasy tearjerker with excellent CGI, heart-touching moments, seasoned actors, and a unique plot. 

Where to watch?

Watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Viki.

21. Midnight Runners (2017)

After witnessing the kidnapping of a young woman, Ki Joon (Park Seo Joon) and Hee Yeol (Kang Ha Neul) - students at the Korean National Police University - decide to track down the kidnappers. But their investigation leads them to a crime syndicate smuggling eggs of women. With little to no help from officials, the academy cadets must now take down one of the most sinister gangsters in the country. 

"Midnight Runners" is a fun action comedy with lots of laughs and life lessons. Moreover, the dynamic bromance between the leads truly makes this a gratifying watch. 

Where to watch?

Watch on Netflix, Viki, and Tubi

22. Taxi Driver (2017)

Set in 1980, "Taxi Driver" is a movie that attempts to mirror the events of the Gwangju Uprising in 1980. 

A German journalist named Jürgen Hinzpeter (Thomas Kretschmann) visits South Korea to film the Gwangju Uprising and hires Kim Man Sub (Song Kang Ho) - an ordinary taxi driver - to visit the place. When Kim Man Sub drives the taxi to the riot-filled city, he and Peter realize the gravity of the matter and must find a way out safely while filming the entire situation. 

“Taxi Driver” is an action-drama Korean movie that will leave you impressed with its splendid performances, heartfelt moments, and an entertaining ride into the dark chapters of Korean history. 

Where to watch?

Watch on Amazon Prime, Netflix, Viki and AppleTV

23. The Villainess (2017)

Raised to be a ruthless assassin in China, Sook Hee (Kim Ok Bin) comes to South Korea and becomes a sleeper agent for the country's intelligence agency for 10 years in exchange for her freedom. But her hopes of a bright future are blocked by two men from her past who unexpectedly appear in her life and reveal her dark secrets that she wants to remain buried.

"Villainess" is a thriller equipped with intense action sequences, gruesome bloodbaths, and soulful performances.

Where to watch?

Watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Tubi, and AppleTV

24. Hope (2013)

Based on a true story, "Hope" is about 8-year-old Im So Won (Lee Re) who was kidnapped, raped, beaten, and left to die by a drunken man on her way to school. The little girl now suffers both physically and mentally. But the girl's parents share an equal emotional pain as they see their daughter suffer the aftermath of the horrific incident. So to bring back hope in So Won's life, her family leaves no stone unturned to help her get over the incident while enduring their own grief.

"Hope" is an inspiring drama film with agonizing as well as heart-touching moments. 

Where to watch?

Watch on Netflix.

25. Miracle in Cell No.7 (2013)

Lee Yong Gu (Ryu Seung Ryong) is a man with a mental age of 6 years and is also the father of a six-year-old Lee Ye Seung (Gal So Won). One day, he tries to save a young girl who has had an accident by giving her CPR. Bystanders and the police mistake his actions for sexual assault and murder. After being sent to prison and ostracised for a crime he didn't commit, he wishes to see his daughter again. Helping him reunite with his only family are his cellmates, who realize that Yong Gu is actually innocent and devise plans to smuggle Ye Seung into the prison. 

One of the most famous Korean movies of all time, "Miracle in Cell No.7" is a drama film that will leave even the most stoic brimming with tears. The movie has a unique plot with perfectly-blended elements of comedy, sorrow, and tragedy. 

Where to watch?

Watch on Netflix and Tubi

26. Silenced (2011)

Based on the novel "The Crucible" (by Gong Ji Young) that itself was inspired by true events, "Silenced" is the story of Kang In Ho (Gong Yoo) who discovers horrific truths about sexual and physical abuse of hearing-impaired children at the school he is teaching at. He undertakes the responsibility of breaking the silence on the unfathomable actions with the help of human rights activist Seo Yoo Jin (Jung Yu Mi) but faces opposition from powerful figures involved in the crimes. 

"Silenced" is a movie with sensitive and heavy scenes, intense emotions, disturbing truths, and an impactful plot. Throughout the movie, you will experience varied emotions and be left in awe of this dramatic masterpiece. 

Where to watch?

Watch on Netflix and Tubi.

27. The Man From Nowhere (2010)

Cha Tae Sik (Won Bin) is a former Army Intelligence Spy who has left his dangerous life behind and now runs a ramshackle pawnshop. His only friend is a young girl named So Mi (Kim Sae Ron), who has a drug-addicted mother. But when So Mi and her mother (who stole drugs) are kidnapped by mafia men, the ex-special agent must revert to his old methods to save the young girl. 

"The Man From Nowhere" is an exciting action thriller that is emotionally moving and masterfully crafted with a well-paced plot. 

Where to watch?

Watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Viki