Film 2.0: 100 Korean Masterpieces (2008 Edition)by lifeasfiction | created - 01 Oct 2011 | updated - 11 Nov 2012 | Public
Quite a few of these films are legally viewable on YouTube thanks to the Korean Film Archive:
Aimless Bullet The Seaside Village The Black Republic Road to the Racetrack Gagman Sopyonje Mulberry Flower in Hell The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well
- Instant Watch Options
- Movies or TV
- IMDb Rating
- In Theaters
- On TV
- Release Year
1. Memories of Murder (2003)
Not Rated | 132 min | Action, Crime, Drama
In a small Korean province in 1986, three detectives struggle with the case of multiple young women being found raped and murdered by an unknown culprit.
Votes: 82,345 | Gross: $0.01M
2. Nowhere to Hide (1999)
R | 112 min | Action, Comedy, Crime
A team of police hunt down a villain.
Votes: 1,637 | Gross: $0.02M
Nowhere to Hide
3. Babodeuli haengjin (1975)
102 min | Comedy
The story is set in the 1970s during the period of military dictatorship. Schools were freequently closed down nd society seemed to face bleak prospects on all fronts. Nonetheless, Byung ... See full summary »
5. Daijiga umule pajinnal (1996)
115 min | Drama
About desires and lives of four characters in diverse circumstances. A poor novelist, a cheating wife, a mysophobic husband and a ticket girl.
The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well
6. Lovers in Woomuk-Baemi (1990)
A Short Love Affair
8. Wang-ui namja (2005)
119 min | Drama, History
Two clowns living in Korea's Chosun Dynasty get arrested for staging a play that satirizes the king. They are dragged to the palace and threatened with execution but are given a chance to save their lives if they can make the king laugh.
9. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)
R | 129 min | Action, Crime, Drama
A recently laid off factory worker kidnaps his former boss' friend's daughter, hoping to use the ransom money to pay for his sister's kidney transplant.
Votes: 51,362 | Gross: $0.05M
10. Jukgeona hokeun nabbeugeona (2000)
95 min | Crime, Drama
"Die Bad" is an inventive feature made up of four distinct episodes, each with their own style. With their criss-crossing characters and themes, they add up to a fairly comprehensive ... See full summary »
14. Golae sanyang (1984)
112 min | Drama
18. Banchikwang (2000)
112 min | Comedy, Sport
Dae-Ho is an unproductive bank clerk who is late to work every morning and the object of his manager's frustrations. He was a fan of TV wrestling as a child, but can't get out of a headlock... See full summary »
20. Gongdong gyeongbi guyeok JSA (2000)
Not Rated | 110 min | Action, Drama, Thriller
In the DMZ separating North and South Korea, two North Korean soldiers have been killed, supposedly by one South Korean soldier. But the 11 bullets found in the bodies, together with the 5 ... See full summary »
21. Oldeuboi (2003)
R | 120 min | Action, Drama, Mystery
After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in five days.
Votes: 407,111 | Gross: $0.71M
22. Gibbeun woori jolmeunnal (1987)
118 min | Drama, Romance
Young-min saw Hye-rin in a play and sends anonymous flowers to every performance. Hye-rin doesn't know who her secret admirer is and marries Oh Seong-wu. They move to New York and Young-min... See full summary »
24. Arirang (1926)
A man comes to stay at a friend's house in the country. The household consists of a father, daughter, and a mentally disturbed son. The man falls in love with the daughter. One day she is ... See full summary »
25. Tukabseu (1993)
110 min | Comedy
An easy-going corrupt detective is partnered up with a younger, more by-the-books detective. The two tries to influence each other in becoming like themselves but must cooperate when faced with a strange case.
26. Gilsoddeum (1986)
100 min | Drama
A historical drama that incorporates real footage from the 1983 KBS campaign to reunite families divided by the Korean War with the fictional story of Hwa-yeong, a woman who leaves her ... See full summary »
27. The Coachman (1961)
120 min | Drama
A man tries to raise his two sons and two daughters under some of the most adverse conditions known to man. The father operates a horse-drawn cart, but in a city that is modernizing after ... See full summary »
30. Chingoo (2001)
113 min | Action, Crime, Drama
Despite their different family backgrounds, four friends grew up together in the wearisome years of the 70s. But as time goes by, each of them takes a different life path. After enrolling ... See full summary »
31. The Host (2006)
R | 120 min | Action, Horror, Sci-Fi
A monster emerges from Seoul's Han River and focuses its attention on attacking people. One victim's loving family does what it can to rescue her from its clutches.
Votes: 77,615 | Gross: $2.20M
32. Paupjeonya (1990)
105 min | Drama
There are 200 miserably impoverished people working in the Dongseong Metalworks Factory. JU Wan-ik is introduced to the forging team as a new member of the team and they all go drinking together to welcome him.
The Night Before the Strike
33. Go-yang-i-leul boo-tak-hae (2001)
112 min | Drama
In the port city of Icheon, five female friends struggle to stay close while forging a life for themselves after high school. When one of the group, upwardly-mobile Hae-ju, moves to Seoul, ... See full summary »
Votes: 2,056 | Gross: $0.00M
34. Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East? (1989)
137 min | Drama
About three monks in a remote monastery; an aging master, a small orphan and a young man who left his city life to seek Enlightenment.
36. The Chaser (2008)
Not Rated | 125 min | Action, Crime, Thriller
A cash-strapped pimp and former police detective draws upon the skills of his old job to track down his missing stable of prostitutes.
37. Gyeolhon iyagi (1992)
101 min | Comedy, Romance
Tae-gyu and Ji-hye get married. Two young lovers dreamed of the ideal married life which each had respect for each other. But honeymoon is soon over as each comes to realize that the other ... See full summary »
38. The Black Republic (1990)
100 min | Drama
In a mining village layered in gray dust, a man posing as Kim Ki-Young finds refuge from winter and the law. Wanted by the police for an offense he commited under the authoritarian rule of ... See full summary »
41. Palwolui Keuriseumaseu (1998)
Not Rated | 97 min | Drama, Romance
Hahn Suk-Kyu suffers from a fatal disease. He meets Shim Eun-Ha and falls in love with her. What will be the fate of this love - will it be a tragic ending?
43. Jiokhwa (1958)
87 min | Crime, Drama
A country bumpkin (Dong-shik) goes to Seoul in order to bring his older brother (Young-shik)back to the country. Little does he know Young-shik is a petty crook involved with a prostitute (Sonia) who is servicing American GIs. Then Sonia comes onto Dong-shik...
44. Tazza: The High Rollers (2006)
139 min | Comedy, Crime
A guy with a talent for cards makes his way into the dangerous world of underground gambling in this crime thriller from South Korea. Go-ni (Jo Seung-woo) is a small-town guy with a big ... See full summary »
46. Cheob-sok (1997)
105 min | Romance
The male radio presenter Donghyun and the female TV home shopping phone operator Soohyun are both lonely. While Donghyun is focused on getting back to his ex-girl-friend Younghae who has ... See full summary »
48. Kangwon-do ui him (1998)
110 min | Drama
(Korean with English subtitles) Helmed by one of Korea's leading directors, Hong Sang-soo, Jisook joins two of her girlfriends for a holiday in Korea's Kangwon Province. But in an eerie ... See full summary »
49. Gyeongmajang ganeun kil (1991)
138 min | Drama
R returns from studying in France and reunites with J, whom he used to live with in Paris. For some reason, however, J refuses to have sex with R. Angered by her refusal, R travels to his hometown of Daegu.
Road to the Racetrack
50. Gipgo puleun bam (1985)
93 min | Drama
Baek Ho-bin jumps into an arranged marriage with Jane for a green card and a chance to succeed in America. Because she felt like an isolated foreigner, his love is a beacon of hope. When ... See full summary »
Deep Blue Night
51. Obaltan (1961)
110 min | Drama
A pressured accountant, his war veteran brother and their dysfunctional family struggle with integrating into post-War Korean society.
52. My Mother and Her Guest (1961)
103 min | Drama
Ok-hui lives with her grandmother, her mother and the maid. People refer to their house as the "Widow House" because all three adult women who live there are widows. One day, a teacher named Mr. Han moves into the house as a lodger.
54. Joheunnom nabbeunnom isanghannom (2008)
R | 130 min | Action, Adventure, Comedy
The story of two outlaws and a bounty hunter in 1940s Manchuria and their rivalry to possess a treasure map while being pursued by the Japanese army and Chinese bandits.
Votes: 28,686 | Gross: $0.13M
55. Jibeuro (2002)
PG | 80 min | Drama
Seven-year-old Sang-woo is left with his grandmother in a remote village while his mother looks for work. Born and raised in the city, Sang-woo quickly comes into conflict with his ... See full summary »
Votes: 4,234 | Gross: $0.44M
56. Chunhyangdyun (2000)
R | 120 min | Drama, Musical, Romance
Mongryong marries the beautiful Chunhyang without telling his father, the Governor of Namwon. When his father is transferred to Seoul, Mongryong has to leave Chunhyang and finish his exams.... See full summary »
Votes: 1,465 | Gross: $0.80M
57. Gagman (1989)
Lee Jong-se is a third-rate comedian who believes himself to be a creative genius. He desires nothing more than to be a movie director. When he befriends barber, Mun Do-seok who has hopes ... See full summary »
58. Gonggongui jeog (2002)
138 min | Action, Drama
Ruthless cop Chul-joong and a merciless killer in raincoat run into each other in a small alleyway and form a fatal bond. A free-for-all fight occurs by coincidence on a rainy street. A ... See full summary »
61. Sopyonje (1993)
112 min | Drama, Music
Despite its falling popularity, a father teaches his two children the Korean musical tradition of Pansori (one singer accompanied by one drummer).
62. My Love, My Bride (1990)
108 min | Comedy, Romance
Young-min and Mi-yeong are college sweethearts who naively believe that their love will remain unchanged forever at the time of their wedding. But their married life gets off to a rocky ... See full summary »
63. Iodo (1977)
110 min | Mystery
An investor planning on developing a tourist resort begins an investigation into the legends of the mysterious Io Island in the hope of exploiting its unspoiled beauty.
64. Janggunui adeul (1990)
108 min | Action, Crime, Drama
The first chapter of the the General's Son trilogy follows Kim Du-Han's childhood, from the loss of his mother at age 8, to his rise as a gang leader who protects local vendors from expanding Yakuza forces in Japanese occupied Korea.
65. Ggobangdongne saramdeul (1982)
108 min | Drama
Mosaic portrait of people living in an impoverished neighborhood in Seoul.
People in a Slum
67. Beomjweui jaeguseong (2004)
Not Rated | 116 min | Action, Crime
After being convicted for fraud, one month has passed since CHOI Chang-Hyuk's release from jail. But this time around he's got an elaborate plan cooked up. It's the biggest bank heist in ... See full summary »
68. Sampoganeun kil (1975)
95 min | Drama
Going through a jail and a site of construction, a young laborer Young-Dal meets middle aged Mr. Jeong on his way to his hometown Sampo after ten years' absence. They become to know a ... See full summary »
A Road to Sampo
69. Yeogo goedam (1998)
R | 105 min | Drama, Horror, Mystery
While investigating the school files, the frightened teacher Mrs. Park startles and calls the young teacher Eun-young Hur, telling her that the deceased Jin-ju Jang is back. The line dies ... See full summary »
70. Yeogo goedam II (1999)
R | 97 min | Horror, Romance, Drama
In this second installment of the Whispering Corridors series, a young girl finds a strange diary, capable of arousing hallucinations, kept by two of her senior fellow-students who seem to have an unusually close bond.
71. Swiri (1999)
R | 125 min | Action, Crime, Drama
South Korean agents Ryu and Lee are tracking a female assassin from North Korea who has mysteriously disappeared. With new killings and the theft of a deadly bomb, time is running out to catch her.
Votes: 7,272 | Gross: $0.10M
72. Yeong-jaui jeonseong shidae (1975)
103 min | Drama
Chang-su recalls the girl whom he loved before he entered the military. At that time she had been working as a housemaid. They meet again years later at a police station and the girl, ... See full summary »
75. Najeun moksori (1995)
98 min | Documentary, War
The first installment in Byun Young-joo's trilogy documenting the past and present lives of Korean women and girls who were forced to work in Japanese military brothels during World War Two.
77. Mimong (1936)
46 min | Drama
A woman abandons her husband and daughter to live in a hotel with her lover who turns out to be something other than the honest businessman she thought he was.
78. Misulgwan yup dongmulwon (1998)
108 min | Comedy, Romance
Two strangers with very little in common, find themselves forced to live together.
Art Museum by the Zoo
79. Sechinku (1996)
93 min | Drama
Three young men face the university entrance exams upon which their economic and social fates depend. Kim Tae-Moo is a comic book artist whose art is plagiarized even as he's humiliated at ... See full summary »
84. Geomeuna dange huina baekseong (1996)
The People in White
85. Gameui beobjig (1994)
110 min | Action
A car wash attendant Yong-dae decides move to Seoul with his girlfriend Tae-suk for join the most dangerous gang Yu Kwangcheon. On the way to Seoul they lost entire of savings to a swindler Man-su whom the most wanted by Yu Kwangcheon.
Rule of the Game
87. Mang zhong (2005)
109 min | Drama
Grain in Ear follows the plight of Cui (Liu Lianji), a young Korean mother living on the outskirts of Chinese society. With a husband in jail and a son to support, she barely makes a living... See full summary »
88. Saenghwalui balgyeon (2002)
115 min | Drama
Actor Kyung Soo leaves Seoul to visit an old classmate. The reunion with his friend does not amount to much, but the trip does lead to some romantic encounters. He gets involved with two ... See full summary »
89. Suchwiin bulmyeong (2001)
R | 117 min | Drama, War
Romances end in blood and the frail hopes of individuals are torn apart in a vile karmic continuity of colonialism, civil war and occupation. After surviving Japanese colonization, Korea ... See full summary »
90. My Sassy Girl (2001)
Not Rated | 123 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance
Based on a series of true stories posted by Ho-sik Kim on the Internet describing his relationship with his girlfriend. These were later transformed into a best-selling book and the movie ... See full summary »
93. Hwabun (1972)
85 min | Drama, Mystery
The Pollen of Flowers
95. Sanggye-dong olrimpic (1988)
27 min | Documentary, Short
Before the 1988 Seoul Olympics, the Korean government forced the redevelopment of Daldongne, for the poor hillside village was not to be seen by foreign guests arriving for the Games. ... See full summary »
Director: Dong-won Kim
96. Pong (1986)
114 min | Drama
Sam-po is a gambler living without concern for how his wife will manage their houselhold without his earning money. In order to get food and provisions, his wife An-hyeob, sleeps with ... See full summary »
98. Gaetmaeul (1965)
91 min | Drama
At an ocean side village, many fishing boats never return from the high sea, and many of the women in the village assume they are widows when their husbands never return. One of them, Seongku, begins an affair with a coal worker.