FILM2.0's Top 37 Korean Films (2002)

List source

In a 2002 survey, FILM2.0 magazine asked 74 critics to vote for the greatest Korean films. #1 Obaltan received 28 votes. All of these films received at least 2 votes. At the list source you can see an extended list and the top directors.
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1.
The Aimless Bullet (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  
A pressured accountant, his war veteran brother and their dysfunctional family struggle with integrating into post-War Korean society. (110 mins.)
Director: Hyun Mok Yoo
 
2.
The Housemaid (1960)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A composer and his wife are thrown into turmoil when a housemaid becomes more than they bargained for. (109 mins.)
Director: Ki-young Kim
 
3.
Mandala (1981)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
A story that follows the lives and interactions of two Buddhist monks living in South Korea. (117 mins.)
Director: Kwon-taek Im
 
4.
Peppermint Candy (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Consists of five phases of a man's life about why he committed suicide in the end. (129 mins.)
Director: Chang-dong Lee
 
5.
The Day a Pig Fell Into the Well (1996)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
About desires and lives of four characters in diverse circumstances. A poor novelist, a cheating wife, a mysophobic husband and a ticket girl. (115 mins.)
Director: Sang-soo Hong
 
6.
Lovers in Woomuk-Baemi (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
(114 mins.)
Director: Sun-Woo Jang
 
7.
Christmas in August (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
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? (97 mins.)
Director: Jin-ho Hur
 
8.
A Windy, But Pleasant Day (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
This is a film about the coming of age of three men. (113 mins.)
Director: Jang-ho Lee
 
9.
Sopyonje (1993)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
Despite its falling popularity, a father teaches his two children the Korean musical tradition of Pansori (one singer accompanied by one drummer). (112 mins.)
Director: Kwon-taek Im
 
10.
Oasis (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.0/10 X  
An irresponsible and childish ex-con befriends a girl with cerebral palsy and develops a progressively stronger bond with her. (133 mins.)
Director: Chang-dong Lee
 
11.
Nowhere to Hide (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
A team of police hunt down a villain. (112 mins.)
Director: Myung-se Lee
 
12.
Painted Fire (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
In a time of political and social unrest in nineteenth-century Korea, an uncouth, self-taught painter explores his natural talent amidst the repressive world around him. (120 mins.)
Director: Kwon-taek Im
 
13.
Sampoganeun kil (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
Going through a jail and a site of construction, a young laborer Young-Dal meets middle aged Mr. Jeong... (95 mins.)
Director: Man-hui Lee
 
14.
The Power of Kangwon Province (1998)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
(Korean with English subtitles) Helmed by one of Korea's leading directors, Hong Sang-soo, Jisook joins... (110 mins.)
Director: Sang-soo Hong
 
15.
J.S.A.: Joint Security Area (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  
In the DMZ separating North and South Korea, two North Korean soldiers have been killed, supposedly by one South Korean soldier... (110 mins.)
Director: Chan-wook Park
 
16.
The Way Home (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  
(90 mins.)
Director: Man-hui Lee
 
17.
Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East? (1989)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
Three people live in a remote Buddhist monastery near Mount Chonan: Hyegok, the old master; Yong Nan... (137 mins.)
Director: Yong-Kyun Bae
 
18.
The Coachman (1961)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
A man tries to raise his two sons and two daughters under some of the most adverse conditions known to man... (120 mins.)
Director: Dae-jin Kang
 
19.
Declaration of Fools (1983)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
This is a film which ridicules the weaknesses of South Korean society. (97 mins.)
Director: Jang-ho Lee
 
20.
Arirang (1926)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
A man comes to stay at a friend's house in the country. The household consists of a father, daughter...
Director: Ra Un-Gya
 
21.
Mist (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
(95 mins.)
Director: Soo-yong Kim
 
22.
Pursuit of Death (1980)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  
Two ruined, old adversaries meet in a rehab center and reassess the conflict that dominated their lives since the Korean War... (110 mins.)
Director: Kwon-taek Im
 
23.
Late Autumn (1966)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  
(95 mins.)
Director: Man-hui Lee
 
24.
March of Fools (1975)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
The story is set in the 1970s during the period of military dictatorship. Schools were freequently closed... (102 mins.)
Director: Kil-jong Ha
 
25.
Swiri (1999)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
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. (125 mins.)
Director: Je-gyu Kang
 
26.
Chunhyang (2000)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  
Mongryong marries the beautiful Chunhyang without telling his father, the Governor of Namwon. When his father is transferred to Seoul... (120 mins.)
Director: Kwon-taek Im
 
27.
Take Care of My Cat (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
In the port city of Icheon, five female friends struggle to stay close while forging a life for themselves after high school... (112 mins.)
Director: Jae-eun Jeong
 
28.
Gilsoddeum (1986)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
A historical drama that incorporates real footage from the 1983 KBS campaign to reunite families divided... (105 mins.)
Director: Kwon-taek Im
 
29.
The Deep Blue Night (1985)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
(93 mins.)
Director: Chang-ho Bae
 
30.
No. 3 (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  
Tae Ju, number 3 man in his gangster organization, he wants to be the number one. Can he realize his ambition? (108 mins.)
Director: Neung-han Song
 
31.
On the Occasion of Remembering the Turning Gate (2002)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Actor Kyung Soo leaves Seoul to visit an old classmate. The reunion with his friend does not amount to much... (115 mins.)
Director: Sang-soo Hong
 
32.
A Single Spark (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
The film intercuts two stories, one in black and white, one in color. From 1965 to 1970, we follow Jeon Tae-Il... (92 mins.)
Director: Kwang-su Park
 
33.
Io Island (1977)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
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. (110 mins.)
Director: Ki-young Kim
 
34.
Madame Freedom (1956)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  
(125 mins.)
Director: Hyeong-mo Han
 
35.
Save the Green Planet! (2003)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  
Byeong-gu believes that the world is on the verge of an alien invasion, and sets out to save the world. (118 mins.)
Director: Joon-Hwan Jang
 
36.
The Night Before the Strike (1990)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  
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. (105 mins.)
 
37.
The Pollen of Flowers (1972)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.0/10 X  
(85 mins.)
Director: Kil-jong Ha