Swiri (1999)

R  |   |  Action, Crime, Drama  |  13 February 1999 (South Korea)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.7/10 from 6,855 users   Metascore: 50/100
Reviews: 92 user | 63 critic | 18 from Metacritic.com

North and South Korean superspys battle and fall in love.


(as Je-gyu Kang)


(as Je-gyu Kang)
Watch Trailer
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

3 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Crime | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A family opens a mountain inn where their first guest commits suicide. Suddenly all their guests befall horrible fates.

Director: Jee-woon Kim
Stars: In-hwan Park, Mun-hee Na, Kang-ho Song
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Director: Kazuya Konaka
Stars: Tim Breese, J. David Brimmer, Jessica Calvello
Friend (2001)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

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 »

Director: Kyung-Taek Kwak
Stars: Oh-seong Yu, Dong-gun Jang, Tae-hwa Seo
Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

A failed assassination attempt in Harbin, China in 1909 changes the course of history. Now two JBI agents must find the connections between it and an ancient Korean artifact.

Director: Si-myung Lee
Stars: Dong-gun Jang, Tôru Nakamura, Jin-ho Seo
Silmido (2003)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Based on a true story of 1968 Korean Republic Army plan to assassinate North Korean president Kim Il-Sung. 31 criminals and death row inmates are recruited into secret training on the ... See full summary »

Director: Woo-Suk Kang
Stars: Sung-kee Ahn, Kyung-gu Sol, Jun-ho Heo
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A North Korean spy and a former South Korean agent form a tense partnership.

Director: Hun Jang
Stars: Kang-ho Song, Dong-won Kang, Yun-seo Choi
Drama | Thriller | War
    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. But the 11 bullets found in the bodies, together with the 5 ... See full summary »

Director: Chan-wook Park
Stars: Yeong-ae Lee, Byung-hun Lee, Kang-ho Song
Crying Fist (2005)
Drama | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Tae Sik, a troubled middle aged man and Sang Hwan, a troubled youth will meet in the ring with their respective mission. To change their life.

Director: Seung-wan Ryoo
Stars: Min-sik Choi, Seung-beom Ryu, Kil-kang Ahn
The Foul King (2000)
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

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 »

Director: Jee-woon Kim
Stars: Sang-Myeon Park, Kang-ho Song, Ho-kyung Go
Action | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A drama about the fate of brothers forced to fight in the Korean War.

Director: Je-kyu Kang
Stars: Dong-gun Jang, Bin Won, Eun-ju Lee
Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

In the year 2080, the world is connected by a massive computer network. Combiners have developed a process that allows them to merge the souls of human and machine/cyborg, wreaking havoc in... See full summary »

Director: Byung-chun Min
Stars: Ji-tae Yu, Jae-un Lee, Rin Seo
No. 3 (1997)
Comedy | Action | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Tae Ju, number 3 man in his gangster organization, he wants to be the number one. Can he realize his ambition?

Director: Neung-han Song
Stars: Eun-hee Bang, Min-sik Choi, Suk-kyu Han


Credited cast:
Jong Won Yu
Mu-young Park
Myung-hyun Lee / Bang-hee Lee (as Yoon-jin Kim)
Jang-gil Lee
Johnny Kim ...
Dae-Ho Jung (as Derek Kim)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Hyeong-seong Jang
Su-ro Kim
Seung-shin Lee ...
(as Seung-Shin Lee)
Yong-woo Park ...


North Korea's 8th Special Forces hijacks a shipment of CTX, a potent new liquid explosive, and threatens South Korea as part of a plot to re-unify the two countries. Ryu and Lee, special agents of O.P.--South Korea's secret intelligence service--attempt to track down the terrorists and find the CTX. Meanwhile Hee, the 8th's ultra-bad female sniper, resurfaces to wreak havoc and haunt Ryu. Written by Curtis G

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong violence and some language | See all certifications »


Official Sites:




Release Date:

13 February 1999 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

Shiri  »

Box Office


$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$29,156 (USA) (8 February 2002)


$97,152 (USA) (22 March 2002)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


German film fans were astonished when this film passed the ratings board FSK (known for its extensive dislike of excessive violence) uncut with a "Not under 16" rating. It was expected that the film would not get a rating at all and had to go for a JK approval from SPIO (Head organization of German film business). See more »


For the hijack of the CTX, the hijackers are waiting for the truck as it emerges from a tunnel. This tunnel is there in shots from the ground, but the shots from the helicopter before it lands were clearly filmed elsewhere, as there is no tunnel in sight behind the hijacked truck. See more »


Referenced in Bat sei ching mai (2001) See more »


When I Dream
Written by 'Sandy Mason Theortet'
Performed by Carol Kidd
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Surprisingly good movie. Worth watching.
10 June 2002 | by (California, USA) – See all my reviews

I found this movie at Blockbusters in the DVD section. Although I am of Korean background, I have not heard of this movie prior to finding it at Blockbusters. I rented it out of curiosity... the short description on the jacket seemed interesting enough. I only found out after watching the movie that it was such a big hit in Korea a few years ago. Watching the movie, it reminded me of "The Rock", "La Femme Nikita/Point of No Return", and "Heat".. All these were previously mentioned in other comments, and I agree that some of the scenes in Swiri (or Shiri) weren't very original in that regard. Still, the quality of the movie was surprisingly excellent. I also agree a lot of the action sequences in this movie weren't perfect, but then again, so are some of Hollywood's action movies. Some of the special effects were below par as well (the scene where a building blows up wasn't too convincing). Still, I've seen other Korean movies and I must say that Korean films have come a long way.. cinematography, plot, characterization were all done really well. I watched it twice.. once in Korean audio without subtitles, and again with English subtitles. The subtitles, although done very well, does leave out some of the subtleties. I'd say it is a difficult thing, translating dialog without losing something somewhere. Still the acting does fill in the blanks quite well I thought. I thought the acting was excellent.. Knowing a bit about the North/South Korean history would help understand the movie. Also knowing a bit about South Korean perception of the North Korea would also help understand the movie better as well. I thought that the love story in the movie, although it is a type that is very very often used (the tragic type) especially in Korean films, worked well. I thought it was far more convincing than the love between Anakin and Amidala in SW2 AOTC.

Overall, Swiri/Shiri isn't perfect. It isn't without holes. It doesn't compare to Heat (an excellent film). But unlike some of other "Hollywood" movies, that Blockbusters had many more copies of (Black Knight, Joy Ride, Thirteen Ghosts), I was glad to have paid $4.09 to rent it for 5 days. That reminds me. I'd better return my copy since they only had copy. If you can find a copy at your local Blockbusters or a DVD/Video rental place, rent it.

12 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Terribly Underrated?!?!?! c-streuli
Wrong imdb title bastian002-1
i hate shaky-cam imdb-4267
I liked the music roger-borjesson
Western DVD and Tape Case ZeiramGT
bad shots? winokur89
Discuss Swiri (1999) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: