J.S.A.: Joint Security Area (2000)
"Gongdong gyeongbi guyeok JSA" (original title)

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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 17,558 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 76 user | 80 critic | 7 from Metacritic.com

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 »


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Credited cast:
Maj. Sophie E. Jean
Sgt. Oh Kyeong-pil
Tae-woo Kim ...
Nam Sung-shik
Jeong Woo-jin
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Ju-bong Gi
Maj. Gen. Bruno Botta
Myoeng-su Kim
Tae-hyeon Kim
Herbert Ulrich ...
Swedish soldier


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 remaining bullets in the assassin's magazine clip, amount to 16 bullets for a gun that should normally hold 15 bullets. The investigating Swiss/Swedish team from the neutral countries overseeing the DMZ suspects that another, unknown party was involved - all of which points to some sort of cover up. The truth is much simpler and much more tragic. Written by serious cinephile <catpaw@cityline.ru>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Thriller | War


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Release Date:

9 September 2000 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

J.S.A.: Joint Security Area  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


During the course of the movie when the South Korean soldiers salute their superiors they say (phonetically) 'TUN-GIL!' This is Korean for 'UNITE!' It is used in the South Korean military (mostly army) because - even though the North wishes to reunify under the Communist rule, while the South desires it under democratic rule - the hopes and goals on both sides are for reunification. See more »


The moment before Sgt. Lee shoots Sgt. Oh in the shoulder you can clearly see the squib device underneath his uniform. See more »


Sgt. Oh Kyeong-pil: Your shadow is over the line. Watch it!
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User Reviews

Best Korean movie ever
20 October 2001 | by (Seoul, Korea) – See all my reviews

Although a native Korean, I've always been skeptical of Korean movies. They tend to overplay emotions and lack realism. Well, this movie changed my whole outlook - it is a grippingly realistic movie that rips through the storyline. I was spellbound. Set in the highly charged Korean demilitarized zone, it is the tale of a shootout gone wrong, but the movie is much more than just a whodunit. It illustrates quite subtly the delicate North-South emotions that transcends ideologies of the 2 regimes; it really is about characters and their situations, rather than actions. The film also features some beautiful cinematography - the scenes I remember are the tall grass (the minefield incident) and the muted cigarette exchange on top of a snow-covered hill. The latter, particularly, is extremely poignant in its silence. Why are they smoking together? And why do they not speak? The answers to these questions, I guess, are the subjects and emotions that the movie tries to convey. The only flaw I can offer is the clear mis-casting of Lee Young-Ae as the neutral major, but her role in the movie is not central enough (although she does take up quite an amount of air time) to drag down the whole movie. IMHO, I would have used a Korean-European new face in the role. I am sure that it appeals to Koreans more than foreigners, although i'm also sure you can enjoy it without prior knowledge. I recommend this very highly. It's a pity that it's still not out on DVD even after 1 year following its release, and I hope it is released soon so that movie lovers everywhere can appreciate it.

24 of 28 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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there is going to be a remake of jsa! mandoosue
WOW!!! I haven't seen a movie like this since... alphadubomega
real life communication between NK and SK troops colinvespa125
The picture scene at the end.. kittycollartight0
Hmmm, don't quite get the last bit... ge0rge-1
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