MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 10,092 this week

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

7.9
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.9/10 from 17,061 users   Metascore: 58/100
Reviews: 75 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 »

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

Free at IMDb

WATCH NOW

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 37 titles
created 03 Jul 2011
 
a list of 22 titles
created 14 Sep 2011
 
a list of 37 titles
created 25 Sep 2011
 
list image
a list of 36 titles
created 21 Jul 2012
 
a list of 42 titles
created 11 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: J.S.A.: Joint Security Area (2000)

J.S.A.: Joint Security Area (2000) on IMDb 7.9/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of J.S.A.: Joint Security Area.
11 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A recently laid off factory worker kidnaps his former boss' daughter, hoping to use the ransom money to pay for his sister's kidney transplant.

Director: Chan-wook Park
Stars: Kang-ho Song, Ha-kyun Shin, Doona Bae
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

After a 13-year imprisonment for the kidnap and murder of a 6 year old boy, beautiful Lee Guem-ja starts seeking revenge on the man that was really responsible for the boy's death. With the... See full summary »

Director: Chan-wook Park
Stars: Yeong-ae Lee, Min-sik Choi, Shi-hoo Kim
Thirst (2009)
Drama | Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Through a failed medical experiment, a priest is stricken with vampirism and is forced to abandon his ascetic ways.

Director: Chan-wook Park
Stars: Kang-ho Song, Ok-bin Kim, Hae-suk Kim
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A girl who thinks she is a combat cyborg checks into a mental hospital, where she encounters other psychotics. Eventually, she falls for a man who thinks he can steal people's souls.

Director: Chan-wook Park
Stars: Su-jeong Lim, Rain, Hie-jin Choi
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Things go wrong for a high ranking mobster when he doesn't proceed by his boss's orders.

Director: Jee-woon Kim
Stars: Jeong-min Hwang, Yu-mi Jeong, Ku Jin
The Chaser (2008)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A cash-strapped pimp and former police detective draws upon the skills of his old job to track down his missing stable of prostitutes.

Director: Hong-jin Na
Stars: Yun-seok Kim, Jung-woo Ha, Yeong-hie Seo
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
Mother (2009)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A mother desperately searches for the killer who framed her son for a girl's horrific murder.

Director: Joon-ho Bong
Stars: Hye-ja Kim, Bin Won, Ku Jin
Action | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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.

Director: Jee-woon Kim
Stars: Kang-ho Song, Byung-hun Lee, Woo-sung Jung
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In 1986, in the province of Gyunggi, in South Korea, a second young and beautiful woman is found dead, raped and tied and gagged with her underwear. Detective Park Doo-Man and Detective Cho... See full summary »

Director: Joon-ho Bong
Stars: Kang-ho Song, Sang-kyung Kim, Roe-ha Kim
Saminjo (1997)
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Han is a suicidal saxophonist, Mun is violent simpleton with an I.Q. of 80 and Maria is single mother with dreams of becoming a nun... See full synopsis »

Director: Chan-wook Park
Stars: Seon-kyeong Jeong, Bu-seon Kim, Min-jong Kim
Crime | Romance | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: Chan-wook Park
Stars: Eun-hee Bang, Seung-Chul Lee, Hyun-Hee Nah
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
Maj. Sophie E. Jean
...
...
Sgt. Oh Kyeong-pil
Tae-woo Kim ...
Nam Sung-shik
Ha-kyun Shin ...
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
Edit

Storyline

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

Genres:

Drama | Thriller | War

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

9 September 2000 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

J.S.A.: Joint Security Area  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Sgt. Lee Soo-hyeok: Hey Assholes! You just gonna leave me here?
Sgt. Oh Kyeong-pil: You told us to go.
Sgt. Lee Soo-hyeok: I said don't come closer, when did I say to leave, you fuckers!
See more »

Connections

References Rashomon (1950) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Excellent Korean drama from Old Boy director
30 July 2005 | by (London) – See all my reviews

After a general moratorium on film exports, JSA was amongst the first few Korean films to appear in west, to be associated with the emerging Korean 'New Wave' cinema. It was also one of the most successful and expensive films made in the country at the time, and as such was director Chan-Wook Park's breakthrough film. Park has since gone on to direct such cult items as Oldboy, in which he combines a sure sense of staging with a visual, kinetic flamboyance all of his own. A compelling and moving work in its own right, JSA makes something haunting and memorable out of a situation which, in outline, could easily have proved propagandist and dull.

It takes place entirely at the Panmunjom, the Korea DMZ peace village where North and South Koreans face off under the terms of 50-year-old treaty, glaring at each other across a thin stretch of ground, huddled over spyglasses and rifle barrels, or staring each other down across a borderline. The bitter division of the country provides a frequent background to much of its cinema just as, in its way, the spectre of past nuclear destruction has haunted that of the Japanese. But there is a difference. Japanese cinema often shows the dangerous unity of clan, kin or country in the face of crisis. In Korean cinema, brothers are often divided whilst, around them, a fractured society threatens and fights itself. Sometimes the violent resolution of the country's famous stand off promises mutually assured destruction, as is presented symbolically at the climax of Attack The Gas Station! (1999). In other films it can appear as part of an action thriller (Shiri), or as the basis of a recent war film (Taegukgi, 2004), and so on. In the more profound JSA, national division provides a starting point for an examination of the human condition, as soldiers on either side of the line discover what it is to establish warm, normal interaction - even at terrible cost.

"There are two kinds of people in this world - Commie bastards and the Commie bastards' enemies" says a South Korean officer to the Swiss investigator Major Sophie Jean (Yeong-ae Lee) at the start of Park's film. Jean works for the Neutral Nations Supervisory Commission. Previously her superior has warned her that her real job is not to investigate, "who, but why," and that "the outcome is less important than the procedure." But as Jean delves deeper into recent events with an insistence born of her own family history, revelations prove Rashmon-like, proving that the truth is by no means black and white. In fact the opening scenes, containing the harsh protocols for her work, are the least satisfying of the film. (A fact exacerbated by the poor spoken English of actress Lee and the woodenness of her Swedish companion). It is only once the viewer enters the experience of the soldiers - a process gradually revealed through a number of sometimes-gnomic flashbacks - that JSA becomes interesting.

JSA was a controversial success in Korea. The action is set very precisely, at the borderline between two societies and Park was concerned to make it as realistic as possible, spending $1 million on building his own Panmunjom. As a narrative his film is just as deliberately less exact, hovering between military thriller, patriotic tragedy, personal loyalty tale as we learn more about the soldiers, now tight-lipped under independent interrogation. Enemies, then friends, comrades and brothers, the men's deepening relationship also suggests a more taboo attraction, one which proved unsettling to home audiences. Ultimately the 'Joint Security Area' becomes less a site of military stalemate than a place where emotional ties ought to provide their own justification and balance.

The structure of Park's film is an intriguing one: a straightforward, and reasonably suspenseful investigation of an outrage frames a sequence of flashbacks and reminiscences, often presented in non-linear manner, fleshing out the main story. In between there is some newsreel footage as well as some exploration of Major Jean's motivations, while the feelings of the soldiers concerned are never elucidated, merely explored through past events. The director's achievement lies in tying all this into a reasonably convincing whole, moving the audience from the coldness of a military tribunal to the warm realm of human feeling.

There are several moments in JSA to savour, some of which occur within the no man's land between the two societies itself - a neutrality which seems to encourage a self reflection and recognition between main participants: the snowy, wordless encounter between two border patrols for instance, where tension is dissipated with a single cigarette; or the first encounter on a cold night between Sergeant Oh and Sergeant Lee, surrounded by mines, their breath freezing in an field. Elsewhere Park's camera records the absurdities of petty border etiquette, at one point shooting from overhead the dividing line where soldiers square off against one another, placing figures in some lunatic grid of their own devising. (At one point Park has two of the soldiers mock the solemnity and rigidity of the border by playing spitting games across the line.) There's a similar overhead shot later, this time looking down at a fallen soldier face up in the rain. The camera also plays a memorable part in the last scene of the film, as an ordinary snapshot is transversed by a slow pan, which pulls out of the composition a final, mute commentary of its own.

Asked earlier why one of the soldiers had deserted his post just to relieve himself, the blithe answer comes back as: "People with constipation should seize the chance when it comes." It's a philosophy that informs a good deal of JSA. Not to put too fine a point on it, the film suggests that, blocked by its own political impasse, Korea needs to loosen up and seek relief as it can. Park's film shows one way, perhaps not the best, but a memorable story all the same.


38 of 41 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
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
oh dear razorblade_kiss93
Discuss J.S.A.: Joint Security Area (2000) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?