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Salinui chueok
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Reviews & Ratings for
Memories of Murder More at IMDbPro »Salinui chueok (original title)

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184 out of 213 people found the following review useful:

nothing prepares me for this masterpiece

10/10
Author: edoy from Jakarta, Indonesia
10 February 2004

I read a review about this movie and am aware what business it made in Korea, but nothing (I mean NOTHING) prepares me for this great work. With the exception of, perhaps, SE7EN, serial-killer movie has never been this good. The story (about real-life killings of 10 women in Korea during the 1986-1991) is compelling enough, but the actors (Song Kang-ho cuts you deep even when he's silent, and his big-city partner offers emotional jolts at the end), the director (effectively plays some scenes in docu-style approach), the cinematography (a shadow creeps out in the paddy field will give you, well, creeps. big one.), and the music (haunting) are welcome bonuses.

One scene that impresses me most is the crime-scene midnight chase between a suspect, 2 local detectives, and a big-city detective (who doesn't know his local partners are there watching him). Humorously intense, or intensely humorous, whichever serves you well.

The only regret is I saw this one on DVD, while I believe a movie this big (in many senses) deserves to be seen in theaters. Korean movies rarely touch Indonesian theaters.

**** out of ****

Try to listen the song SAD LETTER in this movie and tell me it's not haunting you. A magnum opus.

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186 out of 233 people found the following review useful:

American thrillers should learn from Korean ones

9/10
Author: guycorhuo from Madrid, Spain
26 May 2004

What a good movie.What a great work of casting. Perhaps a little bit long, but the most part the movie is enjoyable and there's no perfection without mistakes. I think i haven't ever seen before a Korean movie and if there are much of them like this one i shall become Korean movie fan. The tempo, the thrill, the development of characters, everything it has been well worked.The direction is good yet without emphatic resources, there are just two moments with a little much use of slow motion but it doesn't arrive to be an abuse of it.

If you can see it don't loose your time with Hollywood sad-bad thrillers bet for this Korean present.

9/10 cause perfection doesn't exist.

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131 out of 151 people found the following review useful:

Great serial killer drama

9/10
Author: AKS-6 from Sweden
1 January 2005

I'm one of those people who tend to think that South Korean movies are perhaps a bit too slow-paced for my taste. Memories of Murder isn't a fast-paced film, by any means, but this time the slow pace made this movie about an investigation of serial killings so much better than 95% of its American counterparts.

Essentially, Memories of Murder is a drama first with thriller and comedy elements (yes, in the first hour or so the movie is actually quite funny). Kang-ho Song and Sang-kyung Kim are brilliant as the two cops who have drastically different views on how to solve a crime. The character development is fascinating and believable thanks to a great script.

Highly recommended.

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154 out of 200 people found the following review useful:

Best crime/detective film ever

10/10
Author: Jonas from Vilnius, Lithuania
10 November 2004

My "one line summary" might be too subjective (well it's just an opinion after all), but that's what kind of thought came to my mind after seeing this film. It just sucked me in and didn't let away until the ending credits appeared. I'm really not a fan of this genre which is popular in various "detective" TV series but this film was something exceptional. A perfectly made detective film based on a real shocking murder case in S.Korea in 80's. This is a must see Korean film for everybody and this must be a real pearl for those who love detective stories because perhaps it's the best detective film ever...

I give it a 10/10 this film is worth it.

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112 out of 129 people found the following review useful:

The Slow Development of a Masterpiece

9/10
Author: David H. Schleicher from New Jersey, USA
15 July 2005

This is probably the best crime thriller I've seen since "Insomnia," and contains the most haunting climax of any serial killer flick since "Seven." But like most films reaching for greatness, this is most admirable for its striking details.

The filmmakers here craft a taut, careful, and delicately strung together motion picture that relishes in its amazing development of mood, place, and character.

First, the mood: Haunting cinematography (rain falling on a small village at night, shadows darting across a thick field of grass, figures lurking in the woods, a masterfully choreographed hot pursuit scene on foot), a poignant music score (aided by the creepy use of a Korean pop song that accompanies each murder), and no-nonsense direction (peppered with fabulous doses of comic relief--how Shakespearan!) keep the film more and more intriguing at each turn and fascinating to watch.

Second, the place: South Korea, circa the late 1980's, and apparently under some sort of militia rule. This is inspired by the true story of Korea's first publicized (and still unsolved) serial killer case. This unique time and place serves as a wonderful respite from the typical American big-city setting of so many other films of this ilk.

Finally, the character development: The small details revealing the haunted souls of the detectives on the case is nothing short of brilliant. Witness the tiny executions of minutae: The cloth one rogue cop wraps around his boot so as not to leave scars when he kick-boxes suspects into submission, the harried chief of police checking his own blood pressure while trying to keep his off-the-cuff detectives in line or fighting to keep headline-starved reporters at bay, the young female officer desperately trying to showcase her abilities in crime solving between serving the chauvinistic detectives cups of fresh coffee, the outsider detective from Seoul's insistence that documents never lie (and the brutal irony at the climax that challenges his entire sense of being), and the main village detective's scathing speech on the difference between American FBI agents and Koren policemen. The beauty is in the details, and this film, like all the great ones, revels in their uncovering.

One flaw is that some might find the film a bit long in the tooth, but this is not to be missed for fans of serial killer thrillers and police procedural movies. For the Korean filmmakers, and the amazing cast...this is their master stroke.

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92 out of 108 people found the following review useful:

A Masterpiece that you cannot miss

10/10
Author: Richard Brunton from United Kingdom
21 August 2006

Beginning in the fall of 1986 and continuing for the next four years South Korea was haunted by the nation's first recorded serial killer. Preying upon women in a remote rural community the killer was both vicious and meticulous, strangling his victims with their own undergarments and leaving nothing of any use to the police investigating the crimes. The killer was never caught.

I do not envy any director trying to make a true crime film, particularly not one so high profile and so recent that the crimes still live on in the public consciousness. Stray too far in one direction and you devolve into saccharine sentimentality, go the other direction and you risk crass exploitation. Director Bong Joon-Ho avoided both of these traps by charting an altogether different route: he has made a film that is not about the killer or the crimes or the victims but one that is purely about the police officers charged with the case and the devastating emotional toll it took on their lives. In charting his unusual route Bong has created a bleak masterpiece, one that took home a stack of film awards in its native land but which has been largely neglected on these shores until now.

The film begins with the first body discovered, a woman strangled with her own stockings, raped, tightly bound, and hidden in a drainage culvert. The detective in charge of the case is Park Du-Man (Song Kang-Ho) and it is immediately clear that he is out of his depth, that the entire local police force, in fact, are out of their depth. The crime scene is chaos, crowded by reporters and locals trampling over potentially vital evidence. Park himself is not what you'd call a systematic investigator, scoffing at the scientific approach and trusting in his supposedly unerring eye at picking out criminals just by looking at them. He relies on swagger and bravado and the brute force of his uneducated assisting officer Jo Yong-Gu.

Serving as a foil to Park and Jo is Seo Tae-Yun (Kim Sang-Kyung) a detective from Seoul who has volunteered to assist with the investigation. Seo is the polar opposite of Park - methodical and rational - and it takes mere moments for the two to clash, clashes that lead to the two of them overlooking some key pieces of evidence.

As the film progresses and the body count continues to rise you can feel a sense of desperation slowly settle over the department. Under educated, under manned and woefully under equipped the local force is simply not up to the task. As the realisation that they will not find the evidence they so badly need begins to set in Park and Jo resort to planting evidence to bring in suspects Park picks out with his 'keen eye', suspects they then set out to extract coached confessions from. The process inevitably leads to public humiliation. Soon even Seo begins to lose his faith in reason and just as things bottom out they finally catch a break and settle on a prime suspect, one who truly appears likely to be their man. But can they make it stick? What sets Memories of Murder apart from the crowd are the rich performances from its leads and the sure hand of Bong Joon-Ho. Bong knows exactly what he wants to do with this film and he steers the ship with a firm hand. He has a keen eye for imagery but he consistently avoids the cheap resolve, the quick hit, in favour of a slowly building mood and the film is all the stronger because of it. Song and Kim are both stellar in their roles, giving their characters much needed depth. You can feel their frustration and helplessness continually growing and when the final crushing blow is delivered you can feel their utter despair at being abandoned by a system that they have given their lives to. Bong isn't just asking how this could happen, how someone could be as evil as this killer, but how could a government allow this to happen? How could the police not be given the tools and manpower they so obviously needed to protect the people? The DVD release has been given the standard Palm treatment. The transfer is strong and presented in anamorphic widescreen. The film is presented with both the original Korean language track in 2.0 stereo and an English dub in both 2.0 and 5.1. The English subtitles are solid, clearly translated and easy to read. The disc also includes a reel of cast and crew interviews discussing their characters and the creation of the film as well as an extensive reel of deleted scenes.

Memories of Murder is a minor masterpiece, a film that moved Bong immediately onto Korea's A-list of directing talent. It is richly detailed, beautifully performed and disturbing in precisely the way that people need to be disturbed in from time to time. Don't miss it.

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79 out of 93 people found the following review useful:

Must See

8/10
Author: dbborroughs from Glen Cove, New York
10 December 2004

After two women are found dead in a rural community, a detective arrives from the big city to help out. Things quickly mushroom with the discovery of more bodies, more suspects and no end in sight.

Whether you like police films or not you should see this movie about the real hunt for Korea's first known serial killer simply because its a great movie. This is a movie that alters your expectations and changes your view of things. Its impossible to guess whats going to happen simply because the twists and turns are so unexpected. At times this is a funny funny movie, especially if you like shows like Law and Order or CSI since what we take for granted in those shows is stood on its head. At other times this is a very taut thriller and you become as desperate as the police in needing to put an end to the madness.

On top of all of this is a picture of Korea in 1986, a place with political unrest and civil defense drills that for me at least makes it seem like something out of the 1950's.

This is brilliant brilliant film-making.

I've given the film an 8 out of 10, even though it probably deserves to be higher, simply because some 12 hours after seeing the film, I'm still pondering what I thought of it, how good is it? At least an 8. I'm sure a second and third and fourth viewings will change my mind.

Yea its that good

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49 out of 61 people found the following review useful:

Left me in AWE!

10/10
Author: spook-19 from United Arab Emirates
9 December 2005

Being a movie buff and a director in the making, I watched this film (with English subtitles, Korean not being my mother tongue), I was completely blown away by this piece of cinematic excellence. There is not a single thing about this film that I can think of in a negative connotation. I wouldn't want to give away anything about this masterpiece. All I would like to say is that this is a film not to be missed. If I want any of my movies to be globally renowned one day, I hope it resembles "memories of murder" in any form whatsoever.

This film simply belongs in the top 10 of the greatest movies ever made. 10/10.

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50 out of 64 people found the following review useful:

Jarringly disturbing and haunting film

9/10
Author: yonghow from Singapore
21 February 2004

I have long since heard of the excellence of this korean movie on koreanfilm.org, but it was only after reading the review in detail and realizing that the score was written by Taro Ishiwaro ( a well known Japanese musician who also wrote scores for Shohei Imamura and Japanese TV serials, including The Inanimate World ), and that the DOP was Kim Hyung-gu (who also shot Musa, One Fine Spring Day and Chen Kaige's Together) that it stumped on me I was indeed missing a masterpiece.

And a masterpiece it is, one deeply haunting and disturbing asian crime thriller. The mood invoked during the last few minutes of the film is something you would probably never forget.

Watch this film not only for its cinematic brilliance, but also because of the mezmerising score written by Taro Ishiwaro, track no 29 on the OST the favourite on my list.

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38 out of 51 people found the following review useful:

Where are you, murder?

9/10
Author: kleaner from South Korea
6 May 2003

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This film is based on the true series homicide happened in the country of Korea from 1986 to 1990.

Salinui chueok is similar to Seven but focuses more on the back ground of Korea at that time and explains why the police couldn't catch the murder. The murder is very careful and cruel. The cops are dying to catch the murder but the military government uses the police force to cease the protest. The cops, also uses violence to the suspects to get the false confession rather than using a scientific

investigation.

After the film, I felt sympathy for the victims and was furious at the murder who hasn't got caught, yet. This is the director's intention to make the audience look back the sad past of Korea.

Excellent directing, acting, cinematography. The best Korea film lately.

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