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Reviews & Ratings for
Oldboy More at IMDbPro »Oldeuboi (original title)

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9 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Stupid and disgusting

Author: Maziun from Poland
21 July 2013

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

*SPOILERS*SPOILERS*SPOILERS*SPOILERS*SPOILERS*SPOILERS* I don't know why this movie has such high rating . Maybe it's because Quentin Tarantino likes it , so people feel like they have to like it too ? Who knows. I heard rumors that Hollywood wants to make an American remake of this one . Spielberg is supposed to be the director and Will Smith the main star . I can't imagine that , but hey . The whole world is getting crazier with each day , so why not .

The movie is based on comic book I haven't heard or read . It's manga , so expect a lot of kung fu fights , shouting and twisted psychology.

I treat "Oldboy" as a thriller . When I'm watching a thriller I'm expecting logic . I don't know if the viewers who liked "Oldboy" treat is a some sort of fantasy , but for me it was a total disaster in terms of realism and logic.

1) Our hero is a prisoner . He's been locked in a apartment . In the middle of the city . The WHOLE building is a prison , where EVERY apartment is basically a cage. And I thought that when you kidnap somebody you hide him outside of the city limits or something like that… 2) Our hero for 15 YEARS EATS THE SAME MEAL for breakfast , lunch and dinner . What about vitamins , proteins and so on ? After a week he would be sick . After a month he would probably die . Yet , he's alive and in good health . Magic , I guess or he's a terminator.

3) You can't hypnotize anybody AGAINST HIS WILL . You need the patient to cooperate with the hypnotist.

4) You won't learn kung fu if you will be PUNCHING THE WALL WITH ONE FIST FOR 15 YEARS.

5) I guess eating live octopus is a deep symbol of something 6) You can rape a woman in the elevator and walk away with no problem . Despite having at least two witness , the police wont be even searching for you.

7) The love between our hero and the most important female character is nonexistent , despite what the movie tells us 8) Our hero is in the same age as the villain . They went to the same school , same year , same class . Yet , our hero looks like 40 or 50 years old , while the villain is maximum 30 years old. Judging by the look our hero could be his father ! 9) The sex scene is one of the most awful sex scenes I've ever seen.

10) You can defeat army of opponents with no problem , yet when you are angry one guy will defeat you without the problem.

11) Who's that woman ? Why she helps the villain in the beginning ? Why she helps the hero in the end ? Does she have personal reasons ? 12) The ending message is beautiful – incest is good as long as nobody knows about it. Brother and sister or father and daughter should LOVE EACH OTHER NOT ONLY EMOTIONALLY , BUT ALSO PSYCHICALLY What is wrong with you people ? What about logic or good taste ? This movie feels like an adaptation of one of those porn fan-fiction that Internet is full of . Incest appeared before in one famous movie from the 70's , but that movie never said it was a good thing ! That's the only "message" I saw . The authors of the comic book , the creators of the movie and the fans of the movie need to be locked in mental hospital.

I give it 2/10 , because the music is beautiful.

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9 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Don't bother. Rubbish.

Author: dnthieds from Australia
21 August 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Fortunately for a self-trained action hero your enemies conveniently attack you one at a time while you ignore the effects of a stabbing in the back, in the most comical fight scenes akin to Peter Griffin fighting the giant chicken.

An then there's the entire premise of this film: An elaborate revenge scheme 15 years in the making, where the bad guy imprisons a father and then raises his daughter for 15 years before using hypnotism to make the two fall in love. Reminds me of "Have the protocol driod's mind wiped." What a convenient way to cover a ridiculous plot.

I feel for the octoped that had to die to make this rubbish.

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13 out of 24 people found the following review useful:

Maybe it's just the cultural barrier

Author: Ryan M
22 June 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie was highly regarded and I was expecting to see something unique and appealing. Unique - yes. Appealing - no.

First off, any time a movie contains a scene in it that does not contribute to the plot and is simply there to disgust you (him eating the live Octopus), I write it off as being a cheap flick looking to impress teenagers and young adults who cling to things like that.

But what really got me about this movie was the ending. Why oh why did the main character cut his own tongue off and bark like a dog? Was 15 years not enough? Everyone has spread rumors. The guy's sister was a psycho. She killed herself because she was nuts. Not because of the rumor. She was the one having sex with her brother in the first place, so you knew a screw was loose in the first place. She was bound to kill herself, rumor or not. If this movie was made by someone with a brain, the main character would have beat down the incestuous brother after he found out that he was screwing his own daughter due to 15 years of hypnosis ordered by the sister-screwer.

The reaction of cutting out his own tongue is a unique one because 99.99999% of people wouldn't have done that in that situation. Most people would have been like, "What is wrong with you, you psychotic sister screwer? You lock me up for 15 years and hypnotize me to screw my own daughter as revenge for a piddly high school rumor? Seriously?" And then you would have beat him down into the ground, pulled out his teeth and thrown him out of the window. It would have been a much better ending to an overdone and overly gory (this is coming from someone who likes Saw movies) movie. I know I'm not the only one to think this because the other people watching the movie with me completely agreed that the main character was stupid for cutting out his tongue and barking like a dog.

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14 out of 26 people found the following review useful:

Just no

Author: Alex da Silva from United Kingdom
5 December 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

*****Classic ****Excellent ***Good **Fair *Tragic


Oldboy is not for everyone. It's pervasive violence, its live octopus eating and it's unimaginary story.

The film focuses around a man who's been kidnapped and is imprisoned for 15 years, Oh Dae-Su is released, only to find that he must find his captor in 5 days. Now the story though may seem gripping to start with but once watching this bloated and un-original blood fest it develops into a mash of bitter blood and a forceful film.

It's directing is on par of average and by no means the standards of what a South Korean thriller should be. Oldboys acting scenes are paralleled with dull humour and a poorly writtern script.

Oldboy is occasionlly presented with thin straw performances that one could only feel shameful about.


Not for everyone but it's scope and vision isn't clear enough to see further than the grey abyss of fog.


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74 out of 146 people found the following review useful:

Don't waste your time

Author: Tay501 from Virginia Beach, VA
12 August 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This movie was one of the longest movie watching experiences of my life. While I like how the director, Chan-wook Park, handled the revenge, the move as a whole was TERRIBLE. Oldboy is only billed at 1 hour and 55 minutes long but it feels like it takes at least 3 and a half hours to tell this story. I will say that the English dubbing was done very well and the movie was easily understandable. I felt that some of the scenes were unnecessarily long and a lot of the dialogue repeated itself. Also, if you have an aversion to annoying voices, then avoid hearing Hye-jeong Kang (she plays Mi-do) speak. If you are looking for a movie to kill time and make you feel morally superior to others, then watch away. If you don't want to watch a movie filled with incest, bad dialogue, unnecessary fight scenes, gross torture scenes and confusing flashbacks, then this is not the movie for you.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

8.4 ?? Really ??

Author: idanvinter123
3 October 2015

First of all, let me begin by saying that I love foreign movies. Before watching this film, I had pretty high expectations Sadly, I was disappointed. The story was decent at best, the acting was also decent, barely any action scenes, and after about half the movie I found myself bored from this movie. My only props for this movie is that the direction of the movie was good. On the other hand, it's not a bad movie. It's a nice movie for those looking fora decent foreign action movie with a few action scenes. I personally wouldn't recommend this movie, and I do agree with some people in the threads saying it's overrated. I couldn't find any reason why this movie got such a high rating.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Yuck and yuk!!

Author: velli10501 from United States
1 September 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Fake fight scenes, live octopus eating, incest, painful sex, prolonged scenes of tooth extraction, and a blown out looking protagonist with mad, dirty hair who jumps a pretty girl as she sits on the loo all await you in the pretentious and disgusting spectacle that is Oldboy. I actually turned it off to clean the house, which shows how much I liked it. As I discovered the entire plot on IMDb board, I feel lucky to have escaped before the denouement, which is the piece de resistance as in "lead me to the vomitorium." There's nothing I hate more than cleaning the kitchen except for foreign films that revel in pointless gore for its shock value.

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Oh Boy! Oh Boy! Old Boys was very interesting!

Author: ironhorse_iv from United States
16 July 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This South Korean mystery thriller neo-noir film is like a hammer. It always manage to hit the nail on the head. Directed by Park Chan-wook, and loosely based on the Japanese manga of the same name written by Nobuaki Minegishi and Garon Tsuchiya. Oldboy is the second installment of The Vengeance Trilogy, preceded by 2002's Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and followed by 2005's Sympathy for Lady Vengeance. The film follows the story of a Korean businessman, Oh Dae-su (Min-sik Choi), who is locked in a hotel room for 15 years without knowing the identity of his captor or his captor's motives. When he is finally released, Dae-su finds himself still trapped in a web of lies, conspiracy and violence. With the help of a female Japanese chef named Mi-do (Hye-jeong Kang) and one of his old computer friends, No Joo-hwan (Dae-han Ji), Dae-su must find a way to piece together the scattered clues of who took his life away from him, while cutting down anyone who gets in his path. Without spoiling the movie too much, this film has a lot of twist and turns, that will keep the viewer, interested in the story. The movie is an extreme art-house film, often using tropes taken from previous psychological movies such as 1929's Un Chien Andalou (1929) & 1966's Persona. The film also has several parallels to classic stories such as William Shakespeare's to Titus Andronicus & French author Alexandre Dumas's The Count of Monte Cristo. The most famous one is the Greek myth of Oedipus Rex. Other works, like Ella Wheeler Wilcox's famous poem, "Solitude", played a big part in this film. "The Man of Sorrow" by Belgium painter James Ensor gave the movie, some depth with it looks. Classical music gave the movie, its ears. "The Last Waltz" by Frédéric François Chopin, and the first movement of Vivaldi's "Four Seasons: Winter" are certainly used the best. The rest of the entire soundtrack is a work of genius. Not only does every title clearly applies to the events seen in the film when the track is played, but every track is takes their name after a famous film noir film. The acting is excellent for the most part. Min-sik Choi really put a lot of work, into this film. Not only did, he nailed it, with the emotional side, he trained for six weeks and lost twenty pounds to get in shape for the role of Dae-su, and did most of his own stunt work. If that wasn't extreme, enough, he ate four real life live octopodes as Dae-su in the sushi bar scene. While, it did provoked some controversy abroad. Eating live octopus in Korea is commonplace although it is usually sliced first. I saw nothing wrong with it, as long as he ate all of them. That scene was used, to represent, Dae-su hatred toward his enemies and I think Min-sik Choi capture that. Supporting character, Ji-tae Yu as Woo-jin Lee was great at being sinister, while being realistic. Director Quentin Tarantino was at the screening and was shocked to find himself crying for a character who had been completely despicable for the prior duration of the movie. That's how much, Ji-tae Yu got people to invest in the character. The only weak acting in the film, had to be Hye-jeong Kang as Mi-do. I really didn't like her damsel in distress, manic pixie dream girl role. Still, this was a very powerful film. The movie was shot, superb. Great use of mirrors, as a symbolism of fragmentation of one self. I like how everybody is looking at another person, through a mirror. I like how shots of Woo-jin Lee, show how much omnipotent by wealth, he is. I like how Dae-su is shown as the common man. Getting back at the society, by hammer. It remind me of socialism ideas pitting against that of capitalism. Still, the most well-known shot had to be, the lengthy scene in which Oh Dae-su takes on over a dozen men armed with just a hammer. Given that the scene is nearly 5 minutes long, and is all filmed on one camera, in one take. The fight sequence took three days, worth of attempts to nail it. The violence in this film wasn't as violent, as some critics made it out to be. The torture wasn't too in- depth, as the camera cuts away, when things become way too gory. I found the violent to, pretty tame for a Rated R film. The story matter is indeed shocking. The whole twist toward the end is a gut-wrenching and sick. The movie ends with a gloomy ambiguous ending. While, some people might see this as a fault; I see it as thought provoking. While Dae-su is let out of captivity, he can only free himself, by finding out why he was imprisoned. Dae-su takes on many aspects of an Ubermensch on finding the truth, but ultimately his character has no control of his own fate and plays into his enemies' hands. By the end of the movie he is a very, very broken man. It's a great example of why human decisions are meaningless and choice is an illusion. One of the most important themes of Old Boy is the truth. Sometimes, the truth doesn't set you free. The only thing, that I can see as a fault of the film is how some scenes were very confusing. One of the biggest mistake, you can make, is watching it, with the English dubbing. It's horrible. It doesn't match with the lips on the screen at all. Unfortunately, you will lose a lot of Korean language drastically changed over those fifteen years, with it. You should watch it with English subtitle, instead. This movie help influence a Bollywood remakes in 2005 & an American remake in 2013. Overall: This dark Oedipian tragedy is somewhat enlightening. Drop the hammer, and give this a watch! You will not be disappointed.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Park Chan-Wook's Masterpiece

Author: Rizki Irawan from Indonesia
19 February 2014

At first I used to be have this personal negative sentiment about Korean movie. Korean people tends to make everything over-dramatic (my experience watching FLU which is so painful to watch). And then the sentiment is slightly lowered when I finished this movie.

Briefly, this is a story about a man who has been kidnapped and imprisoned for almost 15 years without any explanation. Suddenly he is released only to find note given by the kidnapper which asking him to find the answer who he/she is, why the reason he was imprisoned and get revenge.

A journey to find the answer is begin.

Right from the opening scene until the very last scene, there are no room for me to breath. The cinematography is so stylish and the acting was top-notch performance. The story development is well-thought and the twist is brilliant, relentless and merciless. The last 15 minutes is my favorite part in this movie. It satisfies my curiousness. By the end credit rolls you will find yourself speechless by how disturbing yet gorgeous the movie was and how the director intentionally leaving us some unanswered questions.

My only concern is that I find some of the last part a bit too cliché and sentimental for my taste but it doesn't material.

This is Park Chan-Wook's masterpiece and one of the best Korean movie ever made. You will find many elements like gore, thriller, drama, action blends into one perfectly mixed element.

And just like any other revenge themed movie, the same question will arise:

"When you had your revenge well, what's left for you?"

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5 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

Severely over rated without any true blindly strong points to place it so high, average film on most accounts

Author: streetrodfan from United States
6 May 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I don't get why you guys think this is such a great film. It's not inspiring, the plot centers on incest.. I don't get what's so great about this movie. As a revenge film it's not that original, no one sane wants to do their daughter. And the plot wasn't that original, it was just disturbing. Becoming a super hero being locked up in a room for 15 years? It quickly became a quirky action film, about this guy who became bruce lee while being locked up for years. Not that deep or profound a silly film.

I don't get the fascination with a foreign film just because it's foreign, but this wasn't that deep, cerebral, it was almost Primal how it played out, violence, mixed with sexual perversions. Nothing that deep. The world itself is already devastated with sexual perversion, violence. This film wasn't that shining, it wasn't a masterpiece. Some parts were literally a soft porn, given the context .

This movie would likely get a 6 out of 10, why it has a 8 is beyond me. It's not a masterpiece . I don't see what makes this as good as star wars, or the S -Redemption....

This movie is over rated , critically...It's not creative, artistic. The cinematography is more or less average. This movie has nothing really amazing about it. It doesn't have a lot of vision. It's mediocre like most Hollywood films are. We didn't see anything that amazing, and weren't blown away. We thought it was fair, but not a masterpiece.

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