7.7/10
28,608
81 user 76 critic

A Bittersweet Life (2005)

Dalkomhan insaeng (original title)
Things go wrong for a high ranking mobster when he doesn't proceed by his boss's orders.

Director:

(as Kim Jee-woon)

Writer:

(as Kim Jee-woon)
Reviews
7 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A quiet pawnshop keeper with a violent past takes on a drug-and-organ trafficking ring in hope of saving the child who is his only friend.

Director: Jeong-beom Lee
Stars: Bin Won, Sae-ron Kim, Tae-hoon Kim
The Chaser (2008)
Action | Crime | 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 | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A secret agent exacts revenge on a serial killer through a series of captures and releases.

Director: Jee-woon Kim
Stars: Byung-hun Lee, Min-sik Choi, Joon-hyeok Lee
Hwanghae (2010)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The story of a cab driver in Yanji City, a region between North Korea, China and Russia. His wife goes to Korea to earn money, but he doesn't hear from her since in 6 months. He plays ... See full summary »

Director: Hong-jin Na
Stars: Jung-woo Ha, Yun-seok Kim, Sung-ha Jo
Sinsegye (2013)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A melodrama revolving around an undercover cop who finds it difficult to play both a cop and a goon.

Director: Hoon-jung Park
Stars: Jung-jae Lee, Min-sik Choi, Jung-min Hwang
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A recently laid off factory worker kidnaps his former boss' friend's 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
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
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Byung-du is a 29-year-old career criminal, working for the middle-rank enforcer Sang-chul. Burdened with a terminally ill mother and taking care of younger siblings, Byung-du is feeling ... See full summary »

Director: Ha Yoo
Stars: In-sung Jo, Ho-jin Chun, Namgoong Min
Mother (2009)
Action | Crime | Drama
    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, Goo Jin
Action | Drama | Thriller
    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
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

In a small Korean province in 1986, three detectives struggle with the case of multiple young women being found raped and murdered by an unknown culprit.

Director: Joon-ho Bong
Stars: Kang-ho Song, Sang-kyung Kim, Roe-ha Kim
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After a thirteen-year imprisonment for the kidnap and murder of a six-year-old boy, Guem-Ja Lee seeks vengeance on the man truly responsible for the boy's death. With the help of fellow ... See full summary »

Director: Chan-wook Park
Stars: Yeong-ae Lee, Min-sik Choi, Shi-hoo Kim
Edit

Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
...
Mr. Kang (as Kim Young-Chul)
...
President Baek (as Jeong-min Hwang)
...
Hae-gon Kim ...
Weapon smuggler
Eric Moon ...
Gun Dealer's Brother (as Eric)
...
Myung-gu
Gi-yeong Lee ...
...
Min-gi
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Mi-Ae
Mu-yeong Lee
Kwang-rok Oh
Domashchenko Vadym ...
Russian weapon smuggler
Sang-Jeon Woo
Edit

Storyline

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

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

When doing right goes very, very wrong.

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

1 April 2005 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

A Bittersweet Life  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

|

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Byung-Hun Lee and Ku Jin previously starred together in a show All In (2003). Ku Jin played the younger version of Byung-Hun's character. See more »

Goofs

Just before the bad guys ambush Sun Woo in his flat, he is lying on his couch and the clock beside him reads "9:45" , two shots later, we get a close up of the clock as it switches from 9:39 to 9:40. See more »

Quotes

President Baek: Life is pain. Didn't you know that?
See more »

Connections

Remade as Awarapan (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Life is bittersweet...
29 April 2006 | by See all my reviews

When you sit back to watch this film, be prepared for a film that will open your mind,a film that will make you question humanity, and be prepared to be floored by a visual masterpiece which is rare by gangster movie standards.

From the first few shots we are feasted with beautiful shots, angles and little references that are simply delightful. The story unfolds showing the brighter side of life, the sweet side if you like. This is portrayed by Sunwoo eating a desert in the opening scene and then more food as the first half continues. The film then plays out to its darker half and we are shown the bitter side of life, which i wont go into and destroy for you.

Everything about this film just...Works, even the martial arts scenes are well edited and seem clever, rather than tricking us with quick camera cuts, we get a raw and violent slice of brutal gangster revenge, which again simply delights in a strange bitter way.

Simply put, A bittersweet life is simple plot, filmed and played exactly how it is meant to be, exactly how you want it to be. Every scene is fresh with humour or suspense which is so rare by todays standards.

This films plays out exactly how you want it to, with the exact camera angles it should, with the perfect music to back it all up. This film is a dark and visual spectacle that must be seen to be believed.

9/10


26 of 38 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 81 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Watch the Latest Episode of "The IMDb Show"

Katee Sackhoff talks about her characters on "Battlestar Galactica," "Star Wars: Rebels," and "The Flash." Plus, "The IMDb Show" learns what it takes to wield a lightsaber.

Watch the show