7.8/10
25,746
83 user 201 critic

Mother (2009)

Madeo (original title)
Trailer
2:10 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

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

Director:

Writers:

(story), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
22 wins & 36 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

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
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
The Host (2006)
Action | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A monster emerges from Seoul's Han River and focuses its attention on attacking people. One victim's loving family does what it can to rescue her from its clutches.

Director: Joon Ho Bong
Stars: Kang-ho Song, Hie-bong Byeon, Hae-il Park
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 | 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, In-seo Kim
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
Crime | Drama | Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 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
Crime | 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
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 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
New World (2013)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Story about a conflict between the police and the mob through the eyes of an undercover cop.

Director: Hoon-jung Park
Stars: Jung-jae Lee, Min-sik Choi, Jeong-min Hwang
Drama | Thriller | War
    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
Thirst (2009)
Horror
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 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
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Jin-tae (as Goo Jin)
Je-mun Yun ...
Je-moon (as Jae-moon Yoon)
...
Mi-sun
...
Sepaktakraw Detective (as Sae-beauk Song)
Byoung-Soon Kim ...
Group Leader
Woo-hee Chun ...
Mi-na
Gin-goo Kim ...
Ah-jeong's Grandma
Moo-yeong Yeo ...
Lawyer Kong Seok-ho (as Ou-hyung Yum)
Young-Suck Lee ...
Elder at Junk Shop
Hee-ra Mun ...
Moon Ah-jeong (as Hee-ra Moon)
Mi-do Lee ...
Hyung-teo
Young-ki Jung ...
Kkang-ma
Gyu-pil Go ...
Ddung-ddung (as Kyu-phill Ko)
Edit

Storyline

A mother lives quietly with her twenty-eight-year-old son, Do-joon, providing herbs and acupuncture to neighbors. One day, a girl is brutally murdered, and Do-joon is charged with the killing. Now, it's his mother's call whether to prove him innocent or to leave him imprisoned. Written by Pusan International Film Festival

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She'll stop at nothing.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language, some sexual content, violence and drug use | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

28 May 2009 (South Korea)  »

Also Known As:

Mother  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$5,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$35,858 (USA) (5 March 2010)

Gross:

$547,292 (USA) (11 June 2010)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Because of phonetic differences between English and Korean, both "Mother" and "Murder" are spelled the same when translated to Korean characters. The movie title, "Madeo", is a play on this similarity, suggesting both "Mother" and "Murder". See more »

Connections

Featured in Maltin on Movies: Eat Pray Love (2010) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
An extra-loyal mom
1 October 2009 | by (Berkeley, California) – See all my reviews

Bong Joon-ho's new film is built around actors. The starting point of it is Kim Hye-ja, 'grande dame' of Korean acting (around whom the screenplay by Bong and Park Eun-kyo is built), who gets a chance to break away from the long-suffering, boundlessly loving mother image she maintains in the long-running "Rustic Diary" TV series to embrace a juicier, darker, richer role. Likewise Won Bin, whose pretty-boy looks have gotten him gangster and perfect son casting, here becomes the slack-jawed, unpredictable Do-joon, a "retard," not taken seriously by most of the town, but zealously protected by his apothecary mom (Kim), who even sleeps in the same bed with him, though he's 27. Both the mother's and son's roles are challenging. Kim Hye-ja shows an incredible emotional range within a de-glamorized exterior, and Won Bin subtly side-steps dumb-guy shtick, managing to keep Do-joon lastingly unpredictable and mysterious.

Do-joon has a run-in with the police after he and his friend Jin-tae (Jin Gu) hassle some fat cats at the golf club after one of them hits Do-joon with his Mercedes and doesn't stop. Simple Do-joon brags about being at the police station, but then gets drunk, brooding about the way Jin-tae ribs him for being a virgin and wanting to get laid. Then that same night Ah-jong, a schoolgirl, is found with her head bashed in and Do-joon becomes the prime suspect. His case seems hopeless, but his aging mother, convinced that Do-joon would never hurt a fly, takes it upon herself to conduct her own investigation of the case, which neither the cops nor the fancy lawyer she has engaged are interested in. This story carries its mother-son relationship well beyond the usual. There is no extent to which this mom won't go to protect and exonerate her son, and some of the memories that are dredged up are troubling indeed.

In some aspects 'Mother' reaches back to Bong's 2003 '80's-set police procedural 'Memories of Murder,' particularly to its sensitive development of a small-town milieu. But this film is also full of comic aspects like the director's later international success 'The Host' (2006, also a NYFf selection). The focus on mysterious, isolated people relates to the main character in Bong's top-drawer segment of the 2008 'Tokyo!' trilogy, "Shaking Tokyo." Cell phone cameras, autographed golf balls, and acupuncture also play key roles in the story, which is full of interesting twists and turns. A major turnaround comes from Do-joon's bad-boy friend Jin-tae, whose true role we have no idea of at first.

Bong explodes the image of the ideal mother and as usual, bends genres in this new effort. At times this might seem a twisted psychological thriller with links to Douglas Sirk and Sam Fuller, and the occasionally old-fashioned movie music by Lee Byeong-woo, traditionally surging at key points, reinforces that impression. Ryu Seong-hie, the production designer, has worked extensively with Park Chan-wook, and d.p. Hong Gyeong-pyo does a superb job in integrating the looks of a wide variety of locations. This is highly sophisticated Korean cinema at its technical best.

We can't possibly reveal the outcome: the essence of 'Mother' is that its plot is packed with surprises. Perhaps indeed there are a few too many: the last ten minutes introduce further twists after the surprise climax that might better have been omitted. For all the great look, terrific acting, and explosive plot twists, I'm not sure this is up to the best of Bong Joon-ho's previous work. It's fun and entertaining especially at the outset and watchable throughout, but Bong and Park's screenplay meanders a bit. The film's inclusion in the 2009 New York Film Festival may owe more to timing, to the bloom that's still upon Korean cinema, and to Bong's status as an alumnus of the festival, than to the film's intrinsic merit. (Hong Sang-soo, a NYFF favorite, despite a new film that's received raves, is omitted this year. His 2008 NYFF Paris-based entry was somewhat lackluster. . .)

Bong's 'Mother'/'Madeo' was included in the "Un Certain Regard" series at Cannes, and shown as part of the New York Film Festival at Lincoln Center 2009.

_________________


18 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Ok, so who did it? lilostitch321
10/10..the best movie in years!! Why is this not in IMDB top 250 list?? praveenksingh
Actually the mother was the major cause of the girl's murder !!! tameem_10
Acupuncture, beginning and ending... maxwellmurder19
The cry in front of the new suspect in the jail. What does it mean? kimkegaard
For non-Koreans. Background info. and things you probably missed. deadtree77-1
Discuss Mother (2009) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?