FILM2.0's Top 37 Korean Films (2002)

by mymovieslists | created - 16 Sep 2011 | updated - 10 Jan 2012 | Public

List source

In a 2002 survey, FILM2.0 magazine asked 74 critics to vote for the greatest Korean films. #1 Obaltan received 28 votes. All of these films received at least 2 votes. At the list source you can see an extended list and the top directors.

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1. Obaltan (1961)

110 min | Drama

A pressured accountant, his war veteran brother and their dysfunctional family struggle with integrating into post-War Korean society.

Director: Hyun-mok Yoo | Stars: Mu-ryong Choi, Jin Kyu Kim, Jeong-suk Moon, Ae-ja Seo

Votes: 371

2. Hanyo (1960)

Not Rated | 109 min | Crime, Drama, Thriller

A composer and his wife are thrown into turmoil when a housemaid becomes more than they bargained for.

Director: Ki-young Kim | Stars: Jin Kyu Kim, Jeung-nyeo Ju, Eun-shim Lee, Aeng-ran Eom

Votes: 2,367

3. Mandala (1981)

117 min | Drama

A story that follows the lives and interactions of two Buddhist monks living in South Korea.

Director: Kwon-taek Im | Stars: Sung-Ki Ahn, Mu-song Jeon, Jong-su Kim

Votes: 211

4. Bakha satang (1999)

129 min | Drama

Consists of five phases of a man's life about why he committed suicide in the end.

Director: Chang-dong Lee | Stars: Kyung-gu Sol, Yeo-jin Kim, Jung Suh, So-Ri Moon

Votes: 6,227

5. Daijiga umule pajinnal (1996)

115 min | Drama

About desires and lives of four characters in diverse circumstances. A poor novelist, a cheating wife, a mysophobic husband and a ticket girl.

Director: Sang-soo Hong | Stars: Eun-hee Bang, Eun-sook Cho, Eui-sung Kim, Eung-Kyung Lee

Votes: 677

7. Palwolui Keuriseumaseu (1998)

Not Rated | 97 min | Drama, Romance

Hahn Suk-Kyu suffers from a fatal disease. He meets Shim Eun-Ha and falls in love with her. What will be the fate of this love - will it be a tragic ending?

Director: Jin-ho Hur | Stars: Suk-kyu Han, Eun-ha Shim, Goo Shin, Ji-hye Oh

Votes: 2,981

8. Balambuleo joheun nal (1980)

113 min | Drama, Romance

This is a film about the coming of age of three men.

Director: Jang-ho Lee | Stars: Sung-Ki Ahn, Seong-chan Kim, Yeong-ho Lee, Ji-in Yu

Votes: 43

9. Sopyonje (1993)

112 min | Drama, Music

Despite its falling popularity, a father teaches his two children the Korean musical tradition of Pansori (one singer accompanied by one drummer).

Director: Kwon-taek Im | Stars: Myung-gon Kim, Jung-hae Oh, Kyu-chul Kim, Sae-kil Shin

Votes: 762

10. Oasis (2002)

133 min | Drama, Romance

79 Metascore

An irresponsible and childish ex-con befriends a girl with cerebral palsy and develops a progressively stronger bond with her.

Director: Chang-dong Lee | Stars: Kyung-gu Sol, So-Ri Moon, Nae-sang Ahn, Seung-wan Ryoo

Votes: 6,462

11. Nowhere to Hide (1999)

R | 112 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

55 Metascore

A team of police hunt down a villain.

Director: Myung-se Lee | Stars: Joong-Hoon Park, Sung-Ki Ahn, Dong-Gun Jang, Ji-Woo Choi

Votes: 1,668 | Gross: $0.02M

12. Painted Fire (2002)

Unrated | 120 min | Biography, Drama, History

78 Metascore

In a time of political and social unrest in nineteenth-century Korea, an uncouth, self-taught painter explores his natural talent amidst the repressive world around him.

Director: Kwon-taek Im | Stars: Min-sik Choi, Sung-Ki Ahn, Ho-jeong Yu, Yeo-jin Kim

Votes: 2,368 | Gross: $0.06M

13. Sampoganeun kil (1975)

95 min | Drama

Going through a jail and a site of construction, a young laborer Young-Dal meets middle aged Mr. Jeong on his way to his hometown Sampo after ten years' absence. They become to know a ... See full summary »

Director: Man-hui Lee | Stars: Il-seob Baek, Jin Kyu Kim, Suk Mun, Ki-beom Kim

Votes: 79

14. Kangwon-do ui him (1998)

110 min | Drama

(Korean with English subtitles) Helmed by one of Korea's leading directors, Hong Sang-soo, Jisook joins two of her girlfriends for a holiday in Korea's Kangwon Province. But in an eerie ... See full summary »

Director: Sang-soo Hong | Stars: Jong-hak Baek, Jaehyun Chun, Sunyoung Im, Yoosuk Kim

Votes: 620

15. Joint Security Area (2000)

Not Rated | 110 min | Action, Drama, Thriller

58 Metascore

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, Tae-woo Kim

Votes: 22,589

17. Why Has Bodhi-Dharma Left for the East? (1989)

Not Rated | 137 min | Drama

About three monks in a remote monastery; an aging master, a small orphan and a young man who left his city life to seek Enlightenment.

Director: Yong-Kyun Bae | Stars: Yi Pan-Yong, Sin Won-Sop, Hae-Jin Huang, Su-Myong Ko

Votes: 1,104

18. The Coachman (1961)

120 min | Drama

A man tries to raise his two sons and two daughters under some of the most adverse conditions known to man. The father operates a horse-drawn cart, but in a city that is modernizing after ... See full summary »

Director: Dae-jin Kang | Stars: Seung-ho Kim, Yeong-gyun Shin, Jeong-sun Hwang, Mi-lyeong Jo

Votes: 77

19. Babo seoneon (1983)

97 min | Comedy, Drama

This is a film which ridicules the weaknesses of South Korean society.

Director: Jang-ho Lee | Stars: Bo-Hee Lee, Myung-gon Kim, Hie-seong Lee, Kim Jee-Young

Votes: 50

20. Arirang (1926)

Action, Drama

A man comes to stay at a friend's house in the country. The household consists of a father, daughter, and a mentally disturbed son. The man falls in love with the daughter. One day she is ... See full summary »

Director: Ra Un-Gya | Stars: Woon-gyu Na, Il-seon Shin, Gung-un Nam, Myeong-seon Hong

Votes: 19

22. Pursuit of Death (1980)

110 min | Drama

Two ruined, old adversaries meet in a rehab center and reassess the conflict that dominated their lives since the Korean War. One man is a former cop and the other is a former communist ... See full summary »

Director: Kwon-taek Im | Stars: Hee-ra Kim, Yun-seok Choi, Hie Bang, Jeong-ran Kim

Votes: 42

24. Babodeuli haengjin (1975)

102 min | Comedy

The story is set in the 1970s during the period of military dictatorship. Schools were freequently closed down nd society seemed to face bleak prospects on all fronts. Nonetheless, Byung ... See full summary »

Director: Kil-jong Ha | Stars: Nam-hyeon Choi, Jae-yeong Ha, Myeong-jung Ha, Se-geun Jeong

Votes: 64

25. Swiri (1999)

R | 125 min | Action, Thriller

50 Metascore

South Korean agents Ryu and Lee are tracking a female assassin from North Korea who has mysteriously disappeared. With new killings and the theft of a deadly bomb, time is running out to catch her.

Director: Je-kyu Kang | Stars: Suk-kyu Han, Min-sik Choi, Yunjin Kim, Kang-ho Song

Votes: 7,437 | Gross: $0.10M

26. Chunhyangdyun (2000)

R | 120 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

79 Metascore

Mongryong marries the beautiful Chunhyang without telling his father, the Governor of Namwon. When his father is transferred to Seoul, Mongryong has to leave Chunhyang and finish his exams.... See full summary »

Director: Kwon-taek Im | Stars: Hyo-jeong Lee, Seung-woo Cho, Sung-nyu Kim, Hak-young Kim

Votes: 1,487 | Gross: $0.80M

27. Go-yang-i-leul boo-tak-hae (2001)

112 min | Drama

69 Metascore

In the port city of Icheon, five female friends struggle to stay close while forging a life for themselves after high school. When one of the group, upwardly-mobile Hae-ju, moves to Seoul, ... See full summary »

Director: Jae-eun Jeong | Stars: Doona Bae, Yo-won Lee, Ji-young Ok, Eung-sil Lee

Votes: 2,102 | Gross: $0.00M

28. Gilsoddeum (1986)

100 min | Drama

A historical drama that incorporates real footage from the 1983 KBS campaign to reunite families divided by the Korean War with the fictional story of Hwa-yeong, a woman who leaves her ... See full summary »

Director: Kwon-taek Im | Stars: Ji-mee Kim, Sung-il Shin, Ji-il Han, Kim Jee-Young

Votes: 55

29. Gipgo puleun bam (1985)

93 min | Drama

Baek Ho-bin jumps into an arranged marriage with Jane for a green card and a chance to succeed in America. Because she felt like an isolated foreigner, his love is a beacon of hope. When ... See full summary »

Director: Chang-ho Bae | Stars: Sung-Ki Ahn, Mi-hee Chang, Yu-yeong Jin, Min-hie Choi

Votes: 31

30. No. 3 (1997)

108 min | Action, Comedy, Crime

Tae Ju, number 3 man in his gangster organization, he wants to be the number one. Can he realize his ambition?

Director: Neung-han Song | Stars: Eun-hee Bang, Min-sik Choi, Suk-kyu Han, Mi-yeon Lee

Votes: 516

31. Saenghwalui balgyeon (2002)

115 min | Drama

Actor Kyung Soo leaves Seoul to visit an old classmate. The reunion with his friend does not amount to much, but the trip does lead to some romantic encounters. He gets involved with two ... See full summary »

Director: Sang-soo Hong | Stars: Sang-mi Choo, Ji-won Ye, Kil-kang Ahn, George Georgiou

Votes: 979

32. Jeon tae-il (1995)

92 min | Drama

The film intercuts two stories, one in black and white, one in color. From 1965 to 1970, we follow Jeon Tae-Il, a poor young man who quits street vending to work in a garment factory. Amid ... See full summary »

Director: Kwang-su Park | Stars: Kyoung-In Hong, Bo-kyeong Kim, Sun-Jae Kim, Seong-kun Mun

Votes: 196

33. Iodo (1977)

110 min | Mystery

An investor planning on developing a tourist resort begins an investigation into the legends of the mysterious Io Island in the hope of exploiting its unspoiled beauty.

Director: Ki-young Kim | Stars: Hwa-shi Lee, Jeong-cheol Kim, Yun-seok Choi, Mi-hye Kwon

Votes: 202

35. Jigureul jikyeora! (2003)

Unrated | 118 min | Comedy, Drama, Fantasy

70 Metascore

Byeong-gu believes that the world is on the verge of an alien invasion, and sets out to save the world.

Director: Joon-Hwan Jang | Stars: Ha-kyun Shin, Yun-shik Baek, Jung-min Hwang, Jae-yong Lee

Votes: 6,983 | Gross: $0.01M

36. Paupjeonya (1990)

105 min | Drama

There are 200 miserably impoverished people working in the Dongseong Metalworks Factory. JU Wan-ik is introduced to the forging team as a new member of the team and they all go drinking together to welcome him.

Directors: Dong-hong Jang, Yun-hyeon Jang, Eun Lee, J.Q. Lee

Votes: 10

37. Hwabun (1972)

85 min | Drama, Mystery

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Director: Kil-jong Ha | Stars: Ji-hie Choi, Kung-won Nam

Votes: 22

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