Critic Reviews



Based on 15 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Once again, Lee has crafted a film of wondrous complexity and inscrutability. The more we see in Burning, the less sure we are of what we are watching.
This is Lee’s closest ever film to a thriller, but it defies expectations, offering multiple, murky solutions to a set of mysteries at once.
Burning is a character study that morphs, with masterly patience, subtlety and nary a single wasted minute, into a teasing mystery and eventually a full-blown thriller.
Burning keeps twisting back on itself, charting the path of a man waking up to the world, only to find that it won’t stop messing with him.
Burning comes together harshly, beautifully, unforgettably. It’s the kind of movie whose trajectory is largely unpredictable, even as it moves towards an outcome that feels, if only in retrospect, truly inevitable.
This is a beautifully crafted film loaded with glancing insights and observations into an understated triangular relationship, one rife with subtle perceptions about class privilege, reverberating family legacies, creative confidence, self-invention, sexual jealousy, justice and revenge.
Burning might not have a huge amount going on below its gorgeous surface, but it drags the viewer along with all the seductive intrigue of a frothy page-turner.
This is a gripping nightmare.
The degree to which Burning succeeds will depend largely on one’s capacity to identify with the unspoken but strongly conveyed sense of jealousy and frustration its lower-class protagonist feels, coupled with a need to impose some sense of order on events beyond our control.
There is so much fascinating, underplayed tension running through Burning.... I was a little let down, then, when Burning lost its steam in its second half.

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