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Best Korean Movies

Looking for the best Korean movies to add to your watchlist? Look no further! We’ve curated a list of must-watch Korean films that will captivate you with their unique storytelling, compelling characters, and stunning visuals. From gripping thrillers to heartwarming dramas, these movies showcase the incredible talent and creativity of Korean cinema. Get ready for an unforgettable cinematic experience that will leave you wanting more.

Looking for the best Korean movies to add to your watchlist? Look no further! Korean cinema has gained international recognition for its unique storytelling, compelling characters, and exceptional cinematography. From heartwarming dramas to gripping thrillers, Korean movies offer a diverse range of genres that cater to every movie lover’s taste.

One of the top Korean movies that has garnered critical acclaim is “Parasite.” Directed by Bong Joon-ho, this thought-provoking masterpiece explores social inequality with a perfect blend of dark humor and suspense. Another must-watch film is “Oldboy,” a mind-bending revenge thriller that will leave you on the edge of your seat.

If you’re a fan of romance, “My Sassy Girl” is a classic choice. This heartwarming tale of love and fate has captivated audiences worldwide. For those who enjoy action-packed movies, “Train to Busan” delivers intense zombie thrills set against the backdrop of a train ride.

Discovering the best Korean movies allows you to immerse yourself in captivating stories that showcase the rich culture and talent of Korean filmmakers. So grab some popcorn and get ready for an unforgettable cinematic experience!

# Movie Genre Director Rating
1 Oldboy Action, Drama, Mystery Chan-wook Park 9.2/10
2 Parasite Drama, Thriller, Comedy Bong Joon Ho 9.1/10
3 The Handmaiden Drama, Romance, Thriller Chan-wook Park 8.8/10
4 Train to Busan Action, Horror, Thriller Sang-ho Yeon 8.6/10
5 Memories of Murder Drama, Crime, Mystery Joon-ho Bong 8.5/10
6 A Tale of Two Sisters Drama, Horror, Mystery Jee-woon Kim 8.3/10
7 I Saw the Devil Action, Crime, Drama Jee-woon Kim 8.2/10
8 The Host Action, Drama, Horror Joon-ho Bong 8/10
9 The Wailing Drama, Fantasy, Horror Hong-jin Na 7.9/10
10 Joint Security Area Drama, Thriller, War Chan-wook Park 7.7/10


  • Genre: Thriller, Mystery, Drama
  • Director: Park Chan-wook
  • Release Date: 2003
  • Cast: Choi Min-sik, Yoo Ji-tae, Kang Hye-jung
  • Plot: After being mysteriously imprisoned for 15 years, Oh Dae-su is released and sets out to uncover the truth behind his captivity. As he delves deeper into the dark secrets of his past, he becomes consumed by revenge.

Oldboy is widely regarded as one of the best Korean movies ever made. Its intense storyline, brilliant performances, and shocking twists have captivated audiences around the world.


  • Genre: Comedy, Drama, Thriller
  • Director: Bong Joon-ho
  • Release Date: 2019
  • Cast: Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong
  • Plot: Parasite follows the story of the impoverished Kim family who infiltrates the wealthy Park family’s lives. As their deception unfolds, unexpected events take place that challenge their plans and expose the stark social inequality in Korean society.

Parasite made history by becoming the first Korean film to win the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and later went on to win four Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It is a masterful blend of genres that offers a thought-provoking commentary on class dynamics.

The Handmaiden

  • Genre: Drama, Romance, Thriller
  • Director: Park Chan-wook
  • Release Date: 2016
  • Cast: Kim Min-hee, Kim Tae-ri, Ha Jung-woo
  • Plot: Set in 1930s Korea during the Japanese occupation, The Handmaiden tells the story of a young pickpocket who is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress. As their lives intertwine, secrets and deceptions unravel in unexpected ways.

The Handmaiden showcases Park Chan-wook’s signature visual style and intricate storytelling. With its stunning cinematography and compelling performances, the film keeps viewers on the edge of their seats until the very end.

Train to Busan

  • Genre: Action, Horror, Thriller
  • Director: Yeon Sang-ho
  • Release Date: 2016
  • Cast: Gong Yoo, Ma Dong-seok, Jung Yu-mi
  • Plot: Train to Busan follows a group of passengers on a high-speed train from Seoul to Busan as they fight for survival during a zombie outbreak. The film explores themes of humanity, sacrifice, and the lengths people will go to protect their loved ones.

The intense action sequences and emotional depth of Train to Busan have made it a standout film in the zombie genre. It has gained international acclaim for its thrilling storyline and well-developed characters.

Memories of Murder

  • Genre: Crime, Drama, Mystery
  • Director: Bong Joon-ho
  • Release Date: 2003
  • Cast: Song Kang-ho, Kim Sang-kyung, Kim Roi-ha
  • Plot: Based on true events, Memories of Murder follows two detectives as they try to solve a series of brutal murders in a small Korean town. As the case becomes more complex, their methods and sanity are put to the test.

Memories of Murder is a gripping crime drama that delves into the psychological toll of the investigation and the impact it has on the characters involved. It is a haunting and thought-provoking film that lingers in the minds of viewers.

A Tale of Two Sisters

  • Genre: Horror, Drama, Mystery
  • Director: Kim Jee-woon
  • Release Date: 2003
  • Cast: Im Soo-jung, Moon Geun-young, Yum Jung-ah
  • Plot: A Tale of Two Sisters follows two sisters who return home after spending time in a mental institution. As they try to adjust to their new life, dark secrets from their past begin to resurface, leading to a series of chilling events.

A Tale of Two Sisters is a psychological horror film that skillfully blends supernatural elements with family drama. Its atmospheric storytelling and unexpected twists make it a standout in the genre.

I Saw the Devil

  • Genre: Action, Crime, Drama
  • Director: Kim Jee-woon
  • Release Date: 2010
  • Cast: Lee Byung-hun, Choi Min-sik
  • Plot: I Saw the Devil follows a secret agent who seeks revenge on a sadistic serial killer who murdered his fiancée. As he embarks on a relentless pursuit, he descends into darkness and questions his own morality.

I Saw the Devil is a gripping and brutal thriller that explores themes of vengeance and the blurred lines between good and evil. It showcases powerful performances and keeps viewers on the edge of their seats throughout.

The Host

  • Genre: Action, Horror, Drama
  • Director: Bong Joon-ho
  • Release Date: 2006
  • Cast: Song Kang-ho, Byun Hee-bong, Park Hae-il
  • Plot: The Host tells the story of a family who must rescue their daughter from a giant monster that emerges from the Han River in Seoul. As they face off against both the creature and the government’s incompetence, they discover the true nature of heroism.

The Host is a unique blend of monster movie, family drama, and social commentary. It combines thrilling action sequences with heartfelt moments, making it an engaging and entertaining watch.

The Wailing

  • Genre: Horror, Mystery, Thriller
  • Director: Na Hong-jin
  • Release Date: 2016
  • Cast: Kwak Do-won, Hwang Jung-min, Chun Woo-hee
  • Plot: The Wailing follows a police officer who investigates a series of mysterious deaths in his village. As he delves deeper into the case, he encounters a supernatural force that tests his beliefs and puts his family at risk.

The Wailing is a chilling and atmospheric horror film that keeps viewers guessing until the very end. It is known for its intricate storytelling, strong performances, and unsettling imagery.

Joint Security Area

  • Genre: Drama, Thriller, War
  • Director: Park Chan-wook
  • Release Date: 2000
  • Cast: Lee Young-ae, Lee Byung-hun, Song Kang-ho
  • Plot: Joint Security Area revolves around an investigation into a shooting incident at the border between North and South Korea. As the truth unfolds, it explores themes of friendship, loyalty, and the devastating consequences of political conflict.

Joint Security Area is a thought-provoking film that humanizes the soldiers stationed at the border and sheds light on the complexities of the Korean conflict. It showcases Park Chan-wook’s storytelling prowess and features compelling performances.

What are some of the best Korean movies?

Korean cinema has produced many exceptional films that have gained international acclaim. Some of the best Korean movies include “Oldboy,” a gripping revenge thriller directed by Park Chan-wook, and “Parasite,” a critically acclaimed dark comedy directed by Bong Joon-ho, which won multiple awards including the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. Another notable film is “The Handmaiden,” a visually stunning erotic thriller also directed by Park Chan-wook.

Are Korean movies only focused on specific genres?

No, Korean cinema covers a wide range of genres and themes. While there are popular genres like crime thrillers and romantic comedies, Korean filmmakers have also explored diverse genres such as historical dramas, horror films, and science fiction. This diversity is one of the reasons why Korean movies have gained global recognition and appeal to a broad audience.

Why are Korean movies gaining international popularity?

Korean movies have been gaining international popularity due to their unique storytelling, compelling characters, and innovative filmmaking techniques. They often tackle thought-provoking themes, showcase exceptional performances, and offer unexpected plot twists. Additionally, Korean filmmakers are known for their attention to detail and high production values, resulting in visually stunning films that captivate audiences worldwide.

Must-Watch Korean Movies

Korean cinema has gained international acclaim for its unique storytelling and captivating performances. Here are three must-watch Korean movies that have left a lasting impact:


Bong Joon-ho’s “Parasite” made history by becoming the first Korean film to win the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. This dark comedy-thriller explores social inequality through the lives of two families, delivering thought-provoking commentary and unexpected twists.


Park Chan-wook’s “Oldboy” is a gripping revenge tale that follows a man seeking vengeance after being mysteriously imprisoned for 15 years. With its intense action sequences and mind-bending plot, this neo-noir masterpiece has become a cult favorite among cinephiles.

“Train to Busan”

“Train to Busan” directed by Yeon Sang-ho is a thrilling zombie apocalypse film that takes place on a high-speed train. Combining heart-pounding suspense with emotional depth, this movie offers a fresh take on the zombie genre and keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.

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