13 Must-Watch South Korean Movies of All Time

Korean action movies offer intense emotions, gripping story line, and very realistic fight scenes. Korean action movies have a large fan following all over the world, and a number of actors of Korean origin enjoy immense popularity in Hollywood too. Here is a list of the best Korean action movies that you could watch.

The Villainness (2017)

The Villainess received a four-minute standing ovation at Cannes Film Festival. With pure kinetic thrills to satisfy genre enthusiasts the Villainess is a must watch for action lovers. Superfast action, crazy stunts mixed with bullets and knives, gripping story, top performance, and this movie is breathless exiting in which top assassin becomes a sleeper agent for South Korea’s intelligence agency.

The Age of Shadows (2016)

South Korean period action thriller film, It was selected as the South Korean entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 89th Academy Awards. The film has received critical acclaim. On Rotten Tomatoes, it holds an approval rating of 100%. With gripping story and stylish period visuals, it is a fantastic treat for period movie lovers.

Train to Busan (2016)

Train to Busan is a South Korean action horror film and the best zombie movie. The film set a record as the first Korean film of 2016 to break the audience record of over 10 million theatergoers. It became the highest-grossing Korean film in Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Rotten Tomatoes critics rating is 94% and an average rating of 7.57/10. The film has some resemblance to World War Z, however, it is emotionally very strong. Story follows a group of terrified passengers fighting their way through a countrywide viral outbreak while trapped on a suspicion-filled, blood-drenched bullet train ride to Busan, a southern resort city that has managed to hold off the zombie.

The Wailing (2016)

Commercial and critical success, The Wailing is a South Korean horror and mystery film. It’s running time is longer than average: 156 minutes; yet you could never describe it as a slow burn. This is a horror film that jumbles up ghosts, zombies, body horror, Eastern exorcism, Christian mythology, demonic curses, creepy children, and a lot more into one sustained narrative. The film centers on a policeman who investigates a series of mysterious killings and illnesses in a remote Korean hamlet. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 99% and an average rating of 7.92/10. Bone chilling…

Veteran (2015)

Veteran is a South Korean action comedy film, it is the 4th all-time highest-grossing film in South Korean cinema history. It is partially inspired by Lethal Weapon (1987).

The Suspect (2013)

It was a box office hit. The film currently holds a 75% “Certified Fresh” rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Action scenes are explosive and promise to send thrills to your nerves.

The Berlin File (2013)

It is a 2013 South Korean action thriller film tells the story of a North Korean agent in Berlin who is betrayed and cut loose when a weapons deal is exposed.

The Thieves (2012)

The Thieves is a heist film. It is currently the eighth highest-grossing film in Korean film history. It is Korean version of Ocean’s Eleven (2011) in Korean style. it is visually stunning with the blend of humour, romance and jaw dropping stunts.

The Man from Nowhere (2010)

It was South Korea’s highest grossing film in 2010. The film follows the story of a mysterious and shady man who embarks on a bloody rampage when the only person who seems to understand him, a little girl, is kidnapped. The Man from Nowhere has received positive reviews from English-language critics, holding a score of 100% on Rotten Tomatoes

The Good, the Bad, the Weird (2008)

It is a 2008 South Korean western action film. It was inspired by Sergio Leone’s The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. It was the second highest grossing Korean film in 2008, and one of the highest grossing films of all time in South Korea.

A Bittersweet Life (2005)

Organic, essential, beautifully staged and refreshingly realistic, this critically acclaimed stylish action film portrays the Korean ultra-violence genre that will have genre fans nailed to their seats. The best film of 2005, on Rotten Tomatoes, it currently holds a 100% rating, with an average score of 8.1 out of 10 based on ten reviews. Empire named it third in a poll of the “20 Greatest Gangster Movies You’ve Never Seen. The 2007 Indian film Awarapan contained plot elements similar to the film.

Shiri (1999)

Shiri was the first Hollywood-style big-budget blockbuster Korean film. The total budget of the film was US$8.5 million, at the time the single biggest budget allocated to a Korean movie, part of the budget was covered by the Samsung. The film was a critical and financial success in Korea and broke box office records.


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