First, there was Parasite, and then there was Squid Game, and you've suddenly found yourself hooked on Korean filmmaking and the distinctive style of its creations. You've probably stumbled upon some Korean dramas, too, but those might've been too easy a watch for you. Then, you found the works of the legendary director Kim Ki-duk, and now you probably want to explore more and more of the movies that the Korean film industry has spawned. If so, you are absolutely in the right place as we've prepared a thorough list of the best Korean movies up to date!

You wouldn't believe how many Korean films hold a 100% approval rate on Rotten Tomatoes - it seems that the directors have found some secret formula to make exceptionally good movies! And, even though their formula usually consists of a slow pace, deep character studies, and mesmerizing visuals - very unlike the formula the Hollywood counterparts use - their unique stories enthrall even a hardened prêt-à-porter movie fan. And if you are a real cinephile, these Korean movies will definitely live up to your high standards.

So, scroll down below and check out our collection of the best Korean movies made up to this day. From the creations of the master of arts, Kim Ki-duk, to earlier works of Bong Joon Ho, you will definitely find some very, very interesting movies here. Oh, right, and don't forget to share this article with your friends! 

#1

Parasite

Parasite

2019 | 2 hours 12 minutes | Directed by Bong Joon Ho
 

Starring Kang-ho Song, Sun-kyun Lee, Yeo-jeong Cho
 

Parasite is a black comedy thriller film following the story of a poor family as they try to get hired by a wealthy one posing as unrelated, highly qualified individuals. Then, of course, greed and class divide threatens this newly forged symbiotic relationship, and everyone's lives turn even sourer than they were before. Parasite blew away the audiences and the critics and became the first-ever foreign-language film to win an Academy Award in the Best Picture category. It's a truly enthralling piece that will leave you thinking about the stark social commentary it has voiced for days after watching.

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Raven Sheridan
Community Member
1 month ago

I'm terrified that the Americans are going to do an English language remake of this masterpiece! Because, let's be honest, the remake will be s**t.

#2

Poetry

Poetry

2010 | 2 hours 19 minutes | Directed by Lee Chang-dong
 

Starring Yun Jeon-hie, Lee Da-wit, Kim Hee-ra

Poetry is a drama film that follows the story of an older woman who discovers the joy of poetry while battling early Alzheimer's symptoms and taking care of her irresponsible grandson. It's a slow-moving film that's nevertheless haunting and positively breathtaking for its harrowing topics juxtaposed with serene sceneries. Poetry is also one of those unicorn-like movies to hold a 100% approval rate on Rotten Tomatoes. This means, of course, that Poetry truly speaks a universal cinematic language that knows no barriers and is deeply touching no matter where you're from.

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#3

The Age Of Shadows

The Age Of Shadows

2016 | 2 hours 20 minutes | Directed by Jee-woon Kim
 

Starring Lee Byung-hun, Kang-ho Song, Gong Yoo
 

The Age Of Shadows is a period action thriller set in Shanghai and Seoul in the 1920s. It follows a relentless chase between a Korean resistance group trying to smuggle explosives to Seoul to destroy Japanese facilities and the Japanese agents trying to stop them. In the middle of it is a Korean-born Japanese police officer faced with the dilemma of duty and working for a greater cause. The Age Of Shadows is a very stylish and no less exciting thriller, one that an action movie fan should never miss. 

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#4

Mother

Mother

2009 | 2 hours 9 minutes | Directed by Bong Joon Ho
 

Starring Hye-ja Kim, Won Bin, Jin Goo

Mother is a thriller film centering around a mother who finds herself in dire straits after her intellectually disabled son is accused of a horrific murder. Now it is up to her to find out who has framed her son and who is responsible for this killing. Saturated with eerie visuals and harrowing family drama, Mother is surely one dazzling watch.

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#5

The Wailing

The Wailing

2016 | 2 hours 36 minutes | Directed by Na Hong-jin
 

Starring Jun Kunimura, Jung-min Hwang, Kwak Do-won

The Wailing is a horror film following mysterious events that happen in a remote village called Gokseong. Upon the arrival of a stranger, the settlement is plagued by a mysterious illness and bizarre killings. A policeman steps up to solve these mysteries in the hope of saving his daughter and the population of the village. The Wailing shows just how powerful masterful storytelling can be - even though you're terrified from the first minute, there's no way you won't finish watching this chilling story.

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#6

Hotel By The River

Hotel By The River

2018 | 1 hour 36 minutes | Directed by Hong Sang-soo
 

Starring Ju-bong Gi, Hae-hyo Kwon, Kim Min-hee

Hotel By The River is a drama film about intersecting fates, creating a metaphor for modern living. In the dead of winter, a poet invites his sons for a reunion. A newly divorced woman and some young ladies are staying there too, and the gentlemen cannot resist learning more about them. Hotel By The River is a mesmerizingly slow movie with black-and-white visuals that are as stunning as art masterpieces.

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#7

The Handmaiden

The Handmaiden

2016 | 2hours 25 minutes | Directed by Park Chan-wook
 

Starring Kim Min-hee, Ha Jung-woo, Cho Jin-woong

The Handmaiden is an erotic psychological thriller inspired by Sarah Waters' novel Fingersmith. The events in The Handmaiden are set in the times of Japanese rule over Korea and follow a young girl hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress. However, she's not some inconspicuous girl as she's in on a conspiracy to defraud the heiress. While The Handmaiden uses numerous sexually explicit scenes to tell the story, they do make the movie more sumptuous rather than distasteful and, in turn, give the viewer a thoroughly entertaining thriller to watch.

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#8

Burning

Burning

2018 | 2 hours 28 minutes | Directed by Lee Chang-dong
 

Starring Yoo Ah-in, Steven Yeun, Jeon Jong-seo

Burning is a psychological thriller film based on the short story Barn Burning from The Elephant Vanished by Haruki Murakami. A young and poor delivery man, Jong-su, runs into his childhood friend, Hae-mi, who then asks him to care for her cat while she goes to visit Africa. Once she's back, she introduces a new friend, Ben, who's filthy rich and terribly mysterious. Soon enough, his secret floats to the surface, and now Jong-su is worried about Hae-mi's safety. The events in Burning happen at an anxiously slow pace, but if you bear with it, the rewards are insurmountable.

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#9

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... And Spring

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... And Spring

2003 | 1 hour 43 minutes | Directed by Kim Ki-duk
 

Starring Kim Ki-duk, Oh Yeong-su, Jong-ho Kim

Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… And Spring is a drama romance film where the epicenter of the events is a Buddhist monastery floating in a pristine lake. We follow one of the monks residing there as he goes through the seasons of his life - from childhood to adult life to old age. If you think this movie is likely too sentimental for your taste, then you definitely haven't got the slightest idea of Kim Ki-duk's mastery - this movie's tranquility will immerse you into a sort of meditation, out of which you'll probably come as a new person entirely. A true Korean modern cinema classic!

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#10

Train To Busan

Train To Busan

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Fabulous Pigeon
Community Member
1 month ago

OMG Totally recommend this! I watched and loved it! Except for that crappy man in a brown suit. You'll understand

#11

The Host

The Host

2006 | 2 hours | Directed by Bong Joon Ho
 

Starring Kang-ho Song, Byun Hee-bong, Park Hae-il

The Host is a monster film inspired by an article about a deformed fish caught in the Han River. So, basically, a real story! Here, the monster kidnaps a man's daughter, and now it is up to him to free her and bring her to safety, which isn't exactly an easy task when the kidnapper is a humongous river monster. And don't let the genre "monster film" deter you from watching The Host! It's a marvelous combination of amusement, thrills, intellectual writing, and satire, making this movie into a genre-defying masterpiece.

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#12

On The Beach At Night Alone

On The Beach At Night Alone

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#13

Right Now, Wrong Then

Right Now, Wrong Then

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#14

Memories Of Murder

Memories Of Murder

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#15

Save The Green Planet!

Save The Green Planet!

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#16

Treeless Mountain

Treeless Mountain

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#19

A Tale Of Two Sisters

A Tale Of Two Sisters

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#24

Welcome To Dongmakgol

Welcome To Dongmakgol

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#25

Extreme Job

Extreme Job

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Evgeniya Khon
Community Member
1 month ago

This movie is just great!!!! Recommend to watch!

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#27

The Villainess

The Villainess

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#28

The Good, The Bad, The Weird

The Good, The Bad, The Weird

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#31

Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood Of War

Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood Of War

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#32

I Saw The Devil

I Saw The Devil

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#33

Lady Vengeance

Lady Vengeance

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#36

Secret Sunshine

Secret Sunshine

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#37

Peppermint Candy

Peppermint Candy

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#39

Joint Security Area

Joint Security Area

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#41

King And The Clown

King And The Clown

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#42

The Man From Nowhere

The Man From Nowhere

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#43

A Bittersweet Life

A Bittersweet Life

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#44

Miracle In Cell No. 7

Miracle In Cell No. 7

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#45

The Beauty Inside

The Beauty Inside

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#48

Along With The Gods: The Two Worlds

Along With The Gods: The Two Worlds

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