15 Must Watch South Korean Movies

Native Title: 부산행
Also Known As: Busan Line , Busan Bound , Train Via Busan , Boosanhaeng , For Busan
Directors: Yeon Sang Ho
Genres: Action, Thriller, Horror, Zombies, Tragedy
Tags: Award-Winning, Virus, Father-Daughter Relationship, Apocalypse, Disaster
Country: South Korea
Type: Movie
Release Date: Jul 20, 2016
Duration: 1 hr. 58 min.
cast-Gong Yoo, Ma Dong-seok, Jung Yu-mi, Kim Su-an, Kim Eui-sung, Choi Woo-shik, Ahn So-hee

Seok-woo and his daughter are on a train to Busan on the latter’s birthday to see his wife. However, the journey turns into a nightmare when they are trapped amidst a zombie outbreak in South Korea

Native Title: 사도
Also Known As: Sado
Directors:
Genres: Historical, Drama, Family, Tragedy
Tags: Father-Son Relationship, Crown Prince, Joseon Dynasty
Country: South Korea
Type: Movie
Release Date: Sep 16, 2015
Duration: 2 hr. 5 min.
cast- Song Kang-ho, Yoo Ah-in, Moon Geun-young

Set during the reign of King Yeongjo, the film is about the life of Crown Prince Sado, the heir to the throne who was deemed unfit to rule and, at age 27, was condemned to death by his own father by getting locked in a rice chest for eight days until he suffocated and starved.

Native Title: 마이웨이
Also Known As: D-Day , Prisoners of War
Screenwriter & Directors: Kang Je Gyu
Genres: Action, Historical, Drama, War, Tragedy
Tags: World War 2, Japanese Colonial Rule
Country: South Korea
Type: Movie
Release Date: Dec 21, 2011
Duration: 2 hr. 17 min.
cast-Jang Dong-gun, Joe Odagiri, Fan Bingbing

In World War II-era Korea, rival runners, one Korean (Jang Dong-gun) and one Japanese (Joe Odagiri), go to war together against the Soviets.

Native Title: 신과함께-죄와 벌
Also Known As: Singwa Hamgge , With God , Shingwa Hamkke
Screenwriter & Directors: Kim Yong Hwa
Genres: Action, Drama, Fantasy
Tags: Afterlife, Adapted From A Webtoon
Country: South Korea
Type: Movie
Release Date: Dec 20, 2017
Along With the Gods: The Last 49 Days (Sequel)
Cast- Ha Jung-woo, Cha Tae-hyun, Ju Ji-hoon, Kim Hyang-gi

Story of the death of an ordinary fireman named Kim Ja-hongand three grim reapers, who escorts Ja-hong to the afterlife, where he will assign a public defender to represent him in 7 trials in 49 days to find out how he lived his life and where he ought to spend the rest of eternity.

Native Title: 히말라야
Also Known As: Himalaya
Genres: Adventure, Drama, Tragedy
Tags: Biography, Mountain Climbing, Based On True Story
Country: South Korea
Type: Movie
Release Date: Dec 16, 2015
Duration: 2 hr. 5 min.
Cast-Hwang Jung-min, Jung Woo, Jo Sung-ha

Mountaineer Hong-Gil Um sets out to climb Mt. Everest to retrieve his junior climbing partner’s body.

(Friendship, Tragedy)

Native Title: 7번방의 선물
Also Known As: 12 Wol 23 Il , December 23rd , December 23 , 7beonbangui Seonmool , 12월 23일 , Gift From Room 7 , Number 7 Room’s Gift , 7beon Bangui Seonmul
Screenwriters: Yoo Young Ah, Kim Young Suk, Kim Hwang Sung
Screenwriter & Directors: Lee Hwan Kyung
Genres: Friendship, Law, Drama, Family, Tragedy
Release Date: Jan 23, 2013
Duration: 2 hr. 7 min.
Cast- Ryu Seung-ryong, Kal So-won, Park Shin-hye

Inmates at a Korean prison join forces to protect a comrade and his young daughter, who cannot bear to be separated for even a moment

Native Title: 수상한 그녀
Also Known As: Suspicious Woman , Soosanghan Geunyeo
Genres: Music, Comedy, Drama, Family, Supernatural
Country: South Korea
Type: Movie
Release Date: Jan 22, 2014
Duration: 2 hr. 4 min.
Cast-Na Moon-hee, Shim Eun-kyung

Na Moon-hee stars as a woman in her 70s who magically finds herself in the body of her 20-year-old self (Shim Eun-kyung) after having her picture taken at a mysterious photo studio.

Native Title: 미쓰 와이프
Also Known As: Miss Wife
Directors: Kang Hyo Jin
Genres: Comedy, Romance, Fantasy
Tags: Second Chance, Reincarnation
Country: South Korea
Type: Movie
Release Date: Aug 13, 2015
Duration: 2 hr. 5 min.
cast-Uhm Jung-hwa, Song Seung-heon

Due to a mistake from heaven, Yeon Woo, a female attorney, dies. Before she is able to return to her normal self, she must live as an ordinary housewife for a month. She begins her temporary new life with her new husband, Sung Hwan , son Ha Roo and daughter, Ha Neul.

Native Title: 터널
Also Known As: Teoneol , The Tunnel
Screenwriter & Directors: Kim Sung Hoon
Genres: Suspense, Thriller, Drama
Tags: Survival
Country: South Korea
Type: Movie
Release Date: Aug 10, 2016
Duration: 2 hr. 6 min.
Cast- Jung-woo Ha, Doona Bae, Dal-su Oh, Jeong-geun Sin.

A car salesman (Ha Jung-woo) fights for survival inside a collapsed tunnel while rescue workers race against time to free him

Native Title: 김씨 표류기
Also Known As: Kim’s Island , Kimssi Pyoryoogi , Kimsshi Pyoryugi , Kim-sshi Pyoryugi , 김씨표류기
Screenwriter & Directors: Lee Hae Joon
Genres: Comedy, Life, Drama
Country: South Korea
Type: Movie
Release Date: May 14, 2009
Duration: 1 hr. 56 min.
Cast Jung Jae-young as Kim Seong-geun
Jung Ryeo-won as Kim Jung-yeon

It is a story between a suicidal man turned castaway on Bamseom in the Han River and a Hikikomori woman who is addicted to Cyworld.

Native Title: 내 머리속의 지우개
Also Known As: Nae Meorisokui Jiugae , 내 머리 , An Eraser in My Head
Genres: Romance, Drama, Melodrama
Tags: Alzheimer’s Disease
Country: South Korea
Type: Movie
Release Date: Nov 5, 2004
Duration: 2 hr. 25 min.
Cast- Jung Woo-sung, Son Ye-jin

A Korean love story about a young couple’s enduring love, which is tested when 27-year-old Sun-jin is diagnosed with a rare form of Alzheimer’s disease.

Native Title: 오싹한 연애
Also Known As Ossakhan Yeonae , Chilling Romance, Eerie Romance
Genres: Horror, Comedy, Romance, Drama, Melodrama
Tags: Ghost-seeing Female Lead
Country: South Korea
Type: Movie
Release Date: Dec 1, 2011
Duration: 1 hr. 54 min.
Cast-Starring: Son Ye-jin; Lee Min-ki

Yeo-Ri (Ye-jin Son) sees ghosts and crazy things happen to the people around her. When she joins Jo-Goo’s (Min-ki Lee) show, he offers to help her find a way out before the ghosts can chase him away.

Native Title: 소원
Also Known As: Wish , Sowon , Hope
Directors:
Screenwriters: Kim Ji Hye, Jo Joong Hoon
Genres: Drama, Family
Tags: Rape, Based On True Story, Sexual Assault
Country: South Korea
Type: Movie
Release Date: Oct 2, 2013
Duration: 2 hr. 2 min.
Cast-Sol Kyung-gu , Uhm Ji-won, Lee Re

The tragedy of an 8-year-old girl coping with a gruesome rape damaging her internally and affecting emotionally tries to overcome all obstacles that are about to happen in her life aftermath of the incident with a good support from her family and those around her. —anonymous

Native Title: 택시운전사
Also Known As Taeksi Woonjunsa , Taeksi Unjeonsa
Directors: Jang Hoon
Screenwriters: Jo Seul Ye, Uhm Yoo Na
Genres: Action, Historical, Drama, Political
Tags: Gwanju Uprising, Based On True Story
Country: South Korea
Type: Movie
Release Date: Aug 2, 2017
Duration: 2 hr. 17 min.
Cast-Song Kang-ho, Thomas Kretschmann

In 1980, a foreign journalist hires a down-on-his-luck taxi driver to take him to Gwangju, South Korea. They soon arrive to find a city under siege by student protesters and the military.

Native Title: 연평해전
Also Known As Yeonpyeong Haejeon , N.L.L.-연평해전 , NLL-연평해전 , N.L.L.-Battle of Yeonpyeong, NLL-Battle of Yeonpyeong, Battle of Yeonpyeong
Genres: Action, Military, War
Tags: Based On True Story
Country: South Korea
Type: Movie
Release Date: Jun 24, 2015
Duration: 2 hr. 10 min.
Cast- Kim Mu-yeol, Jin Goo, Lee Hyun-woo

This movie follows the incident knows as the second battle of Yeonpyeong which happened in 2002 in Korea.

Native Title: 범죄도시
Also Known As Beomjoidosi, BumJoedoshi, Criminal City, Crime City
Screenwriter & Directors: Kang Yoon Sung
Genres: Action, Crime
Tags: Gang, Gangster, Extreme Violence, Based On True Story, Detective
Country: South Korea
Type: Movie
Release Date: Oct 3, 2017
Duration: 2 hr. 1 min.

cast- Ma Dong-Seok, Yoon Kye-sang

Based on real events, this crime action film depicts a Seoul detective’s attempts to keep the peace while two Chinese-Korean gangs battle over turf in the neighbourhood.

I have watched around 75 South Korean Movies including both completed/finished and unfinished/dropped movies. I wanted to make a post about the best Korean movies that I’ve watched so I started making a list of best movies from my watchlist. I can’t really explain how these movies made me feel (especially those based on a true story) while and after watching them but I am sure everyone will like them. Most of the movies here are popular, best rated, with sequels and highly viewed. I highly recommend all these movies.

(I tried to keep plot info as spoiler free as possible so don’t let that stop you from watching the movie. Details are from mydramalist, plot info is from IMDB or Google search. )

Please note that I made my list of best movies and then sorted them here with genres. I am not trying to say that the movie mentioned under particular genre is the best movie under that genre (for me it is!) among all movies released, as I may not have watched all the movies.

I have a lot more movies for the recommendations but they are not among the top 15 so I will make another post about it. Also, I am planning to watch more South Korean movies next month. Silenced, Han Gong Ju are some of the movies in my plan to watch list.

Let me know if you have watched any of the movies listed above. You can also write recommendations for me, I would be glad to check them out.

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9 thoughts on “15 Must Watch South Korean Movies

  1. I totally loved your list. Have watched train to busan. It was good. Looking forward to watch the rest of them. Your blog is unique. And I totally love it!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Thank you.☺ I hope you enjoy the rest of the Korean movies too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Along With The Gods is one of the best movies I have ever seen. And it’s sequel didn’t disappoint either. I can’t wait to watch more of the ones from your list, Miracle in Cell 7 is definitely waiting for me, but I heard that it is quite heartbreaking so I’m waiting for just the right moment to watch it.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I didn’t know Along with gods sequel 49 days was available online. I got it today so I will definitely watch it asap. And miracle in cell no 7 is not that heartbreaking starting is tenser and there’s a lot of fun in middle too. If you like that movie when you watch it, you can also check prison Playbook. It’s also in prison setting but really the best, one of my most favourite dramas ever.

    Like

  5. A Moment to Remember is so sad. It broke my heart when I watched it.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It sure is! I had to watch it because it was mentioned just everywhere about it. I did and it was great. Main lead way more good-looking than in posters.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for this list. I’ve watched and loved Train To Busan, Spellbound, and Northern Limit Line. I distinctly remember shedding tears in NLL. I’m a cryer though lol. So many people sing praises for Along With The Gods. I really need to get around to watching that. I’ll be adding quite a few movies onto my to watch list. Thanks for the suggestions. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Welcome. There’s a sequel of Along with the gods which is available but not with good quality subs. I hope you like other movies too.

    Like

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