Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Top 30 Favorite Korean Movies (1-10)

Top 30 Favorite Korean Movies (1-10)

Believe it or not my first obsession is not Asian dramas but movies. Since becoming addicted to dramas I also began watching more Asian films and found that I love them just as much. Below are my favorite Korean films that I love and hope you decide check out.

I Saw the Devil

    Soo Hyun’s life is turned upside down after the murder of his fiance. Driven by anger and grief, he sets out on a dark path of revenge against her murderer.

    I Saw the Devil was one of the first Korean movies that I ever watched and it remains my favorite Korean film to this day. This was my introduction to Lee Byung Hun and made me an instant fan. I love revenge films and Korea definitely does them well.


    Sunny is a film about a group of seven high school friends reuniting after many years to fulfill their former leader’s dying wish.

    This is the movie I usually recommend when someone asks for Korean movie suggestions. It’s a nice mixture of multiple elements including humor, friendship, first love and death. While sad at times it’s also quite inspiring what friendship can accomplish. The idea that seven women who are broken in some way can come together to help fix each other is quite beautiful.

Wedding Dress

    Go Eun is a single mother and wedding dress designer who discovers that she is dying.  She decides to spend her last days making her daughter happy and secretly creating her a wedding dress. Her daughter So Ra finds out about her mother’s condition and tries to fulfill her mother’s wishes.

    Unlike a lot of films on my list this one is not a romance but instead focuses on a mother/daughter relationship. Kim Hyang Gi who plays So Ra really blew me away and made this movie amazing. She brought such an intensity to her role as a little girl who has to grow up far too quickly.

Temptation of Wolves

     Jung Han Kyeong is a country girl who comes to live in the city with her mother after her father dies. She soon attracts the attentions of Ban Hae Won and his rival Jung Tae Sung.
    This movie surprised me because it turned out far differently than how it began. I was expecting a romantic comedy but got so much more. Kang Dong Won is the best part of the movie and I fell in love with his character.


A Millionaire's First Love

    Kang Jae Kyung is a spoiled, selfish and arrogant rich boy. He is forced to move to the country and graduate from the local high school in order to receive his inheritance. He then meets Choi Eun Hwan, a local girl whom he dislikes at first but gradually begins to fall for.

     The first half is a bit slow and some developments happen a bit fast but I still absolutely loved it. While not a perfect film, it has some of the most memorable scenes of any movie I’ve ever watched.


    Jang Cheol Min is a boxer who gets a job as a parking lot attendant. One day a blind woman named Ha Jung Hwa comes into his booth mistaking him for the previous attendant. The two slowly form a relationship that eventually becomes threatened by Cheol Min’s past.

     Always is romantic film that manages to be memorable without resorting to a tragic ending. This was my first time watching So Ji Sub in anything and I really loved him (not only because of the workout scenes but they didn’t hurt).

The Beast and the Beauty

     Ku Dong Gun is a voice actor with a beautiful but blind girlfriend named Jang Hae Jun. Hae Jun is eventually able to have a surgery to restore her sight but Dong Gun is nowhere to be found. Dong Gun has always considered himself unattractive and lied about his appearance. Hae Jun later runs into a detective who matches Dong Gun’s false description and he begins pursuing her.

    The Beast and the Beauty is a romance comedy that actually manages to be funny and sweet. It wouldn’t be a proper favorites list without a Shin Min Ah film because she is my favorite Korean actress. I like her in this but Ryoo Seung Bum as Dong Gun is the reason I ended up loving this movie. I’m a big fan of the themes of self acceptance and inner beauty and this film deftly handled them without being overly preachy or cheesy.

Silenced/ The Crucible

    The Crucible is based on the case of Gwangju Inhwa School for the hearing impaired where several faculty members sexually molested students over a 5-year period.

    The Crucible isn’t necessarily an enjoyable film (many parts are extremely uncomfortable to watch) as much as an important one. The fact that this film is based on real life events make it all the more heartbreaking. Gong Yoo is amazing in this as are the three child actors portraying the deaf students that came forward to testify.


       Nam Soon is a man who cannot feel pain and works as a money collector for a loan shark. He shocks clients into paying by beating himself up in front of them. He visits a client named Dong Hyun who suffers from hemophilia and his antics get her kicked out her apartment. After saving her from a group of homeless men, Nam Soo invites Dong Hyun to stay with him and an unlikely relationship starts to form.

     I was hesitant to watch this film at first when I learned that Jung Ryeo Won was in it. She portrayed my most despised drama character of  all time-Yoo Hee Jin in My Name is Kim Sam Soon. I was surprised by how much I enjoyed her performance in this and I have concluded that she was just a fantastic actress to make me hate her so much. I always love movies and shows that pair two really polar opposite people who end up being perfect for each other (i.e. Dong Ah and Manager Kim from Wild Romance).

My Sassy Girl


     Gyun Woo is a college student who has the misfortune to run into a very drunk girl at the subway station. This chance encounter leads to a relationship with the crazy and mysterious girl.
    My Sassy Girl is a really popular Korean film and usually makes it’s way onto many favorite Korean movie lists. One of the things that I really admire about Korean films is their ability to successfully mix multiple genres and this film is a perfect example. It makes me laugh one minute and cry the next but it’s an overall enjoyable ride. If you liked this film then definitely check out Windstruck which is it’s prequel-it’s really great as well.

   Obviously I really like crying because all these films, even the comedies and horror made me weep (I have issues). I love the variety of Korean films and the common theme of mixing genres. A lot of films on this list are not only my favorite Korean films but my favorite movies of all time.

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