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23 Korean Movies So Good, You’ll Want To Watch On Repeat! 

23 Korean Movies So Good, You’ll Want To Watch On Repeat! 

By now we have all become familiar with BTS, Blackpink, EXO, and many music groups, thanks to the K-Pop riptide that has taken over the world. This time there is another storm heading our way bringing the best Korean movies to the fore. Following the mainstream success of Parasite and Squid Games, there has been a growing appetite for South Korean content. If you, like many others, are looking to explore this genre but don’t know where to start, might we recommend some of the best Korean movies that are worth watching? 

Unique storylines, well-written characters, and great acting performances make these Korean movies a compelling watch. Our list below features the best Korean movies of all time to get you started on your journey to explore Korean cinema.

Best Korean Movies Of All Time

  • The Handmaiden
  • Parasite
  • The Beauty Inside
  • Be With You
  • Memories Of Murder
  • A Taxi Driver
  • Poetry

Excited about dipping your feet into Korean cinema? Let’s get you started with a selection of the best Korean movies of all time that you will surely like! 

The Handmaiden

First on our list of the best Korean movies of all time is an erotic-psych thriller, The Handmaiden. Set in 1930s Korea which was under Japanese occupation, a maid is hired to look after a wealthy and lonely Japanese heir. The handmaiden is revealed to be a Trojan horse sent by a man who wants to drain the heir of her wealth. His plan seemed to work until a secret romantic relationship starts to blossom. This film about passion, jealousy, betrayal, and deception will keep you hooked until the end! 

Parasite

Parasite is easily one of the best Korean movies ever, and also has an Oscar to prove it! Ki-taek and his family are struggling to make ends meet until a job offer comes along that promises to turn around his fortunes. His employers are a rich family living in their ivory towers, detached from the reality of the lives of those below. After Ki-taek manages to secure all his family members a job at his employer’s house, they face a life-altering situation that forms the crux of the movie. 

The Beauty Inside

This 2015 movie makes it to the list of the best Korean movies of all time thanks to its unique and entertaining plotline. Woo-Jin, a furniture designer, wakes up one day to find himself trapped in the body of someone else. The curse continues as every day he wakes up to a new physical identity with varying gender, race, and nationalities, while always remaining the same person from within. Having embraced the shifting identities as a part of his life, things change when he falls in love.

Be With You

Be With You is among the most popular Korean movies that will make you cry your heart out. Soo-ah, a loving mother and wife, promises her husband Woo-jin before passing away that she will visit them once on a rainy day. A year later, Soo-ah miraculously reappears on a rainy day but has no recollection of her family. Having been reunited with her husband and child, she will have to leave once the rainy season ends. 

Memories Of Murder

Residents of the small Gyeonggi province of Korea are in a state of terror as the dead bodies of two women are found gagged and tied up. The investigation is handed over to Park Doo-man and Cho Yong-koo, two good-for-nothing detectives with zero clue on how to solve the case. In comes the senior, experienced detective Seo Tae-yoon from Seoul to help the two detectives catch the killer. This is one of the best South Korean crime movies, loosely based on the true story of Korea’s first confirmed serial murders. 

A Taxi Driver

Based on the Gwangju Uprising of 1980, the story is told from the perspective of a German journalist Hinzpeter who is traveling from Seoul to cover the movement. The movie revolves around Hinzpeter’s journey to the uprising with his taxi driver Kim Sa-Bok and all the interactions he had with him. The events of that day lead Kim, a widowed father struggling with life, to become a part of the uprising. 

Poetry

66-year-old Yang Mi-Ja finds herself battling with early stages of Alzheimer’s while also taking care of her rash 16-year-old grandson. Her grandson has been tagged a suspect for the murder of a young girl which he desperately tries to cover up. As an escape from the reality of her life, she enrolls herself in a poetry class where she finds her strength and purpose. This is one of the best Korean movies that won numerous accolades including the Best Screenplay Award at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival. 

Best Korean Movies On Amazon Prime

  • Train To Busan
  • Roaring Currents
  • The Wailing
  • Burning
  • Escape From Mogadishu
  • The Witch: Part 1- The Subversion

Can’t get enough of the best Korean movies? You can find a whole lot of them on Amazon Prime! Check out our list of the best Korean movies that are available to stream on Amazon Prime.  

Train To Busan

Train to Busan is one of the best Korean movies with an apocalyptic theme. A father-daughter duo board a KTX fast train from Seoul heading towards Busan. What seemed like a great opportunity for a busy father to bond with his daughter turns into a fight for survival. A major virus outbreak is quickly turning humans into cannibalizing zombies making the whole situation apocalyptic. The father now has to ensure the survival of his daughter in a race against time.

Roaring Currents

Based on the historical events of the Battle of Myeongnyang of 1597, the movie revolves around the tactics used by Joseon Admiral Yi Sun-sin that led the Koreans to victory. All odds were against Admiral Yi-San and his party with just 13 battleships as they were tasked to go against 333 Japanese enemy ships but still emerged victorious. This action-war film portrays a brilliant story of courage and determination and is one of the best Korean movies on Amazon Prime currently. 

The Wailing

The village of Goksung has been plagued by a series of gruesome deaths that are suspected to have been a result of a foreign illness. Jong-Goo, a police officer investigating the case turns his attention to a Japanese man that lives alone in the nearby mountains. The strange man is treated as a suspect as the villagers believe he is responsible for the spread of the disease via black magic. On visiting his house in the mountains, Jong-Goo falls seriously ill and also notices a shoe that belongs to his daughter in the house. The safety of the village and his daughter now falls on the shoulders of Jong. 

Burning

Delivery man Jong-su unexpectedly bumps into Hae-mi, a girl that used to live in his neighbourhood. Hae-mi is looking for someone to look after her cat while she will be away, and Jong-su happily volunteers. When Hae-mi comes back, she introduces Jong-su to a man named Ben who she met on the trip. Jong-su soon finds out about Ben’s twisted hobby which makes him worry about the safety of Hae-mi. This South Korean psychological thriller is one of the best Korean movies on Amazon Prime and is based on the short story ‘Barn Burning’, one of Haruki Murakami’s seventeen short stories in ‘The Elephant Vanishes’.

Escape From Mogadishu

Based on the real events of the Somali Civil War, a South Korean diplomat finds himself stuck with his North Korean counterpart during the ongoing war. After receiving no help from their countries, they must set their deep-seated differences aside and work together if they want to make it out alive.

The Witch: Part 1 – The Subversion

After escaping from an experiment facility, young Ja-yoon is found unconscious by Mr. and Mrs. Goo who take care of her and raise her as their daughter. Growing up Ja-yoon has forgotten all about her past life and is trying to help her foster parents make ends meet. To earn some money, she enrols herself into a televised singing competition. Her captors from the experiment facility recognize her and devise a plan to capture her again. This is one of the best Korean movies on Amazon Prime that is absolutely worth your time. 

Best Korean Movies On Netflix

  • Space Sweepers
  • Love And Leashes
  • Night In Paradise
  • Tune In For Love
  • Okja
  • The Host

Not just Amazon Prime, Netflix also houses some of the best Korean movies that are worth watching! To make your work easier, we have listed some of the best Korean movies available to stream on Netflix currently. So why wait? Pick one from the list that intrigues you and start watching.

Space Sweepers

Space Sweepers is one of the best Korean movies on Netflix that was released last year. The story is set in the year 2092, and there is a lot of money to be made from clearing out space debris. Sweeping through tons of wreckage from old, discarded satellites is the crew of a Korean spaceship called ‘Victory’.  They hit gold when they come across an abandoned crashed space shuttle, only to find a 7-year-old girl inside the wreckage. 

Love And Leashes

This movie was quickly dubbed as the Korean version of ‘50 Shades Of Grey’ due to its BDSM-romance genre. Jung Ji Hoo’s secret sexual desires are revealed to his co-worker Ji Woo when she mistakenly opens a package addressed to him. Stoked by curiosity, Ji Woo and Ji Hoo enter a contractual relationship giving them the freedom to indulge in consensual play, pleasure, and pain.

Night In Paradise

Top mobster Tae-gu has a price on his head after he takes out a rival mob boss. To escape the rival gang members looking for him for vengeance, he sets off to Jeju island to hide. Having realized that he has lost the support of his own gang, Tae-gu can’t afford any momentary lapses or he is a dead man. Brilliant performances, amazing cinematography, and thrilling action scenes make Night In Paradise one of the best Korean movies on Netflix. 

Tune In For Love

Tune In For Love is a romantic flick worthy of being on the best Korean movies list! Set in the 1990s following the big IMF crisis of 1997, the story revolves around Mi-soo and Hyun-woo’s unfortunate love story. While they keep running into each other at different times and places, the only thing missing to complete their love story is perfect timing. 

Okja

Okja, a giant unique animal, has been attended to by its caretaker of 10 years named Mija every day at the local zoo. The zoo is then bought out by a wealthy family that plans to transport Okja to New York for selfish gains. Skeptical about their intentions and worried about his friend, Mija sets off on a solo adventure to rescue Okja. This is one of the best movies on Netflix that you just can’t miss! 

The Host

The Host is one of the best Korean movies belonging to the sci-fi horror genre. Due to an American base releasing toxins into the Yongsan river, a giant mutant sea monster has come into existence. It travels to the Han River in Seoul and starts attacking people living near the river shores. During one of its attacks, it takes away Hyun-seo but doesn’t kill her. After becoming aware that Hyun-seo is still alive, her family hatches a plan to try and save her.

Best Comedy Korean Movies 

  • My Sassy Girl
  • Extreme Job
  • Midnight Runners
  • Wonderful Nightmare

The best Korean movies are not just the ones with drama or romance in them. In fact, there are a lot of amazing Korean movies that will have you rolling on the floor laughing! Check them out below.

My Sassy Girl

This 2001 comedy is one of the best Korean movies that revolves around Kyun-woo, a simple young man, who saves a drunk young woman standing too close to the train station ledge. Kyun-woo develops a sense of responsibility for this unnamed girl and decides to stick around. Hilarity ensues when the girl starts causing problems for Kyun whenever and wherever she pleases.

Extreme Job

Five undercover agents start working at a chicken joint to keep tabs on an organized crime ring dealing with drugs. But things take an unexpected turn when the agents come up with a recipe that gets so popular that it turns an otherwise desolate restaurant into the talk of the town. 

Midnight Runners

Midnight Runners revolves around Ki-joon and Hee-yeol, two friends training together at the National Police Academy to become cops someday. On the way home from their midnight circuit to a local club, they witness the kidnapping of a girl. They decide to track down the kidnappers on their own and solve the case, leading to comedic situations throughout the film. It is one of the best comedy Korean movies that is sure to leave you in splits! 

Wonderful Nightmare

Wonderful Nightmare easily makes it to the best Korean movies list due to its hilarious plotline. A clerical error in the heavens leads to the untimely death of a successful lawyer called Yean-Woo. As a temporary adjustment, Yean is granted the body of a suburban married woman for a month until the error can be fixed. Once a career woman, Yean finds herself looking after two difficult kids and a modest husband in the civil services.

More Movies To Binge-Watch

Best Movies On Zee5: To get you straight to the good stuff, we have curated a list of some of the best movies on Zee5 that you likely haven’t discovered yet.

Best Wedding Movies: From 2 States to DDLJ and more- here’s a list of the best wedding movies that you’ve gotta watch.  

Beauty-Related Movies And Shows: Here’s a list of 7 shows and movies that every beauty lover must watch! 

Featured Image: IMDb

27 Apr 2022

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