Entertainment

The Best Korean Movies Of All Time 

Ranker Film
Updated February 25, 2020 1.2k votes 103 voters 2.8k views 119 items

Looking for good Korean movies to watch? Here are the all-time greatest Korean films, ranked by fans everywhere. After Bong Joon-ho's Parasite made Oscar history by becoming the first non-English language movie to win Best Picture, it's time to recognize the top Korean films that may have gone unnoticed in other countries. From popular Korean movies, like Oldboy, The Handmaiden, and Burning, to South Korea's highest-grossing blockbusters, like Extreme Job, Veteran, and The Thieves, this list of famous Korean films features award-winning dramas, romantic comedies, action thrillers, and more.

Vote up the best films from South Korea, and add your favorites if they deserve a spot on this list. 

list ordered by
1
Parasite is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Korean Movies Of All Time
Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong

Released: 2019

Directed by: Bong Joon-ho

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99%

Parasite is a 2019 South Korean dark comedy thriller film directed by Bong Joon-ho. An unemployed driver (Song Kang-ho) and his out-of-work family takes peculiar interest in the wealthy and ...more
2
Train to Busan is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Korean Movies Of All Time
Harrison Ho added Gong Yoo, Ma Dong-seok, Jung Yu-mi

Released: 2016

Directed by: Yeon Sang-ho

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%

Train to Busan is a 2016 South Korean zombie apocalypse action thriller film directed by Yeon Sang-ho. The film takes place in a train to Busan, as a zombie apocalypse suddenly becomes apparent ...more

More Train to Busan 

#586 of 816 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #33 of 151 The Best Zombie Movies of All Time

3
The Handmaiden is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Korean Movies Of All Time
Harrison Ho added Kim Min-hee, Kim Tae-ri, Ha Jung-woo

Released: 2016

Directed by: Park Chan-wook

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

The Handmaiden is a 2016 South Korean erotic psychological thriller film directed by Park Chan-wook. A woman is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress, but secretly she is involved in a ...more
4
Oldboy is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Korean Movies Of All Time
Choi Min-sik, Yoo Ji-tae, Oh Dal-su

Released: 2003

Directed by: Park Chan-wook

Rotten Tomatoes score: 82%

Oldboy is a 2003 South Korean mystery thriller neo-noir film directed by Park Chan-wook, based on the Japanese manga by Garon Tsuchiya. After being kidnapped and imprisoned for fifteen years, Oh ...more

More Oldboy 

#76 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again #294 of 581 The Greatest Film Scores of All Time

5
My Sassy Girl is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Korean Movies Of All Time
Harrison Ho added Jun Ji-hyun, Cha Tae-hyun, Song Ok-sook

Released: 2001

Directed by: Kwak Jae-yong

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%

My Sassy Girl is a 2001 South Korean romantic comedy film directed by Kwak Jae-yong. A college student becomes involved with a self-centered young woman who humiliates him at every turn.

More My Sassy Girl 

#790 of 804 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made #195 of 380 The Greatest Romantic Comedies of All Time

6
The Man from Nowhere is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Korean Movies Of All Time
Won Bin, Kim Sae-ron, Young-chang Song

Released: 2010

Directed by: Lee Jung-beom

Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%

The Man from Nowhere is a 2010 South Korean action thriller film directed by Lee Jeong-beom. When a young girl (Kim Sae-ron) is kidnapped, a mysterious man (Won Bin) embarks on a bloody rampage ...more

More The Man from Nowhere 

#1 of 101 The Best Korean Movies On Amazon Prime #132 of 163 The Best Spy Movies

7
The Wailing is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Korean Movies Of All Time
Kwak Do-won, Hwang Jung-min, Chun Woo-hee

Directed by: Na Hong-jin

Rotten Tomatoes score: 99%

The Wailing is a 2016 South Korean supernatural horror film directed by Na Hong-jin. Suspicion leads to hysteria when rural villagers link a series of brutal murders to the arrival of a ...more
8
A Moment to Remember is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Korean Movies Of All Time
Son Ye-jin, Jung Woo-sung, David Lee McInnis

Released: 2004

Directed by: John H. Lee

Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%

A Moment to Remember is a 2004 South Korean film based on the 2001 Japanese television drama Pure Soul. It stars Son Ye-jin and Jung Woo-sung and follows the theme of discovery in a relationship ...more
9
Mother is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Korean Movies Of All Time
Kim Hye-ja, Won Bin, Kim Min-jung

Released: 2009

Directed by: Bong Joon-ho

Rotten Tomatoes score: 96%

Mother is a 2009 South Korean drama mystery film directed by Bong Joon-ho. When her disabled son is charged with murdering a girl, his mother desperately searches for the truth.
10
The Age of Shadows is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Korean Movies Of All Time
Song Kang-ho, Gong Yoo, Han Ji-min

Released: 2016

Directed by: Kim Jee-woon

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%

The Age of Shadows is a 2016 South Korean period action thriller film directed by Kim Jee-woon. Korean resistance fighters smuggle explosives to destroy facilities controlled by Japanese forces ...more
11
The Host is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Korean Movies Of All Time
Harrison Ho added Bae Doona, Scott Wilson, Song Kang-Ho

Released: 2006

Directed by: Bong Joon-ho

Rotten Tomatoes score: 93%

The Host is a 2006 South Korean monster film. The movie concerns a monster taking a man's daughter, and his attempts to rescue her. According to the director, his inspiration came from a local ...more

More The Host 

#571 of 816 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #61 of 115 The Scariest Giant Monster Movies

12
Memories of Murder is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Korean Movies Of All Time
Song Kang-Ho, Park Hae-il, Kim Roi-ha

Released: 2003

Directed by: Bong Joon-ho

Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%

Memories of Murder is a 2003 South Korean crime-drama film directed by Bong Joon-ho. In a small Korean province in 1986, two detectives struggle with the case of multiple young women being found ...more

More Memories of Murder 

#22 of 25 Great Movies About Serial Killers That Are Totally Dramatic #1 of 8 The Best Bong Joon Ho Movies

13
Miracle in Cell No. 7 is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Korean Movies Of All Time
Harrison Ho added Park Shin-hye, Oh Dal-su, Jung Jin-young

Released: 2013

Directed by: Lee Hwan-Kyung

Rotten Tomatoes score: 90%

Miracle in Cell No. 7 is a 2013 South Korean film starring Ryu Seung-ryong, Kal So-won and Park Shin-hye. The film is a heartwarming comedy and family melodrama about a mentally challenged man ...more

More Miracle in Cell No. 7 

#109 of 136 The Best Prison Movies #3 of 67 The Best Korean Comedy Movies

14
Burning is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Korean Movies Of All Time
Yoo Ah-in, Steven Yeun, Jeon Jong-seo

Released: 2018

Directed by: Lee Chang-dong

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Burning is a 2018 South Korean mystery drama film directed by Lee Chang-dong, based on the short story "Barn Burning" by Haruki Murakami. A part-time worker hoping to spend more time ...more
15
Poetry is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Korean Movies Of All Time
Yoon Jeong-hee, Kim Hee-ra, An Nae-sang

Released: 2010

Directed by: Lee Chang-dong

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%

Poetry is a 2010 South Korean drama film directed by Lee Chang-dong. It tells the story of a suburban woman in her 60s who begins to develop an interest in poetry while struggling with ...more
16
Il Mare is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Korean Movies Of All Time
Jun Ji-hyun, Lee Jung-jae, Kim Mu-saeng

Released: 2000

Directed by: Lee Hyun-seung

Rotten Tomatoes score: 89%

Il Mare is a 2000 South Korean fantasy romance film directed by Lee Hyun-seung. A man and a woman realize they are separated by two years of time when they exchange letters from different years ...more
17
Hope is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Korean Movies Of All Time
Hope Sol Kyung-gu, Uhm Ji-won, Lee Re

Directed by: Lee Joon-ik

Rotten Tomatoes score: 87%

Hope is a 2013 South Korean film directed by Lee Joon-ik. Based on the infamous Nayoung Case, the film tells the story of a family dealing with the sexual assault of their eight-year-old
18
Taegukgi is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Korean Movies Of All Time
Jang Dong-gun, Won Bin, Lee Eun-ju

Released: 2004

Directed by: Kang Je-gyu

Rotten Tomatoes score: 80%

Taegukgi: The Brotherhood of War is a 2004 South Korean war film directed by Kang Je-gyu. When two brothers are forced to fight in the Korean War, the elder decides to take the riskiest missions ...more

More Taegukgi 

#253 of 374 The 50+ Best War Movies Ever Made, Ranked #158 of 204 The Best R-Rated War Movies

19
Peppermint Candy is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Korean Movies Of All Time
Moon So-ri, Kim Yeo-jin, Sol Kyung-gu

Released: 2000

Directed by: Lee Chang-dong

Rotten Tomatoes score: 83%

Peppermint Candy is a 1999 film, the second from South Korean director Lee Chang-dong. The movie starts with the suicide of the protagonist and uses reverse chronology to depict some of the key ...more
20
New World is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Korean Movies Of All Time
Lee Jung-jae, Choi Min-sik, Hwang Jung-min

Released: 2013

Directed by: Park Hoon-jung

Rotten Tomatoes score: 63%

New World is a 2013 South Korean crime drama film directed by Park Hoon-jung. Posing as the right-hand man of a ruthless gangster, an undercover cop finds it difficult to play both parts, even ...more
21
A Bittersweet Life is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Korean Movies Of All Time
Lee Byung-hun, Kim Yeong-cheol, Shin Min-ah

Released: 2005

Directed by: Kim Jee-woon

Rotten Tomatoes score: 100%

A Bittersweet Life is a 2005 South Korean action film directed by Kim Jee-woon. When a high-ranking enforcer refuses to execute a hit ordered by his boss, he becomes the number one target.
22
A Tale of Two Sisters is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Korean Movies Of All Time
Moon Geun-young, Im Soo-jung, Yum Jung-ah

Released: 2003

Directed by: Kim Jee-woon

Rotten Tomatoes score: 85%

A Tale of Two Sisters is a 2003 South Korean psychological horror mystery film directed by Kim Jee-woon. After spending time in a mental hospital, a girl is reunited with her sister and returns ...more

More A Tale of Two Sisters 

#468 of 816 The Best Horror Movies Of All Time #4 of 54 The Best Korean Horror Films

23
The Admiral: Roaring Cur... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Korean Movies Of All Time
Lee Jung-hyun, Choi Min-sik, Yu Seung Ryoung

Released: 2014

Directed by: Kim Han-min

Rotten Tomatoes score: 83%

The Admiral: Roaring Currents, also known as The Admiral, is a 2014 South Korean epic action-war film directed by Kim Han-min. Admiral Yi Sun-sin faces a tough challenge when he is forced to ...more
24
Friend is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Korean Movies Of All Time
Jang Dong-gun, Shin-il Kang, Yu Oh-seong

Released: 2001

Directed by: Kwak Kyung-taek

Friend is a 2001 South Korean action film directed by Kwak Kyung-taek. Four childhood friends go their separate ways; two go off to college, while the others become rival gangsters.
25
Snowpiercer is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Korean Movies Of All Time
Chris Evans, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton

Released: 2013

Directed by: Bong Joon-ho

Rotten Tomatoes score: 95%

Snowpiercer is a 2013 South Korean-Czech dystopian science-fiction action film based on the French graphic novel Le Transperceneige by Jacques Lob, Benjamin Legrand and Jean-Marc Rochette. A new ...more

More Snowpiercer 

#134 of 187 The Best Superhero Movies Ever Made #47 of 161 The Best Dystopian And Near Future Movies