Top 50 Korean Films: Ranked

Or as close to ranked as I can for such diverse movies across different genres.

  • Oasis

    1

  • Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance

    2

  • The Host

    3

  • Oldboy

    4

  • The Chaser

    5

  • Memories of Murder

    6

  • A Bittersweet Life

    7

  • Thirst

    8

  • The Good, The Bad, The Weird

    9

  • How to Use Guys with Secret Tips

    10

  • I'm a Cyborg, But That's OK

    11

  • Sympathy for Lady Vengeance

    12

  • Punch

    13

  • Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter... and Spring

    14

  • Going By The Book

    15

  • Castaway on the Moon

    16

  • A Dirty Carnival

    17

  • Mother

    18

  • A Tale of Two Sisters

    19

  • Masquerade

    20

  • Samaritan Girl

    21

  • J.S.A. Joint Security Area

    22

  • Save the Green Planet!

    23

  • Cruel Winter Blues

    24

  • Judgement

    25

  • Secret Sunshine

    26

  • Night Fishing

    27

  • Failan

    28

  • The Yellow Sea

    29

  • Breathless

    30

  • The Thieves

    31

  • Nameless Gangster

    32

  • 3-Iron

    33

  • JohnnyExpress

    34

  • The President's Last Bang

    35

  • Welcome to Dongmakgol

    36

  • Crying Fist

    37

  • My Wife Is a Gangster

    38

  • My Wife Is a Gangster 3

    39

  • Poetry

    40

  • Peppermint Candy

    41

  • Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War

    42

  • The City of Violence

    43

  • My Sassy Girl

    44

  • Snowpiercer

    45

  • Time

    46

  • A Moment to Remember

    47

  • A Bloody Aria

    48

  • Friend

    49

  • May 18

    50

9 Comments

  • Interesting list! It still stuns me that I haven’t seen Oasis, though it’s definitely one that’s on my watchlist. I agree almost entirely with your top 10, though I’d probably shift Peppermint Candy up there in place of Thirst.

  • Oh and I like your decision to rank Sympathy for Mr Vengeance so highly, it probably ranks as my favourite Park Chan-wook film

  • Honestly it probably took until my 3rd watch before I started ranking Sympathy for Mr Vengeance over Oldboy. In Sympathy though I find something new every time I watch it.

    And Peppermint Candy should probably be ranked higher, as should Poetry for that matter. It was my fourth Lee Chang-Dong film and each one seemed more brutal than the last (which is why I've put off watching Green Fish). Both Peppermint Candy and Secret Sunshine I don't think I could rewatch lol..

  • This is an incredible resource, especially since based on your top 4 movies I feel like I can trust that your tastes aren't too far removed from my own.

  • I also hope you drew and scanned your own avatar, just for this website. That would be some raw artistic talent right there.

  • Interesting list even though I'm only at 57%. I'm really pleased to see Oasis so high as it is such a great film. I see you've put off watching Green Fish, in truth you aren't missing much as it is comfortably the director's weakest film.

  • @Berken thanks but no artistry here lol, just took an image and name that was popular in another corner of the internet. Glad you liked the list! I keep rearranging and replacing films periodically but the top few haven't changed since I started officially keeping track.

    @Adam, I have to say I was pleased when I saw your review of Oasis, the film deserves more recognition and your review captured exactly why. Good to hear too that what I suspected of Green Fish is true. I have it on my "to do" list since the completist in me won't let it go but I really need to psych myself up before I can watch that one.

  • Great list! I'm at 96% myself with Punch and Masquerade being the two films that I have yet to see.

    I definitely think Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance is better than Oldboy, too, but JSA has always been my favorite Park film. Memories of Murder would be #1 on my list. It's still the single greatest South Korean film I've seen. Good to see Oasis at #2. And there's no need to 'psych yourself up' for Green Fish -- it's actually a pretty good film (although, as Adam said, it's easily Lee's weakest film).

    I'm currently working on a Top 100 list myself, by the way. Ranking that many (great) films is no easy task, but I'll get there eventually.

  • Wow, you're ahead of me if you can create a top 100 list, I've only seen about 80 in all. I figure around the time I've seen about 120 I could maybe revisit this and create a new list of the top 100.

    I actually had Memories of Murder at #3 when this was first created, but after about five rewatches (it's one of my favorites to use as an introduction to Korean cinema) I realized that while I still enjoyed the film I wasn't finding new things as I was during the Host. Granted this could mean that things keep whizzing over my head, I certainly wouldn't put that past Mr. Bong. JSA I would have ranked higher but the awkward English always throws me for a loop. I understand it's probably more accurate but I sort of wish Park would have pulled a Hollywood move and let everyone speak Korean for the entire film.

    I'll be keeping an eye out for your top 100 list, I'm always looking for new suggestions! Punch, by the way, was a huge surprise for me. I never guessed a Korean film with that title would be so... happy. My grade is probably a little inflated because it felt like such a breath of fresh air to me.

Please to comment.