Indulging in the blissful combination of relaxation, munching on tasty treats, and enjoying an excellent film on a gorgeous summer evening is an unparalleled experience. If you’re aspiring to the ideal option to de-stress and engross yourself in a compelling Korean movie, we have gathered a list of 10 Korean Movies To Watch This Summer that deserve a spot on your summer watchlist. From gratifying romances to thrilling action-packed adventures, get prepared to venture on a cinematic journey loaded with laughter, tears, and moments that will linger with you long after the credits roll.
#1. Train to Busan (2016)
Genre: Thriller, Action, Horror
Cast: Gong YooJung, Yu-miMa, Dong-seok
Train to Busan, helmed by director Yeon Sang-ho, is an adrenaline-pumping South Korean action horror flick. The narrative centers around Seok-woo, a divorced workaholic coerced into accompanying his young daughter on a train journey to reunite with her mother in Busan for her birthday. Unfortunately, a catastrophic zombie outbreak coincides with their voyage, plunging Korea into chaos and overpowering the government and military. Trapped aboard the train with relentless zombies, Seok-woo and the remaining survivors must muster every ounce of courage to navigate their way to Busan, the sole known safe heaven in the entire country.
#2. Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance (2002)
Genre: Drama, Crime, Thriller
Cast: Song Kang-ho, Shin Ha-kyun, Bae Doona
Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance, a film crafted by the visionary director Park Chan-wook, delves into a gripping tale. The story circles Ryu, a deaf-mute person who discovers himself unexpectedly dismissed from his job at a factory in Seoul, South Korea, just as life takes a dark turn. His sister’s desperate need for a kidney transplant becomes a pressing concern, and Ryu, unable to provide the organ himself, embarks on a risky path. Together with his girlfriend, they decide to abduct the daughter of a wealthy tycoon named Park, aiming to gather the necessary funds. However, an unforeseen catastrophe strikes, triggering a vengeful rampage from Park, resulting in a trail of bloodshed and endangering Ryu’s very existence.
#3. Parasite (2019)
Genre: Thriller, Drama
Cast: Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong
Parasite is a compelling thriller Korean movie directed by Bong Joon-ho, that tells the captivating story of two families from different social classes. The resourceful Kim Family seizes an opportunity to infiltrate the affluent Park Family’s lives, creating a symbiotic relationship. However, when a threat emerges, a ruthless battle for dominance unfolds, risking the fragile balance between the families. This gripping tale blurs the line between deceit and desperation, pushing them to the edge of destruction.
#4. Minari (2020)
Cast: Steven Yeun, Yeri Han, Alan Kim
Minari, directed by Lee Isaac Chung, beautifully portrays the timeless tale of immigrant experiences, while infusing it with distinctive and fresh elements. Filmed in the 1980s, the film shows the journey of a Korean American family guided by Jacob, the father, and Monica, the mother. After working as chicken sexers in California, they embark on a new chapter by relocating to a small town in Arkansas, accompanied by their two children. Anne, an intelligent and mature girl, and David, an active six-year-old. They aspire to establish a 50-acre farm, weaving together their hopes and dreams in pursuit of a better future.
#5. Space Sweepers(2021)
Genre: Drama, Action, Adventure
Cast: Song Joong-ki, Kim Tae-ri, Jin Seon-kyu
Available On Netflix
In the Korean film Space Sweepers, directed by Jo Sung-hee, we join the resilient crew of the ship Victory on a thrilling cosmic odyssey. As underprivileged space sweepers, they scavenge debris to protect space installations. Their lives take an unexpected twist when they encounter Dorothy, a humanoid robot pursued by the government, and a dangerous terrorist group, the Black Foxes. Brace yourself for a thrilling adventure as the crew fights through dangerous challenges in their search for survival and unraveling the riddles of the cosmos.
#6. Extreme Job (2019)
Genre: Comedy, Action, Crime
Cast: Seung-ryong Ryu, Lee Hanee, Jin Seon-kyu
Extreme Job, directed by Lee Byeong-Heon, is a Korean film where a drug squad goes undercover at a chicken restaurant to take down a criminal organization. Unexpectedly, the restaurant becomes a sensation for its delicious chicken, putting the detectives in a surprising predicament. This action-packed and humorous film explores the challenges of balancing their mission with the consequences of culinary fame.
#7. Memories of Murder(2003)
Genre: Mystery, Crime, Drama
Cast: Song Kang-ho, Kim Sang-kyung, Roe-ha Kim
Directed by Bong Joon-ho, this true story revolves around Korea’s first serial killer. A local detective, played by Song Kang-ho, becomes consumed by the pursuit of the elusive murderer who strikes on rainy nights, targeting victims dressed in red. Joined by seasoned Seoul detective Seo Tae-yoon, the two detectives face a frustrating and tense investigation that pushes them to their limits. Brace yourself for a gripping tale of justice as they delve into the dark and harrowing depths of the case.
#8. Forgotten (2017)
Genre: Thriller, Crime, Mystery
Cast: Mu-Yeol Kim, Yeon Je Hyung, Kang Ha-neul
Directed by Jang Hang-jun, Forgotten is a gripping Korean film centered around a family. When Jin-Seok’s older brother Yoo-Seok is kidnapped and later returns with no memory of the event, Jin-Seok reckons something is out of order. As Jin-Seok witnesses a change in his brother’s behavior and strange sounds emerge from a locked room, a suspenseful and thought-provoking tale unravels.
#9. Burning (2018)
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Drama
Cast: Yoo Ah-in, Steven Yeun, Jeon Jong-Seo
Burning, directed by Lee Chang-dong, is an exquisite Korean film that delves into the life of Jongsu, a disenchanted young man. Jongsu’s isolated existence takes an unpredictable turn when he encounters Haemi, an energetic woman who sparks romantic aspirations. Soon, another figure emerges Ben, a wealthy and sophisticated individual whom Haemi brings back from her trip. As Jongsu unravels the mystery behind Ben’s secretive pastime and Haemi’s sudden disappearance, his confusion and addictions intensify, leading to a spectacular climax.
#10. A Taxi Driver (2017)
Genre: History, Action, Drama
Cast: Song Kang-ho, Thomas Kretschmann, Hae-Jin Yoo
Taxi Driver, directed by Jang Hoon, is a gripping Korean film that follows the journey of Kim Do-ki, a man seeking revenge. After graduating from the Naval Academy and serving as a UDT (Underwater Demolition Team) official, Kim Do-ki’s life takes a tragic turn when his mother falls victim to a serial killer. Now, as a skilled deluxe taxi driver for Rainbow Taxi Company, Kim Do-ki finds himself in a unique position. This is no ordinary taxi service; it offers a distinct “revenge-call” service. When clients seek retribution, Kim Do-ki and his fellow drivers are ready to fulfill their requests, delivering justice on their behalf.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the most viewed Korean movie?
Parasite, according to a reliable source, has earned the distinction of being the most-watched movie in history. It achieved this feat by delivering an award-winning performance that engraved its name in the annals of cinematic history. The prestigious Academy Awards, commonly referred to as the Oscars, bestowed upon Parasite the highest honor, solidifying its significance and acclaim.
What Korean movie has 100 rotten tomatoes?
The Man from Nowhere which is also known as “Ajeossi,” 100 rotten tomatoes. It is a film released in 2010 and features Won Bin as the lead actor and is both written and directed by Lee Jeong-beom.