20 Best Korean Movies to Watch in 2022, From Popular Horror Films to Action Flicks

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Favourite Parasite? It’s time to go more deeply into South Korean film.

You either watch Korean dramas religiously or you adored the Oscar-winning movie Parasite. Whichever the case, it could be time to expand your watchlist with more of the top Korean films from 2022. When Parasite became the first foreign-language Best Picture winner, South Korean cinema may have attained significant global prominence. However, the nation has a lengthy history of creating ground-breaking films that have won critical acclaim on a global scale. If you want to broaden your movie tastes, check out these fantastic movies, which range from spooky horror films and psychological thrillers to thrilling action movies, rom-coms, and more.

If you’re just getting into South Korean cinema, you should absolutely start with the director of Parasite, Bong Joon Ho, and then move on to the greatest works of other well-known filmmakers, such as Hwang Dong-hyuk and Yeon Sang-ho. Our collection includes something for everyone, from timeless masterpieces to the newest Korean films available on Netflix.

1. Midnight (2021)

CJ ENTERTAINMENT

loved the game Squid? The actor who portrayed police officer Jun-Ho in the Netflix series, Wi Ha-Joon, is the lead in this 2021 Korean thriller, which has a gripping, life-or-death plot about a violent serial killer who pursues a deaf woman through the country’s streets.

WATCH ON AMAZON

2. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter … And Spring (2003)

SONY PICTURES CLASSICS

You won’t regret checking out this exquisitely contemplative 2003 movie if you enjoy a more nostalgic and emotional viewing experience. Each changing season represents a stage in the life of a Buddhist monk who lives in a remote floating temple.

WATCH ON AMAZON

3. Peppermint Candy (1999)

SHINDO FILMS/CINECLICK ASIA

With a distinctive and captivating storytelling device, Peppermint Candy, directed by renowned Korean director Lee Chang-Dong, examines themes of fate, time, and memory. The narrative is told backwards through the final 20 years of a doomed man’s life.

WATCH ON AMAZON

4. Little Forest (2018)

MEGABOX PLUS M

Just turn on Little Forest if you ever find yourself in need of something calming and pleasant. It’s a modest and quiet movie with a lot of heart, telling the touching tale of a young woman who leaves the city and goes back to her rural birthplace.

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5. The Villainess (2017)

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Want to watch a good Korean action film? There are all the high-octane action scenes you could ever desire in this slick, thrilling vengeance thriller about a skilled assassin on the run from her past. Just prepare for the blood and gore!

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6. The Good, The Bad, The Weird (2008)

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Yes, Korean western movies also exist. This hilarious comedic western action film (influenced by Sergio Leone’s classic spaghetti western The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly) follows a bounty hunter, gangster, and train robber as they set off on a heroic quest to unearth hidden wealth. Be prepared for lots of laughs as well as excitement.

WATCH ON AMAZON

7. Right Now, Wrong Then (2015)

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If you’re looking for a drama that is more introspective and peaceful, Right Now, Wrong Then is a fantastic choice. The story of an unexpected meeting between a renowned art film director and a young painter is told in this critically acclaimed movie by filmmaker Hong Sang-Soo.

WATCH ON AMAZON

8. Train to Busan (2016)

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Train to Busan, a must-see Korean thriller, depicts a man fighting for survival on a speeding train that is overrun by a zombie outbreak. It offers a new and inventive perspective on one of the most well-known cinema genres, the zombie apocalypse flick. Watching this one will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire time!

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9. Peninsula (2020)

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10. Minari (2020)

A24

Lee Isaac Chung, a Korean-American director, garnered six Academy Award nominations for this critically praised drama about a South Korean immigrant family pursuing the American dream in 1980s rural Arkansas. It was nominated for Best Picture. For this one, you should probably keep a box of Kleenex close by.

WATCH ON AMAZON

11. My Sassy Girl (2001)

CINEMA SERVICE

My Sassy Girl was the highest-grossing comedy in Korea at the time of its debut, making it one of the most well-known Korean romantic comedies of all time. It’s simple to understand why this gem became such a hugely popular blockbuster hit with its amusing love story of a college student who meets a trouble-making partner.

WATCH ON GOOGLE PLAY

12. Parasite (2019)

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13. Memories of Murder (2003)

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Memories of Murder is a wonderful place to start if you liked Parasite and want to see more of filmmaker Bong Joon Ho’s work. This film follows two detectives looking into a string of murders (loosely based on the true tale of Korea’s first proven serial murders that occurred in the 1980s; it combines the crime-thriller genre with societal satire and absurdist humour).

WATCH ON HULU

14. The Beauty Inside (2015)

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This 2015 fantasy rom-com, which is based on the 2012 American social film of the same name, tells the tale of a man who wakes up in a different body each day if you’re looking for a decent romantic Korean film to watch. (Plus, you can watch the movie’s K-drama adaption after it ends!)

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15. The Wailing (2016)

20TH CENTURY FOX

The Wailing, which has a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, is undoubted evidence that South Korean cinema has traditionally excelled in the horror genre. This critically acclaimed horror-thriller movie, which is not for the faint of heart, is about a string of unsolved murders in a remote Korean town.

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16. Space Sweepers (2021)

NETFLIX

Love sci-fi action movies? In 2092, when Earth has nearly become inhabitable, one of the more recent Korean films available on Netflix—also hailed as the first Korean space blockbuster—takes place. The crew of The Victory, a space rubbish collector ship, is followed in Intergalactic Sweepers as they go on an amazing space journey after finding a juvenile humanoid robot.

WATCH ON NETFLIX

17. Burning (2018)

CGV ARTHOUSE

This critically acclaimed psychological mystery drama from Lee Chang-Dong, which is based on the short story Barn Burning by Japanese author Haruki Murakami, tells the quietly haunting tale of a young man who discovers a mysterious secret after his childhood friend returns from a trip and brings along a man with an odd hobby.

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18. Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure (2022)

NETFLIX

This historical adventure film, also recently released in Korea, follows a group of Joseon Dynasty pirates who set out to find some lost royal riches. Pirates: The Last Royal Treasure, one of the best Korean films scheduled for release in 2022, features a thrilling, action-packed plot and lots of adventure.

WATCH ON NETFLIX

19. Oldboy (2003)

SHOW EAST

This dark and brutal vengeance film, directed by one of Korea’s most renowned filmmakers, Park Chan-Wook, may be one of the most well-known Korean films of all time. It tells the story of a man who, after being held captive for 15 years, decides to get revenge. This is definitely not a project for the weak of the heart!

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20. The Handmaiden (2016)

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This sexual, psychological thriller and romance picture by filmmaker Park Chan-Wook was based on Sarah Waters’ 2002 novel Fingersmith. A Japanese heiress and her Korean handmaiden are embroiled in a complex scheme with a con man to defraud the wealthy woman of her inheritance. The story is set in colonial Korea and Japan in the 1930s.

WATCH ON AMAZON