10 South Korean crime movies of the 2020s you should see
It’s a shame that the South Korean film industry has only recently caught the world’s attention. The nation is renowned for producing uncensored, violent and honest films that openly and frankly attack any social issue deemed alarming.
Crime films, in addition to romance films, are one of South Korea’s strongest film genres. As the 2020s progress, South Korea continues to produce its masterpieces in the genre that has dominated the market for decades.
‘Night in Paradise’ (2020)
night in paradise focuses on Tae Gu (Um Tae Goo), a notorious criminal who lost his sister and niece in a horrific car accident and decided to escape from Jeju Island. He is assisted by an arms dealer and his niece Jaa Yeon (Jeon Yeo Bin), which is terminal. The two eventually develop a bond while Tae Gu’s ghosts continue to pursue him.
night in paradise is a crime thriller that may remind viewers of 1950s Hollywood crime films with its nostalgic colors, outstanding music, and visually stunning action sequences. The movie also has great storytelling, fun characters that help ease the tension, and an equally talented ensemble cast.
“The Call” (2020)
The call focuses on Seo-Yeon (Park Shin Hye) and Young-sook (Jeon Jong Seo), two ladies from different eras who communicate by telephone, which reverses their destiny. The callera 2011 British and Puerto Rican film, inspired the film.
Even though the supernatural element is the basis of the main narrative, the suspense and the criminal aspects of the film are the first ingredients of its success. The film’s soundtrack is another highlight, and the film’s antagonist has been expertly and realistically constructed, leaving a lasting impression on viewers.
“Beasts Clawing Straws” (2020)
Beasts Clawing Straws is based on Keisuke SoneThe 2011 Japanese novel of the same name that follows three main perspectives. First, the restaurant owner, Joong-man (Bae Seong Woo), discovers a large wad of cash abandoned in a sauna while customs officer Tae-young (Jung Woo-sung), who was in debt to a criminal, decided to plan a lucrative scam with one of his men. And Mi-ran (shin hyunbeen), an escort with an abusive husband, finally sees a way out.
Beasts Clawing Straws is like There is no country for old people meets pulp Fiction, with multiple narratives skillfully combined to express the spirit of the image. Plus, the film moves at a dark, fast pace with just enough humor to lighten the mood and smartly advance the plot rather than detract from it. Another aspect of the film that stands out is the excellent cast, which brings a unique touch to each of their roles.
“On the Line” (2021)
On the line follows Seo-Joon (Byun Yo-han), a former detective and voice phishing victim, who infiltrates the perpetrators’ organization in China to recover money defrauded from him. There he meets Mr. Kwak (Kim Mu Yeol), the creator of this phishing scheme, which turned out to be a difficult task.
The movie starts well with Bae Yong-ik‘s script demonstrating a solid understanding of how fraud works and the infrastructure that supports its execution. fans of Money theft and squid game can recognize the movie and like it even if the second half of the movie doesn’t offer much room for the characters to develop.
“Time to Hunt” (2020)
It’s time to huntwhich is set in a dystopian South Korea with a failing economy, centers on a recently released prisoner named Jun-Seok (Lee Je-Hoon) and three of his buddies who decide to plan a heist. However, after completing the mission, the team discovered that a mysterious, cold-blooded assassin was after them.
The pace picked up with more action and thriller as the film progressed, allowing the audience to become familiar with the band. The plot of the film, considered ParasiteThe successor to , despite its meticulous attention to action sequences, failed to go any further in classism. It’s time to huntnonetheless, it’s worth watching some Korean crime movies that fans should add to their watchlist.
“Deliver Us From Evil” (2021)
deliver us from evil follows In-Nam (Hwang Jung Min), a veteran hitman who intends to retire after performing his last hit; he finds himself embroiled in a kidnapping case in Thailand and attacked by Ray (Lee Jung Jae), whose brother he killed.
Both plots add to the film’s pacing and emphasis rather than detract from it. There are breathtaking street shootings, a Impossible missionnext-level rooftop chase and extremely satisfying martial arts. Plus, despite competing against each other, the main cast have incredible chemistry.
“The Man Standing Next” (2020)
The movie is based on Kim Choong Siknon-fiction novel Namsan Chiefs and covers the real account of the director of KCIA Kim Hyong UKdisappearance. The man standing beside describes the events that occurred 40 days before Kim Gyu-Pyeong (Lee Byung Hun), the director of the KCIA, assassinated South Korean President Park (Lee Sung Min), ending his 18-year dictatorship.
The film has a strong political and spy tone that may or may not appeal to many people. The script was faithfully and effectively adapted, helping to develop an engaging story and intriguing characters with rational motivations and actions.
“Voice of Silence” (2021)
voice of silence follows two people who specialize in cleaning up corpses for criminal organizations, the young mute Tae-In (Yoo Ah-In) and middle-aged man Chang Bok (Yoo Jae Myung). One day, they receive a high-paying assignment to maintain a single “command.” However, their employer died suddenly, leaving the two stranded in distress.
The film is a slow-burning masterpiece that will no doubt appease even the harshest critics with its heartfelt message and flawless execution. In addition to its crime themes and action scenes, the film also conveys a deep message that may disturb viewers. The main actors, Ah-In and Jae-Myung, deliver one of the best performances of their careers.
Innocence follows Ahn Jung-In (Shin Hye Sun), a beautiful and well-known lawyer who decides to return to her hometown to defend her mother, from whom she is estranged, accused of poisoning her guests. When she begins to investigate, she discovers her family’s secrets and the village’s terrible past.
Innocence, a detective film that didn’t get much attention, strives for excellence in sound, image and acting. Additionally, the filmmaker’s innovative way of using the camera’s perspective to tell the story and enhance the mood of the film grabs the audience’s attention. Lead actress Shin Hye-Sun had a fantastic performance, shattering the innocent and carefree personality she frequently portrayed in her past roles.
“The Day I Died: Unfinished Business” (2020)
The Day I Died: Case Unsolved follows Kim Hyeon-soo (Kim Hye-soo), assigned to investigate a disappearance case, but due to bad weather, the body of the victim, Se-jin (No Jeong-ee), cannot be found and the case remains open. However, after Se-jin’s death is ruled a suicide by the local police, Hyeon-soo is determined to find out the truth.
The female characters in the film were all expertly and convincingly written, earning sympathy from the audience. Moreover, despite the film’s slowness, the excellent acting, ingenious use of music, camera angles and lighting keep the audience in suspense.