In Korea, film reviews are curated by popular portal Naver .
Naver compiles and ranks movies based on openly available reviews, re-defining the reviews with star ratings. Ratings 1, 2, 3, and 4 = negative. 5, 6 are neutral, and 7, 8, 9, and 10 as positive.
Based on these ratings I have curated a list of little-known, highly-rated Korean Action films that have received at least a 7 rating on Naver. These are films appreciated by critics and viewers in Korea, so you can trust that they’re great.
How many of these have you watched?
1. No Blood No Tears (2002)
Directed by Ryoo Seung-Wan (Veteran, 2015), starring Jeon Do-Yeon, the Korea’s queen of Cannes (The Shameless, 2015), Jung Jae-Young (Right Now, Wrong Then, 2015) and Ryoo Seung-Bum, the director’s younger brother (The Berlin File, 2013).
An ill-treated girlfriend (played by Jeon), of a former boxer who runs an illegal dog fighting ring, becomes acquainted with an older woman who ekes out a living by driving a taxi. The two women devise a scheme to steal a bagful of money, which pits people against one another.
2. Mr. Butterfly (2003)
A man leaves behind his lover in order to earn money in Seoul. 5 years later, they meet again and rekindle their romance, not knowing they are heading toward tragedy.
3. Wild Card (2003)
A woman’s body is found dead in a subway station, followed by another similar murder. A veteran detective and his loose-cannon partner try to track down the serial killer.
4. Tube (2003)
Directed by Baek Woon-Hak (The Chronicles of Evil, 2015).
A pickpocket girl (played by Bae Doo-Na, Cloud Atlas, 2012) tips off a detective about a terrorist hijacking the train. The detective risks his life to save the lives of 13 million citizens held hostage.
5. Fighter in the Wind (2004)
Based on the real life karateka, Choi Bae-Dal who conquers the world with his bare hands and feet, defeating martial artists one after another.
The plot focuses on the period when he is still young and becomes a master of karate beating the odds.