81. The King of Pigs (Yeon Sang-ho, 2011)

“Hell, Two Lives”, and “Love Is Protein” (from “Indie Anibox : Selma’s Protein Coffee”) director Yeon Sang-ho’s first long animation, targeted to adults about the cruelty of reality and human nature.
Following on the success of “Leafie, A Hen Into The Wild”, which broke the box office record for Korean animation, selling over 2 million tickets, “King of Pigs” offers yet another kind of meaningful film in Korean animation history. Director Yeon Sang-ho has worked on his own since 1998 and made this, his feature debut, with a budget of only $150,000. Unlike most commercial animated films, it targets strictly adults, being a cruel thriller about two middle school friends reunited 15 years after graduation. The film reveals a shocking story of bitter doom and gloom and the grim visual style goes with it. Voice actors’ performances and animation work are impressive. The film also casts a serious and critical view on social issues as well. It goes without saying that Pig characters are the personification of us in the modern society. (JEON Chanil)

82. Children… (Lee Kyoo-man, 2011)

The film is based on a true yet unsolved murder case from the early 1990s that is known among Koreans as the “disappearance of the frog children.” In 1991, five elementary school students told their parents that they were going to hang out on a nearby mountain to catch frogs. They never came back.

83. Masquerade (Choo Chang-min, 2012)

A commoner becoming the king is a theme that’s all too familiar to us. The story was told in the well-known fable ‘The Prince and The Pauperʼ and this film takes the idea from that and takes it to the 16th- century Joseon Dynasty. The king is the tragic historic figure of Kwanghae. The commoner who becomes the King realizes just what it takes to be a good king. Although the premise may feel like it’s based on real events in history, but the film is a work of fiction. Lee Byeong-hun plays both the king and the commoner and it’s his first role in a historical drama since his debut. His queen, who loves her king despite realizing that he’s a fake, is played by Han Hyo-joo who showed great potential in “Always”. The movie is directed by Choo Chang-min whose other works include “Mapado” and “Lost in Love” and the writer Hwang Jo-yoon co-wrote “Old Boy”.

84. New World (Park Hoon-jung, 2012)

A detective infiltrates into one of the biggest gang organizations in the country and gets involved in a fight for the heir to the gang after the boss dies and in between the second in charge who trusts him with his life and the high police officials who think of him only as bait.

85. Pieta (Kim Ki-duk, 2012)

Hired by moneylenders, a man lives as a loan shark brutally threatening people for pay back their debts. This man, without any family and therefore with nothing to lose, continues his merciless way of life regardless of all the pain he has caused to a countless number of people. One day, a woman appears in front of him claiming to be his mother.

86. Han Gong-ju (Lee Su-jin, 2013)

After transferring to a new school Gong-joo becomes friends with Eun-hee, who convinces her to join an acappella club. When news gets out of Gong-joo’s new hobby, a group of former classmates parents cause a stir, unveiling Gong-joo’s troubled past.

87. Jiseul (O Muel, 2013)

In 1948, as the government issued the communists’ eviction to the Jeju Island, the military invaded a calm and peaceful village. Running away from the military, the townsfolk get into the cave. They try to hide to survive but there seems no hope like the dark cave. As time goes by, people are suffering from severe cold and hunger staying in the cave.
One day, it still seems nothing changed. And a man who worries about his pigs at home, is trying to get back home to feed them but the rest strictly stop him. With nothing but frustration, people start fall apart debating if they should move to the higher mountain or just stay in the cave.

88. Moebius (Kim Ki-duk, 2013)

A father driven into desire, a son coveting that of his father’s, and the sorrowful maternity that hovers them into tragedy. The most controversial work of Kim Ki-duk circling a destructive family while questioning one’s basic sexual desires.

89. A Girl at My Door (July Jung, 2014)

Little girl, Do-hee (Kim Sae-ron) is pushed to the end of her life, chief police Yeong-nam (Bae Doona) tries to protect her and so does her step father, Yong-ha (Song Sae-byeok). Yeong-nam experiences a case that turns her whole world apart by meeting Do-hee.

90. The Handmaiden (Park Chan-wook, 2015)

he theatrical version of Sarah Waters’ “Fingersmith”. The movie is about a young lady who inherits a fortune, her guardian uncle and a fraud count (Ha Jeong-woo) who is after the wealth.

91. I am Trash (Lee Sang-woo, 2015)

Three grown sons have struggled to achieve some sort of normal routine after their father was sent off to prison for sexual assault on an underaged girl. Their lives are thrown into radical disarray when Dad finishes his time and returns to the family home. The fact that the victim’s father is awaiting the return outside their door with a knife is certainly not any help to their situation… but it’s not like things are going so well otherwise, with the three sons, a virtual compendium of sexual dysfunctions in their own right.

92. Right Now, Wrong Then (Hong Sang-soo, 2015)

A movie director happens to encounter a woman, who is a painter, and has a dinner with her. And things begin to happen between the two from there.

93. The Truth Beneath (Lee Kyoung-mi, 2015)

Yeon-hong is married to Jong-chan and they have a teenage daughter Min-jin. Jong-chan worked as an announcer, but he is about to run for election as a National Assembly member. Yeon-hong is enthusiastic to help her husband’s election campaign. On the first day of Jong-chan’s campaign, their daughter Min-jin goes missing. Yeon-hong becomes desperate to find Min-jin. She is also devastated by her husband and those around him worrying more about his election campaign. Yeon-hong begins a frantic search for clues on her daughter’s disappearance.

94. Asura: The City of Madness (Kim Seong-su, 2016)

Detective Han Do-kyung’s wife has terminal cancer. For his wife, Han Do-kyung does something he would not otherwise do, but he is caught. Han Do-kyung tries to arrest Park Sung-bae, the city’s corrupt mayor, while under the pressure of prosecution. 

95. The Bacchus Lady (Lee Jae-yong, 2016)

So-yeong, a street-based sex worker in her 60s, is well known for ‘doing it so well she can almost kill you’ among elderly men. This is her way to make a living. One day she actually kills one of her regular clients per request, who wanted to die due to his tough life. And this is how the story begins.

96. Merry Christmas Mr Mo (Lim Dae-hyung, 2016)

This is a story about a death row man named Mr. Mo GumSan, his son Stephen aspiring to become a movie director and his girlfriend Yewon traveling around together shooting a silent movie parodying Charlie Chaplin. (IMDB)

97. The Wailing (Na Hong-jin, 2016)

Within a seemingly peaceful village, a plague of mysterious & violent deaths suddenly take place. The police conclude poisonous wild mushrooms are the cause of the deaths. Police Officer Jong-goo hears a rumor from a coworker about a mysterious Japanese man living nearby. The rumor fingers the Japanese man as the man causing these mysterious & violent deaths. Jong-goo, while on duty, meets Moo-myeong. She tells Jong-goo that she saw the Japanese man where the last deaths took place. Jong-goo’s doubts about the man begin to waver. Jong-goo’s daughter Hyo-jin then comes down with the crazed symptoms similar to what the other villagers had before their deaths. Jong-goo becomes desperate. He heads out into the mountains to find the old Japanese man’s home. Meanwhile, his mother-in-law calls in a shaman, Il-gwang, to perform an exorcism on Hyo-jin. Death lingers in the air.

98. Dongju: The Portrait of a Poet (Lee Joon-ik, 2016)

Based on the life and work of Korea’s renowned poet, YUN DongJu. YUN, while studying literature in Japan, was charged and detained for having participated in the Korean Independence Movement. Known to have created hundreds of poems during his time in jail where he spent the last two years of his life, YUN passed away at the young age of 27. Although it has not been proven, some believe he died due to medical experiments that were performed on his living body.

99. A Taxi Driver (Jang Hoon, 2017)

The movie depicts stories about a taxi driver, who accidentally went to Gwangju in 1980s, amid the May 18th Democratic Uprising against Military Regime.

100. Burning (Lee Chang-dong, 2017)

The film is a mystery thriller revolving around a woman whose life is intertwined with two men – one rich and the other a courier who struggles to make ends meet.

101. Parasite (Bong Joon-ho, 2019)

Gi-taek’s family of four is close, but fully unemployed, with a bleak future ahead of them. The son Gi-woo is recommended by his friend, a student at a prestigious university, for a well-paid tutoring job, spawning hopes of a regular income. Carrying the expectations of all his family, Gi-woo heads to the Park family home for an interview. Arriving at the house of Mr. Park, the owner of a global IT firm, Gi-woo meets Yeon-gyo, the beautiful young lady of the house. But following this first meeting between the two families, an unstoppable string of mishaps lies in wait.

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My name is Panos Kotzathanasis and I am Greek. Being a fan of Asian cinema and especially of Chinese kung fu and Japanese samurai movies since I was a little kid, I cultivated that love during my adolescence, to extend to the whole of SE Asia. Starting from my own blog in Greek, I then moved on to write for some of the major publications in Greece, and in a number of websites dealing with (Asian) cinema, such as Taste of Cinema, Hancinema, EasternKicks, Chinese Policy Institute, and of course, Asian Movie Pulse. in which I still continue to contribute. In the beginning of 2017, I launched my own website, Asian Film Vault, which I merged in 2018 with Asian Movie Pulse, creating the most complete website about the Asian movie industry, as it deals with almost every country from East and South Asia, and definitely all genres. You can follow me on Facebook and Twitter.