Was 2012 a great year for Korean movies? I've no idea since I haven't seen a single movie made that year yet. Was 2012 a great year for watching Korean movies? Hell, yes. Evidence below.
1. Peppermint Candy (1999): Critics raved about Lee Chang-dong's Poetry but this flashback film about a corrupt, suicidal businessman blows that later movie out of the water.
2. Woman Is the Future of Man (2006): Who doesn't love a good love triangle? Fools perhaps! Who doesn't love director Hong Sang-soo? Me until this movie actually. Now I totally do, too.
3. Night Fishing (2011): A short film without subtitles? That's right! Park Chan-wook's iPhone pic would have made this list if all it had been was the floating hat sequence with music by The UhUhBoo Project.
4. Bedevilled (2010): No top ten list of Korean movies is complete without a great fright flick. No great flight flick comes without a political message. Bedevilled is all about sisterly bonding. Not.
5. War of the Arrows (2011): Archery, certainly the trendiest of warfare weapons, is showcased to great effect in this Medieval action movie. Plenty of studded leather, too.
6. Crying Fist (2005): Now here's an anomaly: a boxing movie in which you're smitten with both contenders (Choi Min-sik, Ryu Seung-beom) -- both of them losers looking for redemption.
7. A Great Chinese Restaurant (1999): You'll have to suffer through the soundtrack but believe me, this indie dramedy is well worth the effort. Quite touching.
8. The Yellow Sea (2010): Na Hong-jin, who also directed the heart-racing thriller The Chaser, has paranoia in his DNA. Once again, the thrills here come from "Somebody's after me!" scenarios,
9. Quick (2011): Total motorcycle madness drives this movie that literally turns the premise of Speed on its head. Or on her head to be more precise.
10. My Dear Desperado (2010): Once again the Koreans defy expectations in this romantic comedy which ends up not that funny and not that romantic but pretty damned good.
Click here to see the top ten Korean movies I saw in 2011.
Click here to see the top ten Korean movies I saw in 2010.
Click here to see the top ten Korean movies I saw in 2009.
Click here to see the top ten Korean movies I saw in 2008.