December 30, 2014

Top Ten Korean Movies of 2014 (Sort of)

Many of the usual suspects are back: Auteurs Hong Sang-soo, Kim Ki-duk, Park Chan-wook, even the "less well-known stateside" Kang Woo-suk who's been on these lists a few times before with his Public Enemy movies. What's missing this year is a mob movie! Hopefully, 2015 will deliver on that front. As to 2014, I'm alphabetizing instead of ranking because it's tough enough to pare down to ten.

1. Arirang because Kim Ki-duk is the only guy who would think of having his own shadow interview himself as a way to heal.

2. Camp 14: Total Control Zone because you can be artsy and still deliver the most disturbing documentary about North Korea out there.

3. Fatal because a movie about rape shouldn't look good or feel good.

4. Glove because baseball movies like this one by Kang Woo-suk can reunite a family on Saturday afternoons.

5. Hahaha because of the three Hong Sang-soo feature films I saw this year, this was the most inventive (and the most satisfying).

6. Head because it's a wacky thriller with a strong female lead, typifying what I love about Korean movies.

7. Judgement because Park Chan-wook's early short set in a morgue contains all the brilliance he sustained in the Vengeance trilogy and beyond.

8. Pirates because now I won't ever have to watch those Pirates of the Caribbean movies with Johnny Depp.

9. The Story of Mr. Sorry because the animated life of an ear-cleaner deserves some respect.

10. Two Weddings and a Funeral because it only looks like gay fluff but actually delivers a powerful message.

Click here for top ten lists from previous years.

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