Every Korean, Japanese, and Chinese movie I watch, honestly reviewed, without spoilers.

  • My Top 10 Best Korean Movies of All Time

    My Top 10 Best Korean Movies of All Time

    As an enthusiast of Asian movies since the early 2000s, I’ve long itched to make this list. Finally decided to take the plunge after years of pushing it back. This ended up such a fun exercise as I reflected deeply not only on these movies but also on memories of my personal past. I hope…

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  • My Top 5 FREE Best Korean Movies on Amazon Prime

    My Top 5 FREE Best Korean Movies on Amazon Prime

    Amazon Prime has an amazing catalog of Korean movies. These are my top 5 that you can watch for free. Reviewed honestly and without spoilers. Friend (2001) Logline: High school friends grow up to become rival gang members. Like I explained in my 10 Best Korean Movies of All Time list, Friend is an old…

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  • Squid Game (2021) Review

    Squid Game (2021) Review

    Logline: Down-on-their-luck debtors take part in the game of their lives for money. I’m more of a movies person, but I’ve watched my fair share of good shows in the past. Still, I had no interest in watching anything but movies on Netflix. The hype got me good on this one. I binged the entire…

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  • The Battleship Island (2017) Review

    The Battleship Island (2017) Review

    Logline: A group of Koreans endure forced labor on a Japanese island. I had the impression The Battleship Island is a war movie. It turns out there are no actual battleships and there’s very little war. Inspired by true events, The Battleship Island is a story chronicling the forced-labor hardships endured by a group of…

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  • Steel Rain (2017) Review

    Steel Rain (2017) Review

    Logline: A North Korean agent fights for the survival of himself and country. What. A. Ride. How have I not seen Steel Rain? It’s easily one of the best Korean movies I’ve watched in recent memory. I’ve always preferred quieter movies. I love the atmosphere built by quiet tension. As a result, I’m shamelessly prejudiced…

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  • Space Sweepers (2021) Review

    Space Sweepers (2021) Review

    Logline: A group of rogue space scavengers protects a young girl at all costs. Hmmm… I’m a little torn on this one. There’s definitely some charm to Space Sweepers, but I still can’t call it a good movie. It’s probably at least a decent movie to most though, and I think that’s probably right. Space…

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  • A Family (2021) Review

    A Family (2021) Review

    Logline: The rise and fall of a young man’s Yakuza life. A Family is a unique coming-of-age story about a Yakuza member. I’ve seen many Asian gangster movies in my time, and I can’t remember one quite like this. To be clear: A Family is a drama with very little action, thrills, or mystery. Think…

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  • A Sun (2019) Review

    A Sun (2019) Review

    Logline: A troubled young man’s family deals with life-changing trauma. Damn. Have I been sleeping on Taiwanese films? This one genuinely shocked me. A gorgeous yet haunting slow-burn drama, A Sun is easily one of the best movies I’ve seen in the past couple of years. It gets very close to being a masterpiece. There’s…

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  • Yaksha: Ruthless Operations (2022) Review

    Yaksha: Ruthless Operations (2022) Review

    Logline: A former prosecutor goes to audit a rogue operation. You had me in the first half. I honestly can’t remember the last time I had that much fun in the first half, only to be let down in the second. I’m writing this review two days after watching Yaksha: Ruthless Operations (“Yaksha“), and I…

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  • Forgotten (2017) Review

    Forgotten (2017) Review

    Logline: A brother deals with mysterious circumstances after his family moves into a new house. Forgotten feels like Oldboy-lite. The premise and the major plot-points are all similar. The ending is too. But make no mistake: Forgotten is nowhere near the level of Oldboy‘s greatness. It’s not necessarily a bad movie though; there are some…

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  • Hell Dogs (2022) Review

    Hell Dogs (2022) Review

    Logline: A cop infiltrates a criminal organization. Hell Dogs is the Japanese New World. While not quite on the same level of greatness as New World, Hell Dogs ultimately delivers as a riveting crime action-drama. I’ve been waiting for a movie like this to come out of Japan for a long time. It finally happened,…

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  • Night in Paradise (2020) Review

    Night in Paradise (2020) Review

    Logline: A gangster gets in trouble and retreats to a distant compound. Park Hoon-jung. That’s all I needed to get convinced to watch Night in Paradise. He directed New World, one of my top 10 Korean movies of all time. And more recently, The Witch: Subversion, which I loved. As a big time sucker for…

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  • The Drug King (2018) Review

    The Drug King (2018) Review

    Logline: A petty smuggler turns into a drug kingpin. Song Kang-ho (Memories of Murder, Parasite) is always such a show, and he lives up to his usual hype in The Drug King. The problem is you always expect the movie that he stars in to be awesome. Unfortunately, that just isn’t true, and The Drug…

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  • The Call (2020) Review

    The Call (2020) Review

    Logline: A girl gets a call from the past that literally changes her life. Hmmm. Interesting! Admittedly, with the sheer amount of movies I’ve watched over time, it’s hard for a movie to fully grab my attention these days. The Call did it. The story of The Call isn’t complicated, but it has a complicated…

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  • Hide and Seek (2013) Review

    Hide and Seek (2013) Review

    Logline: A man searches for his missing brother in the slums. I’ve seen Hide and Seek before, and frankly, after watching it again, I’m surprised I don’t remember much from the first time. Calling it a good movie is probably too generous, but I’d say Hide and Seek at least rises to the level of…

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  • Jung_E (2023) Review

    Jung_E (2023) Review

    Logline: An AI lab experiments with replicating a super soldier. I wanted to like this movie. I really did. Yeon Sang-ho, director of of the awesome Train to Busan, helmed Jung_E. How can you not get excited? I mean, come on. Why is this movie such a disappointment? It’s Netflix produced, so you have to…

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  • Helpless (2012) Review

    Helpless (2012) Review

    Logline: A man’s fiancee disappears days before their wedding. How did I miss this one? I’m shocked I’ve never seen Helpless given my former obsession with Korean movies. This is definitely one of the best Korean thrillers I’ve seen in a while. Helpless wastes no time in getting to the suspense: the wife goes missing…

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  • The Chronicles of Evil (2015) Review

    The Chronicles of Evil (2015) Review

    Logline: A higher-up detective kills someone and tries to cover it up. Many of my reviews are of movies that I’ve seen before but just don’t remember enough of; I watch it a second time and write the review. The Chronicles of Evil is one of those movies. Watching it this second time, I realized…

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  • The Classified File (2015) Review

    The Classified File (2015) Review

    Logline: A detective and a psychic team up to rescue a kidnapped girl. I was initially drawn to The Classified File by its director, Kwak Kyung-taek; he directed Friend, one of my favorite Asian movies ever. This is actually the second time I’ve watched The Classified File. The first time, it didn’t quite draw me…

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  • Journey to the West (2013) Review

    Journey to the West (2013) Review

    Logline: A religious character fights off demons to find enlightenment. What the hell did I just watch? For those of you unfamiliar, Journey to the West is actually a famous 16th-century Chinese novel. To many young Chinese kids growing up in the 90s, Journey to the West the novel was their Dragonball Z. In fact,…

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  • Recalled (2021) Review

    Recalled (2021) Review

    Logline: A mysterious man protects a woman with amnesia. I didn’t have high hopes, but Recalled delivered. It’s still not quite a first-rate thriller, but it’s not too far from it. There’s definitely enough to keep you glued to the screen. If you like twisty Korean thrillers, Recalled is worth checking out. The movie centers…

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  • A Distant Place (2020) Review

    A Distant Place (2020) Review

    Logline: A farmer gets a friendly visitor from the city. I’m not sure how, but I watched that entire thing. A Distant Place is one of those rare movies that make you question what you just watched and why. Yet it’s somehow good enough to hook you all the way through. In all seriousness, A…

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  • War of the Arrows (2011) Review

    War of the Arrows (2011) Review

    Logline: A bow warrior journeys to rescue his kidnapped sister. War of the Arrows is a superhero movie without superpowers. The “heroes” all use bows. That’s really what it is. If you’re a fan of tense and relentless action, you’ll get all you can handle in the second half. I didn’t love this movie, which…

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