Top 20 Korean Action Movies

What cannot be accused of South Korean cinema is the soulless copying of Hollywood. The most replicated movie cliche is able to sparkle with new colors and turn out to be not what it seems, if Koreans take on the production of the film. And in terms of experiments with genres and styles, they are ahead of the rest of the planet. For everyone who is tired of dull clichés and predictable plots, we recommend a bright and varied selection of the best Korean action films of the last decade.

Deliver us from the evil one (2020)

Former intelligence officer Ying-nam has been working as a contract killer for several years. Returning to Korea from Japan after the removal of the head of one of the Yakuza clans, he decides to end his criminal affairs and leave the country. But suddenly, In-nam learns that his longtime girlfriend was shot dead in Thailand by local gangsters, and her little daughter was kidnapped. A man goes to Thailand in search of a child, while he himself is being hunted.

What do you think, is it worth filming a sequel, and what should be in it?

Original title:
Daman akeseo guhasoseo

Actors:
Hwang Jong-min, Lee Jong-jae, Park Jung-min…

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 6.8

Age limit:
18+


Hunt Time (2020)

The film takes place in the near future, where South Korea suffers a financial disaster, and the country is reduced to a squalid slum. Chun-suk, after serving three years in prison for robbery , is released, but his stashed loot has been reduced to useless paper. Together with a couple of true friends, he decides to rob an illegal casino and get out of the country. The fantastic new movie about the adventures of three gangsters has already entered the list of the best Korean action films of recent years, despite the fact that the film was denied wide distribution due to the pandemic .

Original title:
Sanyangui sigan

Actors:
Lee Jae-hoon, Ahn Jae-hun, Choi U-shik …

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.3, IMDb – 6.3

Age limit:
18+


Sword Master (2020)

The film takes us to the 17th century, the era of the medieval Korean state of Joseon. The country is going through hard times after the overthrow of the legitimate monarch. Joseon’s best swordsman Tae-yul and his little daughter go to the mountains, where they lead a quiet, inconspicuous life. But one day, the soldiers of the Qing Empire come to their house and take the swordsman’s daughter into slavery. To save her, Tae-yul will have to remember and put into practice all his art.

Original title:
Geomgaek

Actors:
Chang Hyuk, Kim Hyun-soo, Joe Taslim…

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.8

Age limit:
16+


Gangster, Cop and Devil (2019)

In the top of the new Korean action movies, a story that tied together a crime boss and a police detective in a joint hunt for a serial killer. The mafia boss suddenly finds himself the victim of an attack by an unknown person and narrowly escapes death. To regain his status in the eyes of his subordinates, he must find and kill the scumbag. But the only one who can help him with this is a police detective who has been on the trail of a maniac for a long time .

Original title:
Akinjeon

Actors:
Ma Don-seok, Kim Mu-yeol, Kim Sung-gyu…

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 6.9

Age limit:
16+


Bad Boys: Chaos Reign (2019)

During transportation, several especially dangerous criminals escape from the prison bus at once. A police detective, former head of a special unit and now retired, decides that this is his chance to return to duty. He is convinced that crime must be fought with its own methods, and pulls three recruiters out of prisons into a newly minted squad to catch fugitives. A bandit, a professional swindler , and an over-the-top police officer, led by the commander, go hunting.

Original title:
Nappeun nyeoseokdeul: deo mubi

Actors:
Ma Don-seok, Kim Sang-jun, Kim Ah-jun…

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.1, IMDb – 6.1

Age limit:
16+


Great Battle (2018)

The following Korean film, shot in the genre of historical action movie, is based on a real epic event from the history of ancient Korea. In the middle of the first century AD, during the war between the Chinese Tang Empire and the Korean state of Koguryeo, a legendary battle took place at the Ansi fortress, which lasted 88 days. The emperor of the Tang dynasty, who went on an aggressive campaign against Pyongyang with half a million troops, did not expect that the small garrison of the fortress would be such a serious obstacle in his path.

Original title:
Ansiseong

Actors:
Cho In-seon, Nam Joo-hyuk, Park Sung-un …

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 7.0

Age limit:
16+


Raging Bull (2018)

Once a gangster, Kang Dong-chul has decisively put an end to his criminal past. Now he has a beloved wife and the work of a simple loader. Everything would be great if not for the precarious financial situation. Dong-chul decides to invest in a risky business , but on the same day, his companion is kidnapped. A man goes to the police, but suddenly receives an anonymous call – unknown people offer him an impressive amount for refusing to search for his wife.

Original title:
Seongnan hwangso

Actors:
Ma Dong-seok, Song Ji-hyo, Kim Seong-o…

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 6.6

Age limit:
16+


Villainess (2017)

The action-packed action movie tells about the fate of a killer girl working for the South Korean government. The orphan Suk-hee was brought up in a mafia group from early childhood, which raised her as an extra-class assassin. One day, employees of the Korean special service approach the girl , offering her a deal – 10 years of work for the government in exchange for a new life and complete freedom. Suk-hee agrees, but the ghosts of the past are not easy to hide from.

Original title:
Aknyeo

Actors:
Kim Ok-pin, Shin Ha-gyun, Song Joon …

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.3, IMDb – 6.7

Age limit:
16+


Crime City (2017)

In the most criminal area of ​​Seoul, a conflict suddenly flares up, gradually developing into a full-scale war between two gangs. It’s all about a gang of Chinese immigrants claiming rights to new territories. They call themselves Heuksapa, and act as boldly and brutally as possible, fighting for influence and complete control over the area. The plot of the action movie is based on real events that took place in the capital of South Korea in 2007.

Original title:
Beomjoe dosi

Actors:
Ma Dong-seok, Yoon Kye-sang, Cho Jae-young …

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 7.2

Age limit:
16+


Frame City (2017)

The next Korean action movie with a high viewer rating is definitely worth watching for all fans of computer games. An avid gamer, Kwon-yu is a simple unemployed guy in real life, but on the Internet he is a legendary and invincible warrior. One day he finds a lost cell phone and returns it to its owner. But the next day, the young man is detained by the police. The owner of the returned phone is killed, and Kwon-yu is the first on the list of suspects. It’s time to test virtual combat skills and the strength of online friendship in reality.

Original title:
Jojakdoen dosi

Actors:
Chi Chan-uk, Shim Eun-kyung, Oh Jung-se…

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.9

Age limit:
16+


Master (2016)

The head of a large One Network company, Jin Hyun-Pil, comes under the scrutiny of the investigating authorities. He is suspected of involvement in corruption schemes and fraud. For a year and a half, Jae Myung, the head of the investigation team, has been looking for evidence against an influential businessman. As a result, he goes to one of President Chin’s close associates, the young head of One Network’s IT department. Having information about his sins before the law, Jae-Myung makes a deal – a suspended sentence in exchange for compromising information on the boss. But Chin begins to suspect betrayal and retaliates.

Original title:
Maseuteo

Actors:
Lee Byung-hun, Kang Dong-won, Kim Woo-bin …

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.3, IMDb – 6.6

Age limit:
16+


Murder (2015)

The action of this South Korean action movie takes us back to 1933, during the Japanese occupation. The surviving fighters for the liberation of Korea, forced to hide in China, are preparing a series of assassination attempts on high-ranking officials of the invaders’ administration. A group of three saboteurs – a sniper girl and two demolition men – goes to Korea, not realizing that among them is a traitor working for the invaders.

Original title:
Amsal

Actors:
Jung Ji-hyun, Ha Jung-woo, Lee Jong-jae …

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 7.3

Age limit:
16+


Sword Memories (2015)

A royal dynasty has ruled the ancient Korean state of Joseon for many years, but the current emperor is so cruel to his people that a rebellion is rising. It is led by the top three master swordsmen in the country. But the authorities tempt one of them with a high government post, and he betrays his comrades-in-arms. One of the fighters for justice is killed, while the second, saving the daughter of a deceased friend, runs into the mountains. There he prepares the girl for the coming revenge , teaching her the art of swordsmanship.

Original title:
Hyeobnyeo, kalui gieok

Actors:
Lee Byung-hun, Jung Do-young, Kim Go-eun…

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.4, IMDb – 6.4

Age limit:
16+


Hard Day (2014)

Police detective Go Gong-soo knocks down a bystander to death on his way to his mother’s funeral. After making sure that there are no witnesses, he hides the corpse in the trunk and goes to the ceremony. Suddenly, a colleague calls, warning that the Internal Investigations Department has begun an investigation and is conducting searches of the cars of all employees. And this is just the beginning of a whole chain of problems that suddenly fall on the unfortunate detective. Thanks to the famously twisted and dynamic plot, the film is still among the top Korean crime thrillers to this day.

Original title:
Kkeutkkaji ganda

Actors:
Lee Sung-gyun, Cho Jin-un, Jang In-sop …

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.2

Age limit:
16+


High Heels (2014)

The protagonist of the action movie with elements of  a comedy melodrama , the tough and uncompromising homicide detective Yoo Chi-uk, is an example of a real man. In the fight against criminals, he is cold-blooded, does not hesitate in choosing means and always goes to the end. With colleagues, he is restrained, impartial and imperturbable. No one can guess what secret lies behind this facade. In fact, Chi-wook’s innermost dream is to change sex and start a new life. The detective is already close to this step, but the plans are disrupted by a series of new crimes that need to be investigated.

Original title:
Haihil

Actors:
Cha Seung-won, Oh Jong-se, Isom…

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 6.6

Age limit:
16+


Secret mission (2013)

North Korea sends three undercover agents to Seoul with vague wording to wait for further instructions. Now he is a schoolboy , a musician and a crippled fool living in one of the poorest neighborhoods. Professional spies and elite fighters are forced to while away their days waiting for orders, gradually getting used to such a life. But one day the order finally arrives … Of all the Korean action films released in Russian, this film can be called the most atypical for the genre, since the elements of comedy and drama are much more important in it than the “combat” component.

Original title:
Eunmilhage widaehage

Actors:
Kim Soo-hyun, Park Ki-un, Lee Hyun-woo…

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 6.9

Age limit:
16+


Hwai (2013)

A gang of gangsters kidnap a five-year-old boy, hoping for a generous ransom. The plan fails, they can’t see the money, and the bandits are ready to kill the boy, but the leader decides the issue in his own way. He names him Hwai, and now he is a full-fledged member of the gang. The new family needs to teach Hwai everything that they themselves can do. By the age of 17, he becomes a real specialist in hacking, hand-to-hand combat and shooting. The time of baptism of fire comes, and the young man is charged with the first murder.

Original title:
Hwai :
goemuleul samkin ai
Actors
: Kim
Yun suk ,
Yeo Jin-gu, Cho Jin-un…

Country:
South Korea


I am a killer (2012)

The badass cop thriller tells the story of the long-running hunt for a Korean serial killer. Detective Choi Hyung-gu is chasing a dangerous criminal with 10 victims on his account, but in the course of the chase, the villain manages to escape. The maniac lies at the bottom for a long 15 years, until the statute of limitations for his crimes expires. Now, he suddenly comes out of the shadows, publishing a memoir about his brutal murders. The book becomes a national bestseller, and the author becomes a TV star. With the Russian translation of Korean films, confusion often arises, because the literal translation of the film’s title is “Confessions of a Killer”.

Original title:
Naega salinbeomida

Actors:
Jung Jae-young, Park Shi-hoo, Jung Hae-gyun …

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 7.1

Age limit:
16+


Nowhere Man (2010)

The unsociable recluse Cha Tae-shik, the owner of a small pawnshop, has only one friend – the neighbor girl So-min. Only with her can he have intimate conversations and be himself. But one day, the girl’s mother gets into trouble by contacting local drug dealers , and together with little So-min is held hostage by bandits. Upon learning of this, The-shik takes off the mask of a modest quiet man, under which a professional killer is hiding. In fact, the name “Man from Nowhere” appeared only in the version with Russian voice acting. In the original Korean, it is translated as “uncle” – the address of a child to an adult stranger.

Original title:
Ajeossi

Actors:
Won Bin, Kim Sae-ron, Kim Tae-hoon …

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.7, IMDb – 7.8

Age limit:
18+


Secret Reunion (2010)

Lee, a South Korean intelligence agent, leads a secret hunt for a killer from the North, eliminating traitors to the communist regime. The assassin is overseen by North Korean spy Song Ji-won. The secret operation ends in failure for the intelligence agencies of both sides, turning into a shootout in the center of Seoul. The scout and the spy receive the full each from their command – one is dismissed from the authorities, the other is accused of treason. But six years later, their destinies cross again.

Original title:
Uihyeongjae

Actors:
Song Kang-ho, Kang Dong-won, Jung Guk-hwan …

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 6.9

Age limit:
16+


Rating
( No ratings yet )
Jared Lambert/ author of the article

I’ve been writing about movies, TV shows and anime for over 3 years, and you may have seen my reviews on Rotten Tomatoes and Metacritic.

Leave a Reply

My Release Date - schedule of all popular series
Support Ukraine