Korean detectives: 18 best films of recent years

Korean cinema knows how to surprise. What cannot be taken away from films from the Land of the Morning Calm is the creative freshness that captivated audiences around the world. Asian filmmakers do not let you get bored – at any moment the plot can take an unexpected turn and turn into an original puzzle. Who doesn’t love a good mystery? To all fans of the popular genre, we offer a selection of Korean detective stories that can already be viewed in Russian.

Memories of Tomorrow (2021)

After a head injury, the heroine of the novelty of Korean cinema – Su-Jin – receives not only a bump on the top of her head and amnesia , but also the ability to see the future. Her caring husband takes care of the injured wife, but for some reason hides the details of her past life, including her place of work. What is it like to be in a situation where no one believes you, and the other half behaves strangely at all?

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

Original title:  
Naeilui gioek

Actors:  
Seo Ye-ji, Kim Gan-woo, Son Hyuk…

Country:  
South Korea

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 6.4, IMDb – 6.9

Age limit:  
16+


Uninvited guest (2020)

The new Korean detective film will delight you with a twisted plot and good suspense. As a child, Seo-jin lost his little sister in the park. When the young man grew up, he got his own family and became a successful architect, but the ghosts of the past did not leave him. Soon another tragedy breaks into So-jin’s life – his wife dies in an accident. A dense wall of loneliness and despair breaks through unexpected news – his sister Yu-jin has been found. However, the hero is not sure whether to trust the girl, what if she is an impostor?

Original title:  
Chimipja

Actors:  
Kim Moo-yeol, Song Ji-hyo, Ye Soo-jeong …

Country:  
South Korea

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 6.2, IMDb – 6.0

Age limit:  
18+


Beast (2019)

In the big city, a brutal serial killer continues his bloody harvest. Girls become victims of a maniac. Two detectives Jung Han-soo and Han Min-tae, who can’t stand each other, have to work together to stop a villain. The second storyline introduces us to the informant of one of them – a woman recently released from prison . Being smarter and more agile than Chon, the drug addict sets up a cop and forces him to cover up his crime. In addition, she claims to know the name of the schoolgirl ‘s killer .

Original title:  
Biseuteu

Actors:  
Lee Sun-min, Yoo Jae-myeon, Jung Hye-jin …

Country:  
South Korea

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 6.4, IMDb – 6.0

Age limit:  
16+


Blazing (2018)

A multi-layered Korean film with Russian voice acting in the detective genre, inspired by Haruki Murakami’s short story “Burn the Barn Down”. Writer Lee Jong-soo meets an old acquaintance whom they were childhood friends with. A lot has changed in the girl’s life since then, and now it’s hard to resist her charm. In search of herself, she goes to the African continent and there she meets a guy named Ben. It seems that the mysterious rich man has no flaws, but there is a strange hobby, after learning about which our hero is deprived of peace.

Original title:  
Beoning

Actors:  
Yoo A-in, Jung Jong-so, Steven Yang …

Country:  
South Korea

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 6.9, IMDb – 7.5

Age limit:  
18+


Shadow of Murder (2018)

Korean narcotics investigator Kim Hyun-min gets important information about a series of brutal murders and where the bodies are buried. And he learns this information from an already convicted criminal, who claims that 10 years ago he killed seven unknown people and hid the bodies. Seeing an opportunity to prove himself and later transfer to the homicide department, Kim begins investigative actions. A complex investigation begins, long trials, an endless search for evidence and a confrontation between a policeman and a criminal – good and evil.

Original title:  
Amsusarin

Actors:  
Kim Yun-suk, Chu Ji-hoon, Moon Jong-hee …

Country:  
South Korea

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 6.6

Age restrictions:  
16+


Night of Memories (2017)

The film will continue the list of the best Korean detectives with a high rating and an original plot. Boy Chin-seok, along with his older brother Yu-seok and his parents, moves into a new home. However, something here confuses him – the former owner left things in one of the rooms, from where ominous sounds are constantly heard. And soon, in front of his eyes, some bandits kidnap his brother. He returns a couple of weeks later with no memory of what happened. An observant Chin-seok begins to notice frightening oddities in Yu-seok’s behavior.

Original title:  
Gieokui bam

Actors:  
Kang Ha-neul, Kim Mu-yeol, Moon Sung-geun …

Country:  
South Korea

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.4

Age limit:  
16+


Reinvestigation (2017)

A Korean detective based on real events – a film where the dramatic story of a young guy is shown through the eyes of a lawyer . The plot tells about the fate of Hyun-woo, who got into a difficult situation. Having witnessed the murder of a taxi driver , he also becomes the main suspect in this case. Lawyer Chun-young comes to the defense of the innocent. For the sake of glory, a man who specializes in financial matters is ready to take on a criminal. However, after a while, defending the rights of a new client for a lawyer becomes a matter of honor.

Original Title
Jaesim

Actors:  
Jung Woo, Kang Ha-neul, Lee Dong-hwi…

Country:  
South Korea

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 6.8


Catch Me (2013)

Ho-te, a master detective, is working to catch a dangerous criminal. And when the detective is already “getting on his tail”, the unexpected happens. The suspect is hit by a car and flees in an unknown direction. Now you need to look for the unfortunate driver. And it will be the first love of our hero. The popular film produced in South Korea is a successful genre experiment that combines a detective story, a romantic story and a comedy.

Original title:  
Kaechimi

Actors:  
Kim A-joon, Choo Won, Baek To-bin …

Country:  
South Korea

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 6.3

Age limit:  
12+


Montage (2013)

15 years have passed since the kidnapping and murder of a little girl, and the perpetrator has not been found. Suddenly, the villain makes himself felt in an extravagant way, and then the child disappears again. This Korean film, which received a lot of positive feedback from the audience, is centered on several main characters who have begun their own investigation. A mother in search of retribution for the death of her only daughter, a policeman who failed to figure out the killer for so many years, and a grandfather, from under whose nose his granddaughter was kidnapped in the present.

Original title:
Mongtaju

Actors:
Om Jong-hwa, Kim Sang-kyung, Song Yong-chang …

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 7.5


Psychometry (2013)

Right under the noses of the cops, a child is kidnapped, later found dead. The only clue appears in an unexpected way. This graffiti is a wall painting detailing a crime scene, drawn by a young artist . But how did he know about the details of the murder? Detective Yang Chung-dong finds the guy and realizes that he has an amazing ability to see some events through touch.

Original title:  
Saikometeuri

Actors:  
Kim Gang-woo, Kim Bum, Park Hyuk-kwon…

Country:  
South Korea

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 6.5


Instrument of Death (2011)

The film is based on real events in 1991, when five students, the eldest of whom was only 13 years old, went for a walk in the nearby forest and did not return home. The investigation into the incident began with a search for the missing. 300 thousand people combed the area, but did not find the children, and the case remained open for many years. Together with the police, a vain journalist looking for a sensation and a professor obsessed with his own dubious theory are taken to solve the mystery of the disappearance .

Original title:
Aideul…

Actors:
Park Yong-woo, Ryu Seung-nyeon, Song Dong-il…

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.1, IMDb – 7.2

Age limit:
16+


Client (2011)

The hero of the film, Han Chul-min, hurries with flowers to his beloved wife – today is their wedding anniversary . However, near the house, he sees a crowd and police cars. His wife was gone, and only a huge blood stain remained on the matrimonial bed. The police suspect Khan of the crime. Together with the hero, his lawyer and the public prosecutor, we will understand this complicated story. Is Han Cheol-min a ruthless killer, or just a victim of circumstance?

Original title:  
Uiroein

Actors:  
Ha Jung-woo, Park Hee-soon, Jang Hyuk…

Country:  
South Korea

Rating:  
Myreleasedate – 7.2, IMDb – 6.9


Mother (2009)

In a small town, the body of a schoolgirl was found, and next to it is irrefutable evidence of the guilt of one of the local residents – a ball with his autograph. In addition, witnesses claim that the retarded guy To-joon got drunk the day before and molested the victim. The local fool is taken to the police station where he is forced to sign a confession. However, this is not the end. To-jin has an elderly mother, a saleswoman in a provincial store, and she is ready to fight for the freedom of her only beloved son.

Original title:
Madeo

Actors:
Kim Hye-ja, Won Bin, Jin Gu…

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.4, IMDb – 7.8

Age limit:
18+


Whirlpool (2009)

A young prosecutor from Seoul, Ryu Hae-guk, travels to the provinces to attend the funeral of his father, whom he barely knew. Despite the fact that the hero brought a lot of trouble to the locals in his youth, he is very well received. And even the prosecutor, whose career Rue ruined, is behaving cordially. However, what is happening seems strange to the young man, the residents are clearly hiding something and are trying to quickly send him home.

Original title:
Ikki

Actors:
Park Hae-il, Jung Jae-young, Yoo Jun-san …

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.7, IMDb – 6.7


Murder in the Shadow (2009)

The Korean film takes place in 1910. A young medical student wanders through the woods at night looking for animal carcasses in order to practice surgery. However, instead of animals, he finds a human corpse and takes it away. The next day, the guy finds out that the body he discovered belongs to the son of a local politician . Fearing that now it is he who will be accused of a crime, the hero turns to a detective named Hong Ji-ho for help. Despite the fact that the man specializes in family matters, he agrees to help in finding the real killer.

Original title:
Geurimja sarin

Actors:
Hwang Jong-min, Ryu Deok-hwan, Oh Dal-su…

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.0, IMDb – 6.8


Undercover Investigation (2009)

The protagonist of the film had everything – a beautiful wife, a favorite job as a police detective, financial well-being and even an affair on the side. But everything collapses when his daughter dies in an accident, and a new tragedy follows. Arriving at the next call, he discovers evidence at the crime scene indicating that his wife was somehow involved in the murder. The detective hides physical evidence, and now he needs to find out as soon as possible whether his wife is really a criminal.

Original Title :
Sikeurit

Actors:
Cha Seung-won, Song Yun-ah, Ryu Seung-nyeon…

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 6.8, IMDb – 6.6


Memories of Murder (2003)

In 1986, South Korea, a country where such large-scale crimes rarely occur, was shocked by a series of murders. The unknown attacked women of different ages, social statuses and types. Detective Park Tu-man and his assistant Cho Yong-gu are trying to find the criminal, but it is not so easy to do, because there is practically no evidence. A detective from Seoul arrives to help the provincial cops.

Original title:
Salinui chueok

Actors:
Song Kang-ho, Kim Sang-kyung, Kim Rwe-ha …

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.8, IMDb – 8.1

Age limit:
18+


Joint Security Area (2000)

According to the plot of an exciting Korean film, on the border between North and South Korea, several corpses and one still alive soldier are found in a border booth. Both sides blame each other for an armed provocation. A foreign girl from an independent commission of inquiry is sent to the crime scene. She must find out what really happened and who is to blame for the bloody incident.

Original title:
Gongdonggyeongbiguyeok JSA

Actors:
Lee Byung-hun, Song Kang-ho, Lee Yong-ae …

Country:
South Korea

Rating:
Myreleasedate – 7.9, IMDb – 7.8

Age limit:
12+


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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.

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