Korean films are renowned for their authentic storytelling and impressive plot advancements. Like the booming K-drama business, the Korean cinema industry is gaining significant attention owing to internationally acclaimed films like Concrete Utopia and Academy award-winning movies like Parasite and Minari. This year has witnessed some outstanding Korean films, ranging from intellectually stimulating dramas to adrenaline-pumping action. 2023 is shaping up to be another great year for fans of Korean entertainment as several Over-The-Top (OTT) platforms continue to add several Korean films to their vast catalog.
Top 5 best Korean movies to watch in 2023
Cast: Krystal Jung, Song Kang Ho, Lim Soo Jung, Oh Jung Se, Jeon Yeo Bin
Director: Kim Jee Won
Release Date: September 27, 2023
Award: 2023 (44th) Blue Dragon Film Awards, 2023 (59th) Daejong Film Awards
Plot: The movie revolves around film director Kim, played by Song Kang Ho. Cobweb is set in the 1970s when the South Korean government had strict rules about what could be shown in movies. Censorship was heavily imposed on the releases. Song Kang Ho on the other hand, despite giving a hit, has been dealing with a lot of criticism. He’s determined to change the ending of his completed film titled Cobweb, but things get messy on set. Government censors get involved, and the actors and producers are unhappy with the new ending, causing a lot of chaos.
Road To Boston
Cast: Ha Jung Woo, Im Si Wan, Bae Sung Woo, Jo A Young, Park Eun Bin, Hwang Ja Neung
Director: Kang Je Gyu
Release Date: September 27, 2023
Award: 59th Grand Bell Awards
Plot: The film is inspired by the real-life event of marathon runner Suh Yun Bok and his coach Son Kee Jung. The plot spotlights Korean athletes in the 1947 Boston International Marathon also known as the first big marathon after World War II. With Korea ruled by the Japanese, Coach Son Kee Jung was forced to wear the Japanese flag when he won a gold medal at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Now, in the movie, Coach Son is super determined to have his trainee, Sun Yun Bok, win the 51st Boston Marathon with the Korean flag flying high on his chest.
Cast: Jun Jong Seo, Kim Ji Hoon, Park Yoo Rim, Shin Se Hwi, Park Hyoung Soo, Kim Moo Yul, Kim Young Ok
Director: Lee Chung Hyeon
Release Date: October 6, 2023
Award: Blue Dragon Film Awards
Plot: As per Netflix, the movie plot develops as follows. Ok Ju takes a break from being a top-notch bodyguard after running into her old friend Min Hee who is a trained Ballerina. But when Min Hee commits suicide, things become difficult. Using her investigative abilities, Ok Ju ventures into a dangerous realm in an attempt to get revenge on the person responsible for her friend’s misery.
Director: Director: Celine Son
Cast: Greta Lee, Yoo Teo, Jung Hae Sung, John Magaro, Moon Seung Ah, Im Seung Min
Release Date: June 23
Awards: Golden Globe nomination
Plot: Korean-Canadian writer Celine Song made her feature film debut with the film Past Lives. As per IMDB “Separated when Nora’s family emigrates from South Korea, childhood friends Nora and Hae Sung reunite two decades later for a significant week, where they grapple with the concepts of love and destiny.”
Cast: Lee Byung Hun, Park Seo Joon, Park Bo Young, Kim Sun Young, Kim Do Yoon
Director: Uhm Tae-Hwa
Release Date: August 9, 2023
Awards; 2023 (44th) Blue Dragon Film Awards, 2023 (59th) Daejong Film Awards
Plot: The film has been chosen to represent South Korea in the forthcoming Academy Awards. The official synopsis of the movie focuses on the aftermath of a powerful earthquake, where survivors are left unaware of the cause and the extent of the destruction. Amid the vast destruction, only the Hwang Gung Apartments remain standing. Young Tak takes on the responsibility of safeguarding the residents from external threats as the crisis unfolds.