10 Korean Movies That Are Certified Fresh By Rotten Tomatoes To Be Your Best Watch Yet

These movies are guaranteed to be the best by both critics and viewers!

Rotten Tomatoes has long been a trusted review-aggregator of films, even certifying them “fresh” once they hit a score of 75% or higher. If you wanted to know how both critics and regular viewers felt about a film, you go to them. Although they originally began with English films, the company has quickly expanded to review movies from any country you could think of.

These 10 Korean movies have made it past 90% for the critics, making them not only certified fresh but an absolute must-watch!

10. Train to Busan

Critic Score: 94%

Audience Score: 89%

Seo Seok Woo (Gong Yoo), his estranged daughter Soo An (Kim Soo An), and other passengers become trapped on a high-speed train heading from Seoul to Busan during a disastrous zombie outbreak.

9. Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… And Spring

Critic Score: 94%

Audience Score: 93%

The film is divided into five segments (the five seasons of the title) and each segment depicts a different stage in the life of a Buddhist monk.

8. The Handmaiden

Critic Score: 95%

Audience Score: 91%

During 1930s Korea, Nam Sook Hee (Kim Tae Ri) is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress, Hideko (Kim Min Hee), who lives a secluded life on a countryside estate with her Uncle Kouzuki (Jo Jin Woong). However, the maid has a secret. She is a pickpocket recruited by a swindler posing as a Japanese Count (Ha Jung Woo) to help him convince the Hideko to elope with him, rob her of her fortune, and lock her up in a psychiatric hospital. The plan seems to be going according to plan until Sook Hee and Hideko discover some unexpected feelings.

7. Burning

Critic Score: 95%

Audience Score: 80%

Lee Jong Su (Yoo Ah In), a part-time deliverer, bumps into Shin Hae Mi (Jeon Jong Seo) who used to live in his neighborhood. Hae Mi asks him to look after her cat while she’s on a trip to Africa. When Hae Mi comes back, she introduces Ben (Steven Yun) to Jong Su. One day, Ben visits Jong Su’s with Hae Mi and confesses his own secret hobby: every two months he burns an abandoned greenhouse.


6. Hotel By The River

Critic Score: 95%

Audience Score: 65%

It’s the dead of winter and a poet invites his sons to join him at a hotel for a reunion. The hotel also hosts a newly single woman who has a friend keep her company. The poet is drawn to the beautiful women and can’t resist the temptation to discover more.

5. Mother

Critic Score: 96%

Audience Score: 88%

Hye Ja (Kim Hye Ja) lives quietly with her 28-year-old son, Yoon Do Joon (Won Bin), while providing herbs and acupuncture to her neighbors. One day, a girl is brutally murdered and Do Joon is charged with the killing. Now, it’s his mother’s decision whether to prove him innocent or to leave him imprisoned.

4. Parasite

Critic Score: 98%

Audience Score: 90%

Kim Gi Woo (Choi Woo Shik) is a young man who lives with his unemployed, poor family of four in a semi-basement. One day, his friend Min Hyuk (Park Seo Joon) tells him that he’s leaving to study abroad and that he should replace him as the tutor of a rich family. The Parks are a rich family of four who are the owners of a global IT firm. Yun Gyo (Cho Yeo Jung), the lady of the house, accepts Gi Woo as a tutor for her daughter and he uses Yun Gyo’s naivety as a chance to employ his other family members.

3. The Wailing

Critic Score: 99%

Audience Score: 81%

Within a seemingly peaceful village, a string of mysterious and violent deaths occur. Police conclude poisonous wild mushrooms are the cause. However, Officer Jong Goo (Kwak Do Won)hears a rumor involving a nearby Japanese elder who is suspected by the villagers. While investigating, Jong Goo finds a witness who has seen the man at the scene of the crimes. Thus, Jong Goo’s belief about this man’s innocence begins to waver. To his despair, his own daughter begins to experience the same symptoms as the others did prior to death. He heads out to find his prime suspect’s mountain home, as an exorcism is taking place on his daughter.

2. Poetry

Critic Score: 100%

Audience Score: 86%

An elderly lady named Yang Mi Ja (Yoon Jung Hee) works as a caregiver for a disabled man and raises her grandson alone. Though she has to endure the onset of Alzheimer’s disease, she tries to fulfill her lifelong dream of becoming a poet.

1. The Age of Shadows

Critic Score: 100%

Audience Score: 82%

Lee Jung Chul (Song Kang Ho) once had connections to the Korean independence movement, but now works as a police officer for the Japanese occupation’s forces. He receives an order to take down the leaders of an anti-Japanese resistance organization (the Heroic Corps) but begins to question himself while chasing Kim Jang Ok (Park Hee Soon), a key resistance fighter who used to be his classmate. Jung Chul then meets art dealer Kim Woo Jin (Gong Yoo), whom he suspects is the regional leader of the group, and whose antique shop is a front to smuggle explosives from Shanghai into Seoul. Both men are well aware of each other’s true identities and intentions but get closer to each other by seeking out more information. Jung Che San (Lee Byung Hun), the leader of the Heroic Corps, wants to bring Jung Chul to their side—all while Lee is being watched by the suspicious Hashimoto (Uhm Tae Goo). 

Source: Rotten Tomatoes