The 14 Best Korean Movies and TV Shows on Netflix – Paste

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South Korean filmmaking lastly bought its due when Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite gained each the Palme d’Or at Cannes and the Oscar for Finest Image in 2019. However the Korean movie renaissance has been going sturdy for a lot of the twenty first century due to administrators like Park Chan-wook, Bong Joon-ho, Yeon Sang-ho and Lee Chang-dong. Now worldwide audiences are being handled to Korean TV exhibits, as effectively, with The Squid Recreation and Hellbound turning into on the spot Netflix hits.

Netflix has an honest collection of Korean content material with 42 motion pictures and 42 TV exhibits, together with a number of Netflix originals. From drama and motion/journey to sci-fi and horror, listed here are the 14 Finest Korean motion pictures and TV exhibits on Netflix:

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1. Night time in Paradise

12 months: 2021 Director: Park Hoon-jung Stars: Uhm Tae-goo, Jeon Yeo-been, Cha Seung-won, Park Ho-san Style: Drama, Movie Noir Runtime: 131 minutes

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Author/director Park Hoon-jung’s sixth function, Night time in Paradise, posits that revenge is a dish finest served uncooked. Characters feast on mulhoe—spicy uncooked seafood soup served chilled—a delicacy that elicits childhood recollections and reminiscences of pleasurable meals shared with members of the family who’ve since died on the violent whims of spiteful gangsters. As an alternative of appearing as a degree of catharsis, these recollections gas a fruitless pursuit for vengeance. After his terminally unwell sister and her little one grow to be the newest targets of the Bukseong gang, skilled hitman and rival Yang gang member Tae-gu (Uhm Tae-goo) makes an attempt to settle the rating by ambushing the culprits he believes chargeable for their homicide. With the ruthless Chief Ma (Cha Seung-won) mobilizing your complete Bukseong faction to catch and kill Tae-gu, he’s ushered off to Jeju Island the place he’ll stick with an assassin-turned-arms-dealer earlier than completely relocating to Russia. In lieu of personally fetching Tae-gu upon his arrival, the outdated man sends his younger however ailing niece Jae-yeon (Jeon Yeo-been) to chauffeur the fugitive again to their island abode. Not one to mince phrases or feign politeness, Jae-yeon is initially contemptuous in the direction of Tae-gu and resents her uncle’s participation in his escape. Her personal previous has seen kin needlessly sacrificed within the identify of gang rivalry, a degree that inadvertently permits the 2 would-be adversaries to bond over their incalculable loss—in addition to, in fact, their shared love of mulhoe. Whereas the visible and thematic richness of Night time in Paradise may adequately carry the movie on their very own, the wry comedic tone that usually infiltrates even the darkest exchanges between characters enhances the general emotional payoff. That is notably true of Jae-yeon and Chief Ma, who—regardless of having dying as an omnipresent specter of their lives—handle to contribute nonchalant levity, whether or not that be after a close to dying expertise or whereas overseeing orchestrated assassinations. Park’s cautious consideration to multifaceted and infrequently intersecting sentiments retains the viewer constantly enthralled within the narrative internet he weaves, an simple boon for a two-hour-plus movie. Night time in Paradise is most incisive in these advanced moments of bitter ambiguity. It might be unattainable and ineffective to aim to aptly deduce probably the most morally appropriate solution to overcome a rabid want to avenge those that have been unjustly ripped away from this mortal coil. Park lingers within the burning rawness of those compulsions. Whether or not the viewer finds the piquant discomfort alluring or is in the end left soured by the ordeal is merely a matter of palate.—Natalia Keogan

2. Okja

12 months: 2017 Director: Bong Joon-ho Stars: Tilda Swinton, Paul Dano, An Search engine optimization Hyun, Byun Heebong, Steven Yeun, Lily Collins, Yoon Je Moon, Shirley Henderson, Daniel Henshall, Devon Bostick, Woo Shik Choi, Giancarlo Esposito, Jake Gyllenhaal Style: Sci-fi & Fantasy, Motion Score: NR Runtime: 118 minutes

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Okja takes extra artistic dangers in its first 5 minutes than most movies take over their whole span, and it doesn’t let up from there. What seems to be a sticking level for some critics and audiences, notably Western ones, is the seemingly erratic tone, from sentiment to suspense to giddy motion to whimsy to horror to no matter it’s Jake Gyllenhaal is doing. However that is half and parcel with what makes Bong Joon-ho motion pictures, effectively, Bong Joon-ho motion pictures: They’re nuanced and complicated, however they aren’t precisely refined or restrained. They’ve consideration to element, however they aren’t delicate of their dealing with. They’ve a number of intentions, and so they convey these intentions collectively to jam. They’re imaginative works that craft momentum by way of part-counterpart alternations, and Okja is probably the best instance but of the wild pendulum swing of a Bong movie’s rhythmic tonality. Okja can be not a movie about veganism, however it’s a movie that asks how we will discover integrity and, above all, how we will act humanely in the direction of different creatures, people included. The solutions Okja reaches are easy and very important, and with out actually talking them it helps you hear these solutions for your self as a result of it has requested all the appropriate questions, and it has requested them in a method that’s intensely partaking. —Chad Betz

3. Squid Recreation

12 months: 2021 Creator: Hwang Dong-hyuk Stars: Lee Jung-jae, Park Hae-soo, Wi Ha-jun Style: Thriller Score: TV-MA

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Honeyed snacks, candy-colored partitions, and a larger-than-life doll all sound like a toddler’s fantasy come to life. However contained in the world of Squid Recreation on Netflix, harmless nostalgia comes with a physique depend as 456 people compete to the dying in playground video games for $45.6 billion Korean gained (or $38.6 million American {dollars}). All on the point of monetary smash and determined for a method out, the gamers are pitted towards one another by the wealthy and highly effective for leisure, till there’s only one victor left standing. Launched on September seventeenth, the South Korean drama already boasts vital accolades. It’s the primary Korean present to ever prime Netflix’s U.S. High 10, it’s the platform’s primary collection throughout the globe, and it’s presently on monitor to grow to be the preferred Netflix collection ever—usurping interval romance Bridgerton. Created by genre-spanning filmmaker Hwang Dong-hyuk, Squid Recreation’s plot line will really feel acquainted to anybody who’s seen The Starvation Video games or Battle Royale, the Japanese cult favourite that popularized the battle royale style. But slightly than happen in any dystopian panorama, Squid Recreation grounds its premise by way of a real-world, modern setting. The “last-man-standing” hook means there’s a predictability to the way it all performs out, however Hwang is much less involved with subverting the battle royale method as a lot as digging into the human stakes that make it tick.

Manipulated by nice print, the Squid Recreation rivals aren’t initially conscious of the life-or-death penalties they’ve signed up for. After the primary sport’s mass casualties, a loophole offers them the prospect to choose out from enjoying and return safely to their empty financial institution accounts. The selection looks like a no brainer from an outdoor perspective. However because the important second episode reveals, there aren’t any good choices for these on society’s margins, and a worry-free existence the place cash isn’t a day by day stressor appears unattainable to acquire. The video games are unhealthy—however who’s to say the true world isn’t worse? —Annie Lyons

4. Crash Touchdown on You

12 months: 2019-2020 Creators: Lee Jeong-hyo, Park Ji-eun Stars: Hyun Bin, Son Ye-jin, Search engine optimization Ji-hye Style: Journey, Drama, Comedy, Romance Score: TV-14

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Yoon Se-ri (Son Ye-jin) is a profitable businesswoman along with her personal style and wonder firm, Seri’s Selection, and has been picked by her father to succeed him as chairman of a fair bigger conglomeration. However a strained relationship along with her stepmother and jealous brothers have led to melancholy and a collection of short-lived relationships. When a sudden storm blows her paraglider on the unsuitable facet of the DMZ, she finds herself trapped in North Korea and on the mercy of military captain Jeong-hyeok (Hyun Bin), who decides to assist her return house. What follows is a gloriously soapy romantic journey set in one of the repressive states on earth. The North Korean troopers of Firm 5 and the ladies within the village the place Jeong-hyeok lives are almost as charismatic and compelling because the present’s two all-star romantic comedy leads. The present is simply 10 episodes, however these episodes common about 80 minutes every, shifting from one fish out of water in North Korea to 5 again in Seoul, as one impediment after one other will get thrown within the path of the star-crossed lovers. —Josh Jackson

5. Kingdom

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12 months: 2019-21 Created by: Kim Eun-hee, Kim Seong-hun Stars: Ju Ji-hoon, Ryu Seung-ryong, Bae Doo-nam, Kim Sung-kyu Style: Horror, Motion Score: TV-MA

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American (and even simply Western) zombies are virtually all the time the driving level of the narrative—representing huge nasty threats like nationwide nervousness about illness, nuclear struggle, capitalism, the collapse of society, and racism—usually limiting the style’s potentialities and focusing their plots largely on exterior forces. In contrast, in Kingdom (transported to South Korea’s Joseon interval) these tales grow to be extra curious about how current constructions (and the conventional folks residing inside them) deal with the menace, and the way coping makes them higher geared up for the inevitable return to regular. Western zombie exhibits enable their audiences to understand how society adapts to those monstrous allegories, forming the factional city-states of The Strolling Useless (Alexandria, Hilltop, Woodbury) or the non secular zeal of Santa Clarita Food regimen’s Anne Garcia (Natalie Morales); Korean zombies rage in a society that in the end stays the identical. The latter’s evils are amplified and uncovered by the zombies, however the contaminated undead additionally catalyze a satisfying hero’s journey within the midst of misguided magistrates, fear-based isolationism, and sophistication warfare. —Jacob Oller

6. Hellbound

12 months: 2021 Creator: Choi Kyu-sok Stars: Yoo Ah-in, Kim Hyun-joo, Park Jeong-min Style: Supernatural thriller Score: TV-MA

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Netflix’s second blockbuster Korean collection of the yr is predicated on Yeon Sang-ho’s webcomic Hellbound, asking what would occur if angels began showing on earth, telling people that they had been quickly going to be dragged to hell by ultra-violent smoke demons, whereas all of Seoul—and the world—regarded on. I’m only one episode in, however the pilot is extra intriguing than the premise ought to be, because the present wrestles with questions of religion, judgment and redemption within the face of simple proof. Yoo Ah-in stars because the charismatic cult chief of the New Reality Society, and Yang Ik-june is the detective nonetheless treating the mysterious deaths as murders, whereas his daughter (performed by Lee Re) turns into concerned with the cult. —Josh Jackson

7. Area Sweepers

12 months: 2021 Director: Jo Sung-hee Stars: Tune Joong-ki, Kim Tae-ri, Jin Seon-kyu, Yoo Hae-jin Style: Sci-fi, Motion Score: NR Runtime: 136 minutes

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Netflix launched its viewers to Southeast Asian big-budget sci-fi with the Chinese language movie The Wandering Earth, a large number of a narrative that was nonetheless stunning to have a look at. Area Sweepers, from Korean filmmaker Jo Sung-hee, is a way more cohesive and coherent providing with simply as a lot flash. The dystopian setting sees the pinnacle of a large tech firm creating an Eden on Mars, primarily consigning most of humanity to poverty and air pollution. A ragtag crew of space-junk collectors is every taking care of their very own self-interest after they discover a mysterious younger lady who entangles them in a lot bigger worries. With compelling characters, thrilling motion sequences and an interesting plot, it’s a robust entry for Korea’s first sci-fi blockbuster. —Josh Jackson

8. Boys Over Flowers

12 months: 2009 Creators: Jeon Ki-sang, Yoon Ji-ryun Stars: Ku Hye-sun, Lee Min-ho, Kim Hyun-joong, Kim Beom Style: Teen Romance Score: TV-14

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Meet the Korean Chuck Bass: Company inheritor Jun-Pyo has bought Chuck’s sneer and the sharp fits down pat. When Jun-Pyo and his boy band-like entourage of longhairs, the F4, stroll right into a room, ladies at Shinhwa Excessive go Beatlesmania. However when rebellious, quirky Jan-Di surfs a serendipitous scholarship to Korea’s most unique highschool, she bathes F4 in contempt, eviscerating them for his or her merciless, spoiled habits. There’s nothing like an outlier to show a wealthy boy’s coronary heart—not less than within the footage, proper? However whereas Jan-Di melts Jun-Pyo’s merciless, merciless coronary heart, she finds herself warming as much as quiet, mysterious, sonata-shredding F4-er Ji-Hoo, who performs the Nate Archibald of the collection. We’re guessing you may predict who’ll win Cinderella’s coronary heart, if Gossip Woman taught you something concerning the merciless fantasies of TV-land: some love and heartbreak tales are common. —Dakota Kim

9. Psychokinesis

12 months: 2018 Director: Yeon Sang-ho Stars: Ryu Seung-ryong, Shim Eun-kyung, Park Jung-min Style: Superhero, Motion Score: NR Runtime: 101 minutes

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Following up Prepare to Busan, his adroit add-on to the endlessly alive zombie style, Yeon Sang-ho gives one other interpretation of the zeitgeist with Psychokinesis, constructing a deft, vaguely political room of South Korea’s personal within the cinematic superhero universe. Ryu Seung-ryong performs everyman no person Shin Seok-heon, a dopey safety guard estranged from his household, introduced again into daughter Roo-mi’s (Shim Eun-kyung) life after a gang of unionized development staff unintentionally kill her mom whereas trying to evict the younger fried rooster entrepreneur from their small storefront. Additionally: Seok-heon has burgeoning superpowers of the titular selection, contracted when he drinks from a public spring polluted with an alien substance lately launched into the earth by way of crashed area rock. Although Yeon (who additionally wrote the movie) usually confuses comedian e-book sensibility with a complete lack of deeply written characters struggling underneath really attention-grabbing motivations and backstories, Yeon isn’t notably pushed by the identical forces because the MCU or the DCEU: Psychokinesis has an unfettered coronary heart, an unfussy melodrama, in methods movies of these manufacturers don’t, not burdened by the identical financial strain—whereas additionally declaring very clearly that the police are unhealthy. It’s all fairly refreshing within the wake of an Infinity Conflict. —Dom Sinacola

10. The Pirates: The Final Royal Treasure

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12 months: 2022 Director: Stars: Kang Ha-neul, Han Hyo-joo, Lee Kwang-soo, Kwon Sang-woo Style: Journey Score: TV-MA

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This new swashbuckling blockbuster has loads of foolish enjoyable with epic sword fights, bodily gags and goofy assault penguins. Han Hyo-joo stars because the calm, cool pirate captain, and Kang Ha-neul is the chief of sincere bandits she saves. The unlikely pair crew up on a quest to search out the legendary gold of the fallen dynasty of Goryeo. The Pirates: The Final Royal Treasure is a sequel in spirit to 2014’s Pirates, and each movies have topped the field workplace charts in Korea. —Josh Jackson

11. All of Us Are Useless

12 months: 2022 Creators: Joo Dong-geun, Chun Sung-il Stars: Park Ji-hoo, Yoon Chan-young, Cho Yi-hyun, Park Solomon Style: Horror Score: TV-MA

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This isn’t the primary time Netflix has introduced high-schoolers and zombies collectively; that’d be the under-rated, short-lived Dawn. However the brand new South Korean coming-of-age apocalyptic collection All of Us Are Useless makes the college battleground zero for our protagonists when a biology trainer creates a virus that turns their fellow college students into the undead. Following sizzling on Squid Recreation’s heels, it additionally managed to parlay the united statesA.’s rising fascination with South Korean tradition into some severe viewership numbers. —Josh Jackson

12. White Nights

12 months: 2016 Creator: Han Ji-hoon Stars: Lee Yo-won, Jim Goo, U-ie, Jung Hae-in, Jeon Kook-hwan, Jung Han-yong Style: Drama Score: TV-14

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Desperately broke, seemingly harmless Se-Jin encounters steely, self-possessed Yi-Kyung by probability, however their rendezvous appears fated when Se-Jin proves she has the mettle to be a daring yes-woman for Yi-Kyung’s harmful, ruthless enterprise enterprise, Gallery S. CEO Yi-Kyung strives to interrupt Se-Jin of her limiting, bourgeois views on cash so she will be able to reside fearlessly as a monetary murderer and conscienceless company warrior. However Yi-Kyung’s plans to mildew and use Se-Jin go a lot farther than even Se-Jin anticipates, deep right into a historic feud along with her former lover, Gun-Woo, an unlikely company rival and free spirit. The drama is gradual to unfold, however White Nights balances its thriller with fashionable, polished visuals, deviously juicy plot twists, and weak, relatable characters. And naturally, no Korean drama could be full with no love triangle. —Dakota Kim

13. #Alive

12 months: 2020 Director: Cho Il-hyung Stars: Yoo Ah-in, Park Shin-hye Score: NR Runtime: 99 minutes

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Followers of zombie cinema had been hotly anticipating not less than one South Korean zombie function this yr: Peninsula, the sequel to the much-loved Prepare to Busan was closely hyped, however in the end fell far in need of the unique. Fortunately, although, there was one other Korean zombie flick ready within the wings to step into its place, within the type of the considerably extra profitable (if modest) #Alive. Followers of the unique World Conflict Z novel will definitely discover this story acquainted, because it’s suspiciously just like one in all that e-book’s better-loved passages, a couple of younger gamer/hacker in Japan who’s so deeply engrossed within the internet, he fails to note the world descending right into a zombie apocalypse round him, earlier than lastly being compelled to unplug and go on the run. Right here, the identical fundamental premise is solely transplanted to South Korea, the place the introverted protagonist should rappel down the facet of his condominium constructing to keep away from the prowling useless, whereas additionally in search of different survivors hiding among the many carnage. It’s a a lot tighter, extra neatly executed story than the disappointing excesses of Peninsula, good for pandemic-era viewing. —Jim Vorel

14. Love and Leashes

12 months: 2022 Director: Park Hyun-jin Stars: Seohyun, Lee Jun-young Style: Romantic Comedy Score: TV-14 Runtime: 118 minutes

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I’m a sucker for romances. I’ve loved watching Okay-dramas reminiscent of Imitation and Let Me Be Your Knight that includes Lee Jun-young, who debuted with the Okay-pop band U-KISS. In each of these dramas he performed a brooding musician, usually misunderstood by his personal bandmates and the world at giant. I’m additionally effectively conscious of Seohyun’s profession after debuting with the Okay-pop band Ladies Era, and have her Okay-drama Personal Lives bookmarked to observe in some unspecified time in the future. (So many Okay-dramas, so little time!) As one in all my buddies identified, Okay-dramas with romantic storylines could be saccharinely candy: “too pink-pink.” In fact, they will also be very darkish. However usually, they’re fairly chaste, and comply with a well-established method. So when the trailer for Love and Leashes dropped, I used to be curious. Starring Lee Jun-young and Seohyun, and based mostly on webtoon/manga The Sensual M, this rom-com provided a BDSM sub-plot. That is how the story unfolds: Jung Ji-hoo (Lee Jun-young) transfers from the enterprise division to the PR division of an organization that appears to cater to mom-based or in any other case family-friendly product. Seems, Jung Ji-woo (Seohyun) works for the PR crew, and is well-known for her no-nonsense angle. She particularly can not tolerate her sexist boss, and incessantly challenges him regardless of her teammate’s recommendation to disregard him. When Jung Ji-woo unintentionally receives a bundle meant for Jung Ji-hoo, she discovers that her coworker harbors a secret. He might appear like a well-mannered colleague and a stand-up man, however—GASP!—he’s into kink. One factor results in one other, and Jung Ji-woo finally ends up enjoying the dominant to Jung Ji-hoo’s submissive. “I’m a fast examine,” she tells him. Maybe unsurprisingly, Love and Leashes seems to be extra of an explainer of BDSM relationships than something dwelling on the precise relationship between these two co-workers. These in search of a sexier model of the workplace romance could also be disenchanted. As anticipated, the actors throw themselves into the position and look stunning whereas enacting their fantasies—though there are a number of cringe-worthy moments in between—however, In the long run, their romance finally ends up being fairly chaste. When you’re in search of an amusing diversion on a chilly winter night time and are into Okay-drama, Love and Leashes may tickle your fancy. However these looking for one thing extra steamy ought to hold scrolling. —Aparita Bhandari

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