Friday, May 30, 2014

Top 5 Best Korean War Movies

List: Top 5 Best Korean War Films
I love war films. The great war films out there tell honest, unbiased stories about particular events – or, more blunt, certain atrocities. However, filmmakers can only tell the same story in film so many times before it becomes cliché or bland. South Korea is a country with a rich cultural history, and a devastating war past. And, war films, particularly the films on this list, tell unique stories about the war and, more importantly, the people that fought them. The following war films are some of the best films in the region, with a unique focus on character and suspenseful, atrociously-elegant war sequences.

5. A Little Pond
A compelling film based on the hardly mentioned U.S. massacre of Korean refugees during the Korean War. The setup is tense and unforgettable, and the climax is brutal and devastating. A Little Pond dares to tell a controversial story – and, I love it, I really love learning about these types of events. It does suffer from its short runtime, though.

4. The Front Line
Watch it on Netflix Instant!
Centered around the 1953 ceasefire, The Front Line follows Kang Eun-pyo, who is sent to investigate the death of a commanding officer by a South Korean bullet and the possibility of a North Korean spy. The Front Line is a meaningful and thought-provoking war film taking the audience through the horrors of war; it's equally exhilarating and suspenseful through its distinct action sequences.

3. My Way
Read My Way (Review) Here!
Watch it on Netflix Instant!
The fact-based story of rival sprinters Kim Jun-shik and Tatsuo Hasegawa and their horrendous experience during World War 2. I give major credit to My Way because it introduced me to a story I've never heard – too many war films cover the same material, but My Way covers a more obscure event. The rivalry and the general complicated relationship between Jun-shik and Tatsuo is meticulously crafted, the war sequences are graphically violent and very suspenseful, and the acting is great. This is director Kang Je-gyu's return to film making, and it's very welcomed.

2. Welcome to Dongmakgol
Watch it on Netflix Instant!
Welcome to Dongmakgol follows three North Korean soldiers, two South Korean soldiers, and a U.S. pilot during the Korean War when they find themselves in the isolated village of Dongmakgol – a village where they treat people as people and don't know of war. Welcome to Dongmakgol is the most unconventional war film on this list, but it's also the one of the most powerful and likely the most meaningful of the bunch.

1. Taegukgi: The Brotherhood of War
Read Taegukgi: The Brotherhood of War (Review) Here!
Taegukgi: The Brotherhood of War is the tale of two brothers who are drafted into the Korean War. The pair experience the atrocities of war, as one would expect, but the human relationship between the pair and the surprising character arcs really differentiate this film from the rest. Top that with superb performances from Jang Dong-gun and Won Bin, as well as the direction from Kang Je-gyu, and you have yourself the best Korean war film.

Thanks for reading! Tweet me your favorite Korean war films, or just your favorite war films period, @JonathanCA_KMR! By the way, I know 71: Into The Fire is acclaimed by many, but I can't get my hands on it... yet.

Want more of my lists?
Top 10 Best Horror Anthologies
Top 10 Best Korean Comedies

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