The Best Korean Films of 2012

2012 has been a great year for Korean film with many titles receiving high star user reviews on IMDB. In no particular order, let’s take a look back at some of the best films that Korea had to offer from 2012.


For fans of sci-fi or horror genres, this is a must see. It is Korea’s first film about an epidemic caused by an infectious disease and puts many American films of a similar plot line to shame. With believable character interactions even within a science fiction driven plot, it is no wonder it is an award winning film. Still not sold? Check out the trailer!


This is a film based on a book called The Hunter from Japanese author Asa Nonami in 1996 and pulls off the ‘human didn’t do it’ crime film rather well. It cleverly focuses on plot devices other than the dog/wolf murderer, making the film much more of a work of art than a B movie, lazy attempt at turning a book into a film.

Dancing Queen

Whilst this film relies more on visual imagery and beauty rather than a heavy plot or story, it is still an enjoyable film to watch. It does not challenge the viewer to question morality or anything intellectual, but it is a good romantic comedy to relax and unwind with.


Helpless is the second novel-turned-film on the list as it is based on the novel All She Was Worth by another Japanese writer, Miyabe Miyuki. The plot to this film is clever and will have you twisting and turning with it. It’s very fun to try to uncover the truth alongside the characters and is one to watch more than once.

Architecture 101

For those who like a romantic comedy this is the one for you. Whilst it isn’t a laugh out loud every moment kind of movie, it has a gritty humour that is so charming and will have you smiling without even realising it. The story is so beautifully constructed around such a real situation, which is what gives the film its special magic.

The Thieves

With such an all-star cast, there was no way that this film couldn’t make the list. With a complicated plot surrounding heists, the cooperative efforts of Chinese, Japanese and Korean thieves and stunning character development, it is clear that this is one of the best films from Korea from 2012. It may take a couple of viewings to fully appreciate the genius, but it is well worth it.

Nameless Gangster

Full of moral corruption, the delusion of power and interesting plot twists, Nameless Gangster is a smash hit full of laughs, tears and plenty of moments of tension. Filmed in a modern noir style, the film is a classy nod to gangster films that came before it. The film is so classy, elegant and yet still somehow real, that it will find itself becoming a modern classic.

With all these great films listed here, plus all the ones that didn’t get a mention, 2013 has its work cut out for it!

What was your favourite Korean film of 2012? Let us know in the comments or in our Facebook poll.

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