With the advent of streaming services like Amazon Prime, it has become easier for the viewers to broaden their horizons and delve into international cinema. While Hollywood continues to expand and strengthen its reach, there is another country that has expanded its viewer base exponentially in the last couple of years. Korean movies have garnered the interest of the viewers because it provides some fresh material, a different culture to explore and new stories to watch.
So, if you are in a mood to watch something that is not produced about Hollywood, I highly recommend Korean cinema. And the best news is that you don’t have to even go to a movie theater to do that, since most of the online streaming services have recognized this need of people. They are now streaming movies from around the world and have quite a collection of Korean films. Without further ado, here’s the list of top Korean movies on Amazon Prime that you can watch right now. All of these are really good and worth your time.
15. SORI: Voice from the Heart (2016)
Grief is a strong driving force in one’s life. The loss of his daughter weighs heavily on a father. Hae-Gwan has been going through the same thing as well. When his daughter goes missing, he tries different ways to find out what happened to her. The people around him believe that he has gone mad in the wake of his daughter’s death. Everyone tells him to drop his quest of finding his daughter because she had died in a fire at the subway station. When no one seems to help him, a phone call provides him with new hope. The caller tells him that his daughter is on an island. But when Hae-Gwan goes to that island, he is unable to find his daughter. Not later, he watches a strange event in the sea which makes the waves rise high above and sweep him away. When he wakes up, he finds himself in a place that seems artificially inhabited. He employs the help of a robot to find his daughter.
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14. Trapped Abroad 2 (2014)
Friendship and loyalty are very important things in one’s life. While some people hold on to it, giving up everything for it, others don’t place it in as much high regard. For Garid, his friendship with Tegshee was everything, So, when the latter found himself being convicted of murder, Garid jumped in to save him from his miserable fate. He took the blame upon himself and served time in place of Tegshee. It took some years, but Tegshee was finally able to get Garid out. While Garid thought that this was an act of loyalty that his friend had for him, soon, Tegshee’s motives became clearer.
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13. Han Gong-ju (2013)
Translated into English as ‘Princess’, this film tells the story of a young girl who is going through a very difficult and tumultuous phase in her life. Her life is haunted by an event in which she swears to everyone that she did nothing wrong. A police investigation begins and she is forced to leave her school and hometown to escape the judging eyes of the people who seem to have tagged her guilty even when the investigation is still ongoing and no proof has been found against her. Transitioning to another school makes her life even more difficult as she is alone most of the times and doesn’t have any friends. The question remains, what made her leave her already settled life? What was it that made her run away from her hometown?
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12. Scandal Makers (2008)
Nam Hyeon-soo is still in his thirties, so that doesn’t make him too old. He was a former teen idol and now pursues a career as a radio DJ. One day a young girl comes to him and tells him that he is her father. Nam Hyeon-soo finds it hard to believe so he conducts a paternity test and it turns out that she really is his daughter. What makes things even more interesting is that his newfound daughter comes to live with him and brings along his young son. She starts her career on stage and soon gains popularity. When the daughter’s ex-lover, and the father of her child, comes looking for her, he meets Nam Hyeon-soo and thinks that he is romantically involved with her, because the age difference isn’t too much. This confusion causes hilarious situations for Nam as he tries to deal with his responsibility of being a parent, and a grandparent.
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11. Wonderful Nightmare (2015)
When a man makes a small mistake, it is easily covered up. But, when heaven makes a mistake, it turns out to be of biblical proportions. Yeon-woo was having the time of her life. She had a successful career as a lawyer and was on track for everything that she wanted in life. But, one accident changed everything for her. She died and went upstairs, only to discover that she wasn’t meant to die. The problem was that she shared the same name as an old woman who supposed to hit the grave. But, the mistake has been made and Yeon-woo can’t go back to being her usual self. But, she can’t be allowed to stay dead either. So, she is sent back as someone else. She is to live like a housewife now handling a mundane husband and dramatic kids. As Yeon-woo adjusts to her new life, she discovers a new meaning of everything.
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10. Shoot Me in the Heart (2015)
The story of Soo-Myung and Seung-min begins in a mental institution. Soo-Myung had been admitted there after he suffered from metal issues triggered by the death of his mother. He has gotten used to the place and even with its unwelcoming staff, he has settled in his life in the institution. Seung-min, on the other hand, is in there for all the wrong reasons. She was proved mental by her half-brother who wanted her share of the inheritance. So, now she is in here, while her half-brother is out there spending her money. Angered by her condition, Seung-min decides to hatch a plan through which she can escape from the place. Soo-Myung unwillingly becomes a part of it.
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9. My Little Bride (2004)
Fate might work in mysterious ways to bring two people together, but it faces strong contention from grandparents who concoct their own plans to make a couple out of each other’s grandchildren. 15-year-old Bo-Eun is still a child. She is worried about classes, homework and has a crush on one of her classmates. But, everything changes when her grandfather reveals to her that she will have to marry a guy she hasn’t even heard of before because his grandfather had made a pact with someone. So, she marries Sang-min. Sang-min is a few years older than Bo-Eun and is in college. Bo-Eun hides her marriage from everyone and tries to lead a normal life. She makes a boyfriend in school, believing that no one will get to know about it. However, when Sang-min passes out of college, he joins Bo-eung’s school as a teacher. Things complicate further.
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8. Montage (2013)
Resolution is a very important thing for a person to move on from their loss. But sometimes, in fact, more times than we know, things happen that we never get to know the end of. Murders and kidnappings go unsolved while the family keeps wondering what happened to their loved ones and who did it to them. A child was kidnapped but was never found. The kidnapper disappeared after that kidnapping and was never heard from again. As the years passed by, the trail became colder and soon the date for the closing of the case was about to expire. But, a couple of days before that another child is kidnapped with the same MO. This time the police decide not to cut any slack, to find the kidnapper before he/she disappears again with the fate of another child hanging in balance.
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7. Dearest (2014)
When a boy was abducted from his village, his parents gave their everything to keep looking for him. Tian Wenjun and Lu Xiaojuan had separated, knowing that their marriage wasn’t meant to last. But they were brought together by the grief of their son who was abducted. Years later, they found him in the care of the woman who was the wife of the man who had abducted their son. When the truth came to light, the abductor’s wife lost her everything as the state took away her foster daughter as well. With nothing left to lose, the woman decided to get her daughter back, a decision that took her on a path from which there was no coming back.
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6. Method (2017)
Two actors find themselves in a compromising position when the secret of their love comes out to the world. Jae-Ha was an accomplished actor while Young-woo hadn’t had any work in a long time. When they were both cast in the lead in the same play, Jae-Ha showed professionalism while Young-woo threw tantrums and didn’t take his work seriously. This makes Jae-Ha frustrated and he calls him out for acting like an utterly unprofessional person. Jae-ha’s persona and dedication towards his work attract Young-woo towards him. Soon, Jae-Ha, too, feels the attraction between them even when he has a girlfriend. Their relationship escalates in no time and they are left to give a serious thought to their predicament.
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5. Ice Bar (2006)
This story is set in 1969, in a small town in Korea. Young-Rae is a 10-year-old kid who lives with his mother. They are poor and his mother works hard to provide for them. Young-Rae loves his mother very much and is quick-witted and strong-willed. He stands up against everyone to fight for his mother. What eats at him is the absence of his father. When other children tease him for not having a father, his heart breaks. So, when he comes to know about his father’s whereabouts he vows to contact him. The problem is that his father lives in a big city, and to go there one needs to board a train, the ticket of which is very expensive. Young-Rae begins selling ice bars to earn and save that money so he can finally meet his father.
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4. Snowy Road (2015)
In a small Korean village live two girls on different spectrums of social structure. Jong-Boon came from a poor family but she didn’t let that affect her spirits. She was brave and bright and knew that she would find a place for herself. Young-Ae was smart and wanted to study further. She belonged to a rich family so it wouldn’t have been a problem. But Young-ae wanted to go to Japan. When she comes to know about a student work group being taken to Japan for further studies, she decides to join it. While on the train, she realises that she had been deceived. There she meets Jong-Boon who had been kidnapped and brought into the train against her will. Both the girls feel the life draining out of their bodies when they realise that the train is taking them to their fate of becoming “comfort women”.
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3. The Royal Tailor (2014)
A rivalry is a common emotion in a court. And even the tailors aren’t oblivious of it. Jo Dol-Seok had worked for the royal family for a very long time. He was a commoner when he began and now, at the peak of his career, he was the head tailor of the royal family. He was known for sticking to his traditional methods and style. One day, the Queen comes to Jo and asks him to make a new robe for the King because the one he had was spoiled by mistake. Jo refuses to do it, stating that it is against the royal protocol and that a robe cannot be made in a short time that the Queen wanted it in. Disappointed by Jo, the Queen looks elsewhere for help and finds a young designer who agrees to help the Queen. Impressed by his work, the Queen offers him to become a royal tailor. And so, a rivalry begins that ends in blood.
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2. Masquerade (2012)
Being on the topmost position makes people prone to attacks. The ruler of the Joseon Dynasty understood this very well. That’s why he asked his trusted Secretary of Defense to do something about it. The king’s double is found by the secretary in order to foil any plots of assassination that might be hatching within the enemy camps. No sooner than the double comes to the palace, the inevitable happens. The king is attacked and slips into a coma. To maintain the façade of the king’s well-being and not cause panic amongst the masses, the secretary grooms the double to act in place of the king until the latter recovers. The double proves to be proficient at his job, however, he soon begins to understand the intricacies of the court and other systems. While his kindness and humility please everyone, it also raises an alarm for some people in the court.
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1. My Sassy Girl (2001)
Gyen-woo is an engineering student who has been jumping from one romantic encounter to another. One night, a call from his mother prompts him to take a train to meet his aunt. On the subway, he encounters a girl who is too drunk to take care of herself. Gyen-woo feels attracted to her but doesn’t know what to do, given that the girl is just too drunk. However, when she pukes on another person and passes out, Gyen-woo takes her to a hotel and tries to help her. But this whole thing turns around on him when he is intercepted by the police and thrown into jail. The next morning when he comes out, Gyen-woo thinks it to be the end of the story, but it’s really not. The girl calls him the next morning to meet with her. Her true personality comes out in front of him now.
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