Mother (Madeo) (2010)



Critic Consensus: As fleshy as it is funny, Bong Joon-Ho's Mother straddles family drama, horror and comedy with a deft grasp of tone and plenty of eerie visuals.

Movie Info

Hye-ja is a single mom to 27-year-old Do-joon. Her son is her raison d'Ítre. Though an adult in years, Do-joon is naÔve and dependent on his mother and a constant source of anxiety, often behaving in ways that are foolish or simply dangerous. Walking home alone one night down a nearly empty city street, he encounters a young girl who he follows for a while before she disappears into a dark alley. The next morning, she is found dead in an abandoned building and Do-joon is accused of her murder. … More

Rating: R (for language, some sexual content, violence and drug use)
Genre: Drama, Art House & International, Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
Written By: Joon-ho Bong, Park Eun-kyo
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jul 20, 2010
Box Office: $0.5M
Magnolia Pictures - Official Site


as Mother

as Jin-tae

as Mi-sun

as Sepaktakraw Detectiv...

as Moon Ah-jung

as Yoon Do-joon

as Mr. Gong Suk-ho (law...

as Thin high-schooler

as Fat High Schooler

as Girl with scar

as Ah-jung's grandmothe...

as Jong-pal

as Mr. Gong's Assistant

as Mina's mother

as Shop owner

as Shop owner

as Detective

as Golf Course Dean

as Golf Course Cart Dri...

as Golf-course Dean

as Golf-course Cart Dri...

as Golf-Course Runaway ...

as Golf Course Fat Prof...

as Ah-jung's Relative

as Golf-course Fat Prof...

as Ah-jung's relative

as Ah-jung's Relative

as Ah-jung pregnant rel...

as Hye-ja's Customer

as Hye-ja's Customer

as Young Do-joon

as Prisoner

as Prisoner Wearing Gla...

as Charcoal Man

as Pharmacist

as Pharmacist

as Ah-jung's Friend wit...

as Prison Guard Uncle J...

as Journalist

as Journalist

as Policewoman

as Miss Kim

as Middle Schooler Play...

as Middle Schooler Eati...

as Middle Schooler Eati...

as Middle Schooler Wear...

as Waiter at Manhattan

as Employee at a Superm...

as Detective Wearing Le...

as Barmaid

as Barmaid Mixing Drink...

as Barmaid Clapping Han...

as Caddie

as Mr. Park Jong-pyo (P...

as Dr. Yoon Jong-gu

as Man Watching Spot In...

as Man Watching a Car A...

as British Boy

as British Boy's Dad

as Waiter at a Karaoke

as Prison Guard at Corr...

as Young Woman at a Coa...

as Detective

as Detective

as Taxi Driver

as Laundress

as Cook-pot at Grill Ho...

as Taxi Driver
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Critic Reviews for Mother (Madeo)

All Critics (110) | Top Critics (30)

Bong's opening and climactic scenes, in which the old woman bops around to a dance tune amid a vast field of yellow grass, are typical of the movie's cockeyed poetry.

Full Review… | December 30, 2010
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Bold, unpredictable and quietly devastating, Mother is Bong's first masterpiece.

Full Review… | August 19, 2010
Time Out
Top Critic

Hye-ja Kim gives an Oscar-worthy performance. A very good, very cool piece of cinema.

Full Review… | July 12, 2012

'Mother' has 'American remake' written all over it.

Full Review… | January 3, 2011

This Korean film packs a serious punch, has a killer crossover, but sort of loses its momentum at the end.

Full Review… | December 30, 2010
Laramie Movie Scope

An oddball sinister murder mystery that's much more than that.

Full Review… | December 15, 2010
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Mother (Madeo)

Korean moms are hella paranoid and always filled with worry for their children... but this mom takes it to the SSJ-hardcore-to-the-max limit. I've been loving Korean movies recently... no, it's not cause I'm Korean. They're expertly structured, artistically vibrant, and extremely immersive. "Mother" continues to keep the Korean movie industry running smoothly. "Mother" staggers slightly due to the lack of a moral or thematic foundation and, contrary to more recent Korean films, slight pacing issues. Yet, these are just minor issues for an deftly crafted thriller with a multiple of riveting, suspenseful scenes.

All the actors play their roles superbly, the cinematography is unique, the editing has an unbelievable amount of precision, and the dialogue is simple yet smart. I'm gonna tell ya though, this is a violent movie that exudes a very eerie and disturbing tone. Haven't seen a movie like it. For a movie with a very linear plotline, "Mother" dishes in variety through unpredictability, enthralling "indie-like" scenes that add artistic value, and incredibly tense scenes. Yeah... Hollywood's missing out...

"Mother" exceeds on all levels and unlike many Korean movies, leaves viewers with something more then just a story -- it leaves an impression that won't be forgotten for a while.

Albert Kim
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

Slow-burning dark drama that features a fantastic performance by Hye-ja Kim in the title role.

Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer


Expected to like this a little more than I did. Was a very long movie, and it seemed to change half way through. It starts off as being about an overprotective mother and her simple son. I liked that angle. Then the son goes to jail over a murder it seems likely he did not commit (or did he...), and suddenly this turns into a murder investigation led by the mother. It does pick up again at the end, but whether or not it was worth sticking with is debatable.
This is quite a popular films with a lot of good reviews, so it's possibly just me and the mood I was in when I watched it, but it wasn't quite what i was expecting, and I was a little underwhelmed by it, though I'll admit the acting and filming was very good here.

Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

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