Nameless Gangster - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Nameless Gangster Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ September 30, 2012
Jong-bin Yun's Nameless Gangster stretches as far as it can go without much to back it up.The plot is too long for its own good; easily past 2 hours and there isn't much to show for it. The pacing isn't exactly at a snail's pace, which is a good thing, but as events come and go it all leads to a climax that never ends up as a memorable highlight. It's almost as if this film goes through the motions then closes its doors light and easy.For a gangster story it contains its share of violence, mostly in the form of brawls and one-sided beatings. There isn't a whole lot of blood or extreme incidents to get queasy over either.Min-sik Choi puts on an amusing performance from time to time. His voice really makes him stand out among the rest. His character, on the other hand, doesn't contain much to like. Actually, none of the characters can be considered heroes and this ends up as another disappointing aspect of the film.As a gangster flick, Nameless Gangster is watchable; not really one to make time for though.
Super Reviewer
August 12, 2012
While the movie seems to depend on too many coincidences the exploration of loyalty and greed is effective, along with the performances from both Choi Min Sik and Ha Jung Woo. Watch it before it gets a....yeah, you know what i'm talking about.
Super Reviewer
½ April 19, 2012
Great character movie with Min-sik Choi giving a terrific performance! If you're a gangster film fan, this is mandatory viewing.
May 17, 2014
Nameless Gangster: Rules of the Time (Bumchoiwaui Junjaeng; "War on Crime: The Golden Age of the Bad Guys") - South Korean gangster film co-produced, written and directed by Yoon Jong-bin. Starring Choi Min-sik (Oldboy), Ha Jung-woo. For the role Choi put on weight (10kg). Film received several accolades and nominations at Baeksang Arts Awards, Buil Film Awards, Grand Bell Awards, Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Blue Dragon Film Awards, Busan Film Critics Award and Asian Film Awards. Nameless Gangster is said to have been inspired from the real events emanating from the decade 80s-90s, when South Korea was ruled by rampant street low-life thugs and gangsters - until an operation was executed under direct orders from the Korean presidency. Time has frequently equated it with Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas - and further says, that this should be what may make Scorsese proud of.

Set in Busan (South Korea) early 80s - the film starts with footage from the period showing massive crack-down on crime-gangs, after country's President Roh Tae-woo declares war on gang-crimes - who'd vowed during election-campaign to rid country of corruption and crime. Choi Ik-hyun (Choi Min-sik) is handcuffed and behind the bar where he's visited by country Attorney-General, who asks him to write his confession about his involvement with the gangs (which he denies, and gets a beat for this).

Film than jumps back to the past, showing the rise of Choi as beneficial to crime-syndicate. He works as custom officer of mere rank at shipyard. He owns lovely family (a wife - 2 daughters and small son). He seems to have reach to influential governmental, official bodies - based on his clan-name he uses it to persuade the people to help him out from grave situations, often using it to receive favors and sympathy. In deep down he's neither coward nor a brave person. One day he finds 10kg of heroin in the container which his colleague takes him to a young handsome looking drug-dealer Choi Hyung-bai (Ha Jung-woo). After learning the clan-name (Choi), Choi rebukes him and asks him to bow before him - soon he's shown getting slaps after slaps from Hyung-bai's bodyguard. Choi reaches out to his old father who scolds Hyung-bae for treating him that way and further informs him that Choi had actually helped him during his boat-operating days. This sets of long-lasting partnership between Choi and Hyung-bai - Choi tells him, 'I have got brain and you've got muscles - let's use them to grow as one'.

I tried to play this movie to get a preview of it but then decided to continue it - because I was fascinated by the pace and settings in it. Remarkable indeed, this concludes the reasonable assumption that Korean cinema has taken correct path to achieve its goals of becoming one of the finest cinemas from largest continent (Asia). What is there to learn more about acting when you have name like 'Choi Min-sik' and 'Ha Jung-woo'; but it's actually Min-sik who steals the show. He has continued his rhythm of bearing sensitive approach that he shown in 'Oldboy' and 'I Saw The Devil'.

Nameless Gangster should be regarded long after this in milieu of movies that became pioneers to set standards for South Korean cinema. Go ahead and enjoy the brain and genius tactics that Choi applies to get his assignments done - that even Michael Corleone or others used little for their scenes.
½ August 15, 2012
Korean stir of Gangster flicks like Godfather, Casino and Goodfellas! But based on true events! After Old Boy, Ming-Sik Choi's remarkable performance!
January 9, 2014
Takes an entirely different route from your standard gangster flick. Through this film you truly see mobster culture from the korean way of life. In that respect this film deserved more than my undivided attention for the full length.
Not sure who was better out of Choi Min Sik and Ha Jung Woo because they were both just incredible in their roles.
April 13, 2013
A well-acted, intelligent and breath taking. It's one of the most powerful gangster films in years.
August 12, 2013
Gritty and fantastic film, starts out slow but swirls through in such stunning fashion. The ending was less than desired but overall, an enjoyable work.
August 16, 2012
Satu lagi film korea yang tidak boleh dilewatkan. Setelah sukses membuat kita geram di I Saw The Devil, Choi Min Sik kembali menunjukan kualitas aktingnya yang memukau dengan menjadi seorang penjilat didunia gangster.
August 16, 2012
Not a bad gangster film, though it feels like it needed a stronger script. You can tell this film was inspired by Scorsese's gangster films like Goodfellas. Choi Min-shik was amazing as usual, I wish he can star in a Hollywood film one of these days.
July 25, 2012
This is a movie about a wannabe gangster who is a survivor. He repeatedly wriggles out of tight spots without knowing how he got there, or how he got out. He is a civil servant at the docks of Busan, So. Korea, who stumbles upon a robbery, chases off the robbers, and discovers they were after several pounds of heroin. His co-worker is 'connected' and knows a big-time dealer. One thing leads to another (see the above review), and he becomes a kingpin - a neophyte in the drug trade.

The film was interesting, but a few things worked against further appreciation of the film. I couldn't grasp the significance of the importance of family relationships and how this could save him from death numerous times. This was very crucial to one's understanding of the story, because in an American gangster movie, he would have been toast quickly, and this would have been a film short.

Over and above that, he is beaten up several times and emerges with nary a scratch. In addition, he (Choi) is a rumpled and unattractive man who lacks a moral compass; as a result, I was unable to generate any sympathy or rooting interest, and the supporting cast fell into the same category. I also think there was an occasional continuity lapse. For instance, in one scene, one of the major drug dealers is stabbed in the abdomen and bleeds profusely. In the next scene, he is his old, menacing self, as if nothing happened to him. Many meetings and dinners take place seemingly without relevance or time frame; who are these people, and why are they there? And where are they?

I did the best I could to keep up and there were several violent scenes with fights and beatings and apparently no one in Korea uses guns, which would have ended some of those fight scenes pretty quickly. Sound was amplified for the fights and beatings - having seen many gangster pictures, the slaps and blows are never that loud.

I rated it a six - perhaps I would have appreciated it more if I had a better understanding of Korean customs and culture. Or maybe if I were given a reason to root for the protagonist.
April 16, 2012
its crazy how they made the movie seem like it was actually filmed in the 80~90s good move definitely watch it
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