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Oldboy (2005)

tomatometer

80

Average Rating: 7.3/10
Reviews Counted: 133
Fresh: 107 | Rotten: 26

Violent and definitely not for the squeamish, Park Chan-Wook's visceral Oldboy is a strange, powerful tale of revenge.

78

Average Rating: 7.2/10
Critic Reviews: 37
Fresh: 29 | Rotten: 8

Violent and definitely not for the squeamish, Park Chan-Wook's visceral Oldboy is a strange, powerful tale of revenge.

audience

94

liked it
Average Rating: 4.3/5
User Ratings: 128,636

My Rating

Movie Info

South Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook directed this violent and offbeat story of punishment and vengeance. Oh Dae-su (Choi Min-sik) is a husband and father whose reputation for womanizing is well known. One day, for reasons he doesn't understand, Oh Dae-su finds himself locked up in a prison cell, with no idea of what his crime was or whom his jailers may be. With a small television as his only link to the outside world and a daily ration of fried dumplings as his only sustenance, Oh Dae-su

R,

Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Chan Wook Park

Aug 23, 2005

$0.6M

Tartan Films - Official Site External Icon

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Latest News on Oldboy

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All Critics (133) | Top Critics (37) | Fresh (107) | Rotten (26) | DVD (27)

Both brutal and lyrical, writer-director Park Chan-wook's existential nail-biter has torture scenes that will have you avoiding dentists, sushi bars and badly appointed hotel rooms.

April 15, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Shakespearean in its violence, Oldboy also calls up nightmare images of spiritual and physical isolation that are worthy of Samuel Beckett or Dostoyevsky.

April 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There's a lot less here than meets the eye.

April 17, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (20)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Quite an achievement then, and well worthy of its Cannes prize.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's hard to make an argument for Oldboy based on anything other than pure cinematics, but when the style speaks this loudly, it's an argument worth making.

September 26, 2005 Full Review Source: AV Club
AV Club
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's mesmerizing and discomfiting, engaging the viewer on a visceral and an intellectual level.

June 10, 2005 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

..seems to be about the awfulness and inhumanity of vengeance. But watch how the film moves.

September 1, 2013 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm
LarsenOnFilm

Vengeance here's a clever, evolving beast. Dae-su's guardian-like enemy stokes his bloodlust, embittering the free man's returning love of life. The climax is a scarlet swelling into Greek tragedy as truth, reprisal and justice smear.

May 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

Banzai-violence kin to "Cast Away" about a man at time's cruel whim, "Oldboy"is an endurance test worth taking. Its conclusion is the most sadistic and destructively wrathful since "Seven," and the point of no return has rarely shocked this much.

September 17, 2010 Full Review Source: Suite101.com
Suite101.com

Intense and dark but also humorous and moving, this is an ambitious film that fulfils its promise, despite an arguably overly protracted denouement. Excellent.

July 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Film4

One of the best imports I've seen in a while...

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Vengeance, says director Chan-wook Park, is the most dramatic subject in the world. The problem with that view driving his filmmaking is that it seems to override his creative judgement, presenting us with cruelty as the vehicle for his cinematic jollies.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile | Comments (6)
Urban Cinefile

Director Chan-wook Park keeps the suspense going for as long as possible.

December 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Big Picture Big Sound
Big Picture Big Sound

Part character study, part action flick, the film seamlessly blends genres in an extremely satisfying way. The photography is spectacular - of particular note is a Escher-like staircase sequence that is simply extraordinary.

June 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

As played by Choi Min-shik, Dae-su attains tragic stature. He's like a shaggy King Lear undone by his own foolishness.

April 19, 2007
KPBS.org

Definitivamente no para todos los gustos, esta violenta y asombrosa película coreana promete convertirse en una de las verdaderas sorpresas del año.

May 23, 2006 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

Park has a strong visual style and a near-surrealistic noir touch, but unraveling the mystery scarcely repays sitting through his relentless rounds of gut-wrenching violence.

May 12, 2006 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review | Comments (5)
Sacramento News & Review

Not to everyone's tastes, but if you have a strong stomach, OldBoy is sure to impress.

April 1, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Oldboy is a delirious, confronting ride, a movie full of visceral shocks and aesthetic pleasures: it has an explosive immediacy and a persistent afterlife, a lingering impact that is hard to shake.

January 17, 2006 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

Be amazed at my cruel virility. Feel the pain. Oh yeah.

November 22, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Experience | Comments (9)
Film Experience

Its tentacles are still wriggling in my memory, as if I just ate something that should never have been served in the first place.

October 31, 2005 Full Review Source: Looking Closer | Comments (13)
Looking Closer

That Park has talent in the technical department is a given; that he's a good filmmaker is debatable.

October 14, 2005 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews | Comments (13)
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Oldboy

The second but unconnected film in Chan-wook Park's vengeance trilogy is an explosive one to put it lightly. There are so many layers to pull back in this one that you'd be excused for feeling more than a little dizzy before the end. It's a pure mix of the darkest Manga, Park Chan-wook twisted mind and Asian Extreme cinema. The story hooks you in from the outset, shocks you with it's ultra-violence and then deeply disturbs you with it's shocking realisations. Somehow, after all that, there is a beautiful and tender message, albeit soaked in blood. Not for the fainthearted but unmissable for those who want to see something unique and rather special. The direction is unmatched in its violent beauty.

http://cinephilecrocodile.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/oldboy-dir-park-chan-wook-2003-second.html
July 25, 2014
SirPant

Super Reviewer

Daesu Oh is a drunk and a philanderer but otherwise a fairly typical husband and father, until one day he is kidnapped and imprisoned in a cell for 15 years with only a TV set for company and no word of explanation. One day he wakes up on the outside with only a wallet and a phone, and he sets out on a single-minded quest to find out why he was imprisoned and extract bloody vengeance on those responsible. The second part of the Vengeance Trilogy by Chan-wook Park, Oldboy is a bizarre and brilliant film. It constantly wrong foots you and messes with your perceptions, and contains the kind of revelation that makes the kind of so-called plot "twists" of most films look gimmicky and inane. This is the kind of film that blows you away and makes you realise you've been watching the WHOLE THING from the wrong standpoint. As for Min-sik Choi's performance, astonishing is the only word for it...the way such intense emotions and motivations are constantly shifting without ever feeling contrived or forced is just spellbinding. It combines art and extreme violence in a way that reminded me of A Clockwork Orange, but better! It's also stylistically on the same level as Fight Club and is absolutely riveting from beginning to end. A virtually flawless modern masterpiece.
December 30, 2013
garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

A disturbing, dark, but undeniably creatively constructed melodrama concerning a man (Choi Min-sik) who on the evening of his daughter's birthday, is captured and locked away for 15 years and not told why, before being suddenly, inexplicably released into the world, where he seeks vengeance against his captor. This is a hard movie to recommend because the subject material is so disgusting and unlikable, but from a pure artistic perspective and how everything is put together, this is a phenomenal film. It is really a modern-day Shakespearean tale acted to perfection, with twists in the story that are definitely sick and shocking. Proceed with caution, but in the end this is a really, really well done movie that is worthy of the cult following it has garnered over the years. The ending will leave you picking up what is left of your brain off the floor.
December 14, 2013
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

[img]http://images.rottentomatoes.com/images/user/icons/icon14.gif[/img]
June 1, 2013
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

    1. Mido: In front of me is some kind of box. He`s telling me to open it.
    – Submitted by steve l (17 months ago)
    1. Oh Dae-Su: If they had told me it was going to be fifteen years, would it have been easier to endure.
    – Submitted by Jacob M (18 months ago)
    1. Oh Dae-Su: Be it a stone or a grain of sand, in water they both sink.
    – Submitted by David H (24 months ago)
    1. Mido: I love dae-su.
    – Submitted by ?? ? (2 years ago)
    1. Oh Dae-Su: Laugh and the world laughs with you. Weep, and you weep alone.
    – Submitted by Fenky G (2 years ago)
    1. Lee Woo-Jin: Your gravest mistake wasn't failing to find the answer. If you keep asking the wrong questions, you'll never find the right answer.
    – Submitted by Abhilash A (2 years ago)
View all quotes (10)

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