Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War (2004)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War Videos & Photos

Movie Info

Korea's leading filmmaker, Kang Je-gyu, directed this epic-scale drama focusing on two brothers caught up in the madness of the war that tore their nation apart in the early '50s. Jin-seok Lee (Weon Bin) is a bright and well-educated young man whose older and more physically imposing brother Jin-tae Lee (Jang Dong-gun) believes he represents the best hope for his family's future. When both Jin-seok and Jin-tae are called up to fight in the South Korean army following the advance of Communist … More

Rating: R (for strong graphic sequences of war violence)
Genre: Drama, Action & Adventure, Art House & International
Directed By: ,
Written By: Je Gyu Kang, Han Ji-hun, Kim Sang-don
In Theaters:
On DVD: Feb 15, 2005
Box Office: $0.9M


as Jin-tae

as Jin-Tae Lee

as Jin-Seok Lee

as Jin-seok

as Young-Shin
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Critic Reviews for Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (22)

The battle scenes are amazing in their scope and vehemence. But in the breaks between fighting, the movie reminds us that the costs of war can exceed the loss of life and limb.

Full Review… | December 9, 2004
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

At times the performances seem more akin to the histrionics of old silent movies, when emotions had to be seen because they couldn't be heard.

Full Review… | November 12, 2004
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Although flawed, the film is obviously successful in bringing to life what has been called the 20th century's 'forgotten war.'

Full Review… | November 12, 2004
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Even with its overemotional moments, it's more honest than most.

Full Review… | September 30, 2004
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic

Brutal yet meaningful, agonizing yet touching, The Brotherhood of War is a harrowing but rewarding experience.

Full Review… | September 24, 2004
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

Worth seeing for its sheer otherness at a time when Americans are forced to look increasingly at the outside world for new information.

Full Review… | September 10, 2004
New York Observer
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War


The action is probably more intense than Saving Private Ryan and that means something! The story progresses from a slow beginning to an epic finale that might bring some to tears. Well worth watching!

paul o.
paul oh

Super Reviewer

Let's be real; Saving Private Ryan is a better movie then Tae Guk Gi. This is movie tries too hard to be exactly like Saving Private Ryan- the action, the cinematography, the camera work... But behind all the technicalities comes a very moving and powerful character-driven story that is more riveting then Saving Private Ryan. In comparison to the incredibly gritty "Saving Private Ryan", Tae Guk Gi is more of a blockbuster movie that has more stylized action and drama. Still, this is a must watch.

Albert Kim
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer


I'd never have taken notice of the movie had it not been from the Oldboy director. I've no intention to patronize him, but he's done an outstanding job. His execution of one of the scenes still amazes me. It matched my facial expressions exactly with that of the character for that scene. This has been a unique experience for me.

The movie depicts ups and downs between two brothers who are forced to draft in the 1950 Korean war. It shows how the priorities of one brother change momentarily as he gets to taste some fame, and its terrible outcome before he can snap out of it. While it's not yet-another-war-film IMO (of course, there are few familiar zones), it's certainly no masterpiece. The movie has its moments and is worth a watch if you can sit through scenes of guts falling out literally (on-screen). After all, although brotherhood is its heart and soul, it's also a war film to an extent.

familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

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