Oldboy - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Oldboy Reviews

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April 1, 2012
Be it a rock or a grain of sand, in water they sink as the same.

WOW! I want to go on record of saying I saw this before it was remade and Americanized.

The Story: It's simple, a man is locked up in a private prison for fifteen years for no apparent reason, when he is released he only has five days to find out why he was locked away for so long. It's stylish and atmospheric, not to mention extremely well written and full of twists and turns. It's gritty feel will immerse you in the world of sex and violence even though it seems unsettling and disturbing at times, you can't help but feel compelled to continue watching. On that note, I can't stress the violence enough, this is NOT for the squeamish, I'm not giving anything away when I say this, but there's a three minute fight sequence where our hero has a knife in his back for two. And there's a decent amount of sex, whether or not the graphic nature of the sex scenes were necessary is up to the viewer... Okay, so I've read a lot of bad things about this, it's plot holes, it's "stupidity", it's blah, blah, blah... And for all of those people, TAKE A F***ING BREATH! This is based on a Manga Comic book! Since when do comic books have to make sense? If any of the people down on this film are fans of Spiderman, Superman, or even Batman or any other comic book hero than they're hypocrites! "Oh, it's so unrealistic!" "Oh, it's got a plot hole here and there!" "Oh, that couldn't happen!"... Good God people! Do you even know the source material of this film?

The Cast: Min-sik Choi , Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang... I watched this with an English dub because I don't speak Korean, so I don't really know how well they acted verbally. I do know however that they all acted extremely well physically. Min-sik Choi is Dae-su Oh, the man imprisoned for fifteen years, desperate to find all the answers and seeking revenge for his time spent locked away. He gives a great performance as he looks like he's been to hell and back, his weathered and worn face shows more pain and sadness than any words could ever describe. Hye-jeong Kang is Mi-do, a young girl bent on helping Dae-su Oh she doesn't give the best performance here, but she still does a great job. Ji-tae Yu is Woo-jin Lee, the villain. Sometimes he looks the part of the bad-ass, but sometimes, he doesn't look the part of the bad-ass. But no matter how he looks, you know he's force to be reckoned with. Like I said I watched this with English voice work, and there's something to be said about English talent, and that is, it's above and beyond the call of duty. The voice work is top notch and Oscar Caliber, yeah, it's that good.

One to Five Scale: 5

My highest recommendations go out for this film. It's truly one of a kind, a great noir-ish mystery through and through. If you're a fan of the genre this is a must see! Go out and rent it, buy it, do whatever it takes to see it!

Okay... Now for some ranting and raving...

I found out that this film has an announced American remake due out in 2008... It's been said that it's possibly going to be shelved, and for that, all I can say is that I hope it is shelved because it most likely won't live up to the original. I hope this isn't going to be the product of American fame and failure like other translated thrillers like the Grudge.

November 15, 2011
Disturbing, yet a good story and very intriguing.
Super Reviewer
½ January 29, 2011
I had heard that Oldboy was violent and gory. I suppose that is true, but it's relative to your point of reference. Yes it has violence, but most of it is so over-the-top that it is actually comic. Yes it has gore but, much like Hitchcock's Psycho, good editing tricks you into 'seeing' more than you actually do. Plus, like I've said many times before, I don't mind a little blood and guts if it advances the story and isn't just for shock value. This is smart horror done right. A well written, fantastically constructed film that, no doubt, is destined to be poorly imitated by some profit-driven Hollywood studio in the very near future.
½ March 16, 2010
Love this storyline.
October 22, 2009
Disturbing, yet a good story and very intriguing.
August 26, 2009
A film that I loved but that I need to watch again (and soon!!) Deserves all the hype. It's exactly my taste - nihilistic, bleak, gory, complex and fueled with revenge. A classic now and 100 years from now.
½ August 26, 2009
had it's funny moments and ideas, yep

but a lot of people seem to see more in it than i do

the story may hold some originality, but most of the violence is absolutly typical for korean movies and for my taste the main character was way too undetermined - you catch the guy who tortured you - you kill him. you don't let him play with your curiousity

the acting was mediocre also
and after all that had happened to the main character i don't think that being in love with his doughter would be his biggest problem - feels a bit artificial ... like being there just so he can continue suffering, which at some point starts being borring

but after ranting a bit - still quite a lot of funny moments and ideas here, worth watching in my opinion
March 6, 2009
i have rated this movie 5 times this stupid site keeps erasing my ratings
½ March 5, 2009
Great movie, one of the best asian movies out there
½ March 1, 2009
Great and entertaining...even though someone once spoiled the ending for me :)
February 25, 2009
Only asians have guts to make this twisted movies. Plot does work and it has sence comparing to hollywood productions which hardly ever will.
February 11, 2009
one of the best films i have ever seen...and probably will ever see. this film is awesome from start to finish, scene to scene and frame to frame! watch it!!
November 29, 2008
je to tady dvakraat, ale jinak 5/5 :)
November 17, 2008
So clever, so original, so thoroughly enjoyable. The twist hits you like a ton of bricks!
September 2, 2008
My favourite film, i love every shot, every character and every thought that ever went into the conception of this film. I can watch it again and again and again...
July 15, 2008
Too much on the disturbing side for me.
July 13, 2008
Tainia ekdikisis!!!!!!!! Mistrio k drasi!
June 9, 2008
With the current increased bastardisation of eastern cinema by western production companies this film is one of many that will never be sullied by shoddy imitation a must see. Like the rest of the vengeance trilogy really.
½ June 8, 2008
Amazing, all I can say is AMAZING!!! The end of Oldboy one of my favorite endings of all time!
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