The Chaser (Chugyeogja)

2008

The Chaser (Chugyeogja)

Critics Consensus

A frantic and taut Korean serial killer thriller. One classy, if bloody and messy, gut wrencher of a movie.

82%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 34

89%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 5,376
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Movie Info

An ex-policeman-turned-street-smart pimp attempts to capture the elusive serial killer who has been preying on his girls in this stylish South Koran thriller from first-time feature filmmaker Na Hong-jin. Jung-ho is a former cop who now operates on the other side of the law. When his girls start disappearing without clearing their debts, Jung-ho rightly begins to suspect foul play. Shortly thereafter, Jung-ho receives a call for a girl and dispatches Mi-jin -- recognizing all too late that his latest customer's telephone number exactly matches that of the man who hired the last prostitute that went missing. His detective's instincts now kicking into full gear, Jung-ho races desperately through the streets in search of Mi-jin. After denting a car in a dark ally, the eagle-eyed pimp notices that the driver of the car he collided with is wearing a blood-spattered shirt. Jung-ho gives chase, eventually catching the man and discovering that his name is Young-min. Later, at the police station, Young-min admits that he is indeed the killer that police have been searching for, and that Mi-jin is quite possibly still alive. Though the police aren't convinced that there is any hope for Mi-jin, given the number of corpses popping up around town as of late, Jung-ho believes that Young-min is telling the truth. The law states that the police can only hold the suspected serial killer for 12 hours, but is that enough time for Jung-ho to rescue Mi-jin and prove Young-min's guilt?

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Critic Reviews for The Chaser (Chugyeogja)

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (28) | Rotten (6)

  • I've more or less had it with this stuff, but the film is distinguished by the grubby velocity of his foot chases, and the effectiveness of its craft (not to mention the unglamorous resolution of at least one character's fate).

    Feb 4, 2010 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Easily the best cop thriller since The Departed.

    Feb 2, 2010 | Full Review…
  • The Chaser is an expert serial-killer film from South Korea and a poster child for what a well-made thriller looked like in the classic days.

    Jan 28, 2010 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The pessimism of Na's slick debut rings false.

    Dec 30, 2009 | Full Review…
  • South Korean first-timer Na Hong-jin offers nasty thrills, manic foot chases and some genuinely subversive riffs on the police procedural.

    Dec 30, 2009 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Aaron Hillis

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • A grisly serial-killer thriller that develops into a howl of outrage at the ineptitude of the system.

    Oct 18, 2008

    Justin Chang

    Variety
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Chaser (Chugyeogja)

  • Sep 14, 2012
    The Koreans continue to amaze me. I had seen the Bollywood rip-off of this (Murder 2) and loved it. Which also means I already knew the story. Still it could thrill, shock, disturb and uplift me. Relentless script, moving performances, and unflinching direction. And then there are scenes which are too light and too goofy for a serial killer thriller. But you know what, it works fantastically. A brilliant piece of cinema.
    Anoop K Super Reviewer
  • Jul 04, 2012
    I just stumbled upon this by accident after frantically searching for a worthwhile thriller, and boy is this a thrill ride..tense and darkly comic at the same time, it steamrolls into gut wrenching final 15 minutes. Needless to say, the performances are first rate, not one character disappoints, its eerily natural. The best thing about the film, its never shies away from trumping your expectations, again and again. Brilliant.
    Sundeep B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 25, 2012
    Well.....That was a molotov cocktail of a noir film. Truly blew me away with its absurd plot and dark characters. You really can't find something this special in american cinema. Its a film that can grabs you at first frame and never lets go.
    paul o Super Reviewer
  • May 07, 2012
    A bloody and rampant thriller that also grasped the themes of politics and--if not--the system of the Korean law-enforcement. The Chaser was honest and (as I've noticed in ever Korean film) pure, clean and detailedly shot and if its aesthetics hadn't grabbed you yet, then the unforgiving story will. It's slow in a great thrilling sense, that dropped the bomb with grace and horrid surprise. If you're a fan of crime thriller, you'll definitely love this.
    August S Super Reviewer

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