JSA: Joint Security Area (Gongdong gyeongbi guyeok JSA) Reviews

  • May 04, 2018

    Movie that explores meaning of boundaries, and neutrality. Its plot could have been smoother though.

    Movie that explores meaning of boundaries, and neutrality. Its plot could have been smoother though.

  • Jul 27, 2017

    Strong commentary on the division between North and South Korea, the forces behind it, how ordinary people see each other on both sides of the border. As in other Park Chan Wook movies, the plot line is conveyed through flash backs and reveals itself in twists and turns.

    Strong commentary on the division between North and South Korea, the forces behind it, how ordinary people see each other on both sides of the border. As in other Park Chan Wook movies, the plot line is conveyed through flash backs and reveals itself in twists and turns.

  • Jul 16, 2017

    No time like the present to watch this mystery-drama that takes place in the Joint Security Area between North and South Korea. However, despite the apparent focus on the tensions between the two states, threatening to ensnare the whole world, the movie is actually a John Woo-styled look at male bonding across an insurmountable divide (political rather than legal). Director Chan-Wook Park (whose biggest hit is the notorious Oldboy, 2004) plays with both time and truth, delivering us different versions of the pivotal event (the killing of two soldiers in the North's gatehouse by a lone Sgt from the South) in flashback based on the legal depositions of those who survived and then on both memories and confessions. A half-Korean member of the Neutral Nations investigation team (from Switzerland) interviews all of the men involved on both sides of the border; she follows the usual rulebook but is compromised in the end. Park's direction is always stylish and he uses a variety of camera moves to keep things interesting (such as a quick pan from character to character). There's less action than you would think but tension is maintained until we reach the requisite five-way armed stand-off. Apparently, Tarantino loved this film and you can see why in the plotting (but not the dialogue). Kang-Ho Song (excellent in Joon-ho Bong's Memories of Murder, 2003) is charismatic as the North Korean Sgt but all of the four male principals are solid.

    No time like the present to watch this mystery-drama that takes place in the Joint Security Area between North and South Korea. However, despite the apparent focus on the tensions between the two states, threatening to ensnare the whole world, the movie is actually a John Woo-styled look at male bonding across an insurmountable divide (political rather than legal). Director Chan-Wook Park (whose biggest hit is the notorious Oldboy, 2004) plays with both time and truth, delivering us different versions of the pivotal event (the killing of two soldiers in the North's gatehouse by a lone Sgt from the South) in flashback based on the legal depositions of those who survived and then on both memories and confessions. A half-Korean member of the Neutral Nations investigation team (from Switzerland) interviews all of the men involved on both sides of the border; she follows the usual rulebook but is compromised in the end. Park's direction is always stylish and he uses a variety of camera moves to keep things interesting (such as a quick pan from character to character). There's less action than you would think but tension is maintained until we reach the requisite five-way armed stand-off. Apparently, Tarantino loved this film and you can see why in the plotting (but not the dialogue). Kang-Ho Song (excellent in Joon-ho Bong's Memories of Murder, 2003) is charismatic as the North Korean Sgt but all of the four male principals are solid.

  • Jan 11, 2017

    A brilliant story told in a brilliant way. It might get a little messy at some points, but is worth seing anyway!

    A brilliant story told in a brilliant way. It might get a little messy at some points, but is worth seing anyway!

  • Jan 01, 2017

    Une autre perle du réalisateur Chan-wook Park (Oldboy) , Joint Security Area propose un scénario complexe et intelligent et des personnages intéressants. A voir

    Une autre perle du réalisateur Chan-wook Park (Oldboy) , Joint Security Area propose un scénario complexe et intelligent et des personnages intéressants. A voir

  • Dec 30, 2016

    Chan-wook Parks debut movie, is very interesting, showing off the border between south and north Korea, were the soliders are starting to socialise and crossing the barrier. Ending in a double murder, a big investigation is put up to solve this unsual case. The storyline is twisting and powerful, crafted in a smart manner, making it a puzzle.

    Chan-wook Parks debut movie, is very interesting, showing off the border between south and north Korea, were the soliders are starting to socialise and crossing the barrier. Ending in a double murder, a big investigation is put up to solve this unsual case. The storyline is twisting and powerful, crafted in a smart manner, making it a puzzle.

  • Jan 23, 2016

    A heartbreaking, but still hopeful movie, with nice acting and an excellent plot.

    A heartbreaking, but still hopeful movie, with nice acting and an excellent plot.

  • Dec 06, 2015

    JSA is both a crowd pleaser and deeply sentimental film. Some people might think that it's an underdeveloped commercial film but considering the storyline and early direction work of Park Chan Wook, its a great effort to make film on such sensitive matter and be neutral after all. Every interaction of both side soldiers is so intense and convincing that one holds his breath and waits for something to go wrong as it's all in flashback. Over the years many movies have taken inspiration from NSA. Two sequences are worth praise, the first one where three soldier meet at mine field and final one when all four are by chance in one snapshot taken by a tourist. Very strong and active screenplay and very good performances.

    JSA is both a crowd pleaser and deeply sentimental film. Some people might think that it's an underdeveloped commercial film but considering the storyline and early direction work of Park Chan Wook, its a great effort to make film on such sensitive matter and be neutral after all. Every interaction of both side soldiers is so intense and convincing that one holds his breath and waits for something to go wrong as it's all in flashback. Over the years many movies have taken inspiration from NSA. Two sequences are worth praise, the first one where three soldier meet at mine field and final one when all four are by chance in one snapshot taken by a tourist. Very strong and active screenplay and very good performances.

  • Nov 18, 2015

    Sublime, so many layers to the movie. Like other Korean films I have seen, it values substance over Hollywood style. "Korean Shakespearean" A must see!

    Sublime, so many layers to the movie. Like other Korean films I have seen, it values substance over Hollywood style. "Korean Shakespearean" A must see!

  • Sep 22, 2014

    Suspenseful but not very enthusiastic...

    Suspenseful but not very enthusiastic...