JSA: Joint Security Area (Gongdong gyeongbi guyeok JSA)

Critics Consensus

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77%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 13

91%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,535
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JSA: Joint Security Area (Gongdong gyeongbi guyeok JSA) Photos

Movie Info

The long-standing tension between North and South Korea threatens to boil over into an international incident in this thriller, which was a major box office success in its native South Korea. A North Korean soldier (Shin Ha-kyun) is shot while manning his guard station near the demilitarized zone along the border of the two Koreas. Maj. Sophie Jang (Lee Yeong-ae), a member of the DMZ Neutral Supervisory Committee who was raised by Swiss and Korean parents, is brought in to investigate the incident. Sgt. Lee Soo-hyeok (Lee Byung-heon), a member of the South Korean army, is considered the prime suspect in the attack, but Jang soon finds that getting to the truth is no easy task. Lee refuses to answer questions about the incident, and the investigator, in a territory considered a "trouble spot" since the killing of two United Nations soldiers 25 years earlier, faces anger and suspicion from both North and South Korean military representatives. Gongdong Gyeongbi Guyeok Jsa is based on the novel DMZ by Korean author Park Sang-yeon.

Cast

Lee Yeong-ae
as Maj. Sophie E. Jean
Lee Byung-hun
as Sgt. Lee Soo-hyeok
Shin Ha-kyun
as Jeong Woo-jin
Song Kang Ho
as Sgt. Oh Kyeong-pil
Christoph Hofrichter
as Maj. Gen. Bruno Botta
Tae-woo Kim
as Nam Sung-shik
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Critic Reviews for JSA: Joint Security Area (Gongdong gyeongbi guyeok JSA)

All Critics (13) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (10) | Rotten (3)

  • I can't be as enthusiastic.

    Jun 15, 2005 | Rating: 2/4
  • Park Chan-Wook's Joint Security Area is a fairly straightforward whodunit with a pointedly political theme and an unapologetically humanist message.

    Jun 15, 2005 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • Park's film reveals its double agency by swinging between emotion-charged flashbacks of weepie male bonding and the investigative longueurs of the icy, half-Korean, half-Swedish female officer in charge of mopping up the brotherly bloodbath.

    Jun 14, 2005 | Full Review…
  • Park Chan-wook presents the general atmosphere and the depiction of the conditions in one of the most unstable areas in the world with realism, but without failing to entertain in equal proportion, particularly through some comedic moments

    Apr 6, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Park tries to make us believe that the men soldiers on both sides would have no trouble bonding if ideologies and uniforms didn't get in the way of things.

    Sep 25, 2007 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…
  • Além do impecável senso estético de Park e de seu imenso talento para a narrativa, o filme traz uma bela mensagem humanitária e anti-bélica.

    May 7, 2006 | Rating: 5/5

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

  • Jun 15, 2012
    A heartbreaking, poignant anti-war film that works best if you don't look into the plot too much, as to avoid the sometimes awkward plotting.
    Kevin C Super Reviewer
  • Mar 21, 2012
    Complex drama with an engaging structure. The humanist message is what makes it worth it.
    Hugo S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 30, 2011
    Kind of hard to believe that this is Park Chan-Wook. While an engaging film, it is a bit overly sentimental in parts. I understand that subject matter dealing with the reunification of a country torn in two would be replete with emotion, but some scenes felt like they were created for a TV movie on Korea's own Lifetime network. None the less, it is still an engaging who done it and an interesting glimpse into the psyche of a nation divided.
    Reid V Super Reviewer
  • Nov 25, 2010
    Korean political thriller about a handful of Korean solders on both sides of the north-south border. Meticulously made, coering such big subjects as loyalty and patriotism and with the current state of Korea, still topical ten years on. It sounds dry and worthy but it isn't. It's a murder mystery with a lot of charm in the unravelling and a truly poignant ending just as the final credits roll. A great watch <img src="http://img.youtube.com/vi/f0roM4xSyjY/0.jpg">
    Lesley N Super Reviewer

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