Mother

2009, Crime/Mystery & thriller, 2h 8m

118 Reviews 10,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

As fleshy as it is funny, Bong Joon-Ho's Mother straddles family drama, horror and comedy with a deft grasp of tone and plenty of eerie visuals. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

A widow (Kim Hye-ja) resides with her mentally challenged son (Won-bin) in a small South Korean town, where she scrapes out a living selling medicinal herbs. Mother and son are plunged into a nightmare when the body of a murdered young girl is discovered. Circumstantial evidence indicates the son's involvement, and he becomes the prime suspect during the sloppy police investigation. Betrayed by the legal system, the mother takes the law into her own hands to clear her son's name.

Cast & Crew

Won-bin
Yoon Do-joon
Jin Goo
Jin-tae
Kim Byoung-sun
Group Leader
Bong Joon Ho
Screenwriter
Park Eungyo
Screenwriter
Park Wongyu
Screenwriter
Katharine Kim
Executive Producer
Miky Lee
Executive Producer
Moon Yanggwon
Executive Producer
Lee Byung-woo
Original Music
Hong Kyung-pyo
Cinematographer
Ryu Seong-hui
Production Design
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Critic Reviews for Mother

Audience Reviews for Mother

  • Dec 30, 2020
    You go in expecting shocking revelations but are given something much sadder and frankly more engaging. Bong Joon-ho is the master at these kinds of narratives, giving the audience what it needs instead of what they want and then convincing them that the ending is exactly what they wanted in the first place.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 20, 2015
    fan of this director, this feature also written by him focuses on a mothers persistent pursuit of her sons freedom at any cost. Awkwardly engaging, serenely shot with intrepid camerawork. Most importantly well acted and crafted, with humour and creativity being key in the darkest moments.
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • Aug 22, 2013
    Joon-ho Bong's "Mother" is a Korean thriller, which takes one mother's deep love for her simple son and turns it into an intriguing murder mystery with a slight hint of darkness. When Do-joon, a mentally challenged young man, is put away for the murder of a high school girl, his mother becomes determined to prove his innocence. Hye-ja Kim, who plays Mother, portrays an innocence all her own, with a deep sadness projected from her eyes in every scene, while blindly devoted and completely positive of her son's inability to commit such a crime, carrying this film from start to finish. Most of the characters she comes across feel guilty of something, whether it be the murder in question or something equally as bad, and prove just as devious as one has come to expect in the dark world of Korean cinema. Had the film been darker and captured more of a horror film feel, "Mother" would have been the perfect thriller. Instead, it rides the line between thriller and drama, never quite letting all the way go. With some stunning cinematography and a thought-provoking twist to a murder mystery, Bong's transcends its inability to stay dark and leaves a memorable benchmark in foreign films.
    Christopher H Super Reviewer
  • Aug 17, 2013
    So outstanding I can barely comprehend it. A sheer masterpiece in storytelling and direction. Unmissable.
    Marcus W Super Reviewer

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