Mother (Madeo)


Mother (Madeo)

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.



Reviews Counted: 113

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 15,975


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 4/5

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Movie Info

Hye-ja is a single mom to 27-year-old Do-joon. Her son is her raison d'être. Though an adult in years, Do-joon is naïve and dependent on his mother and a constant source of anxiety, often behaving in ways that are foolish or simply dangerous. Walking home alone one night down a nearly empty city street, he encounters a young girl who he follows for a while before she disappears into a dark alley. The next morning, she is found dead in an abandoned building and Do-joon is accused of her murder. Thanks to an inefficient lawyer and an apathetic police force, Do-joon's case is quickly closed, but his mother refuses to let this be the end of the story.

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Hye-ja Kim
as Mother
Jin Goo
as Jin-tae
Jun Mi-sun
as Mi-sun
Song Sae-beauk
as Sepaktakraw Detective
Moon Hee-ra
as Moon Ah-jung
Bin Won
as Yoon Do-joon
Yu Mou-young
as Mr. Gong Suk-ho (lawyer)
Jung Young-ki
as Thin high-schooler
Ko Kyu-phill
as Fat High Schooler
Lee Mi-do
as Girl with scar
Kim Gin-goo
as Ah-jung's grandmother
Kim Hong-jip
as Jong-pal
Min Kyung-Jin
as Mr. Gong's Assistant
Myeong-shin Park
as Shop owner
Cho Kyung-sook
as Mina's mother
Park Myung-shin
as Shop owner
Yoon Yeong-geol
as Detective
Gweon Byeong-Gil
as Golf Course Dean
Kwon Byeong-gil
as Golf-course Dean
Beom-taek Gweon
as Golf Course Cart Driving Professor
Kwon Beom-tak
as Golf-course Cart Driving Professor
Yeom Dong-hun
as Golf Course Fat Professor
Ha Deok-sung
as Golf-Course Runaway Professor
Lee Young-eun
as Ah-jung's Relative
Yum Dong-hyun
as Golf-course Fat Professor
Lee Jung-eun
as Ah-jung's relative
Yim Geun-ah
as Ah-jung's Relative
Hwang Young-hee
as Ah-jung pregnant relative
Kim Mi-joon
as Hye-ja's Customer
Hong Gyung-yeon
as Hye-ja's Customer
Kim Tae-wan
as Young Do-joon
Yoo In-soo
as Prisoner
Cho Moon-ui
as Prisoner Wearing Glasses
Kwack Byung-gyu
as Charcoal Man
Lee Dae-yun
as Pharmacist
Lee Dae-hyun
as Pharmacist
Lim Sung-mi
as Ah-jung's Friend with Scar
Sung Joon-seo
as Prison Guard Uncle Jong-do
Lim Hyoung-guk
as Journalist
Lim Young-guk
as Journalist
Han Jee-jee
as Policewoman
Min-jung Kim
as Miss Kim
Jang Pil-gyung
as Middle Schooler Playing Game
Moon Bock-dong
as Middle Schooler Eating Rice Cake
Kim Tae-hwan
as Middle Schooler Eating Fish Cake
Lee Seung-hyung
as Middle Schooler Wearing Glasses
Nam Sung-ho
as Waiter at Manhattan
Lee Ok-joo
as Employee at a Supermarket
Kim Jung-wook
as Detective Wearing Leather Jacket
Kim Bo-gyung
as Barmaid
Lee Byeol-im
as Barmaid Mixing Drinks
Lee Hyun-joo
as Barmaid Clapping Hands
Han Mee
as Caddie
Jae-Won Choi
as Mr. Park Jong-pyo (Prosecutor)
Lee Gyu-hyun
as Dr. Yoon Jong-gu
Kim Gyu-nam
as Man Watching Spot Investigation
Jang Yong-joo
as Man Watching a Car Accident
Christopher Briscoe
as British Boy's Dad
Choi So-mang
as British Boy
Christopher Briscoe
as British Boy's Dad
Oh Won-sik
as Waiter at a Karaoke
Park Tae-joon
as Prison Guard at Corridor
Yoon Hye-jin
as Young Woman at a Coach Station
Jeong Dong
as Detective
Kwon Ki-hoon
as Detective
Shin Young-sik
as Taxi Driver
as Laundress
Park In-mok
as Cook-pot at Grill House
Yoo Jong-hwan
as Taxi Driver
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News & Interviews for Mother (Madeo)

Critic Reviews for Mother (Madeo)

All Critics (113) | Top Critics (31)

Bong's opening and climactic scenes, in which the old woman bops around to a dance tune amid a vast field of yellow grass, are typical of the movie's cockeyed poetry.

Dec 30, 2010 | Full Review…

Bold, unpredictable and quietly devastating, Mother is Bong's first masterpiece.

Aug 19, 2010 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…

You've never met a mother quite like this one.

Apr 22, 2010 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

It is Hye-ja Kim that carries Mother, making her mother of a Mother an all-suffering, all-enduring victim who acquires more spine and subtler shadings as the story deliberately, patiently reveals its secrets.

Apr 21, 2010 | Rating: 3/4

Disturbing, enthralling and filled with interesting shots that reflect an artist's eye.

Apr 16, 2010 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Detroit News
Top Critic

Bong is a talent to heed.

Apr 16, 2010 | Rating: 3.5/4

Audience Reviews for Mother (Madeo)


Bong combines intense tragedy and dry humor to create a witty, unexpected sense of bizarreness in this ironic narrative that surprises us with its clever plot twists, elegant cinematography and an absolutely magnificent performance by Kim Hye-ja.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Korean moms are hella paranoid and always filled with worry for their children... but this mom takes it to the SSJ-hardcore-to-the-max limit. I've been loving Korean movies recently... no, it's not cause I'm Korean. They're expertly structured, artistically vibrant, and extremely immersive. "Mother" continues to keep the Korean movie industry running smoothly. "Mother" staggers slightly due to the lack of a moral or thematic foundation and, contrary to more recent Korean films, slight pacing issues. Yet, these are just minor issues for an deftly crafted thriller with a multiple of riveting, suspenseful scenes. All the actors play their roles superbly, the cinematography is unique, the editing has an unbelievable amount of precision, and the dialogue is simple yet smart. I'm gonna tell ya though, this is a violent movie that exudes a very eerie and disturbing tone. Haven't seen a movie like it. For a movie with a very linear plotline, "Mother" dishes in variety through unpredictability, enthralling "indie-like" scenes that add artistic value, and incredibly tense scenes. Yeah... Hollywood's missing out... "Mother" exceeds on all levels and unlike many Korean movies, leaves viewers with something more then just a story -- it leaves an impression that won't be forgotten for a while.

Albert Kim
Albert Kim

Super Reviewer

Slow-burning dark drama that features a fantastic performance by Hye-ja Kim in the title role.

Randy Tippy
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer


Expected to like this a little more than I did. Was a very long movie, and it seemed to change half way through. It starts off as being about an overprotective mother and her simple son. I liked that angle. Then the son goes to jail over a murder it seems likely he did not commit (or did he...), and suddenly this turns into a murder investigation led by the mother. It does pick up again at the end, but whether or not it was worth sticking with is debatable. This is quite a popular films with a lot of good reviews, so it's possibly just me and the mood I was in when I watched it, but it wasn't quite what i was expecting, and I was a little underwhelmed by it, though I'll admit the acting and filming was very good here.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

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