Memories of Murder - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Memories of Murder Reviews

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½ July 11, 2015
Watched this on 11/7/15
Bong Joon-ho directs Memories of Murder with style and delivers the psychological tension of it's characters extremely well. This is easily a staunch masterpiece. The actors do real justice to the film, especially it's two protagonist cops. The film's use of comedy as comic relief is also noteworthy.
½ July 1, 2015
The first Korean movie that I liked and started liking Korean movies since then.
June 11, 2015
Over a month and about 25 movies later and this is still stuck in my head. I think it just might be one of the greatest police procedural drama ive ever seen. Just maybe..
½ March 28, 2015
good for sure but not the all time best korean movie as it has been proclaimed to be..
½ January 23, 2015
Since a long time I haven't enjoyed a crime film so much. So far by now I watched three films by Bong Joon-ho, "The Host", "Snowpiercer" and now "Memories of murder". You should deal with black humor, egos dispute, issues about differences between cities and little towns.
½ January 3, 2015
Review In A Nutshell:

Even though I was left underwhelmed by Chan-wook Park's Oldboy, I still had hope for Korean cinema, knowing that maybe if I keep exploring and tasting new films by different directors; I would eventually find one that would suit to my tastes. It was fortunate that it only took two films to find that sense of satisfaction; it was by the mind and hands of Joon-ho Bong, his sophomore feature film Memories of Murder.

Memories of Murder features a strong and appealing premise of a rape-murder mystery set in a local town; two detectives with their own distinctive styles have been chosen to solve the case. It is in the difference of each detective's style that the film manages to be interesting; with comedic touches set by the director in order to let the first hour or so of the film to not be too suffocating with its serious and dire subject. It was through this that the characters were unique, allowing both to stand out from one another and create a sense of clash of ethics and methods, but the film does not resort to the clichéd elevation of internal tension, letting both characters be focused and determined to identify and catch the person responsible for these sickening crimes.

The mystery of the plot itself starts off being a bit slow in exposition, it takes a while for the audience to find something to chew on; it is only when facts start to emerge and solidify their importance to the story, that the film starts to pick up its pace, and create tension; evoking a sense of urgency that is felt both on screen and in ourselves. It is during the final hour of the film that I found myself highly engaged by its mystery and suspense, with comedic elements finally carrying a sense of weight for the characters; showing a sense of desperation, meaning that the case has finally crawled within the inner depths of their souls, becoming an obsession rather than an obligation. It is during this part of the film that the dialogue driven exposition begins to slow itself down, halted by tense chase sequences and big reveals that leaves audiences in a state of exhilaration.

It all builds, brick by brick, to a conclusion that satisfies in a way that one wouldn't expect. It becomes internal rather than external; emphasising the detectives themselves rather than bigger story; it is character development that has slowly been building under our noses, paying off at the end that makes one want to go back and see their entire journey again. The film ends with a final frame that speaks volumes of its ideas and themes; I feel it would be unfair to those who have yet seen the film to divulge these thematic elements, as its exposure may hurt the impact the film would have to surprise and intellectually stimulate. Also it would be better for me to discuss it when I have seen the film multiple times, understanding all the elements that make up the film.

Memories of Murder is a damn near perfect mystery thriller that keeps audiences on their toes and delivering a conclusion that beautifully exceeds one's expectations. This is a film that does not aim to satisfy the immediate desires of its audience, it targets the nerves in our body that find excitement in deep and resonating intellectual and emotional stimulation.
½ December 21, 2014
The inconsistent tone of the film (are flying kicks to the face standard in Korean police interrogations?) distracts from an otherwise engaging plot.
½ October 12, 2014
Damn, that ending made me have some type of feel that's unexplainable. So powerful. The cast was amazing especially Song Kang Ho. I'm a sucker for serial killer films and this was very enjoyable, as expected from Director Bong.
September 28, 2014
Korean film maker proves it once again.. They are the best when it comes crime thriller genre. Memories of murder is a story of a serial killer mystery in a small town of Korea. Well directed and all actors have put up an amazing performances to keep you on edge of your seats.
½ September 25, 2014
One of the smartest crime/detective films out there for sure. Pure quality of the genre - you can't ask for anything else.

Quite haunting and a bit disturbing as well. Lovely shot, cinematic brilliance really. It's never boring, and the cast is excellent. The three detectives does their job, but the other "filler"-characters is also very enjoyable. It's darn funny at times too, it's an important spice for such a sad, true story.

I won't give away the film's greatest feature, but I can say that it's happening in the very few seconds of the film. Maybe you get it, maybe you don't.
It took me a while (and some reading), but this may be one of the cleverest moves ever made in the histroy of cinema.

9.5 out of 10 murderers.
½ September 22, 2014
"Low-key, unassuming, and crafty in the way it slowly gets under your skin, Memories of Murder is a sly and smart thriller."
½ September 13, 2014
Good crime/detective drama from Korea.
½ September 11, 2014
Visually beautiful and well-acted, it still misses the element that would make it a real masterpiece.
½ August 28, 2014
Memories of Murder is about the first serial killer to appear in South Korea back in the 1980s, and it's a doozy. In only his second film, but first semi-widely seen, Bong Joon-ho already shows off to great effect just how masterful his storytelling skills are. The way he is able to play around with cop archetypes in interesting ways, get resonantly strong performances out of his cast, and inflect bits of weird humor and social commentary into the proceedings makes it all feel different and not like the type of cop story we've seen a thousand times before. The ending is also quite haunting, and after watching the film it makes even more sense how quickly Joon-ho would establish himself as one of the best filmmakers to ever come out of Korea.
August 17, 2014
An instant classic of the crime thriller genre. Wonder why it took me so long to go at it and finally bloody watch it. Can see now from where "True Detective" and other recent similar cop shows/films borrowed some of there fine traits.
August 16, 2014
A twisted end to a twisted tale!!!
July 30, 2014
This is a very slight, Korean murder mystery. It is based upon an actual serial rape and murder case set in rural South Korea. It was mildly entertaining. It reminded me of IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT. We have three bumbling local cops trying to solve several rape/murders of beautiful young women. A big-city detective is sent from Seoul to help out. The locals are not impressed; and make life difficult for him.

The two local detectives try to beat confessions out of the most handy suspects. They are not interested in investigating the crimes. One is older and a little brighter. The younger one is a blunt object; and short in the thinking department. Many of their scenes have a comedic element because they are so bumbling and ineffective. The outsider detective, Seo, begins to track the real killer.

We never see the killer clearly as he hunts his victims. We never see the crimes going down. The crime scenes are surprisingly bland. Korean action/mystery movies tend to be very graphic and bloody; not so here.

As more and more victims are murdered, Seo begins to crack. He eventually loses his professional composure. The scene is very well done.

The ending is ambiguous and somewhat unsatisfying.

It was an OK trip to the flics.
July 24, 2014
Joon-ho Bong shows subtle, difficult to pin-down angles in storytelling, which allows him to create psychologically rich characters, illuminate a tense plot, all the while flashing moments of humor/satire while remaining deeply visceral.
July 22, 2014
Oh this movie was so intense!
July 17, 2014
Will easily get to anyone's all time favs. The thrill, the performance, the humanity and the laughs.
Add to that recipe.. a true story!
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