Oldboy - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Oldboy Reviews

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Nick Schager
Lessons of Darkness
May 9, 2005
Argues for its own pointlessness.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Jim Lane
Sacramento News & Review
May 12, 2006
Park has a strong visual style and a near-surrealistic noir touch, but unraveling the mystery scarcely repays sitting through his relentless rounds of gut-wrenching violence.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
Alan Dale
April 27, 2005
[T]he movie approaches us as if we were both a primitive religious congregation and a benumbed action-picture audience, in either case a group in need of shocks.
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
October 14, 2005
That Park has talent in the technical department is a given; that he's a good filmmaker is debatable.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
March 23, 2005
It's an onslaught made to cause a sensation. Consider me simultaneously jolted and depressed.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Jan Stuart
March 26, 2005
You will either feel mollified by the hysterically moral denouement or feel offended by the filmmaker's strategy of debasement, which reduces the audience to the mongrel-like prostration of its protagonist.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
April 11, 2005
Gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, 'Paybacks are a b*tch'.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Jeffrey Overstreet
Looking Closer
October 31, 2005
Its tentacles are still wriggling in my memory, as if I just ate something that should never have been served in the first place.
Full Review | Original Score: D
Andreas Neuenkirchen
Film Threat
July 11, 2004
The more of the plot's secrets are revealed, the more laughable it becomes.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Andrew Wright
The Stranger (Seattle, WA)
April 21, 2005
Consistently, astonishingly, inventive ... relentlessly and ruthlessly vile. Style may ultimately not be able to triumph over content, but it's one hell of a fight.
Thomas Delapa
Boulder Weekly
April 21, 2005
When the hero swallows a live octopus, Chanwook exits Kafka and enters the schlocky twilight zone of geek TV.
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
April 17, 2007
There's a lot less here than meets the eye.
Ed Gonzalez
Slant Magazine
June 7, 2004
The suffocating Oldboy's existentialist angst promises sophisticated returns only to spiral into callous Identity territory.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Urban Cinefile Critics
Urban Cinefile
October 18, 2008
Vengeance, says director Chan-wook Park, is the most dramatic subject in the world. The problem with that view driving his filmmaking is that it seems to override his creative judgement, presenting us with cruelty as the vehicle for his cinematic jollies.
Josh Larsen
September 1, 2013
..seems to be about the awfulness and inhumanity of vengeance. But watch how the film moves.
Full Review | Original Score: 0.5/4
Nathaniel Rogers
Film Experience
November 22, 2005
Be amazed at my cruel virility. Feel the pain. Oh yeah.
Top Critic
John Hartl
Seattle Times
April 22, 2005
The script reveals itself as an absurdly convoluted tale of betrayal and revenge.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
March 22, 2005
Oldboy has the fatal air of wanting so desperately to be a cult movie that it forgets to present itself as a coherent one.
Top Critic
Duane Byrge
Hollywood Reporter
June 1, 2004
Ultimately, we feel like the hero, hypnotized but desensitized and utterly turned off by its histrionic horrors.
Daniel Eagan
Film Journal International
February 23, 2005
The gratuitously vile Oldboy seems content to toy with viewers' sensibilities for no other reason than a few cheap shocks.
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