Oldboy - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Oldboy Reviews

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½ December 13, 2017
A perverse and sadistic elitist seeks revenge by capturing and torturing a businessman whom he holds a grudge against.
I've heard about his Korean independent film a few times over the last decade but never watched it until now. OLDBOY does have a turn-of-the-Century feel to it, exemplified by OS graphics and extreme exposition. These dated characteristics don't detract from the film. They make the film. OLDBOY's twisted and perverse story is so over-the-top, brazenly provocative, and so thoroughly saturates its entire world, it's easy to take it all seriously as normative. The production is as twisted, hypnotic, and mysterious as the story, and pulls the audience along with a tight grip of the nose between the knuckles.
With the characters and story, OLDBOY uses the wide gulf between the entitled and the middle-class, driving a hard fist to the gut of the disparity between the powerful and the susceptibly dependent. The characters are as vehemently over-the-top as the story. Once the mystery is revealed, the pieces all fall into place into a logical conclusion, giving the film a sense of being refreshingly honest.
This film has several twists & turns, and keeps twisting away, which makes one of the final, critical twists easy to guess. Guessing the twists isn't a bad thing. Though it lessens the shock of the reveal, it does leave the viewer satisfied for paying attention to the characters' personalities to learn the logic of their behaviors.
The ambiguous ending on a snow-covered mountain range is appropriate as the film leaves with an over-all cold, hard sentiment.
½ November 26, 2017
It takes a while for the weirdness to sink in, but the movie is a wonderful work of art, with a beautiful soundtrack, and original story line.
October 23, 2017
the Asians have a special vision in the cinema, the director of this film showed his marvelous understanding of brutal and sophisticated revenge. perfectly.
October 21, 2017
Oldboy isn't your standard vengeance flick. It's not "Taken" or "Saw" where the senseless violence makes the film, but focus more on the story. If you dont believe watch the film, then watch it again but this time fast foward all the fighting I guarantee that the film will not lose any value. Oldboy has alot of depth and at the end of the film I found myself routing for the "bad guy".
½ September 30, 2017
One of the best movies I've ever watched.
½ September 30, 2017
Ending is what kept me from 4 stars but very creative and entertaining. Worth the 2 hours
September 29, 2017
A great movie. Hollywood can learn a lot from this.
September 26, 2017
viewed on 5/10/04 (Tues)

Like THE VILLAGE, divulging too much of the plot will spoil the fun of watching this movie. Wait. To say 'spoil the fun' is not really appropriate. I can use that phrase on THE VILLAGE but for OLDBOY, it is more than that. You can tell your friends about the many twists but they need to watch it to know what you are talking about.

It is KILL BILL with many twists and nasty surprises. It only not strives to keep you at the edge of the seat with a very very intriguing story and along the way it also attempts to make your stomach sick with violent scenes and perverted revelations.

There are many similarities to KILL BILL but Quentin Tarantino chooses this as his favourite at the Cannes. He has many reasons to realise that there are also many differences between the two. The revenge tale and the violence are the only common things. Other than that, the stylish directing style is different and the stories want to achieve different objectives. This one wants to take us by surprises till the very end.

The plot is rather impossible and even more so for the ending. Still I like this movie. It pushes the envelope in many ways, including the cameraworks. The opening scene sets the story going already. The fade-ins used in the narration are unique. The long shot of the main character fighting off a gang with a hammer is so real I wonder how they get it made without really hurting anyone. Not to mention the countless rehearsals to get it right.

Ok. Just a very small spoiler (which can hardly qualified as one really), the title itself should be changed to keep the whole mystery fully intact.

Expected Rating: B
Rating: B
September 18, 2017
Fantastic movie I watch every year. Very stylish, great acting and I really enjoyed the retro style music. The American remake is not worth watching at all.
½ September 18, 2017
Had some nice story ideas and visual ideas.. But some scenes are just unnecessary over the top ...
September 13, 2017
Like too much of Korean cinema, Oldboy was overly melodramatic and steamy, with an editing style edgy enough to impress Cannes, but which left me cold. Didnt feel true to the Korean culture at all, more like a knock-off Tarantino with Asian faces. Then again, maybe there was just a bit too much incest and rape for my tastes.
½ September 6, 2017
Not the groundbreaking film I expected from reviews I'd read. Didn't really make much sense. Weird and confusing
½ September 6, 2017
Elegant, engaging, impressive, full of style and symbolism in every single frame of the film.
August 29, 2017
crazy plot twists and fits the mold of strange but fascinating Korean films.
August 23, 2017
well-made film with a very different story. Also, it features one of the most shocking and disturbing twists. Not that i lose sleep over it or anything... but it bothers me enough to make me hesitate renting the other two parts in the trilogy despite the fact that i do like the film quite a bit.
Not for the faint-of-heart viewers, or relaxing night on the sofa, AT ALL. But i say pick a night that you dont mind being shocked and watch it....
August 10, 2017
It's gritty, intense, and subversive storytelling, even if it is too much of those three things for its own good.
August 9, 2017
Disturbing and heartbreaking, Oldboy proves lots of action, but shows how revenge sucks
July 22, 2017
I know this exact comparison has been made a thousand times already but this movie's plot line was more convoluted and harder to follow than an episode of Viva la Bam without Don Vito's subtitles.
July 19, 2017
I recommend this movie to anyone. It has more sex and violence than an average movie, but neither is gratuitous and everything fits the plot, even the final mind-bending twist.

It will keep you engaged, the plot line will slowly reveal itself, there will be flashbacks, the twists are unpredictable, the characters are well-presented. Does not matter if you have read the original Japanese comics series (manga). You still won't know how it ends.
The style and symbolisms are great, the actors and characters are great too. even though they are rather start and contrasting. I recommend other works by the same director as well. Happy watching !
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