Oldboy - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Oldboy Reviews

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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 !
½ July 5, 2017
Oldboy is a merciless character study, hypnotic and engrossing, that heavily homages classics by Brian De Palma and John Frankenheimer, while still remaining refreshingly original.
June 26, 2017
Its story is compelling and unpredictable, but it is too gory and nude scenes are too excessive, which are not appreciated by me.
June 11, 2017
The extent of human fear and sheer suffering can be experienced through the course of this film. With the underlying plot of revenge and its efficacy, Oldboy is the epitome of a sadomasochist psychological thriller. Superb actors, dreary soundtrack, awe-striking storyline, Oldboy is more than worthy of deserving the Cannes Grand Prix.
June 11, 2017
As good a twist as "I see dead people", except I spotted this one . . .
May 20, 2017
Poetry through violence and rawness, disturbing but beautiful
May 16, 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....
May 13, 2017
An incredible opus of classical music & some of the most graphic & unforgettable images of violence. An brain shattering story of a man who is imprisoned unexplainably for 15 years then to be released.

The film begins to unravel the past of the prisoner & the man who held him there. But this film is not for the faint hearted.

A complex & rich plot that demands your attention but is a film that will leave you panting such a energy bomb.
May 13, 2017
Park Chan Wook's Oldboy is a powerful tale of revenge full of bloody violence and a remarkable screenplay.
½ May 13, 2017
what a cinematic experience, movies like this are the reason I love the movies in the first place, movies that make you believe in things otherwise you´ve never believed were posible.
with such an ambitious story told in such a great way, with unforgettable moments, this is a must watch,not only for people interested in foreign language movies, but for every single person.
May 7, 2017
The revenge film to end all revenge films. Park Chan-wook is a master filmmaker. He's consistently making unconventional action choices, moving beyond simple fight choreography and blocking.
May 2, 2017
A fantastic study of smooth cinematography.
½ April 26, 2017
Watched less than half of it. Wierd and really annoying. I really don't care who imprisoned him or why.
½ April 11, 2017
Oldboy is sublime, and easily the standout film for me in the Vengeance trilogy. This brilliance is reflected in its widespread popularity. Winning the Grand Prix at Cannes, this film is by far bigger than Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance and Lady Vengeance. It fully deserves its popularity. Chan-Wook here made a masterpiece, with a dark and intriguing story, complex characters, and nightmarish yet breathtaking visuals. It fulfils the potential on display in Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance.

The film is mysterious and immersive from the start. Oh Dae-su, a drunk businessman and a bad father - who misses his daughters 4th birthday party -, is imprisoned by an anonymous figure. He remains incarcerated for 15 years, meanwhile building himself physically and plotting his revenge. The disturbing imagery and intensity of this scene set us up perfectly for what follows. Suddenly, after 15 years, he is released, and from then on this becomes a film full of twists. Oh Dae-su, a man sexually deprived and tortured by fetishised female figures on the TV, meets the young and beautiful Mi-do, and they start a romantic and intimate relationship. He then discovers that an old schoolmate, Lee Woo-jin, has been behind his imprisonment all along, exacting his own revenge. Oh Dae-su medalled in Woo-jin's incestuous relationship with his sister, the revealing of which led to her suicide. We then receive one of the most shocking plot twists ever. Mi-do, who we see having intense and passionate sex with Oh Dae-su, is really his daughter. Woo-jin has manipulated their lives all along, a parallel of the media Oh Dae-su was manipulated by during his imprisonment. Woo-jin gets his revenge, which is enhanced by the grovelling Dae-su chopping out his tongue in a symbolic gesture whilst begging Woo-jin to keep Mi-do in the dark. This plot-twist, though arguably perverse and contrived, is treated with such delicacy and subtlety. In Star Wars, Darth Vader is obviously Luke's father, but here we have no idea which way this film is going, and when we find out it is gut-wrenching. Chan-Wook's poetic and lyrical style hypnotises us and whisks us along, disarming our critical faculties. It is a genius and unpredictable twist, playing on our support for Dae-su's and Mi-do's partnership. It can only really work because of Chan-Wook's success in developing fully fleshed-out, complicated, and likeable characters, enhanced by their strong performances. It's still exquisitely shot, but there is much more than just style to this film. Where Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance fails is in its attempts to make us care about the story, but Oldboy succeeds with aplomb. Our acceptance to dive in, and go on a dizzying ride with Oh Dae-su, is essential.

Though for some too emotionally manipulative, overly gory, and shock value oriented, if you are able to let yourself become absorbed in this film then it is incredibly rewarding. Chan-Wook's mature handling of the plot means that we are never alienated by the subversive plot and its sickening twists. It proves that Chan-Wook can make narratively sound cinema, without having to compromise his bold aestheticism. If you don't mind cinema with sex, blood, and taboo subject matter, then this unusual slice of brilliance is a must-see. It represents the height of Chan-Wook's artistry and is the pinnacle of quality in this trilogy. Despite Hollywood's best efforts, a film this unique could never be reproduced.
½ March 25, 2017
i can see where The Raid got the inspiration from.

but yeah this one has better cinematography and plot.

what a fascinating movie.
March 20, 2017
Twisted yet brutally brilliant tale of revenge. Essential viewing.
March 18, 2017
Watched it based on a friends recommendation, the starting was mind-blowing but I realized I have read the manga the movie is based on & I had hated the ending of the book, so my expectations were low but they had changed the ending in the movie, it was simply fantastic & brutal, the most hard-core revenge ending one can imagine. Awesome direction, script, score , camera work and casting. The acting by all the leading cast was superb. Watch it for an unorthodox story of revenge which took 15 years to be prepared and served.
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