Oldboy

Critics Consensus

Suitably grim and bloody yet disappointingly safe and shallow, Spike Lee's Oldboy remake neither surpasses the original nor adds anything new to its impressive legacy.

40%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 149

37%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 26,441

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Movie Info

Although his life is already in a downward spiral, things get much worse for advertising executive Joe Doucett (Josh Brolin) ; while drunk one night, Joe is kidnapped and thrown into solitary confinement in a bizarre, hotellike room. For the next 20 years, Joe suffers unimaginable torment, but the motive and identity of his captor remain unknown. When he is inexplicably set free, Joe emerges with one goal: to find the person who stole two decades of his life.

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Critic Reviews for Oldboy

All Critics (149) | Top Critics (46) | Fresh (59) | Rotten (90)

  • Everything is wrong with [Spike] Lee's version of Park Chan-wook's notorious, super-violent super-action-thriller. For one thing, it's far from super. Not the quality, per se (although, for Lee, that's off, too), but the energy.

    December 10, 2013 | Full Review…
  • A misguided, if visually polished, remake of Park Chan-wook's violent revenge thriller.

    December 6, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • This Oldboy is another pointless remake, and I couldn't swallow it.

    December 5, 2013 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Lee and his cameraman film from the floor, the ceiling, the drainpipes: anywhere to lend novelty, or fresh perspective, to tired, trashy material.

    December 5, 2013 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • A garish reproduction that never pretends to know who it's for.

    December 5, 2013 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • Why would we want to watch a chronicle of Joe's agonies, and the agonies he gets to inflict on others? Passing it up would be the best revenge.

    December 2, 2013

Audience Reviews for Oldboy

  • Dec 19, 2017
    The remake of the Korean mind fuck does not shy away from most of the unpleasant aspects of the original, but it's a leaner, less detailed version, which makes it somewhat easier to stomach. The result is sometimes unintentionally funny, sometimes brutal, but the mystery is engaging and the movie entertaining enough. In other words: if you know the original, you won't need this. If you don't, this might very well blow your mind.
    Jens S Super Reviewer
  • Oct 23, 2016
    Watched half. It's crap. Watch the original Korean version instead.
    Nicki M Super Reviewer
  • May 19, 2015
    Josh Brolin is an extremely bad choice for the role of the protagonist. Besides, the execution is too weak, and is bound to disappoint regardless of having already watched the original or not.
    familiar s Super Reviewer
  • Nov 01, 2014
    Perhaps those are problems created by the heavy editing of Lee's cut, but this unnecessary and watered-down remake not only doesn't add anything new to the exceptional Korean film but is also full of plot holes and makes its jaw-dropping twist in the end seem only ludicrous.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer

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