Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War

2004

Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

80%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 44

93%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 22,077
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Movie Info

Korea's leading filmmaker, Kang Je-gyu, directed this epic-scale drama focusing on two brothers caught up in the madness of the war that tore their nation apart in the early '50s. Jin-seok Lee (Weon Bin) is a bright and well-educated young man whose older and more physically imposing brother Jin-tae Lee (Jang Dong-gun) believes he represents the best hope for his family's future. When both Jin-seok and Jin-tae are called up to fight in the South Korean army following the advance of Communist forces, a wary Jin-tae cuts a deal with his commanding officer -- if he racks up an impressive enough record on the battlefield, the army will give Jin-seok an early release. Jin-tae proves to be a fearless soldier, and is soon recognized as a war hero, but as the conflict wears on, he develops an unhealthy enthusiasm for the violence of the battlefield, and Jin-seok finds himself questioning his big brother's actions, both as a soldier and as a member of his family. The title Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War refers to the Korean name for the South Korean flag, originally designed in 1876 but outlawed during Japanese rule of the nation, and restored to use in 1948. ~ Mark Deming, Rovi

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Critic Reviews for Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (19)

  • The battle scenes are amazing in their scope and vehemence. But in the breaks between fighting, the movie reminds us that the costs of war can exceed the loss of life and limb.

    Dec 9, 2004 | Full Review…
  • At times the performances seem more akin to the histrionics of old silent movies, when emotions had to be seen because they couldn't be heard.

    Nov 12, 2004 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • Although flawed, the film is obviously successful in bringing to life what has been called the 20th century's 'forgotten war.'

    Nov 12, 2004 | Rating: 2.5/4
  • Even with its overemotional moments, it's more honest than most.

    Sep 30, 2004 | Rating: B+
  • Brutal yet meaningful, agonizing yet touching, The Brotherhood of War is a harrowing but rewarding experience.

    Sep 24, 2004 | Rating: 4/4
  • Worth seeing for its sheer otherness at a time when Americans are forced to look increasingly at the outside world for new information.

    Sep 10, 2004 | Full Review…

    Andrew Sarris

    Observer
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War

  • Feb 08, 2015
    Definitely one of the best war films I have ever seen and it puts some of Hollywood's efforts to shame. Harrowing, often brutal but with a deep undercurrent of human love for family during times of war. This has to be seen.
    Ian W Super Reviewer
  • Nov 05, 2012
    A fabulous tale of family divided by war...so often told but often poorly executed. Here it is a success. The best work is done in between words with an expression or glance.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 17, 2012
    The action is probably more intense than Saving Private Ryan and that means something! The story progresses from a slow beginning to an epic finale that might bring some to tears. Well worth watching!
    paul o Super Reviewer
  • Sep 07, 2011
    Let's be real; Saving Private Ryan is a better movie then Tae Guk Gi. This is movie tries too hard to be exactly like Saving Private Ryan- the action, the cinematography, the camera work... But behind all the technicalities comes a very moving and powerful character-driven story that is more riveting then Saving Private Ryan. In comparison to the incredibly gritty "Saving Private Ryan", Tae Guk Gi is more of a blockbuster movie that has more stylized action and drama. Still, this is a must watch.
    Albert K Super Reviewer

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