The Front Line - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Front Line Reviews

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September 8, 2016
9/8/16 Amazon Streaming Video
A really well done war flick with some terrific battle scenes. The story pretty formulaic with war is hell, leaders suck, why are we doing this, etc. but still an intense movie that seems shorter than its 2:13 run time.

It does a good job of showing why war is such a waste and how it is so dehumanizing.
January 24, 2015
Yet another great Korean movie about their devestating war. The begining does get off slow, and I didn't like where it was going. It kinda took on a different plot, a army intelligence officer sent to the front line to find enemy spy within their troops. The officer found and old friend and the real point of the story opened up. The two posing armies had been battling over Areok Hill for a long time, and the hill was always changing hands. Two small groups of soldiers, one South Korean and one North Korean left gifts for each other whenever they lose control of the hill. So the movie goes on, battling over the hill over and over, and the two groups kept exchanging gifts. The movie was now very intersting, and had a cool original idea behined it (the main charactor being an intelligence officer wasn't really mentioned again and he fought on as normal soldier). There is a lot of back story as well, with flashbacks to lost battles, and the characters were well devoloped and individual. The last battle is really well done and finishes off the movie fairly well but with a problem. Its sad at parts and good once the boring begining section ends and the action scenes are top notch. A good movie that has some things that a lot of war movies have and other things that almost none have. Its neck and neck with two other Korean war movies; The Brotherhood of War, and 71: Into the Fire and gets number nine on my top 15 favorite war movie list.
December 10, 2014
See it...and see it again like I did!
November 21, 2014
The ending battle of this Korean War movie alone is an extremely powerful indictment against sending human beings to the mindless slaughter of the battlefield.
½ September 29, 2014
The Front Line is decent which I did not expect it. Though it has a good presentation, it's more like watching a montage of all the rip off scenes from the previous war film epics. It's flat and very dull. As for the story, it's poorly executed and there are a lot of pointless scenes which are not that necessary and I was like "it's still on the middle part of the story it needs to move on". With all the good Korean cast to offer, though I feel sorry for them, they're doing their best in all of these stiff dialogues and those cheesy moments. It's there, but I'm pretty sure somebody will rescue to it's full potential. It could have been better. I was thinking of giving it a 2.5 but for its effort and presentation, 3 would be nice. Damn it could have been satisfying.
½ May 13, 2014
Towards the end of the Korean War an uneasy ceasefire is ordered, but out on the Eastern front line of the Aerok Hills fierce fighting continues. A race to capture a strategic point to determine a new border between North Korea and South Korea is the ultimate prize. A bullet is then found in the body of dead company commander of the South Korean army. The bullet that killed the company commander belongs to the South Korean army. Lieutenant of the Defense Security Command Kang Eun-Pyo (Shin Ha-kyun) is ordered to go out into the Eastern front line and investigate the murder. When Kang Eun-Pyo arrives in the Aerok Hills he is surprised to find his old friend Kim Soo-Hyeok (Go Soo) commanding troops in the Aerok Hills. Kang Eun-Pyo believed Kim Soo-Hyeok was dead. In their younger years, Kim Soo-Hyeok was a meek student, but he eventually became the leader of Aerok company as a lieutenant. The situation in the Aerok company raises many flags in the eyes of Kang Eun-Pyo...

This is a modern "epic" war movie about the Korean war, a war that somehow feels "forgotten" in many ways. Due to ideological manipulation by the Soviet Union and Chinese communists, a whole nation on the peninsula turned into a purgatory during the early 1950s and thousands of people lost their lives despite the fact that it was people of the same origin and the same ancestors in the foxholes. "The Frontline" shows the atrocity of killing, hope, loss, survival instinct, sacrifices and the aftermath of war. It´s well made, but my personal problem with "The Frontline" is the feeling of some sort of of "comic" structure specifically during the first 30 minutes that sort of lowered the bar for me. The movie picks up after that, but it never fully recovers from that opening in my eyes. However, the movie does communicate several important messages you need to process and take with you. The stupidity of war, the helplessness of being a soldier, the result of blind politics and the manipulation of ideologies.
½ February 5, 2014
Strong drama set in the dying days of the Korean War as forces of both sides wonder why they are there and a curious sharing takes place as Arok HIll is taken and retaken in mind numbing pointless repetition as it is a bleak place filled with rotting corpses and hardly a scrap of vegetation.
But the generals cannot leave it alone.
Well worth seeing
December 5, 2013
A bit of 'All Quiet on the Western Front', 'The Thin Red Line', and 'We Were Soldiers'. The mostly conventional script has some occasionally penetrating lines. On Netflix Instant. Thumbs up!
½ November 23, 2013
Absolutely amazing. We are transported into a war that shows how incredibly futile it was. The cinematography is incredible, and the story really draws you into a human hell. The sub-plots are a little off, but overall an amazing movie. A+
Super Reviewer
October 8, 2013
In "The Front Line," the good news for Eun-pyo(Ha-kyun Shin) is that he will no longer have to suffer through the endless peace talks. The bad news is he is being shipped to Aerok Hill, which is a key battleground for where the boundaries will be set, to investigate a possible spy. Currently, the hill is being defended by a bunch of teenagers, with Yang(Chang-Seok Ko) being the only veteran from a previous war. At least, Eun-pyo gets reunited with Soo-hyeok(Soo Go), who he feared dead.

Some times it may seem like there have already been too many war is futile movies but then with the latest warmongering, it becomes perfectly clear again we can never have too many. One of the more recent, "The Front Line," which as uneven and episodic as it is, still has quite a few neat touches like the box and a massive dose of irony in its final act. Set in the final days of the Korean War, the movie is also about the last chances for any kind of reconciliation for the country, as the final barriers are about to go up.(Since this is told from a Korean point of view, I wanted to see what they called this war there but according to Wikipedia, it depends on who you ask. Oh well.) Even though the South are the protagonists, the movie does not denigrate the North as villains, either.
Super Reviewer
September 23, 2013
Well shot but way too melodramatic for it's own good.
½ August 24, 2013
its okay to feel pain
½ July 16, 2013
Absolutely heartfelt story on the historic events in Korea
½ June 30, 2013
Superb Korean war drama, told from the side of South Korean, and, to a lesser extent, North Korean, soldiers. Very realistic (a la Saving Private Ryan) and gritty. Depicts very accurately the futility of war, and the dumb high-level decisions that common foot-soldiers have to carry out.

Incredibly well-shot battle sequences. There's room for emotion and humanity in among all that though, and this propels the movie forward.

Solid acting all round.
Super Reviewer
½ June 12, 2013
When it comes to war films I surprisingly covered more war films that take place in other continents than my own. My reason behind this is after years of learning American history in classes and free time I find it more interesting learning the history of other continents. Thus which is why I was drawn to the Korean war drama Go-ji-jeon (The Front Line in English) while not outstanding, a good war drama.

The Front Line (or Go-ji-jeon in Korean) is a drama centered on the Korean War's final battle that will determine the border between north and south. The film plot main issue is finding its footing in what story to tell. It takes a while (around 1/3 of the running time to be more specific) for it get to the standstill battle over Aerok Hill and finally explore the soldiers mentality on the war and personal feeling knowing they could kill the enemy they're communicating with. It is exactly here at Aerok Hill when the film becomes formulaic almost crossing the line of being repetitive. At Aerok Hill we get an attack to obtain the hill, chat between the soldiers, looking in a secret box and sending supplies to whoever opens it. What makes the repetition worth enduring is what I said earlier is the human exploration of war. Like if soldiers should keep fighting even in a non advancing standstill? Will the enemy be more sympathetic taking your life if they know you better? The other welcome addition is a subplot involving a sniper. The sniper subplot won't provide as much action as one might expect instead providing more the dramatic content than anything else.

Director Hun Jang and writer Park Sand-Yeon do a decent job telling a story. They won't be applauded by their storytelling abilities, but will be respected for presenting both sides of the conflict without demonising or undermining the other. The acting is solid as a whole with no standout of any kind. The battle scenes were badly staged. Mostly the troops run up or down a hill, shooting as they go. To get some idea of the unreality of it all: at one point the SK troops lose the hill and retreat in disorder...but when we meet them next (only minutes later)they are all sitting around without their weapons chatting in a camp.

The Front Line is held back from its own formula from being great, but is a film that put the soldiers first over spectacles. It won't be the film one might expect as first glance though they might just find something they liked just as much.
½ May 23, 2013
The very bitter movie about the South Korean side of the Korean War has a very pessimistic view of things similar to most American war movies of late. But still packs a punch despite the clichés.
½ March 6, 2013
It's all about war and brothers. How they protect brothers from killed and how they fight for their country despite knowingly it is suicide war. If u r looking for action pack war movie this is not the one u r looking for.
½ December 31, 2012
While "much of this intense, honorable film is too drawn-out" and melodramatic, it's still quite enjoyable. "This strong, assured Band of Brothers-style drama from director Jang Hun makes universal points about bonding, misery, loyalty, and the senselessness of [The Korean War] through a portfolio of soldiers." "Jang's filmmaking weapons may be utterly conventional, but that does not prevent them from delivering a high-impact payload."
November 8, 2012
No mercy at Korean war
½ November 2, 2012
If you're into war flicks, this is a great one, right up there with Platoon and Full Metal Jacket. But it's probably not like the war movies you normally see, since it tells about the Korean war from a perspective Americans don't know much about and generally don't ever think about: the Korean one. The story follows two small units, one South Korean, one North Korean, as they fight again and again for possession of a hill along what will become the border between the two countries; one side taking possession, then the other, always with great and senseless loss of life and destruction. This was Korea's Civil War, and the movie, at least to this American, conjures up names like Antietam and Gettysburg. Definitely one for the guys, violent and disturbing, but deep and meaningful.
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