The Taste of Money (2013)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In a mansion on the outskirts of Seoul lives one of South Korea's richest families. Although nominally headed by a prominent businessman, it's his wife Madame Baek who's really in control. Her personal secretary, a handsome young man newly introduced to the world of power, deals with the family's immoral-and frequently illegal-activities while he waits for his own opportunity to make it rich. But everything changes when an affair upsets the household's balance of power, and an unexpected arrest threatens to expose the family's tawdriest secrets. (c) IFC
Art House & International , Drama
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:


Kim Hyo-jin
as Yoon Na-mi
Kang-woo Kim
as Joo Yeong-jak
Baek Yoon-sik
as President Yoon
Darcy Paquet
as Robert
Youn Yuh-jung
as Baek Geum-ok
Hwang Jeong-Min
as Assistant No
On Ju-wan
as Yoon-cheol
Gal So-won
as Ri-ni
Kwon Byeong-gil
as President No
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Critic Reviews for The Taste of Money

All Critics (18) | Top Critics (5)

This is a completely unenlightening cri de coeur against the most obvious targets of financial-spiritual discontent.

Full Review… | January 29, 2013
Time Out
Top Critic

Both bitter and delicious.

January 24, 2013
New York Times
Top Critic

Is there such a thing as "tastefully smutty"? Director Im Sang-soo's moody and semi-Shakespearian The Taste of Money walks that line with some artfully lit humping and cross-generational seduction.

Full Review… | January 22, 2013
Village Voice
Top Critic

As the sexual, financial and criminal shenanigans get ever more complicated, absurd and melodramatic, the film becomes increasingly tiresome; it's not even possible to enjoy its excesses in a 'so bad it's good' way.

Full Review… | May 30, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

A trite and tangled potboiler that, despite its polemical pretensions, is just a glorified Korean domestic drama with classier couture and shapelier champagne flutes.

Full Review… | May 26, 2012
Top Critic

The director seems uncertain whether he is making a slow-burning character drama or a satirical gangster movie about modern-day Seoul's answer to the Borgias.

Full Review… | February 21, 2014
Independent (UK)

Audience Reviews for The Taste of Money

Visually impressive but thematically hollow.  This film didn't do much for me as it was an absolute chore to sit through for most of its running time.  Personally, the story and the character development did absolutely nothing for me.  It's like a South Korean version of Dallas.  Rich people doing deplorable things to other, less fortunate people and each other without facing any of the consequences.  This might sound interesting to some people and, in theory, it probably came across like that.  Execution, though, is another thing entirely.  It just leaves a lot to be desired, there's no real character progression.  I understand Young-jak has a character arc but it's pretty uninteresting.  At first he's tempted by the money and power, then he realizes the corruption that goes along with that and decides he no longer wants a part of it.  That's as much effort as there was put into any.  Oh and the patriarch of the family actually did have the most interesting stuff going on, considering he wants to leave the family in search of the happiness he hasn't in all the years he's been married, but his wife, the head of the family, does not allow him to.  Easily much more interesting than the main character's arc Other than that there's not much going on here.  That's not to mention the tonal shifts that drag the movie down. Sometimes the film has a darkly comic tone, but other times it is completely humorless, almost ridiculously so. Like the scene at the airplane near the end feels like right out of a romantic comedy. Particularly considering the fact that that scene was followed by an incredibly serious moment. This movie clearly does not know what it wants to be. Solid acting and beautiful cinematography don't mean shit when your film is that lacking. I wouldn't recommend this at all, unless you're interested in it visually and technically, other than that, this movie doesn't offer anything.

Jesse Ortega
Jesse Ortega

Super Reviewer

a korean gangster flick which plays like a shakespearian soap opera. low on the violence and action, high on sex and the narcissistic personality disorders of the 1%. this family is more like the 1% of the 1% and is an astute reminder of how different, and how relative, 'sea level' is for all of us. with a lack of a protagonist to truly root for, the stars for me were the beauty of the impeccably manicured mansion and the estate on which it resides. reminded of gluttony, i just downed a blueberry muffin AND a maple glazed almond donut. sugar and caffeine flows like a river of supercharged fuel with bursts of endorphin confetti dispersed as if the hindu holiday of holi was being celebrated inside the temple of my body. yeah.

Seth Lachs
Seth Lachs

A typical story of a rotten big family, happened in South Korea this time. Looks so disjointed in story telling. Only a bit strange seeing it swinging between drama & comedy throughout the whole frame time.


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