The Villainess (Ak-Nyeo) (2017)


Critic Consensus: The Villainess offers enough pure kinetic thrills to satisfy genre enthusiasts -- and carve out a bloody niche for itself in modern Korean action cinema.


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Movie Info

Since she was a little girl, Sook-hee was raised to be a deadly assassin. She gladly accepts the chance to start a new life when South Korea's Intelligence Agency recruits her as a sleeper agent, with the promise of complete freedom after ten years of service. But soon after taking on her new identity as Chae Yeon-soo, a 27-year-old theatre actress, she begins to realize that for someone who has lived as a killer her entire life, normal is no easy task. When two men from her past suddenly appear in her new life, it unlocks dark secrets that should've stayed hidden, and the fallout is swift and explosive.

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Ok-bin Kim
as Sook-hee
Kim Seo-hyung
as Chief Kwon
Bang Sung-jun
as Hyun-soo
Shin Ha-kyun
as Joong-sang
Sung-Jun Bang
as Hyun-soo
Eun-ji Jo
as Kim Seon
Ye-Ji Min
as Sook-hee (young)
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Critic Reviews for The Villainess (Ak-Nyeo)

All Critics (80) | Top Critics (16)

With a body count in triple digits before the opening credits finish, the bloodily inventive fight sequences work better than the emotional scenes here - and sensible shoes aside, director Jung Byung-gil doesn't bring much new to the genre.

Sep 18, 2017 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
Top Critic

"The Villainess" is little more than an action showcase, with way more scenes of turgid espionage than thrilling set pieces. It's for genre die-hards, not a general audience.

Sep 14, 2017 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

'The Long Kiss Goodnight', 'La Femme Nikita', 'Kill Bill'... this South Korean thriller owes a debt to many a great female-assassin thriller, and it's a fun ride for fans of the genre.

Sep 11, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

As the carnage mercilessly piles up, we begin to feel nothing. Perhaps that's the point, but it's hard not to want more.

Sep 7, 2017 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

There's a lot of cool knives on display here, but the people doing the stabbing don't really matter.

Aug 25, 2017 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

What is entirely new about The Villainess is that it marries its revenge scenario to a melodrama of maternal sacrifice, with the film's terrific star, Kim Ok-bin, suffering more than Joan Crawford ever did.

Aug 24, 2017 | Full Review…

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