The Yellow Sea (Hwanghae)


The Yellow Sea (Hwanghae)

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Total Count: 22


Audience Score

User Ratings: 1,441
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The Yellow Sea (Hwanghae) Photos

Movie Info

The Yellow Sea follows Gu-nam (Ha Jung-Woo), a cab driver from this region who embarks on an assassination mission to South Korea in order to pay off his mounting debt as well as search for his missing wife. He takes on the job without knowing much about his target and soon finds himself in the middle of a dangerous conspiracy as he begins to uncover a vicious trap of betrayal and lies. Framed for the murder he did not commit, Gu-nam is chased down by the police as well as those responsible for this mess - a ruthless mob boss (Cho Seong-Ha) and a tenacious assassin (Kim Yun-Seok). All hell breaks loose as gangsters and killers clash and collide in a game of hunt-or-be-hunted. -- (C) Showbox

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Critic Reviews for The Yellow Sea (Hwanghae)

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (8)

  • ...does boast its fair share of gripping moments.

    Mar 21, 2013 | Full Review…
  • A breakneck mix of bone-crunching freneticism and bloody close-quarters knife-fighting with a strand of romantic melancholy.

    Dec 1, 2011 | Rating: 3.5/5 | Full Review…
  • A rush of a movie from South Korea that slips and slides from horror to humor on rivers of blood and offers the haunting image of a man, primitive incarnate, beating other men with an enormous, gnawed-over meat bone.

    Dec 1, 2011 | Rating: 4/5
  • The Yellow Sea is far less interested in character than in choreographing pursuit scenes spiced with Asia Extreme levels of violence.

    Nov 29, 2011 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    David Fear

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Writer-director Na Hong-Jin achieves a vibe of urban desolation right off the bat, and deepens the mayhem with acutely observed and charged details about illegal-immigrant life.

    Nov 29, 2011 | Full Review…
  • The action is epic but there's psychological depth too.

    Oct 21, 2011 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for The Yellow Sea (Hwanghae)

  • Feb 02, 2015
    Beating around the bush kinda makes it feel too slow-paced & eventually leading to its failure to leave the impact the plot otherwise had the potential to.
    familiar s Super Reviewer
  • Jan 06, 2013
    Na Hong-jin's <i>The Yellow Sea</i> is a crafted Korean crime thriller.<p>The 2 hour 15 minute run time is lengthy, especially when the plot details get sketchy. The 4 chapter story does contain some good storytelling, but things can become elusive with a wealth of characters to focus on. Nonetheless, the plot twists come in at opportune times and the cloudiness of what comes next as the story progresses works in the film's favor.</p><p>Aside from the story, the gritty and realistic violence, full of knives and hatchets, is a pleasant surprise and in high abundance. The destructive vehicle sequences are the icing on the cake.</p><p>Ha Jung-woo is a convincing neutral protagonist. A lot of blood comes at the hands of Kim Yun-seok.</p><p>Once the final scene, which occurs in the closing credits, is over, <i>The Yellow Sea</i> finds itself as a recommendable picture out of Korea.</p>
    JY S Super Reviewer
  • Dec 27, 2012
    Na Hong Jin brings us his second feature after the dark and disturbing The Chaser. The Yellow Sea is a complex character piece that sees a man from Yanji City travel to South Korea to kill a man in order to pay off his missing wife's debts. Like The Chaser, this is also a film that mixes fast paced action and gritty realistic violence. In many ways The Yellow Sea is a lot like a poor man's Bourne, but not in terms of production quality. As Gu Nam travels to Seoul it isn't by plane in a fancy suit, he's herded into a ship in a room with dozens of other people, freezing and sick not everyone makes it. Gu Nam takes his time over the kill and it shows his inexperience. Of course, Gu Nam is really there to search for his missing wife but as things escalate so does the action. Incredible chases on foot and by car elevate this thriller to something that really does thrust a man on the run thriller into the real world. As the film progresses more and more people find themselves involved in the hunt for Gu Nam it's rather humorous to see him quite oblivious to those after him. The Yellow Sea sees the tragic places people from the almost ignored Yanji City find themselves in. Love and dedication are the main themes but are hidden behind an exhilarating wall of delicately crafted action sequences. Brilliant.
    Luke B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 09, 2012
    Liked it up to half way through, then felt like a totally different movie, too many characters, couldn't follow it at all. (or maybe it's just it was very late and I was tired...).
    Nicki M Super Reviewer

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