It has an amazing cast that includes Ben Affleck, Oscar Isaac and Pedro Pascal, and while the film may not break much new ground, it succeeds at everything it tries to do, including putting forth some solid action sequences. Inspired by director Kim Bora’s childhood, the film occurs in the year 1994 and centers on a … To learn more about why the film is such a hit, read our full article about Parasite. There's also great physical action sequences for everybody in the main cast. The detectives also enjoy good chemistry and a surprising amount of character development. Godzilla: King of the Monsters didn't do nearly as well at the box office as the last movie, and that's truly unfortunate because it feels like this was the movie people really wanted to see last time around. Godzilla: King of the Monsters clearly heard that critique, because a lack of action is not a problem here. Suspense pervades The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil. If the day ever comes when a Fast & Furious movie comes out and doesn't make a list like this, something has gone terribly wrong. Starring: Andrew Garfield, Riley Keough, Topher Grace If you enjoy fictional characters that spend the bulk of the film cracking the code to a mystery, this one's for you. While the first franchise spinoff, Hobbs and Shaw, is a significantly different movie than the main franchise's installments, it still brings top notch action, and has the incomparable action director David Leitch making sure that that action works. No offense to Roland Emmerich's Midway, but if you are going to see a war movie this year, 1917 is the one you shouldn't miss. Her life feels simultaneously bleak yet peppered with flares of human connection. Produced by master filmmaker Lee Chang-dong, Birthday follows a family who lost their eldest son Su-ho to the Sewol disaster. However, Another Child executes it superbly. Was it one of these, or something else we didn't cover? Korean Title: 벌새 (Beol-sae) | Director: Kim Bora | Starring: Park Ji-hoo, Kim Sae-byuk | Genre: Drama, Coming-of-Age, Romance. Nonetheless, Hollywood brought us some fantastic action movies … As fried chicken orders pile on and social media influencers stream in, the squad must balance culinary success with their ultimate goal to bust a major drug trafficking ring. Lots of movies have action sequences in them, but not every movie with action is an action movie. That’s why Kim Ji-young, Born 1982 made it onto our list of 2019’s top Korean movies. Want more Korean movies? Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham and Idris Elba all get to shine. Not all of Hobbs and Shaw's action is automotively based as it is in the main series, but there are plenty of cool car chases. Along the way, it highlights the everyday indignities she suffers in professional, public, and family settings due to conservative gender expectations. As our two leads scale Seoul’s labyrinthine urban landscape, Exit also starts feeling like an extended metaphor for millennial Koreans’ existential misery. A rare gem that manages to achieve the holy trinity of box office, awards, and critical success, Parasite might be the most internationally renowned Korean movie thus far. The movie brings back Gerard Butler as the Secret Service agent who's got John McClane's luck of always being in the wrong place at the wrong time. When you look at this list, you'll see what I mean. Armchair Imagineer. Sure, but what exactly were you expecting? If a John Wick movie ever comes out and it's not at the top of a list like this, it's either a really good sign for action cinema, or a really bad sign for John Wick. As such, you won't find your favorite comic book movie or space battle movie on this list. Korean Title: 악인전 (Ak-in-jeon) | Director: Lee Won-tae | Starring: Ma Dong-seok, Kim Mu-yeol, Kim Sung-kyu | Genre: Action, Thriller. Check out the full results of the 2019 IW Critics Survey here. 6 Underground feels like a Michael Bay movie, and honestly, since it doesn't include giant robots, it feels more like a Michael Bay movie than much of the director's recent output. I was utterly shocked at how much I enjoyed Alita: Battle Angel. Korean Title: 돈 (Don) | Director: Park Noo-ri | Starring: Ryu Jun-yeol, Yoo Ji-tae, Jo Woo-jin | Genre: Drama, Crime, Thriller. The Fast & Furious franchise as a whole has been reaching cartoonish levels of action in recent years, and this movie is no different. This 2019 IndieWire Critics Poll included 304 movie critics, making it the largest year-end survey in the site’s history. A well-done action sequence can make a good movie great, and a mediocre movie at least worth watching. Keanu Reeves returned for a third installment of the killer franchise with John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum, and he hasn't lost a step yet. Kim has the most popular female name for Korean babies born in 1982, something that cements her status as an “everywoman.”  Slowly paced and low key, the film follows her life as an ordinary mother. Neeson is clearly enjoying making these movies and that goes a long way to letting the audience go along for the ride. Epcot Stan. That really should be enough to tell you that, as an action movie, it is worth your time. The fact that it's a solid movie, in addition to being a great action film, certainly helps as well. This time, he's suspected of attempting to kill the President of the Unites Stares, so instead of going after the bad guy, he's on the run himself. While our titular gangster and cop have the same goal, they employ vastly different methods towards that goal—it’s not clear until the end who might succeed. 7 levels of popularity when it comes to Korean films that blend developmental disorders with quests for justice, it evokes a similar heartwarming feel. Though House of Hummingbird premiered in October 2018 at the Busan International Film Festival, we’re including it in this list of 2019’s best Korean movies, as its main theatrical release came in 2019. Almost a third of South Korea’s population saw it in theaters, and Hollywood plans an American remake. Unlike the Sewol-focused documentaries, Birthday focuses less on the accident itself than its emotional aftermath. Korean Title: 증인 (Jeungin) | Director: Lee Han | Starring: Jung Woo-sung, Kim Hyang-gi | Genre: Drama, Crime. The top 20 movies have already been revealed, but the full list below includes the 50 movies from 2019 that earned the most votes from film critics, ranked from the most voted to least voted. One car chase. The upcoming WWI adventure from director Sam Mendes is chock full of action. The film raises important questions about gender dynamics in Korean society, and has generated more heated opinions and political discourse than any other film in this article. Updated on 4/24/2019 at 6:15 PM ... That simple fact alone should convince you to watch this scrappy, low-budget action movie about a logger tasked with … Release date: April 19, 2019. In Exit, Yoona and Jo Jung-suk star as two downtrodden Korean millennials named Yong-nam and Eui-ju. Those looking for a slower-paced, poignant exploration of loss will find meaning in Birthday. Under the Silver Lake follows Sam (Garfield), a 30-something-year-old man who abruptly meets Sarah (Keough) and ends up uncovering well-hidden secrets of Los Angeles after her disappearance. Tomatometer rankings of the top 100 best movies of 2019 and all time. When a toxic gas cloud creeps through Seoul, they must use their rock climbing skills to reach safety. In this tale of high Korean finance, a young stockbroker named Jo Il-hyun (Ryu Jun-yeol) gets involved with a mysterious insider trading scheme. Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! The tragedy plunged South Korea into a state of intense national soul-searching, as it surfaced issues of cronyism and government incompetence. Thanks to a young detective’s secret recipe, the restaurant becomes unexpectedly popular. The actresses who play our teenage protagonists especially stand out; Joo-ri’s actress Kim Hye-jun even won the 2019 Blue Dragon Award (Korea’s equivalent of the Oscars) for Best New Actress. One important note on this list, the definition of "action movie" is far from settled. This is a strikingly mournful movie that looks at the tragedy from a single family’s perspective. The 50 Best Movies of 2019, Ranked The best of the best. This was the first Terminator movie in a long time to feel like a worthy part of the franchise. Best Horror Movies of 2019 Ranked by Tomatometer. Let us know in the poll and comments below. Inspired by director Kim Bora’s childhood, the film occurs in the year 1994 and centers on a 14 year-old girl named Eun-hee. And yet, here we are in 2019, with Angel Has Fallen. War movies are not traditional action movies in the usual sense. While Korean filmmakers have made multiple documentaries about the Sewol disaster, 2019’s Birthday is the first dramatic feature that explores the incident. Who doesn't love a good action movie? We all do, right? In a way, she’s like the titular hummingbird—fluttering from flower to flower, searching for the nectars of life. One of Korea’s best comedies, Extreme Job dominated 2019’s box office and became the second most watched Korean movie of all time. The year 2019 was a pretty good one for action movies, although not all the best examples came from the big screen. Korean Title: 기생충 (Gisaengchung) | Director: Bong Joon-ho | Starring: Song Kang-ho, Lee Sun-kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam | Genre: Thriller, Black Comedy. And there are some great sequences here worth enjoying and it's mostly, if not entirely, done with practical effects, which is nice to see in this day and age. The film mixes dynamic fight scenes with moments of clumsy amusement. Parasite blends meme-able dark humor, memorable acting, and even catchy jingles with top-notch cinematography and intricate set design. Learn more in our complete review of House of Hummingbird. To us, that’s evidence of Kim Ji-young‘s status as a societally impactful piece of art. After her depressed elderly client dies, a housekeeper named Mi-ran gets charged with his murder. 2019’s list of best Korean movies kicks off with The Bad Guys: Reign of Chaos. Arnold was back. Those who aren’t K-pop fans can also enjoy this dynamic action movie, which mixes high entertainment value with biting social commentary. I'm not sure anybody was expecting we'd get a second one of these, much less a third. In 2014, the ferry MV Sewol sank near South Korea’s coast. Together, they face the mess their family lives have become. Based off an eponymous bestselling novel, Kim Ji-young, Born 1982 centers on a woman named Kim Ji-young (Jung Yu-mi). The year 2019 was a pretty good one for action movies, although not all the best examples came from the big screen. Nonetheless, Hollywood brought us some fantastic action movies this year, and here are the favorites. While this premise might sound a bit ridiculous, Exit injects it with great suspense and humor. Learn more about Money in our comprehensive review. Hell, none of Liam Neeson's excursions into action have reached that plateau, including the sequels to Taken themselves. She hails from a dysfunctional working-class family on the margins of society, and lives a lonely, muted existence. The top 50 films as voted on by our pool of 304 film critics is listed below. The scene lasts so long it needs like four separate needle drops in the soundtrack just to get through. At the end of every year, IndieWire gathers together film critics from around the world and invites them to pick the best movies and performances of the last 12 months. The Has Fallen series feels like it's getting a little long in the tooth. Check out our lists of the best romance, action, comedy, and war movies from Korea! Broken families take center stage with Another Child. The first 20 minutes of 6 Underground consists of a single car chase. As Su-ho’s birthday approaches, father Jung-il and mother Soon-nam struggle to raise their surviving daughter Ye-sol in the shadow of their son’s memory. 304 people died, including 250 students. It looks amazing, especially during the action beats. Is it over the top and a bit ridiculous at times? Determined to punish those responsible, he takes the fight to them himself. When your country is a “hell with no exit,” a movie called Exit sounds pretty appealing. Kim Ji-young further intensified this debate around South Korea’s gender expectations—and apparently even caused breakups. Perhaps everybody will come around next year when Godzilla Vs. Kong finally arrives. Exit became 2019’s third highest grossing Korean movie, and this degree of societal relevance likely helped. Linda Hamilton was back. Reminiscent of Martin Scorsese and Leonardo DiCaprio’s Wolf of Wall Street, Money deftly deploys humor and suspense to weave a story about hubris and ostentatious materialism. While some of them have great action, they're not quite the same thing as "action movies." Also, somebody needs to give Vanessa Kirby her own action franchise like now. After realizing Ji-woo may hold the key to proving Mi-ran’s innocence, Sun-ho tries to befriend the teenage girl. Men, however, did not find it so fantastic. In this unexpectedly entertaining family drama, two teenagers named Joo-ri (Kim Hye-jun) and Yoon-ah (Park Se-jin) discover their father and mother, respectively, are having an affair. Lists of recent good movies and award winners. Enter heartthrob actor Jung Woo-sung as Mi-ran’s defense attorney Sun-ho. Korean Title: 엑시트 (Ek-si-teu) | Director: Lee Sang-geun | Starring: Jo Jung-suk, Im Yoon-ah | Genre: Disaster, Comedy, Action. Cold Pursuit isn't Taken, to be sure. Those who enjoy Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda‘s movies like Shoplifters and Nobody Knows will find resonance in House of Hummingbird ‘s tender ruminations on family, independence, and the nostalgic travails of adolescence. IndieWire published the full critics poll earlier this week, but now we’re giving readers a bigger look at the Best Film category. Though House of Hummingbird premiered in October 2018 at the Busan International Film Festival, we’re including it in this list of 2019’s best Korean movies, as its main theatrical release came in 2019. Millions of Korean women found Kim Ji-young‘s portrayal of patriarchy highly relatable. Based on a Japanese manga series, Alita: Battle Angel looks like what would happen if you could fed a manga into a machine and have it come out at a movie on the other end. 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While it doesn’t reach classic status, this action flick swept Korea’s box office upon its release. Let’s take a look! To no cinephile’s surprise, Parasite tops our list of 2019’s best Korean films. A new cram school teacher becomes a mentor, and Eun-hee also starts exploring her sexuality with both boys and girls. At some point, the John Wick series might start to falter, but if it keeps finding new ways to expand the universe and make action sequences feel fresh, like the addition of Halle Berry and her trained attack dogs, then this franchise will continue to be the top of the action genre for a long time to come. To learn more about The Bad Guys: Reign of Chaos, read our full-length review. Alita: Battle Angel wasn't a sequel nobody cared about, but it was a long gestating dream project for James Cameron that finally became a real thing thanks to Robert Rodriguez... that also not enough people saw. Beyond a certain film that gained unprecedented international buzz (keep reading if you don’t know which), Korean cinema produced over 150 features during the year. How in the hell did 2019 become the year we got a good Godzilla movie and a good Terminator movie, and nobody cared about either one? While this premise sounds simple, it has superb execution. Catch it in theaters starting on Christmas Day. It’s rare you have people from West Virginia to Saudi Arabia united in praise about a Korean movie. Parasite director Bong Joon-ho imbued the film with a rollicking story about a poor family who scams their way into becoming the household staff of a rich family. It's an unrelenting movie and one of the best 2019 has to offer, period. To learn more about Exit, read our complete review. A former human rights lawyer who sold out for big bucks, Sun-ho defends Mi-ran pro bono to curry favor with his boss. The film’s feminist message comes at a time where the #MeToo movement has not only inspired many South Korean women to speak out about misogyny, but also sparked virulent backlash from Korean men. It's also been shot in one long take, which makes the grueling action sequences even more astounding. This, combined with a timely anti-Japanese tilt, likely endeared the film to Korean theatergoers. Best Films of 2019, According to IW Critics Poll. Copyright © 2020 Penske Business Media, LLC. And Mackenzie Davis is welcome to join Vanessa Kirby in the female action movie I've started to create in my head. Dogged securities regulator Han Ji-chul (Jo Woo-jin) catches wind of this scheme—and a rollicking game of cat and mouse ensues. Like Roland Emmerich, if Michael Bay has a new movie out, then it's something that you need to see, and one should not let the fact that all the action takes place on a small screen detract from that fact. Outside of this year’s Best Film race, IW Critics Poll winners included “Parasite” filmmaker Bong Joon Ho for Best Director and Best Screenplay, “Us” favorite Lupita Nyong’o for Best Actress, “Marriage Story” favorite Adam Driver for Best Actor, and more. 2019 closes out an uncommonly strong decade for horror movies with some potential future classics of its own, and we took all of the Fresh and Certified Fresh hits with critics to give you the full list of the 32 Best Horror Movies of 2019. Buddy cop jokes and well-crafted fight scenes become complementary ingredients that help the film maintain audiences’ interest. Korean Title: 생일 (Saeng-il) | Director: Lee Jong-un  | Starring: Sol Kyung-gu, Jeon Do-yeon | Genre: Drama, Family, Tragedy. Korean Title: 미성년 (Mi-seong-nyeon) | Director: Kim Yoon-seok | Starring: Yum Jung-ah, Kim So-jin, Kim Hye-jun, Park Se-jin | Genre: Drama, Family. 2014's Godzilla was a generally well received movie, but if the film had any faults, it's that the giant monster action was a bit lacking. The top 20 movies have already been revealed, but the full list below includes the 50 movies from 2019 that earned the most votes from film critics, ranked from the most voted to least voted. You will be redirected back to your article in, Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox. What was your favorite action movie of the year? Discover the top Korean movies of 2019, across genres like action, drama, comedy, romance, crime and more. Action movies are one of the major reasons that we like to go to the theater in the first place. Korean Title: 극한직업 (Geukan Jigeop) | Director: Lee Byeong-heon | Starring: Ryu Seung-ryong, Lee Hanee, Lee Dong-hwi, Gong Myung | Genre: Comedy, Action. The only witness to this supposed act is Ji-woo (Kim Hyang-gi)—a 15 year old girl on the autistic spectrum. The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil also got international attention. While Innocent Witness might not have Miracle in Cell No. Of course he does. The film billed itself much more dramatically, but the movie's action succeeds as well, if not better, than everything else it's trying to do. It screened at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival, and Sylvester Stallone wants to do a Hollywood remake. ... makes Uncut Gems the best movie of the year. Action aficionados may also enjoy The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil. The futuristic and fantastical world is realized perfectly. You can also find our lists for the best Korean films from 2017 and 2018. These 11 Korean movies include both blockbusters and indie gems; they also represent a variety of genres including drama, comedy, thriller, romance, and action. And then, sometimes, you want your action in the form of giant monsters beating the crap out of each other. ‘Chicago 7’ Vs. the World: How Aaron Sorkin’s Awards-Friendly Epic Jolted a Strange Awards Season, NYFF Director Eugene Hernandez Explains the Rollercoaster Ride to Programming a Film Festival Without Theaters, How the Academy’s Inclusion Rules Speak to the Challenges Faced by the Film Industry, Introducing ‘Deep Dive’: Damon Lindelof and His Team Go Behind the Scenes of ‘Watchmen’, ‘Succession’: How Editing Helps Every Dinner Scene Come to Life — Deep Dive, Becoming Hooded Justice: The ‘Watchmen’ Craft Team Analyzes the Emotional, Pivotal Scene – Deep Dive, 38 Must-See New Movies to See This Fall Season, The Best Movies Eligible for the 2021 Oscars Right Now, Jessie Buckley Won’t Explain ‘Ending Things,’ but She Will Reveal What Terrified Her Most. It's unlikely that anybody who queued up Triple Frontier on Netflix was looking for solid action sequences. CinemaBlend’s resident theme park junkie and amateur Disney historian. Although, to be fair, it's not like the Terminator franchise didn't have several bites at that apple in the past and basically failed every single time. Fans of K-pop supergroup Girls Generation ought to see Exit, which stars member Im Yoon-ah (popularly known as Yoona). True to his reputation as a muscular action man, Ma Dong-seok throws many mean punches that keep the film’s momentum going. Based off an eponymous TV show, The Bad Guys stars A-listers including Ma Dong-seok and Kim Ah-joong as a group of criminals recruited to help bring a yakuza kingpin to justice. Having said that, Cold Pursuit is one of the better examples of why this sort of movie works at all. Yeah, The Rock totally tries to pull down a helicopter with his bare hands. It’s refreshing to see Jung Woo-sung in a non-romantic role, and actress Kim Hyang-gi does a great job of sensitively portraying an autistic character. Every major character gets fleshed out properly, and excellent acting helps audiences empathize with each of them, regardless of their flaws. However, 1917 certainly warrants being on this list. This premise might sound trite at first. In the process, he learns about what it means to be a “good person.”. Innocent Witness begins with a purported crime. If you missed it, go fix that. Extreme Job is like a plate of Korean fried chicken—it’s not haute cuisine, but its hearty taste will leave you satisfied. What makes Parasite so great? It’s impressive how far Extreme Job runs with this unique premise. The plot is pretty run of the mill, so the action is basically the only reason to bother if we're being honest. Despite their expertise in a quintessentially millennial sport, Yong-nam and Eui-ju constantly lose out to privileged brats and baby boomers when rescue helicopters come along. Man, somehow, this list has become really depressing all of a sudden. It's too bad the chances of an Alita sequel being made seem slim, for now. Beyond US$120 million in theatrical takings, Parasite won the Palme d’Or at 2019’s Cannes Film Festival, and has Oscars nominations for Best Director, Screenplay, and International Feature. Sign up for our Email Newsletters here. published the full critics poll earlier this week. On the action front, it's a great example for how directors can experiment in the genre as well. It was a film released exclusively on Netflix, but even on the smaller screen, it's worth checking out. I've done my best to stick to films where the action is more than simply there, but where the action sequences themselves are largely meant to be "the point," though, of course, that's a moving target as well.

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