Top 20 Successful Korean Movies in History


Korean cinema has experienced a remarkable rise in popularity in recent years, captivating audiences around the world with its unique storytelling and compelling performances. From gripping thrillers to heartwarming dramas, Korean movies have gained international acclaim and achieved significant success at the box office. In this article, we will explore the top 20 successful Korean movies in history, highlighting their impact and achievements.

1. Parasite (2019)

Directed by Bong Joon-ho, Parasite made history by becoming the first Korean film to win the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival. This dark social satire garnered critical acclaim worldwide and received four Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

2. Train to Busan (2016)

A thrilling zombie apocalypse film directed by Yeon Sang-ho, Train to Busan captivated audiences with its intense action sequences and emotional storytelling. It became a huge hit, both commercially and critically, and is considered one of the best Korean movies in the horror genre.

3. The Host (2006)

Directed by Bong Joon-ho, The Host is a monster film that blends elements of horror, comedy, and drama. It broke box office records in Korea and received critical acclaim for its engaging story and impressive visual effects.

4. Oldboy (2003)

Directed by Park Chan-wook, Oldboy is a neo-noir action thriller that gained international recognition for its unique storytelling and stunning cinematography. It won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival and has since become a cult classic.

5. A Taxi Driver (2017)

A historical drama directed by Jang Hoon, A Taxi Driver is based on the true story of a taxi driver who becomes involved in the 1980 Gwangju Uprising. This emotionally charged film resonated with audiences and became one of the highest-grossing Korean movies of all time.

6. The Handmaiden (2016)

Directed by Park Chan-wook, The Handmaiden is a visually stunning erotic thriller that received critical acclaim for its intricate plot and exquisite production design. It won numerous awards and was praised for its bold and provocative storytelling.

7. The Wailing (2016)

A supernatural horror film directed by Na Hong-jin, The Wailing explores the mysterious events that unfold in a small village. With its atmospheric tension and thought-provoking narrative, it garnered international recognition and solidified Na Hong-jin’s reputation as a talented filmmaker.

8. Miracle in Cell No. 7 (2013)

A heartwarming comedy-drama directed by Lee Hwan-kyung, Miracle in Cell No. 7 tells the story of a mentally challenged father who is wrongfully imprisoned. This touching film resonated with audiences and became a box office success, earning praise for its emotional performances.

9. Memories of Murder (2003)

Directed by Bong Joon-ho, Memories of Murder is based on the true story of a serial killer in the 1980s. This gripping crime drama received critical acclaim for its realistic portrayal of the investigation and its commentary on society.

10. Silenced (2011)

Also known as The Crucible, Silenced is a drama film directed by Hwang Dong-hyuk. It sheds light on the issue of sexual abuse in a school for hearing-impaired children and sparked nationwide debates in Korea. The film’s powerful message resonated with audiences and contributed to significant changes in the country’s legal system.

Successful Korean Movies
Successful Korean Movies

11. The Attorney (2013)

Directed by Yang Woo-suk, The Attorney is inspired by the real-life story of a lawyer who defends a student activist during the military dictatorship era in Korea. This thought-provoking film became a commercial success and received critical praise for its performances and social commentary.

12. The Chaser (2008)

A suspenseful thriller directed by Na Hong-jin, The Chaser follows a former detective turned pimp as he hunts down a serial killer. This gripping film received critical acclaim for its intense storytelling and powerful performances. 티비 다시보기

13. The Admiral: Roaring Currents (2014)

Directed by Kim Han-min, The Admiral: Roaring Currents is a historical action film based on the Battle of Myeongnyang. With its epic battle sequences and charismatic lead performance, it became the highest-grossing Korean film of all time at the domestic box office.

14. My Sassy Girl (2001)

Directed by Kwak Jae-yong, My Sassy Girl is a romantic comedy that gained international popularity for its quirky characters and heartwarming story. It became a cultural phenomenon and inspired numerous remakes and adaptations.

15. Joint Security Area (2000)

Directed by Park Chan-wook, Joint Security Area is a mystery thriller set in the Korean Demilitarized Zone. It became a critical and commercial success, exploring themes of friendship and loyalty amidst political tensions.

16. The Yellow Sea (2010)

Directed by Na Hong-jin, The Yellow Sea is a gritty crime thriller that delves into the world of illegal immigration and organized crime. It received critical acclaim for its intense action sequences and atmospheric storytelling.

17. The Man from Nowhere (2010)

Directed by Lee Jeong-beom, The Man from Nowhere is an action thriller that follows a former special agent as he embarks on a mission to save a young girl. This high-octane film became a box office success and is known for its stylish action sequences.

18. The Thieves (2012)

Directed by Choi Dong-hoon, The Thieves is a heist film that brings together a group of skilled thieves for a grand theft in Macau. With its star-studded cast and thrilling plot, it became one of the highest-grossing Korean films at the time of its release.

19. Ode to My Father (2014)

Directed by Yoon Je-kyoon, Ode to My Father is a melodrama that spans several decades, depicting the life of a man who sacrifices everything for his family. This emotionally charged film struck a chord with audiences and became a box office hit.

20. The King and the Clown (2005)

Directed by Lee Joon-ik, The King and the Clown is a historical drama set in the Joseon Dynasty. It explores the relationship between a king and a group of clowns and became a cultural phenomenon, breaking box office records in Korea.


The success of Korean movies in the global film industry is a testament to the talent and creativity of Korean filmmakers. From thought-provoking dramas to thrilling action films, Korean cinema continues to captivate audiences worldwide. The top 20 successful Korean movies mentioned in this article have made a significant impact, both commercially and critically, and have contributed to the growing popularity of Korean cinema on the international stage.

Successful Korean Movies –

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