Hollywood may be known for its action movies, but Korea is no slouch either when it comes to thrilling, action packed films.
Here are 12 Korean action movies that could rival a Hollywood production.
1. My Wife is a Gangster
Released in 2001, My Wife is a Gangster follows a female gang boss who needs to get married, as it’s her dying sister’s final wish. The movie also has 2 sequels, released in 2003 and 2006.
2. The Man from Nowhere
One of Korea’s most popular films, The Man from Nowhere follows a former black-ops soldier who does everything he can to rescue a kidnapped child, who is also the only person he can connect with.
3. The Outlaws
The Outlaws is based on a real event, the 2007 Heuksapa Incident, and tells the story about a growing turf war between two gangs and the police who try to intervene. It was the 4th most popular Korean film of 2017.
4. The Thieves
A heist film, The Thieves and its star-studded cast work together to steal the most valuable diamond they will ever see, but each of the thieves also have their own individual plans. The Thieves is the 6th highest grossing Korean film ever.
5. The Pirates
The Pirates follows a group of bandits who try to seek out the whale that swallows the Min Emperor’s Seal while it was in transit from China to Joseon. On the way, the bandits run into pirates, where the adventure begins.
The 4th highest grossing movie in Korean history, Veteran follows a detective who is investigating a case when it is revealed a chaebol heir is influencing the whole case behind the scenes. Armed with wealth, the detective struggles to catch the chaebol.
7. The Villainess
Receiving a 4 minute standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival, The Villainess follows a girl who is trained to be a killer ever since she was a child. After receiving a deal where she can begin a normal life after 10 more years of killing, she begins to realize, living normally is not easy.
8. Along with the Gods: The Two Worlds
Korea’s biggest blockbuster film of 2017, Along with the Gods is also currently the 3rd highest grossing film in history. Following the trials of a firefighter as he tries to pass through hell and into heaven, the sequel Along with the Gods: The Last 49 Days was released in August 2018. Two more movies have been confirmed to be part of the series.
9. A Special Lady
A Special Lady is a movie about a woman who becomes second in command of a gang and fights against society to protect her child. She just wants to retire from her gang life and live normally, but is unable to do so due to both her own gang and the prosecution.
10. Asura: The City of Madness
Asura is a crime action thriller that follows a corrupt detective that does dirty work for the city’s mayor. As he gets cornered by a determined prosecutor, things become unpredictable in a city where only evil comes out on top.
11. Fabricated City
In a world where crimes are completely made up to get high-profile officials and their families out of trouble, an unemployed gamer becomes the latest victim framed for murder, and works with his gaming crew to uncover the mastermind and clear his name.
12. Extreme Job
Mixing in comedy with action, Extreme Job tells the story of a rag-tag police investigation unit that seeks to bust a drug ring, and chooses a chicken restaurant to do so. What they discover next though, is that the drug source is somewhere unexpected.