J.S.A.: Joint Security Area Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 7 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 14 Ratings

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  • Summary: Joint Security Area is the "Apocalypse Now" of the Korean War -- a shimmering, hyper-real epic that charts the spiritual fallout of international politics. (Subway Cinema)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Suspenseful and psychologically rich.
  2. This warm, sorrowful film plays like a downbeat variation on an old World War II picture from Hollywood.
  3. 70
    The new English track is predictably clumsy, but the story and images overcome it.
  4. 60
    A blockbuster hit in Korea, Park's feature debut is a beguiling mix of the generic and the unfamiliar, and it ends on a shot that's nothing short of heartbreaking.
  5. 50
    Scenes of the probe are less successful. They feel contrived, and actress Lee Yeong-ae is not especially effective as Major Jang.
  6. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    Despite its merits, is neither an art movie nor an out-and-out, propulsive actioner like "Shiri."
  7. Reviewed by: Chuck Stephens
    Politically, psychologically, and aesthetically schizophrenic.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Jun 17, 2011
    Simply a masterpiece of a film. A tremendous story told by Park Chan-wook. I can just encourage everybody to watch this movie and enjoy the hell out of it. Expand
  2. Jan 20, 2014
    JSA is a story about an unlikely friendship between soldiers on opposite sides of the Korean border. The dialog is hokey and the plot is contrived, but JSA might appeal to an audience that romanticizes or is emotionally invested in the conflict between the DPRK and the ROK. Expand

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