• Studio: Tartan
  • Release Date: Apr 28, 2006

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 23
  2. Negative: 0 out of 23
  1. 100
    It concludes Park's trilogy on a dual note of circular tragedy and fragile hope, while working equally well as an introduction to his universe of retribution and repentance or as a stand-alone thriller with a darkly feminist twist.
  2. Reviewed by: G. Allen Johnson
    Unlike the previous two installments, Lady Vengeance generates on odd feeling: hope.
  3. "Old Boy's" vivid star Choi Min-sik plays a terrible schoolteacher -- yet another damned soul in Park's inflammatory, inimitable movie inventory of hell on earth.
  4. 89
    Park is one sick puppy, and I mean that in the very best sense of the phrase.
  5. Less bloody than its predecessors, Lady Vengeance wraps up with a killer (literally) finale that calls into question the killer instinct. It's one of the reasons Park's brutal films are so emotionally rewarding.
  6. Lady Vengeance is not for everyone. The violence, while less over-the-top and orgiastic than Park's two previous installments, is still hard and crackling. The sex is grim and graphic. And deadpan nihilism permeates the air.
  7. 83
    Park is a visual virtuoso, with imaginative transitions and clever use of special effects wrapped around a sly, effective performance from Lee at the center of it all.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 41 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. ChrisJ.
    Oct 11, 2006
    An extremely confusing and disjointed film. Twenty minutes into it I was looking at the time. Park should have steered clear of doing a flashback style movie. He flounders. Full Review »
  2. AaronM.
    Aug 16, 2006
    Incredibly powerful and intensley emotional storytelling. Pefect in a very dark, disturbing way that all drama should strive to be.
  3. Jul 13, 2013
    "Lady Vengeance" is an unsettling mix of stylish visuals, surreal fantasy, and shocking violence. Chan-wook Park's "Lady Vengeance" is the third and final installment of his "Vengeance Trilogy," which are linked by theme only--not literal sequels. Park positively revels in the artistic possibilities of good old-fashioned badness. Beyond the unsettling storyline, violence, and bloodshed-- there lies a splendor of exceptional film making by Park, and a marvelous performance by Yeong-ae Lee to appreciate. Anyone who has enjoyed the filmmaker's previous works will appreciate what this film has to offer.

    After thirteen and half years in prison for kidnapping and murdering a young boy, Geum-ja Lee (Lee) is released from prison and tries to fix her life. She finds a job in a bakery; orders the manufacturing of a special weapon; reunites with her daughter, who was adopted by an Australian family; and plots her revenge against the real killer of the young boy, a English teacher named Mr. Baek (Choi Min-sik.) Geum-ja Lee enlists the aid of her prior inmates and friends, who had come to recognize her for her kindness and caring while incarcerated, and are all too willing to assist in her revenge. Geum-ja is after gruesome justice of a distinctly personal nature. It's her overwhelming grief and anger, and her unwavering conviction in an act she knows will taint her beyond redemption, which in turn gives her obsessive odyssey its intensity.

    Reflecting on the "Vengeance trilogy," it becomes apparent that each film focuses on a different aspect of revenge. In "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance," (2002) Park highlights the irony of vengeance, and how the violent and impulsive acts of the main characters all stem from love. "Oldboy" (2003) focuses on the madness inherent in the quest for vengeance. Finally, "Lady Vengeance" is about salvation and the morality behind the need for vengeance. As the final film of the theme based trilogy--"Lady Vengeance" comes across as a combination of its predecessors, with slick cinematography, gorgeous production design, and a wonderful musical score.

    The self-imposed sentence served is utterly brutal and gruesome, and yet unconventionally satisfying. Revenge is a dish best served cold, but only enjoyed when shared by a group of like-minded diners, accompanied by a classical Vivaldi score for a final banquet of closure.
    Full Review »