• Studio:
  • Release Date:

Generally favorable reviews - based on 23 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 39 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • Summary: Lady Vengeance is the third film from Park Chanwook's revenge trilogy following "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" and "Oldboy". Lee Geum-Ja, at the age of 19, goes to prison for the murder and abduction of a child on behalf of her accomplice Mr. Baek, only to find out that she is betrayed. While in prison, she carefully prepares for her revenge by winning the hearts of her fellow inmates with her kindness, thus earning herself the nickname 'kind Ms. Geum-Ja.' Upon her release from prison after thirteen years, she finally sets out to seek revenge on Baek, with the help of her former prison mates. (Tartan USA) Expand
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. "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.
  3. 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.
  4. Lady Vengeance is more than half over before we discover the object of Geum-Ja's hatred: a kindergarten teacher named Mr. Baek. He's played by Choi Min-sik, the prisoner in "Old Boy," and here he's as tepid as he was heated in that film.
  5. A comedy of evil and strange redemption, Lady Vengeance makes sure that we feel the pain, that we know what it's like to unreasonably suffer, because those are the rules of its mad, wounding, vengeful world.
  6. 75
    Lady Vengeance contains violence (some extreme), but it is not an action film. It is deliberately paced, allowing the audience to have time to reflect upon what's happening. And the comedy is of the gallows variety.
  7. Reviewed by: Nathan Lee
    A convoluted hodge-podge of time frames, subplots and bit player back stories.

See all 23 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. 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.
  2. Jun 19, 2013
    The film is very interesting especially in the way that it handles the flashback sequences. The major problem with this film is the fact that the ending doesn't really seem to fit with the rest of the film. Also the ending makes it seem like less of a revenge film and makes all the prison flashbacks seemingly less important. Expand

See all 11 User Reviews