Magnolia Pictures | Release Date: March 12, 2010
8.1
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Universal acclaim based on 56 Ratings
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Positive:
49
Mixed:
4
Negative:
3
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8
Nesbitt10Aug 8, 2013
"Mother" is an alluring piece of work, an artful mystery that melds clever plotting with resourceful camera work, with sympathetic characters that are fascinatingly morbid. South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho follows his monster extravaganza"Mother" is an alluring piece of work, an artful mystery that melds clever plotting with resourceful camera work, with sympathetic characters that are fascinatingly morbid. South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho follows his monster extravaganza "The Host" (2006), in firm control of his medium in a different genre, proving once again that conventions need not always confine.

After a night of drinking and waiting for his long time friend, Do-joon (Won Bin), finds himself in some serious trouble. The next morning, he is accused of murdering a young woman on his way home from the bar, and he has no recollection of whether or not he did. The case has enough evidence to be closed quickly, but his mother, played by Kim Hye-ja, refuses to believe that her son could do such a thing. So she pushes forward, not accepting what the police have pieced together, and starts her own investigation to find the real killer, and free her son.

The film is a labyrinthine and cleverly deceptive, and not in a way we might anticipate. Long after a conventional thriller would have its destination in plain sight, "Mother" is still penetrating our assumptions. There are twists are aplenty, and deductions achieved too easily are simply the result of contrived clues and convenient witness testimony. "Mother" delights in confounding viewer expectations. In fact, just when you think it's over, a couple more developments still remain.

The film progresses with remarkable clarity, while drawing surprise and suspense from unexpected places. It's director Joon-ho Bong's unique style of old and modern approaches to filmmaking his stylistic and subtle ability to weave this story, and employing a witty use of dark humor throughout is what makes this film so impressive. "Mother" slowly burns its way towards revelations and depths of a character's soul that most dramatic thrillers shy away from.

The most surprising aspect of "Mother" is how differently it begins, and from that, what it becomes. Unique and utterly compelling in its entirety, "Mother" concludes in a manner that solves all (or nearly all) outstanding riddles. "Mother" deftly weaves a story about mother's love into a mystery thriller that will keep you guessing every step of the way.
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9
Andys_ReviewsDec 17, 2012
I must say I found this a really great watch! Aside from the many cultural nuances, of which there are many, I found it a riveting tale with some very nice twists. Beautifully shot with a very nice musical score by Byung-woo Lee, I found itI must say I found this a really great watch! Aside from the many cultural nuances, of which there are many, I found it a riveting tale with some very nice twists. Beautifully shot with a very nice musical score by Byung-woo Lee, I found it easy to follow (despite the inconvenience of subtitles). All the performances were excellent but I must pull out Hye-ja Kim for her tremendous portrayal of this driven woman, a great piece of work! Over all, it Expand
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7
nutterjrSep 22, 2012
A wonderful thriller, unraveled masterfully by a director destined to leave a strong legacy in the Korean cinematic history, with exceptional performance by Hye-ja Kim playing the mother whose protective instincts drive her to extremes.
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9
HalfwelshmanOct 21, 2011
Korean auteur Bong Joon-ho returns with yet another masterful revisionist genre film. He's already tackled the murder-mystery (Memories of Murder) and the monster movie (The Host), now he turns his hand to the thriller. On the face of it,Korean auteur Bong Joon-ho returns with yet another masterful revisionist genre film. He's already tackled the murder-mystery (Memories of Murder) and the monster movie (The Host), now he turns his hand to the thriller. On the face of it, Mother doesn't appear to have much in common with run-of-the mill thrill-rides, but like it's title character, the film can be deceptive. What could be more thrilling than a Mother's desperate (and sometimes morally questionable) journey to prove her son's innocence? Mother is a taut, grounded psychological thriller with a liberal dose of Bong's trademark jet-black comedy. There are numerous heart-pounding moments, but also plenty of quieter, well-placed emotional beats to bring you crashing back down to reality. Bong continues to prove he is a master of character - and the mother (Kim Hye-ja) and mentally ill son Doo-joon (Won Bin) are among his finest creations to date. Kim is simply mesmerising throughout, and while some of the mother's actions are questionable (and others downright evil), you're always on her side - it's a great character. Another fine film a Korean master. Expand
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6
ZeedraakJun 6, 2011
It is a very strange movie. The way the mother is treated makes you wonder how the Koreans treat each other in normal life. It is also a creepy movie, not really a thriller or horror movie, but the movie oozes an atmosphere of gloom and doom.It is a very strange movie. The way the mother is treated makes you wonder how the Koreans treat each other in normal life. It is also a creepy movie, not really a thriller or horror movie, but the movie oozes an atmosphere of gloom and doom. And the ending is surprising. Recommended. Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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10
jessetaylor25Apr 9, 2011
South Korean cinema has always been my favourite. They've produced such gems as "Oldboy", "Samaritan Girl" and "A Tale of Two Sisters" and none of them ever cease to amaze me. Joon-ho Bong's "Mother" reminds me of the Coen Brothers' "Fargo"South Korean cinema has always been my favourite. They've produced such gems as "Oldboy", "Samaritan Girl" and "A Tale of Two Sisters" and none of them ever cease to amaze me. Joon-ho Bong's "Mother" reminds me of the Coen Brothers' "Fargo" (one of my all-time favourite films) in many ways. It juggles genres effortlessly and excels in every single one of them. At times, "Mother" is a hair-raising thriller, but at other times it has wonderfully witty comedic tones. At its heart, however, the film is an oddball murder mystery led by an incredibly beautiful performance from South Korean soap opera star Hye-ja Kim. Edited and shot with dynamic precision, "Mother" is not only too gorgeous for words, it's also easily one of the best films of 2010. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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3
toddzunigaJan 17, 2011
Too long. Too disinteresting. Too many tries to get all the way through it (five). The acting and cinematography are top notch, but the movie is ultimately one to avoid (nowhere near as good as the director's film The Host).
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1
DarthCriticNov 30, 2010
Awful, just plain awful. I could not even finish this movie. I tried to watch it for three nights in a row and only got through about half of it total. Don't bother.
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7
Film_Fanatic_15Nov 23, 2010
People can call this a thriller all they want, but they should title the movie "Courageous Mother". You find a mother's son, accused of murder, when in fact the police have very little evidence that proves he did it. The movie show's you thePeople can call this a thriller all they want, but they should title the movie "Courageous Mother". You find a mother's son, accused of murder, when in fact the police have very little evidence that proves he did it. The movie show's you the events that leads up to the murder of the poor little girl, but doesn't give you much to go off of. The mother desperately tries to tell the police that he is innocent, and soon she does find out the clues to the murder. It's brilliant: The cast and the plot. It doesn't amount to much in the end, but you would need to sit through the 2 hours in order to fully understand it isn't just another crime drama, because the movie is more of a drama than an actual Dan Brown thriller. Expand
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