FilmDistrict | Release Date: November 27, 2013
4.6
USER SCORE
Mixed or average reviews based on 141 Ratings
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Positive:
42
Mixed:
47
Negative:
52
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5
TVJerryDec 12, 2013
Josh Brolin plays an arrogant, drunken ad exec who gets locked in a room for twenty years…yes, years. When he's finally released, he must identify his captor before he can seek revenge and be reunited with his daughter. After his one-roomJosh Brolin plays an arrogant, drunken ad exec who gets locked in a room for twenty years…yes, years. When he's finally released, he must identify his captor before he can seek revenge and be reunited with his daughter. After his one-room ordeal, you expect extreme retribution and there is some: a few brief, well-staged and violent encounters. When he turns to the mystery of his captor, things become more and more convoluted: the villain's omnipresence, those unlikely coincidences and ultimately, the surprise ending. Director Spike Lee has crafted some of this film to be involving and robust, but ultimately it loses momentum and proves a disappointment. Expand
1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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6
drderuApr 4, 2014
OLDBOY REMAKE FLOPPED BECAUSE IT’S A REMAKE THAT SHOULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED IN THE FIRST PLACE

Weren’t we all a bit skeptical after learning that the infamous Spike Lee is directing the international cult classic Oldboy? And am I glad I
OLDBOY REMAKE FLOPPED BECAUSE IT’S A REMAKE THAT SHOULDN’T HAVE HAPPENED IN THE FIRST PLACE

Weren’t we all a bit skeptical after learning that the infamous Spike Lee is directing the international cult classic Oldboy? And am I glad I didn’t get the chance to witness the embarassing Hollywood remake of it in the theaters. Everything about this Hollywood remake is borderline reductive. From the miscast leadstar Josh Brolin who struggled to portray any type of emotion and is almost too geriatric to play the exuberance that the character demands, to the many remarkable and almost blasphemous omitted scenes from the original. Not even the ever likable Elizabeth Olsen is able to redeem this remake that is comparatively pedestrian to the Korean classic. Hollywood seems to be running out of good material for an action movie that they have succumbed to bring ruins to foreign action films (a remake for The Raid is next). But to give credit to where it’s due, the Oldboy remake is a far cry from the creativity-deprived, badly written action films that Hollywood’s been producing lately. Thus we can say that the Asian film industry is really capable in making kick ass films that not even the big wigs state side are able to
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1 of 1 users found this helpful10
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5
ThegodfathersonNov 27, 2013
Ultimately, Oldboy isn’t an entirely worthless film; it is an unnecessary one. Brolin, Jackson, and Olsen’s portrayals are compelling and more than worthy. Unfortunately, Copley, who is often a standout, feels like he’s delivering performanceUltimately, Oldboy isn’t an entirely worthless film; it is an unnecessary one. Brolin, Jackson, and Olsen’s portrayals are compelling and more than worthy. Unfortunately, Copley, who is often a standout, feels like he’s delivering performance art here, rather than a performance. There are some haunting visual motifs and the plot twists are as depraved as one would imagine and may desire. Overall, the changes that are made detract from, rather than enhance the story. The end is where the film truly falls apart, though. The small and large shifts rob the tale of its nuance. Park Chan-wook’s complex meditation on violence, responsibility, revenge, and poetic justice is bastardized and morphed into a cartoonish and contrived version. There is very little in this new Oldboy that the original didn’t do better. You’re best off to save your money at the theater and rewatch or discover Chan-wook’s far more intricately woven and harrowing saga. Expand
10 of 11 users found this helpful101
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4
Nesbitt10Nov 28, 2013
Simply put, some movies should never be remade. "Oldboy" serves as a stark reminder with only a few exceptions: Americanized remakes of beloved and admired foreign films inevitably result in disappointment. For viewers unfamiliar with theSimply put, some movies should never be remade. "Oldboy" serves as a stark reminder with only a few exceptions: Americanized remakes of beloved and admired foreign films inevitably result in disappointment. For viewers unfamiliar with the history behind Spike Lee's "Oldboy," the 2013 film is a remake of the cult-classic 2003 South Korean film of the same name, directed by Chan-wook Park. The Korean masterpiece possess a highly stylized, gritty sensibility while providing an emotional depth to its characters. Iconic director Spike Lee's "Oldboy" is as a handsomely shot piece of genre entertainment, but it fails in its attempt to define itself, resulting into a completely pointless, watered-down underwhelming thriller.

An alcoholic whose life is falling apart, Joe (Josh Brolin) is far from the ideal father who is willfully neglecting his three-year-old daughter, Mia. Drugged and kidnapped one night, Joe awakens in a small room with a television, only to learn that he's been framed for the murder of his ex-wife, and will spend the next 20 years trapped in this cell where he is held as a prisoner. During the duration of his imprisonment, he trains his mind and body for escape attempts while pouring his heart out to Mia in letters. After two decades of torment, Joe is suddenly set free, seeking out an old friend Chucky (Michael Imperioli), and meeting Marie (Elizabeth Olsen), an advocate for the homeless who helps him in his cause. Hunting for the individual who locked him away, Joe spares no one as he works his way to Adrian (Sharlto Copley), a deranged man masterminding the mystery Joe and Marie are now determined to solve.

Director Spike Lee, working from a screenplay by Mark Protosevich "I Am Legend" (2007), chooses to simply rehash the plot for his American remake, and quickly rushes through the unusual and unique storyline unable to establish an emotional connection with the audience which the original film develops so well. Lee's picture clocks in at a lean 104 minutes, 16 minutes shorter than Park's "Oldboy." As a result, the storytelling is rather straightforward, and it forces Lee to rush through crucial sequences which are not given the adequate time to develop. Subtly goes by the waste side, and almost abandoned completely early into the third act in favor of expeditious explanations.

The remake remains largely faithful to the story of the 2003 effort, but seriously lacks in intensity and a sense of meaning. The original film achieves a sublime blending of ultra-violence with extreme art, while the remake feels bogged down in its copycat status, and its overall lighter tone hampers its enigmatic, disconcerting story of revenge. My advice is to avoid this altogether, pull up the original on Netflix, and deal with the subtitles America.
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8 of 10 users found this helpful82
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5
UncleEarlDec 1, 2013
I came into the movie with open arms and i tried to embrace it but it just fell flat. Yes, I am comparing it to the original. Is that unfair? No, every remake has the opportunity to learn from its predecessor and fix mistakes but Lee's OldboyI came into the movie with open arms and i tried to embrace it but it just fell flat. Yes, I am comparing it to the original. Is that unfair? No, every remake has the opportunity to learn from its predecessor and fix mistakes but Lee's Oldboy doesn't do that. There are a few enjoyable sequences in the beginning but after Brolin goes to meet with the antagonist, the movie is almost worthless to continue watching. It doesn't match the pacing, suspense, or acting from '03. It's so poorly directed that I laughed at inappropriate moments. And there's this soap opera behind-the-shoulder zoom-out around the finale that feels like a megaton bomb of garbage thrown in for good measure; to assure that no one would walk away satisfied from the theater. There's no contest between this and the original. In it's own right, I give the movie a 5. 5 for the first half of the movie and 0 for the other half. On a side note, Josh Brolin was not the right choice for this project. He can't match the dynamic emotional acting that we saw Choi give in 2003. That was so critical to the sympathy the main character is supposed to draw. Expand
4 of 5 users found this helpful41
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6
Christian0205Apr 6, 2014
It was more curious that other thing what made me watch it. It was interesting given the necessary changes that had to be made for occidental audience, that is accepted in oriental movies. Good remake, but it won´t be never as good as the original.
2 of 3 users found this helpful21
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4
DuckNationMay 25, 2014
was hoping this was going to be a good remake but i was completely wrong everything about this movie is pure crap. Spike Lee has made some decent film in his time so i was hoping that he wouldnt mess this film up. I already knew it wasntwas hoping this was going to be a good remake but i was completely wrong everything about this movie is pure crap. Spike Lee has made some decent film in his time so i was hoping that he wouldnt mess this film up. I already knew it wasnt going to be anything like the original as in most cases with remakes but this is a slap to the face to the original. The cast is one of the things that really made me want to watch it with Josh Brolin, Samuel L. Jackson, Sharlto Copley, Elizabeth Olsen but in this i find Brolin's character a joke and dont care for as with the original i feel sympathy for the rest are just "meh" so you dont even care for them as well. I guess the fact that i was expecting more from this movie makes me dislike it even more. In the end this is just another average remake with nothing to see and i would recommend watching the original and never watching this movie unless want a good laugh.

Overall i give it a 4.0
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1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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6
JC86Dec 5, 2013
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I really enjoyed this film. I thought the cast was great (although I have a few questions) and that it had it's own feel despite being a remake. I will say though this is Sharlto Copley's worst performance. I don't know how much that is Spike Lee's fault, but he just wasn't a very believable villain I mean c'mon Spike did you see Elysium!? Josh Brolin was awesome and Liz Olsen not only looked great but played a very important role. I think the trailer and some other things ruined the whole twist/point of the film but for the new fans in the audience it was well received. However, it does get a little campy and Sam Jackson's character looks a little ridiculous. I will say it's not for everyone and there has been a ton of great films this year but Oldboy holds up somewhere in the middle of the pack. Expand
1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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6
LeZeeAug 12, 2014
One of my all time favorite world cinema is the Korean version of this movie. Remakes are okay, but some movies won't suit for recreation because of its masterpiece value, believing that won't come close for the second time. Just like MonaOne of my all time favorite world cinema is the Korean version of this movie. Remakes are okay, but some movies won't suit for recreation because of its masterpiece value, believing that won't come close for the second time. Just like Mona Lisa, Starry Night, Birth of Venus, The Last Supper and other arts, it should have left alone untouched. Like Japanese did, because it was their story after all. This American version was good, but very much commercialized with the fast pace approach kind of ruined. If I had not seen the original, probably I would have liked it. I knew the twist so I did not get the excitements in those parts. So those who are not familiar with the 2003 movie can definitely have a good time.

It was not a copycat from frame to frame, many things were altered in this movie. The most laughable was to see gangsters fighting with knives, hammers and bare-hand like the Korean style. What I know in American gangster theme is that they take a gun and bang bang. The first poster where Josh Brolin comes out of the large wooden box was kind of funny, gives the impression of a comedy movie. I liked Josh Brolin in 'Labor Day' and yet again he was not bad in this film except if you compare him with his counterpart from the Korean movie, Choi Min Shik. It is one of the best role he has ever played, sadly the movie was not recieved well due to many other reasons than him.
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0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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5
FireOccatorJun 25, 2016
Disclaimer: I haven't seen the original.

The story delivers an unlikable character who ends up without a character and it all ends with an unexpected plot twist. The action scenes are obscured and people simply stand around pretending to
Disclaimer: I haven't seen the original.

The story delivers an unlikable character who ends up without a character and it all ends with an unexpected plot twist. The action scenes are obscured and people simply stand around pretending to fight. The soundtrack is unnoticeable. The movie doesn't deliver anything interesting.
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0 of 0 users found this helpful00
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