Oldboy

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49

Mixed or average reviews - based on 41 Critics What's this?

User Score
4.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 113 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , ,
  • Summary: An advertising executive is kidnapped and held hostage for 20 years in solitary confinement. When he is inexplicably released, he embarks on an obsessive mission to discover who orchestrated his punishment, only to find he is still trapped in a web of conspiracy and torment. [Film District]
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 41
  2. Negative: 11 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Nov 26, 2013
    91
    In the end, the most impressive performance may be Spike Lee's. He uses skill without gimmickry, flash without fuss, to tap the mesmerizing soul of this pulp.
  2. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Nov 26, 2013
    75
    Oldboy is an immersion into pure twistedness. The purity of its twistedness is its saving grace.
  3. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Nov 27, 2013
    63
    Lee’s Oldboy stands on its own. It just stands a bit shorter.
  4. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Nov 26, 2013
    58
    Spike Lee's remake of 2003's Oldboy is as brutally perplexing as the South Korean original, and needless for both its repetition and tweaks. Nothing is really lost in translation, or gained.
  5. Reviewed by: Charlie Schmidlin
    Nov 26, 2013
    42
    While Lee edges in enough unique elements to argue a second look at the brutal revenge tale, his lean, blackly comic result is transcendent only in fits and starts, stripping away much of its thematic and emotional heft into one of the most frustratingly accomplished disappointments this year.
  6. Reviewed by: David Ehrlich
    Nov 26, 2013
    39
    A slumming Spike Lee is still better than most directors at the top of their game, but Oldboy isn’t just Lee’s worst movie, it’s practically his “Wicker Man”.
  7. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Nov 27, 2013
    0
    The longer it drags on, the sillier it gets. A preposterous narrative, illogical red herrings, trick endings, bad acting and—shazam! — Spike Lee turns into M. Night Shyamalan!

See all 41 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 34
  2. Negative: 11 out of 34
  1. Nov 29, 2013
    9
    Everyone in the review section is a idiot. They're just hating on it because it's a remake.

    This movie was great. I'll just leave it at
    Everyone in the review section is a idiot. They're just hating on it because it's a remake.

    This movie was great. I'll just leave it at that.

    And IMO this stacks well with the orginal, I'll even say it does just about everything better.
    Again don't listen to these but hurt idiots, they just can't take off their nostalgia goggles.
    Expand
  2. May 25, 2014
    8
    I haven't seen the Japanese original, so my review is unbiased.

    I found the movie intriguing from beginning to end, you never quite know
    I haven't seen the Japanese original, so my review is unbiased.

    I found the movie intriguing from beginning to end, you never quite know which direction it's going. I enjoyed it visually, it's a visually stunning movie, the violence was brutal.

    Josh Brolin gave the best performance of his career.

    The surprise ending is what you will want to watch it for, regardless of anything else, it's a brilliant plot cleverly disguised and fun ride while it lasts.

    Watching it a second time, you might notice it's short comings but don't blame the director (like so many reviewers have) from what I've read Spike Jonze & Josh Brolin were ultimately disappointed with what was released, apparently the production company virtually cut the film in half, I only hope there's a directors cut some day
    Expand
  3. Feb 14, 2014
    7
    Was reluctant to watch, ready to hate, but gotta say Spike Lee won me over. Too easy to be precious about something considered original whenWas reluctant to watch, ready to hate, but gotta say Spike Lee won me over. Too easy to be precious about something considered original when everything is just a remake anyway. Expand
  4. Nov 27, 2013
    5
    Ultimately, Oldboy isn’t an entirely worthless film; it is an unnecessary one. Brolin, Jackson, and Olsen’s portrayals are compelling and moreUltimately, 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
  5. chw
    Sep 24, 2014
    4
    If anything was possible, I'd be first in line to get my 104 minutes back. This movie was crap, based on a great Korean film. Spike Lee had toIf anything was possible, I'd be first in line to get my 104 minutes back. This movie was crap, based on a great Korean film. Spike Lee had to have dragged Samuel L. Jackson (literally, because Samuel L. Jackson), Josh Brolin, Sharlto Copley, and Elizabeth Olsen. Expand
  6. Mar 9, 2014
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I would like to lock Spike Lee in my bathroom for 2 hours, then let him out. Then he would know what it feels like to lose 2 hours of your life that you will never get back. Adrian locked Joe away for 20 years banking solely on the hope that he would have sex with Marie? Really? I know he was led right to her...but what if he kept running? What if Marie never stopped him to offer help? What if they werent attracted to each other? There is seriously a place that is in business to lock people away indefinitely and make them think they are in a hotel? The fight scenes were ridiculous. Apparently, watching infomercials for 20 years makes you a complete badass. He wiped out 2 separate mobs of guys (not sure where they came from) with ease. He took out the last group of guys with a knife buried in his back. Yet, when he went to rescue Marie at the house, he was easily overpowered by 2 guys. I liked the twist at the end with the daughter, but that wasnt enough to make up for the other 95% Expand
  7. Mar 4, 2014
    0
    I saw the original first just to make a comparison and this was a really clumsy remake. All the subtleties of the original were bulldozed withI saw the original first just to make a comparison and this was a really clumsy remake. All the subtleties of the original were bulldozed with obvious plot points that the original only gave away at the end. As twisted as the story is, I actually cared about the characters in the original. Spike really should have spent a little more time developing the main characters and maybe this would have worked. Really disappointed Expand

See all 34 User Reviews

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