• Studio: Tartan
  • Release Date: Mar 25, 2005

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 31
  2. Negative: 1 out of 31
  1. It's a movie of such jaw-dropping violence, wild improbability and dazzling style it overpowers all resistance.
  2. 100
    Oldboy is a powerful film not because of what it depicts, but because of the depths of the human heart which it strips bare.
  3. 100
    Park's direction is flawless and Jung Jung-hoon's cinematography is stunning.
  4. Startling and amazing -- a cinematic hammer to the skull.
  5. Whatever its oversteps and excesses (I do think Park ran a little amok with the computer gimcrackery), Oldboy has the bulldozing nerve and full-blooded passion of a classic.
  6. 90
    Anguished, beautiful and desperately alive, Oldboy is a dazzling work of pop-culture artistry.
  7. It's a work of art for sure, but a sadistic one. Oldboy is one of the year's best; it just isn't for everyone. If you're still interested, go for it.
  8. 88
    As always with Park Chanwook, you just hold on and let him rip.
  9. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    Once the picture gets into Hollywood's bloodstream, it could well prove to be as influential as John Woo's 1989 crime thriller, "The Killer."
  10. This hunt for revenge is really a quest for self-discovery. The story, acting and brilliant directing elevate Oldboy into a human struggle to know yourself and your place in the universe, and to live with that sometimes terrible knowledge.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 341 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 94 out of 103
  2. Negative: 7 out of 103
  1. Sep 23, 2011
    Masterpiece. Critics who gave this movie negative reviews probably didn't understand it or it's simply not their taste. The violence may alsoMasterpiece. Critics who gave this movie negative reviews probably didn't understand it or it's simply not their taste. The violence may also be a bit too raw for some. But if you're a true movie fan, within 1 hour into this movie you'll realize that you're watching a true work of cinema art. From the intriguing storyline, raw character portrayal and excellent direction to the explosive twist ending, filled with underlying messages and morals, this is one movie you will never forget. You might even learn a thing or two about revenge. Full Review »
  2. Sep 10, 2011
    "Oldboy", a Korean revenge thriller, differs from those western revenge films such as "Kill Bill", "Machete", or "Inglourious Basterds". It"Oldboy", a Korean revenge thriller, differs from those western revenge films such as "Kill Bill", "Machete", or "Inglourious Basterds". It doesn't use sword and blood to define revenge, but thought provoking words and tension between the main characters. It's a 'revenge' movie that builds itself unlike other revenge movies. Full Review »
  3. Oct 5, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. A highly overrated movie , it seems that people are taken by "visual candies" and cinematography that they loose focus on the plot and story.
    The movie opens high and intense and grabs you from the beginning , and you'd want to know why Dae-so was imprisoned , but when he gets out and as soon as he meets Mido the first thing that comes to your mind is that she's his daughter, although they try to push that idea away later after that , still that's the first logical explanation you got , so that ruins the big surprise in the end.

    Also the fight scenes were very strange... why all those (thugs , gangs , security personnel....whatever they are) why they didn't have guns and just shoot him ?!! why are they carrying baseball bats ? and why are they breaking them on walls?!!
    and if his prison room had security camera why they let Dae-so continue digging through the walls all that time? and why didn't he block the sleeping-gas tubes?

    And in the final scenes, Really all that was because of a "Rumor"?? 15 years in prison and make him **** his own daughter for a "Rumor"!!! and it wasn't a "Rumor" !! he said what he saw, what actually happened ...!

    Woo-Jin should've just kicked Dae-so's ass in school and that's it , end of conflict.
    I don't know how things happen in Korea but when the young school girl was pregnant or appeared pregnant no investigation was done by the parents or by school or anyone !!

    Dae-so gave good emotional acting moments towards the end , but cutting the tongue was just too much , he could've just killed Woo-Jin and got back to his daughter...

    And the Final scene made everything worse, after all what he knew , that Mido is his daughter and that he was hypnotized to love her for the revenge , even-then Dae-so still went back to hookup with Mido..!!

    The Story is everything in a Movie no matter what genre it is even if it's a psycho / horror or even sci-fi , the story should always make sense.
    Full Review »