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Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance Image
Metascore
56

Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 31 Ratings

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  • Summary: The first film in the "revenge trilogy" by Korean director Chan-wook Park centers around illegal trafficking in human organs.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 21
  2. Negative: 4 out of 21
  1. You can't look away, not only because the carnage is so masterfully photographed, but because the director sucks you into his bleak, poetic, even sensible vision of cosmic brutality. Not for the faint-hearted!
  2. 80
    The only constant in Park's brilliantly cruel world is this: No matter how badly things seem to be going, there's a twist of fate lurking around the next curve that will make them worse.
  3. 75
    Savage yet spellbinding.
  4. Reviewed by: James Crawford
    70
    A revenge tragedy as brutal and Byzantine as "Titus Andronicus," Park Chanwook's Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance accomplishes a miraculous feat by being harrowing and humane in equal measure.
  5. When it comes to serving up diabolical horror with bold, sophisticated glee, Park, best known for "Oldboy," is right up there with Dario Argento, Guillermo del Toro and Takashi Miike.
  6. Reviewed by: Daniel Wible
    50
    Certainly a stylish affair, but also an extremely bleak and unpleasant one.
  7. Reviewed by: Brendan Bernhard
    10
    Slowly degenerates into a gory revenge thriller that is never thrilling, but is often boring and frequently repulsive.

See all 21 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 0 out of 10
  1. DerekW.
    Mar 16, 2009
    10
    This film is brilliant. It shows that no one is really evil or good. People upset that the film does not give them a "good guy" to go for, This film is brilliant. It shows that no one is really evil or good. People upset that the film does not give them a "good guy" to go for, are extremely close minded. The world is gray and the characters are doing what they fill they must. The film is shot as well as oldboy but the story holds together much better. With this film there are no gaping plot holes. Expand
  2. kylea.
    Nov 6, 2005
    10
    One of the most disturbing films of all time. Beautiful, horrible, wonderful, terrifying. Underappreciated and destined to be a classic.
  3. Peet
    Dec 3, 2005
    10
    Merciless, depressing, brutally-complex, though very different to Oldboy - and actually exactly as brilliant.
  4. ChadS.
    Oct 20, 2005
    8
    There's a scene in "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" that uses the long take in a most brilliant manner. It starts off so innocuously, and There's a scene in "Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance" that uses the long take in a most brilliant manner. It starts off so innocuously, and then the little girl hands her captor a letter... Another brilliant scene shows a crime in the background which had the uncanny effect of making me whisper directions to the character. Director Chan-wook Park is obviously talented and doesn't need to turn little girls into cadavers. That scene in the autopsy room plays like an ode to Janet Leigh's violent exit from "Psycho", but here, instead of edits to convey the notion of gory violence, Park makes effective use of sound and reaction shots from the father. It's almost bloodless, but incredibly disgusting. This is a brutal, brutal film, redeemed by great screen compositions and gravitas. Don't bring grandma. Expand
  5. giulia
    Aug 8, 2007
    8
    I finally watched all three movies. this one was probably the hardest one to watch, very cruel, but it felt honest. i liked it better than I finally watched all three movies. this one was probably the hardest one to watch, very cruel, but it felt honest. i liked it better than oldboy, i never was into that hypnose thing. Expand
  6. matta.
    Dec 15, 2005
    7
    Good story and acting, but even though the director is talented (and he proves that with his next film Oldboy) this film leaves alot to be Good story and acting, but even though the director is talented (and he proves that with his next film Oldboy) this film leaves alot to be desired in that department. You can tell that this came before Oldboy just because the overall style is so much improved with the latter film. Still, pretty amazing to look at, but not for the faint of heart. Contrary to what some critics said, the violence in this movie is much more brutal than the violence in Oldboy. Not fun, especially the shot of the achilles. Expand
  7. Aug 20, 2012
    6
    An somehow to subtle piece of horrifying vengeance. It shows the devastating Side of Vengeance ending in the Death of a lot of people. ButAn somehow to subtle piece of horrifying vengeance. It shows the devastating Side of Vengeance ending in the Death of a lot of people. But overall a not very satisfying experience. Expand

See all 10 User Reviews