Metascore
64

Generally favorable reviews - based on 19 Critics What's this?

User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 55 Ratings

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  • Summary: A story of two brothers set against the backdrop of the Korean War.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. Belongs to that brand of sweeping, conflict-era drama epitomized by "Saving Private Ryan," "Gone with the Wind" and TV miniseries "North and South."
  2. Reviewed by: Gregory Kirschling
    75
    Always entertains, just like ''Pearl Harbor'' and the rest of the best of Hollywood's dumb war movies.
  3. Reviewed by: Andrea Gronvall
    70
    The cloying score aside, this is a searing depiction of war in all its savagery, waste, and folly, with artfully choreographed sequences that surpass the conventions of the genre.
  4. 63
    Shamelessly contrived and manipulative, Tae Guk Gi packs a visceral wallop.
  5. Reviewed by: Ethan Alter
    60
    It's easy to view the story of these brothers as a larger metaphor for the relationship between the two Koreas, which gives the film an added resonance that your typical Hollywood war movie wouldn't possess.
  6. Almost entirely devoted to combat violence and sentimental interludes.

See all 19 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 38
  2. Negative: 1 out of 38
  1. Oct 7, 2012
    10
    I'm of Korean background, so I might be biased, but I think it's not only Koreans who would say that this has to be possibly one of the best war films made to date. The realist antagonising of both the North and South is enough to satisfy any impartial historian, the battle scenes are on par with famous Western staples like Saving Private Ryan (if not even better), and the story of the brotherhood woven into the plot is heart-wrenching - I couldn't see a dry eye in the cinema when I watched this movie as a kid. Now, having reached a more mature age, I now shed tears every time I watch this. It does more than just focus on the gore and tactics and indiscriminate killing that so many modern war films focus on, and it portrays a link to the family stronger than what I think was in Private Ryan ("Your brothers are dead" isn't exactly the most touching way to put something like that). But it's not unrealistic about it either (a.k.a. not as unrealistic as all the dramas that the Koreans make nowadays), and it would make even the most warmongering person want to call it quits with North Korea and just look for any peaceful solution to bring this war and any other war to an end. Expand
  2. Apr 15, 2013
    9
    I hate movies that make me read, but this was a great movie! Made me like South Korean people even more. I watched this at a strange time with all the threats from North Korea. This movie makes you care about the characters, and hope they get back to their peaceful living. Expand

See all 38 User Reviews

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