The Isle


Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12

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Critic Reviews

  1. 88
    Daring, mesmerizing and exceedingly hard to forget.
  2. A movie of extremes, and that goes for its aesthetics. As gory as the scenes of torture and self-mutilation may be, they are pitted against shimmering cinematography that lends the setting the ethereal beauty of an Asian landscape painting.
  3. Kim's movie rocks -- I saw it cold a year ago, and I don't think I've been as entranced and appalled by an Asian film since Shinya Tsukamoto's "Iron Man."
  4. 75
    This is the most gruesome and quease-inducing film you are likely to have seen. You may not even want to read the descriptions in this review. Yet it is also beautiful, angry and sad, with a curious sick poetry, as if the Marquis de Sade had gone in for pastel landscapes.
  5. 70
    At once predatory and vulnerable, Jung has a primitive intensity that speaks louder than words, carrying an enigmatic and often maddeningly elusive film that's short on dialogue, rational behavior, and narrative logic.
  6. Reviewed by: Rich Cline
    The increasingly creepy plot is counter balanced by a genuinely tender romance, which makes the film impossible to categorise, and will no doubt limit it to obscure arthouses and cinephiles who have very strong stomachs. They won't be disappointed.
  7. Reviewed by: Patrick Peters
    Sadly, though, all this arthouse exploitation fails to reveal as much about contemporary Korea as, say, "Texas Chainsaw" did about the States.
  8. 50
    The film nevertheless exerts a strange sort of power that makes for compelling viewing, even as its images force one to repeatedly look away.
  9. Eerie, opaque and unblinkingly sadomasochistic.
  10. 50
    Notorious on the festival circuit for its excruciating scenes of self-mutilation.
  11. 50
    "Spring, Summer" fans should only have their appreciation of that film expanded by seeing this rougher take on similar themes.
  12. South Korean melodrama uses a unique location, dominated by fishermen's floating huts, as the background for an overheated story that grows steadily more grotesque and unpleasant as it proceeds.

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