Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 18
  2. Negative: 0 out of 18
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    90
    A 10-course treat for the eyes and ears.
  2. Genteelly erotic, surprisingly emotional, exquisitely made from start to finish.
  3. 88
    A Frenchman may have thought of the story first, but this Korean film pays tribute to the original while perfectly standing on its own.
  4. What it lacks in melodramatic punch it makes up for in unexpected shadings in the characters, predator and victim alike.
  5. Reviewed by: Ed Park
    80
    E J-Yong's transposition illuminates, with satisfying crispness, the hyper-Confucian high society of the time, as well as the underground Catholic movement.
  6. 80
    Director Lee Je-Yong gives the book a makeover full of wit and startling beauty as a tragicomedy of Korean manners at the dawn of the Chosun dynasty in the late 18th century, a period known for its gravitas.
  7. 75
    The oft-told story of lust and deception isn't the reason to see Untold Scandal -- Rather, it's the look -- stunning costumes and art direction, lush landscapes, and beautifully framed and lighted sequences -- that make this worth seeking out.
  8. Reviewed by: Robert Dominguez
    75
    Through a subplot dealing with Catholic missionaries, an underlying theme of Western encroachment on ancient Korean culture permeates this lushly filmed tale.
  9. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    75
    Of all the "Liaisons" adaptations, this may be the most sentimental.
  10. Pictorially sumptuous and sexually provocative.
  11. Reviewed by: G. Allen Johnson
    75
    Imaginative and properly wicked.
  12. 70
    Given that Untold Scandal is, like its predecessor, an epic story of spreading displeasure, the director's ability to keep it from feeling petty is a major feat.
  13. 70
    The result is a beguiling mix of the familiar and the exotic, vivid proof that a good story can withstand endless variations without losing its fundamental vitality.
  14. 70
    Sumptuously photographed in bright primary colors, with equally immaculate period clothing and design, Untold Scandal lacks some of the emotional and thematic depth of previous adaptations, but it has the refreshing candor and explicitness that marks the current wave of Korean cinema.
  15. 70
    This film doesn't really clear the bar, but it's handsomely mounted and proves that heartless manipulation of the weak and gullible never goes out of style.
  16. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    60
    Very 'talky', but the three lead females are excellent, as are the costumes and sets.
  17. Reviewed by: Richard James Havis
    50
    Pallid acting and a general lack of spirit ultimately result in a bland costume drama.
  18. Les Liaisons Dangereuses is such an elaborate and satisfying structure of deceit and salaciousness that every attempt I have seen to adapt it on film -- "Dangerous Liaisons," "Cruel Intentions," even the trashy 1959 Roger Vadim version -- has resulted in an entertainment of agreeable nasty elegance. Until now.

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