Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 10 Ratings

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  • Summary: The man who crossed the yellow sea, chased to the end. Gu-nam is a cab driver in Yanji City who leads a pitiful life. His wife went to Korea to earn some money 6 months ago, but he hasn’t heard from her since. He plays mah-jong to make some extra cash, but his life only becomes more complicated and pathetic. One day he meets a hitman named Myun-ga and receives a proposal to turn his life around by repaying his debt, and reuniting with his wife. All for a price of one hit. Gu-nam crosses the yellow sea and arrives in Seoul. He prepares for his deed and looks out for his wife. However, just before he gets to make his move, his target is murdered right in front of him and he is framed for the killing. Although Gu-nam manages to flee the scene, the police are on his trail. Not only that, the person who ordered the hit is attempting to wipe out all evidence of the crime by eliminating Gu-nam as well as Myun-ga in Yanji City. Now Gu-nam is on the run for the murder he did not commit and chased by those responsible for this mess. (Showbox) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 6
  2. Negative: 0 out of 6
  1. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Dec 1, 2011
    90
    Na captures at once the fragility of the human body and the deep-rooted darkness of the human soul. The Yellow Sea is easily one of the films of the year for underserved action-heads.
  2. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Dec 1, 2011
    90
    A rush of a movie from South Korea that slips and slides from horror to humor on rivers of blood and offers the haunting image of a man, primitive incarnate, beating other men with an enormous, gnawed-over meat bone.
  3. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    Nov 29, 2011
    80
    More startling than an unexpected punch in the noggin, Na Hong-Jin's unusual thriller could have the highest knife count this side of Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmares. A violent thrill-ride to a dark new corner of Asian cinema.
  4. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Dec 3, 2011
    80
    Gushing more blood and possessing more stamina than any number of Hollywood hack-'em-ups, writer-director Na Hong-jin's pulse-pounding, mordantly funny genre piece is at times messily convoluted, yet serious and full-bodied enough to achieve a genuinely tragic dimension.
  5. Reviewed by: Michael Atkinson
    Nov 29, 2011
    70
    If anything, Na's film is too much of a good thing, exceeding credibility too often (the punching-bag hero is far too lucky - good and bad - and absorbs a hilarious amount of punishment) in its pursuit of despairing violence. But that's the Korean way, and Na nails down the bottom feeder realism while slouching toward video-game hyperbole.
  6. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Nov 29, 2011
    60
    Like fellow countryman Park Chan-wook's vengeful epics, this man-on-the-run thriller knows how to deliver a rush; unlike those superior tales of lives on the edge, that's the only trick up its sleeve.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Dec 2, 2013
    8
    Another impressive entry in the world of dark Korean crime thrillers. While perhaps not quite as good as Chaser, this film by no means represents a sophomore slump. I can recommend it wholeheartedly to anyone who has been a fan of films like Oldboy, I Saw the Devil, Chaser and A Bittersweet Life. For those unfamiliar with Korean crime cinema, you're in for a treat. Unfortunately I cannot think of a Hollywood film in years in the crime/thriller genre that even warrants a mention in the same sentence as the aforementioned so do yourself a favor and give this a watch. Expand

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