Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 6 Critics

Critic 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: 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.
  4. 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.
  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.
User Score
7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 11 Ratings

User 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. Full Review »