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
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 13 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 meansAnother 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 »