Palm Pictures | Release Date: June 24, 2005
8.4
USER SCORE
Universal acclaim based on 190 Ratings
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Positive:
172
Mixed:
11
Negative:
7
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10
Xan_RyilDec 20, 2015
A total knockout film. A piece of art which has everything one goes to cinema for. From funny to hilarious and then dramatic, emotional, sad and finally shocked. It's a movie without any ending and the one that attaches a hook to you brainA total knockout film. A piece of art which has everything one goes to cinema for. From funny to hilarious and then dramatic, emotional, sad and finally shocked. It's a movie without any ending and the one that attaches a hook to you brain and won't let it go. From the publicity posters to the editing, writing and acting this movie is a thoughtful work.
At times it would seem like reading an old novel and at times it would seem like watching a nemesis film. There are many flavors which work because of the terrific acting jobs everyone has done. Every character is a perfect fit. Both of the lead cops are opposite to each other and then the shift in their personality to take each other's place. The suspense is very strongly kept through out the movie and there is a ground breaking background score to lift it to new heights. The chase seen from the woods into the village and then the factory site is very thrilling. Another scene involving the train accident is also placed right.
There would not be any department or field this movie could be less then great at.
Kang-ho Song, is the best thing in the movie. His portrayal of an aggressive cop is top notch. He brings all the humor and then the intensity in the movie. Sang-kyung Kim, also gave wonderful performance. A cop with less known background which is civilized and honest to his job and then loses his control over the event.
A movie which will be on your favorite lift forever.
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1 of 2 users found this helpful11
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5
hoops2448Feb 5, 2012
If there was a film I was utterly disappointed in that I thought would be wonderful it would be Zodiac which took the intriguingly dark story of the Zodiac killings and brought a whole lot of suspense and mystery and built it up to aIf there was a film I was utterly disappointed in that I thought would be wonderful it would be Zodiac which took the intriguingly dark story of the Zodiac killings and brought a whole lot of suspense and mystery and built it up to a crescendo only to leave the viewer wondering what the point was with an ending so utterly muddled it spoilt the entire film. My opinion of Memories of Murder follows the same logic but I look back on it more favourably than Zodiac thanks to some artistic flair by director Bong Joon-ho and some entertaining dark comedy. The story is about a two inept police officers who are trying to catch a serial killer who is raping and murdering girls in the district. They are joined by an intelligent (in comparison to the other two he is Einstein) detective from Seoul brought in to apprehend the killer. The story is based on real events but it does bring an interesting theatricality to the events with the comedy lightening the dire situation. However it doesnâ Expand
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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9
TimC.Aug 28, 2005
Near perfect. The way this film resonates with reality back and forth through 20 years since the first killings in 1986, is particularly poignant and rich with meloncholy and nostalgia, at least for this particular expat. The loss of Near perfect. The way this film resonates with reality back and forth through 20 years since the first killings in 1986, is particularly poignant and rich with meloncholy and nostalgia, at least for this particular expat. The loss of innocence depicted here of the soulland of my country and the maturity and groundedness of its superb dramatic telling puts this film in a very special place in my DVD collection. The meticulous and understated direction by Bong Joon Ho is a quiet marvel. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
9
KaKaSep 6, 2005
This was an amzing film! The cinematography and the acting blew me away - not to mention the plot and the story line it was based on. i loved the ending which was totally unexpecting for me - but i think was a wonderful way to end a plot This was an amzing film! The cinematography and the acting blew me away - not to mention the plot and the story line it was based on. i loved the ending which was totally unexpecting for me - but i think was a wonderful way to end a plot such as this story line. The DVD extras that UMVD provides are decent - I enjoyed hearing what the actors had to say and I didnt expect there to be subtitles either! Bing, teh director, managed to grasp teh main bulk of teh mystery and present it to the general public and world in an unforgettable manner. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
BryanOct 3, 2006
Tremendous!
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
JasonB.Sep 1, 2005
Great Film. I thought the greatest part of this film was the realistic emotions that are brought out. The pain these cops go through in the inability to find the killer, and their willingness to do anything (including force confessions) in Great Film. I thought the greatest part of this film was the realistic emotions that are brought out. The pain these cops go through in the inability to find the killer, and their willingness to do anything (including force confessions) in order to find him, and to feel safe again. I read in another review that he didnt like the ending, I loved it. I thought it was the most honest part. And thats basically what happened in real life, which makes the ending even greater. I also loved the perfectly timed comedy. The use of comedy shows the true talent of Bong Joon Ho. I also loved the dichotomy of it being an Asian film, with many culturally unique aspects, and also being one of the most universal stories and films I have ever seen. There was nothing wrong with this film in my opinion. Definately my favorite film I have seen all year. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
0
GregoryH.Sep 8, 2005
This thing was practically unwatchable--in fact I couldn't take more than a half hour of it. Dubbed into English and peppered with cutesy tough-guy supposed cop lingo, I wish I could have just watched in in Korean with English This thing was practically unwatchable--in fact I couldn't take more than a half hour of it. Dubbed into English and peppered with cutesy tough-guy supposed cop lingo, I wish I could have just watched in in Korean with English Subtitles. The poor dubbing made the characters seem laugable. The dialogue was pure vintage Starsky & Hutch-styled one guy hollering at all the other idiots and jerks, his words not mine. The critics MUST have all watched this film in its original incarnation, because no one in their right mind could heap any praise upon this butchered piece of crap. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
DoctorEvilOct 18, 2005
Definitely the best Korean movie i've seen. Wow, it was really good. Unbelievable.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
EuniceDec 10, 2005
I personally think this movie was better than The Silence of the Lambs as it contains more humour, and way, way better than Seve.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
6
[Anonymous]Aug 23, 2005
Good movie. The ending was very stupid and gave you NO answers whatsoever.
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
Mink-coatPimpSep 16, 2005
I was totally blown away by this movie. Every screencap from the movie is frame-worthy and the acting is supurb. The subtle comical tones go a long way in giving the viewer a break from the dismal and tragic undertone of the plot. Never have I was totally blown away by this movie. Every screencap from the movie is frame-worthy and the acting is supurb. The subtle comical tones go a long way in giving the viewer a break from the dismal and tragic undertone of the plot. Never have I been so satisfied with a blind rental, or a foriegn flick for that matter. A word of advice, watch the movie in its original language w/subtitles, because the dubbing is, as always unbearable. Expand
0 of 0 users found this helpful
10
HalfwelshmanFeb 2, 2012
Memories of Murder is far superior to most murder-mystery films. Writer/director Bong Joon-ho's mastery of the macabre, and of writing disturbed characters makes the film a joy to behold. The cast are superb, and in fine neo-noir tradition (aMemories of Murder is far superior to most murder-mystery films. Writer/director Bong Joon-ho's mastery of the macabre, and of writing disturbed characters makes the film a joy to behold. The cast are superb, and in fine neo-noir tradition (a tradition effectively started by Chinatown), the investigators haven't got a clue what is really going on. This idea is taken even further than in that Polanski classic, where Jack Nicholson's P.I. Jake Gittes was smart and street-wise, but never quite grasped the dire nature of the situation until it was far too late. In Memories of Murder, the detectives in charge of the murder investigation are essentially three different kinds of idiot, and all their investigative techniques are deeply flawed. Detective Park (Song Kang-ho) is a firm believer in following your gut, and appears to have progressed through his career in the police force through sheer blind luck rather than any conceivable skill. Detective Seo (Kim Sang-kyung) is a city cop, and on the surface appears to be the most competent of the group, but is completely out of his depth working in the countryside, and unable to recognise that his usual methods won't serve him as well in his new surroundings. Finally Detective Cho (Kim Roe-ha) is the classic dumb brute, using his army-booted feet to find the answers his mind is too feeble to root out. All of the cast are good, but of particular note are Song, who manages to play a fairly unlikeable character, but at the same time keeps viewers on his side because of his incompetent, clownish nature, and Kim Sang-kyung, who provides the story its emotional core. Loosely based on the Korean stage play Come See Me which re-tells the story of the Hwaseong murders just as the film does, Memories of Murder retains the feel of a play, with numerous scenes of the group of inept detectives simply sitting, and working out what to do next. Bong has ample opportunity to flex his filmmaking muscles in other scenes, with expansive and striking crane shots of the ominous rice fields where several of the murders take place, and classic horror movie P.O.V. shots from the killer's perspective (particularly shudder-inducing and tense is a scene later on in the film where we see the killer torn between two potential victims from his own perspective). Only in South Korean cinema do you see such brilliantly disjointed ideas on screen - such a dark film involving a serial killer shouldn't work with the addition of comedy, but somehow it does. As he has proved in all of his films, Bong is a real master of film deconstruction, and of making seemingly contradictory ideas work together, most commonly by adding his own unique brand of black comedy to normally serious situations (I hardly think a smile would be raised in a police torture scene directed by any other filmmaker in the world, with the possible exception of Quentin Tarantino). So Memories of Murder is a far cry from a conventional murder-mystery. It's not just its quirkiness that makes it stand out, though - it's well-written, performed and filmed. The story captivates you from the start, and it maintains momentum throughout. You never find out any more than the detectives in the film do, so you go through exactly the same experiences as them - you feel their frustration at their lack of progress and numerous investigative dead-ends, and their pain and despair at their inability to catch the elusive monster they are hunting. It's a very effective technique to keep the viewer compelled by the characters in a film. Bong Joon-ho also makes some explicit comments about the state of the Korean government and society in the 1980s, and in doing so, makes a more subliminal comment about modern Korea. He's easily among the most talented filmmakers working today, both technically and artistically, and isn't afraid to just let audiences loose in the film worlds he creates, leaving them to have their own unique experiences, and make their own judgements. Memories of Murder is dark, intelligent and beautifully crafted filmmaking at its finest, and I consider it one of the best films of the past decade. Expand
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5
Film13Aug 24, 2013
I've seen worse and much, much better. This film does not know what it wants to be a comedy or a thriller. Many films have accomplished combining those two elements to success, but not this one. Though there are some very well done scenesI've seen worse and much, much better. This film does not know what it wants to be a comedy or a thriller. Many films have accomplished combining those two elements to success, but not this one. Though there are some very well done scenes and, at times, an appropriate dark mood attached to the film, it is quite uneven. The acting pretty bad, also. Expand
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8
JLuis_001Oct 30, 2019
It's a great police thriller and I enjoy them a lot but it has many tonal problems and I really didn't like the balance.
The mixture of black humor in the darkness of it theme and social commentary is not very well driven to be honest but
It's a great police thriller and I enjoy them a lot but it has many tonal problems and I really didn't like the balance.
The mixture of black humor in the darkness of it theme and social commentary is not very well driven to be honest but even so it's still a great film.

Obviously if you're more accustomed to the style of thrillers in the United States and part of Europe, you may not find it so frontal but even so it never falls and I never stops being entertained.

Despite being only his second film as a director, Bong Joon Ho made it clear in that distant 2003 that both his talent and his ambition were quite big and to this day he has not disappointed.
Few directors can say the same.
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5
Mauro_LanariMar 11, 2020
(Mauro Lanari)
"Quid est veritas?" (John 18: 38) and "unde malum?" have weighed on existence long before the latinorum. In the noir, tunnels with this tragic connotation already appeared in "The Third Man" (Reed / Welles, 1949) or in the
(Mauro Lanari)
"Quid est veritas?" (John 18: 38) and "unde malum?" have weighed on existence long before the latinorum. In the noir, tunnels with this tragic connotation already appeared in "The Third Man" (Reed / Welles, 1949) or in the filmography of another "gòok" like Kurosawa. Recommended for greenhorns and recidivists.
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8
DMLYxCriticMay 1, 2020
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Bong Joon-ho's true-crime film, Memories of Murder, is a true definition of a slow-burning film. Procedural, emotional, and thrilling, this film will frustrate average viewers that are looking for more action and a better ending. The cinematography is exceptional as well as the performances of the cast. The problem, however, is the plot's incoherence in some parts of the film, particularly during the first act, where a lot of those scenes could be cut out. Overall, this film is a minor masterpiece that will attract the attention of Bong Joon-ho's fans as well as fans of slow-burn detective films like Fincher's Se7en. Expand
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7
JordanLaytonApr 28, 2020
Bong Joon-ho's second feature is a well-executed, if by-the-book, police procedural. This film would fit right in with a lineup of Zodiac and Se7en. Two clashing detectives investigate South Korea's first documented serial killer. OneBong Joon-ho's second feature is a well-executed, if by-the-book, police procedural. This film would fit right in with a lineup of Zodiac and Se7en. Two clashing detectives investigate South Korea's first documented serial killer. One detective relies on his gut (and what he's learned about detectives from movies) and one relies on documents and facts. Tale as old as time, amirite? Where Memories of Murder sets itself apart from more bland films in this genre and put itself on the level of Zodiac and Se7en is in its cinematography and character arcs. There is some quality about a film's opening shot that tells you you're in for a treat. I won't spoil it, but this one has that x quality. The Korean scenery throughout Mom, from fields of crops, to lush mountainous forests, to a strip mine are all shown with a cold offset in color such that their beauty is still apparent, but the reality of the film's plot infects each one. Reality is something Bong must have aimed for in this film in terms of the violence depicted, as well. Any fight that occurs is so messy and real-feeling that I started to wonder if the actors were actually beating each other just for this movie. Obviously not the case. It's just extremely sloppy in a realistic way and it works. All that praise said, MoM still does have a lot of the trappings of any film in this genre. Conveniences in both the finding of clues and the timing of finding said clues are apparent and occasionally deimmersifying. That's my only major complaint. It's no Parasite, but it's definitely better than Snowpiercer. Any fan of crime genre films should seek this out. Expand
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8
AJ_13Apr 11, 2022
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Great crime thriller with nice performances, a haunting plot and strong directorial presence. Bong Joon-Ho builds suspense as few do and mixes genres as no one does.

I can't help but feeling underwhelmed when a serial killer film has an open ending, but it is what it is I guess.
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10
imdbsupportFeb 11, 2021
Powerful, unrelenting, and with excellent performances — especially from Song who is never less than outstanding — Memories of Murder is unforgettable and justifiably described as a masterpiece.
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10
hide_batman_Jul 17, 2021
Masterpiece. Very interesting and beautiful colour palate. Realistic. Every other scene was comical.
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9
NickTheCritickApr 25, 2022
Gyeonggi, 1986. The body of a raped girl triggers the investigation of the inadequate local police, more intent on looking for a scapegoat than finding the real culprit. The murders continue unstoppable and an inspector arrives from Seoul toGyeonggi, 1986. The body of a raped girl triggers the investigation of the inadequate local police, more intent on looking for a scapegoat than finding the real culprit. The murders continue unstoppable and an inspector arrives from Seoul to shed light on the mystery. The face of Song Kang-ho, one of the best actors of his generation, looks into the camera in astonishment and addresses us directly, lost and confused.
A wonderful film, masterfully directed and photographed by Boong Jon Ho that delights us with a crime drama of the highest quality. A true criticism of the Korean regime of those years and the social problems that the country was carrying. The killer cannot be found because he is everywhere, he is the emblem of the social malfunction of a sick and, perhaps, incurable country.
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8
mildepanJan 11, 2022
This film is very good, it deserves the prestige it has, it is entertaining, although it has a slow pace, during the film it unravels a mystery that catches us, it is not saved from the conveniences but I think that this streamlines the plotThis film is very good, it deserves the prestige it has, it is entertaining, although it has a slow pace, during the film it unravels a mystery that catches us, it is not saved from the conveniences but I think that this streamlines the plot more, 8/10 Expand
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