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10 Korean Movies About Friendship You Must Watch

Fairlane is a devout Asian entertainment fan. On the side, she is a professional screenplay writer and author.

Read on to discover the top 10 Korean friendship films!

Read on to discover the top 10 Korean friendship films!

Korean movies about friendship are hard to come by. There are many action and gangster flicks out there, but not many Korean films deal with friendships and friends' adventures.

Korean filmmakers should up their game when it comes to producing films about friendship that follow the tradition of Breakfast Club and St. Elmo's Fire. While we wait, below are ten of the finest Korean movies based on friendship.

The Top 10 Best Korean Friendship Movies

  1. Chingoo/Friend
  2. Sunny
  3. Confession/Good Friends
  4. Secretly, Greatly
  5. Bleak Night
  6. Joint Security Area
  7. Boys of Tomorrow
  8. Bloody Innocent
  9. The Happy Life
  10. Spin Kick

1. Chingoo/Friend

Four guys from different backgrounds form a beautiful friendship in their youth. As they grow up and start pursuing their dreams, however, they are pulled apart. Two pursue education, while the other two become gang members. Several years pass, and the two gang members are forced to fight each other.

Why You Should Watch It

It’s one of those movies that will make you think about how the foolish decisions of your youth can pull you apart from your truest friends. This movie broke box office records when it was released in Korea, and for a good reason. Despite playing to the cliché backdrop of gangs and mobsters, the film managed to find the perfect balance between violence and emotion.

Sunny

Sunny

2. Sunny

Im Na-mi has a chance encounter with a close friend from high school who is dying. She decides to help fulfill her friend's wish of finding and reuniting their high school friend group.

As they search for their friends one by one, they are taken back to their high school days, a time when big hair was in; problems were all about boys, food, and fashion; and their precious innocence ruled their lives.

Why You Should Watch It

It will make you want to hug your closest friends. The film captures just how big of an impact our friends have on our lives and how we don't fully appreciate it. It is a powerful reminder that we must enjoy every moment with our friends because, more often than not, those moments are what will sustain us in the end.

Confession/Good Friends

Confession/Good Friends

3. Confession/Good Friends

Hyun-tae, In-chul, and Min-soo are lifelong friends with a bond stronger than blood. When an event that was supposed to help one of them get over a financial problem leads to the death of a loved one, their friendship is put to the test.

Why You Should Watch It

Friends are there to allow us to become what we can’t be when we are with family. Often, it is our friends who know us best and see us for who we really are. That familiarity and resulting love are what makes friendship strong but also what can destroy it.

A scene from the movie Secretly, Greatly

A scene from the movie Secretly, Greatly

4. Secretly, Greatly

Three men train under an elite North Korean military unit during their childhood, after which they are dispatched to South Korea as secret spies. They disguise themselves as ordinary citizens until they receive their mission—direct orders to kill themselves.

Why You Should Watch It

The premise of the narrative would have made for a touching story of three lost souls finding themselves and each other in a country they are supposed to destroy. The elements are all there, and the attempt was decent.

The transformation of the three men from “machines” to humans was illustrated by revealing their past and relationships with people back home and showing what they discover about themselves and life as they are forced to live in Korea. The execution isn’t seamless, but it is still a great twist on the usual “coming-of-age friendship” story.

Bleak Night

Bleak Night

5. Bleak Night

Jo Sung-ha decides to find out the truth behind the death of his teenage son, Ki-tae. He tracks down Ki-tae's best friends, Hee-joon and Dong-yoon, expecting the two to shed some light on his son's struggles, but he ends up getting more than what he bargained for.

Why You Should Watch It

This was writer and director Yoon Sung-hyun's school film project. In fact, if you know how movies are made, you will notice that this film is really low budget. However, that didn't stop the movie from winning several international awards, including Best New Actor awards for Lee Je-hoon, as well as Best New Director for Yoon at the Grand Bell Awards and Busan Film Critics Awards.

The movie runs in two timelines—the present, where the father tries to find answers to questions about his son's death, and the past, where the relationships among the three friends unravel. The beautiful thing about the narrative is the way the stories intertwine even when the timeline doesn't. It reveals more and more information about the characters that serves as the unexpected answer to the questions posed by the father and the audience.

Joint Security Area official movie poster

Joint Security Area official movie poster

6. Joint Security Area

An investigation is launched to get to the bottom of the killing of two North Korean soldiers in a North Korean border house before Sergeant Lee Soo-hyeok, a South Korean soldier, runs toward South Korea while on duty.

Swiss Army Major Sophie E. Jean realizes that although Sergeant Lee Soo-hyeok confessed to shooting the two soldiers, his account of the event contradicts that of another soldier present during the shooting. She then realizes that the killings are more personal than political.

Why You Should Watch It

The film broke box office records when it was released. It was one of the earliest Korean films that successfully intertwined a story of friendship with national issues.

A scene from Boys of Tomorrow

A scene from Boys of Tomorrow

7. Boys of Tomorrow

Boys of Tomorrow is a story about growing up and friendship. Ki Su and Jong Dae both dream of getting out of poverty, but they pursue their escape in different ways. However, they try their best to maintain their bond even if their different paths pull them apart.

Why You Should Watch It

Films with plots like this tend to focus on how the guy with the stronger personality goes around causing trouble, while the righteous one gets dragged around, trying to save the other.

The director of this film, however, creates two messed-up and damaged characters, making it difficult for the audience to identify which one is dragging the other down.

A scene from the film Bloody Innocent

A scene from the film Bloody Innocent

8. Bloody Innocent

Seung-ho and Dong-sik are lifelong friends who suddenly realize they have fallen in love with the same woman. When the woman is found dead the next day, Seung-ho becomes one of the suspects, but it was Dong-sik's brother who is convicted. Dong-sik leaves town, severing their friendship.

Why You Should Watch It

The movie is borderline amateurish. It is so raw that it's hard to recognize the creativity and preparation involved in producing it. However, once you get to the end, you will realize that all that rawness and apparent lack of style is part of the director's message—it is the artistic portrayal of the raw relationship these two men share.

The Happy Life

The Happy Life

9. The Happy Life

Sang-woo, a ghost, sets out to reunite his college band. As these sad, middle-aged men reconvene the band and decide to recruit a new, young frontman, they don't realize that they have a ghost among them.

Why You Should Watch It

This film highlights a unique kind of friendship. The situations they find themselves in are unique, but the director still manages to keep things familiar.

Spin Kick

Spin Kick

10. Spin Kick

The Manseh High School director is desperate to bring back the martial arts glory days of the school. He forges an agreement with a gang that beat up a bunch of the school's students to enroll in the school to help regain its glory through the coming national taekwondo competition.

Forced to work together, the gang members and high school students spend time with each other, only to realize they have more in common than they care to admit.

Why You Should Watch It

This is reminiscent of Hollywood greats like To Sir With Love, but the focus is on the students' friendships rather than the teacher. It is also an older movie, which contributes to the raw storytelling style.

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Comments

dominic on April 05, 2017:

Hi knew a story about a film.but i don't know the film name please help me to find it,and i think it's a korean movie

The story:

Once two friends grew up together ,years passed on one friend got married lets call him A another boy B, A and B partner in one business,after some interval A's wife gets jealous about their friendship and she planned to separate them.so she tell her husband(To A),that B always Hit on her but A refused it.then she waits for her turn.At one movement A believe on her wife .so A planned to wind up his friend and on a particular day A hide some amount on his office and made his friend guilty.but B does't know wat's going on he explained himself to A .but as per plan B got arrested by the police.Years passed on .A sometimes go other countries for his professional meetings and a pleasant day he meet one girl at a restaurant. He fell in love with her and they started dating ,during her dating she told about one guy and his habit about drinking a milk ,later he (A)realized that was his friend B ,so he awaited to meet him after long back .The girl gets pregnant because of dating with A,and one occasion A meet B at the same restaurant where the Girl works.A explained to B he meets a girl at this restaurant and now she is pregnant because of him and so on,then B said i knew every thing .Then A asked B how could you know ,Then B starts explained,you know one thing she is your own daughter.At once A started crying and B tell him I did this because you don't know the value of Relationship .So I like to

teach you what is the value of relationship

Sarah Jalil on November 10, 2014:

I have watched a few Korean movies and the one I found the best was 3 irons

Such a sweet love story that left me wanting for more

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