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10 Korean Movies About Friendship You Must Watch

Updated on May 6, 2015

Korean movies about friendship, for some strange reason, is hard to come by. They are loaded with romantic and gangster movies but not a lot of movies that deals with the normal adventures of friendships that is told on a linear fashion. This is strange considering pop music fans are so addicted at the closeness of boybands.

Korea should pump their game when it comes to stories about friendship that follows the tradition of Breakfast Club and St. Elmo's Fire. While we wait, below are ten of their finest movies based on friendship.

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#1 - Chingoo/Friend

A scene from the movie Chingoo
A scene from the movie Chingoo
A scene from the movie Chingoo
A scene from the movie Chingoo

Synopsis

Four guys from different backgrounds formed a beautiful friendship since they were kids. 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 passed and the two gang members are forced to fight each other even despite not wanting to.

Why You Should Watch It

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

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#2 - Sunny

Synopsis

Im Na-mi accidentally meets a close friend from high school who is dying. She decides to fulfill her friend’s wish of finding their high school friends and reuniting everyone. As they search for their friends one by one, they are taken back to the times of their high school, a time when big hair was the in thing, 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 successfully captures just how big of an impact our friends have on our lives and just how we are mostly unaware of it. It is a strong reminder for us to enjoy every moment we spend with our friends because, most often than not, those moments are what will sustain us.

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#3 - Confession / Good Friends

Synopsis

Hyun-tae, In-chul and Min-soo are lifelong friends with a bond stronger than blood. 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 and characters are put to the test.

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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 sees the real us. That familiarity that results to love is what makes friendship strong but it is also what can destroy it.

#4 - Secretly, Greatly

A scene from the movie Secretly. Greatly
A scene from the movie Secretly. Greatly

Synopis

Three guys were trained under an elite North Korean military unit since childhood. They are dispatched to South Korea as secret spies. They guise themselves as ordinary citizens until they receive their specific mission until they learned that they get direct orders to kill themselves.

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Why You Should Watch It

The premise and promise 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 journey of the three men from being “machines” to being human was uncovered 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 all too seamless. It could have been better but it is still a great twist to the usual “coming of age friendship” story.

#5 - Bleak Night

Synopsis

Jo Sung-ha decides to find out the truth behind the death of his high school son, Ki-tae. He tracks down Ki-tae's bestfriends, Hee-joon and Dong-yoon. Expecting the two to find shed some light on the struggles of his son, he gets more than what he bargained for as he realizes that the two friends must.

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Why You Should Watch It

This was a school film project of writer and director Yoon Sung-hyun. In fact, if you know how movie is made, you will notice that the movie is really low budget. However, that didn't stop the movie from winning the several international award 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 for his son's death and the past where the relationship of 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 about the characters that serves as the unexpected answers to the question of the father and the audience.

#6 - Joint Security Area

Joint Security Area official movie poster
Joint Security Area official movie poster

Synopsis

An investigation is launched to get down 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 towards South Korea while on duty. Swiss Army Major Sophie E. Jean realizes that Sergeant Lee Soo-hyeok confessed to shooting the two soldiers but has contradicting accounts of the events as another soldier that was present during the event. She then realizes that the shootings have more to do with personal reasons than national ones.

Why You Should Watch the Film

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


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#7 - Boys of Tomorrow

Synopsis

Boys of Tomorrow is a story about growing up and friendship and how one could affect the other. Ki Su and Jong Dae both dream of getting out of poverty but pursue it through different ways. However, they try their best to keep their bond even if their roads pull them apart.

Why You Should Watch It

Films with stories like this tend to focus on how the guy with a stronger personality goes around causing trouble while the righteous one gets dragged around for the sake of trying to save the other. The director, however, takes the opposite direction by creating two messed up characters. Their damaged personalities and way of thinking become so strong that it becomes hard for the audience to identify which one is dragging the other down.


#8 - Bloody Innocent

Synopsis

Seung-ho and Dong-sik are lifelong friends who fell in love with the same woman. When the woman is found dead the next day, Seung-ho became one of the suspects but it was Dong-sik's brother who was convicted. Dong-sik left the town which severs their friendship.

Why You Should Watch It

The movie is borderline amateurish. It is so raw that it is easy to mistake it for lack of creativity and preparation. However, once you get to the end, you will realize that all those rawness, those seeming lack of style is all a part of the message the director wants to convey. It is the same raw relationship that these two men share.

#9 - The Happy Life

Synopsis

Sang-woo, as a ghost, sets up to reunite his college band. As these sad middle aged men decided to reunite the band and recruit a young frontman, they didn't realize that they will have another member, a ghost.

Why You Should Watch It

It's a unique kind of friendship. The situations they get into are unique to the situations they were in but the director managed to still keep things familiar.

#10 - Spin Kick

Synopsis

Manseh High School Principal 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 and help the school regain their glory through the coming National TaeKwonDo Competition. Forced to work with each other, the gang 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 student friendship rather than the teacher. It is also an old movie which contributes to the raw storytelling style.

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      dominic 6 months ago

      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

    • profile image

      Sarah Jalil 2 years ago

      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