1. My Sassy Girl(2001)
Genre: Romance, Comedy, Drama
If some willing enthusiast wanted to explore korean cinema, this may perhaps be the most recommended movie by any numerous number of sources.
The movie has a long and meandering storyline, but is basically about a boy meeting a girl under unusual and hilarious circumstances and the events following more unusual and hilarious still.
This is a very good gateway movie to understand korea's romcoms ,and the use of varied style and approach by their director.
2. A Moment To Remember(2004)
Genre: Romance, Drama
This movie comes under romance territory with a theme of Alzheimer's disease, which brings countless suffering to the heroine and hero while trying to deeply care for each other.
The on-screen chemistry between the actors is a delight to watch while their heart wrenching plight through the turmoils caused by Alzheimer's disease is equally painful to watch.
The climax of the movie is emotionally charged one and is one for the ages.
3. Welcome To Dongmakgol(2005)
According to wikipedia, "The story is set in Korea during the Korean War in 1950. Soldiers from both the North and South, as well as an American pilot, find themselves in a secluded village, its residents largely unaware of the outside world, including the war." What follows is a heart warming comedy where boundaries of enmity are broken , friendship and love found amongst the unlikely of people.
This is the type of heart warming and fuzzy movie filled with innocence to cheer you up during the bleakest of days.
Genre: Drama, Mystery, Thriller, Vengeance
Take heed, for this movie is not for the weak-hearted. I was toying whether to include Sex is Zero over Oldboy but winning the grand jury prize at cannes shifts the scale dramatically.
This is kind of movie which demands horror and awe for generations to come without breaking a sweat. This is the story of a man finding and extracting revenge for being imprisoned without any human contact for 15 years in a private cell, without knowing why or who did this.
If ever a movie truly deserved the title of mind f**k, this is it. And if thought Dark Knight was a dark movie, this is a black hole.
5. The Chaser(2008)
Genre: Crime, Thriller, Drama
The Chaser is an engaging serial killer movie with an upfront narrative with a lot secrets left to be unraveled with fast chases, realistic scenes and unnatural twists.
The direction rewrote all the rules in the book of crime thrillers to take us on a wild goose chase at the mercy of the clock. If you want a totally different narrative in a thriller, this is the movie to watch.
6. Tae Guk Gi: The Brotherhood of War(2004)
Genre: War, Action, Drama
This is an epic war movie encompassing two brothers through the korean war fighting for survival, love and hope. The movie clearly depicts the destruction and misery brought on by war on peoples livelihood, their loved ones and their happiness. This is a war movie on par with the best of hollywood in terms of its portrayal of war, music and acting.