Top 10 Korean Gangster Films

1. A Dirty Carnival (2006)

Ha Yu's gang opus is, as far as I'm concerned, the best Korean gangster film we have yet to see.  It is the embodiment of the gangster film, it does not blend with other genres and it doesn't twist genre codes.  A Dirty Carnival is a classical crime narrative chronicling one young gang captain's rise and fall.  It is the apotheosis of the modern jopok film as the straightforward but well-constructed plot, which brings to mind many Japanese Yakuza and American mafia pics, demonstrates the changing role of the gangster in modern Korea.  Jo In-seong's protagonist is attractive, slender, and feminine, he seems like a metrosexual gangster and stands out against the rank and file of his gang but he is unshakably loyal and capable of unspeakable acts of brutality.  Some of the set pieces in the film are exquisite, the production values are great but the editing is the stand-out.  It is an extremely well-utilized tool in the film, emphasizing movement and detail.  One for the ages, that I will be going back to again and again.

Intro - 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 - Best of the Rest

Top 10 Lists

Year   2013 - 2012 - 2011 - 2010 - All Time (Top 25)

Genre   Gangster - Revenge

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