1 - Parasite
Multiple oscars winner gets the first mention. If you haven't seen any Korean movie till date you can start here and it's now available on Amazon Prime as well (atleast in India). It has won 4 oscars and that's enough selling point in itself. Don't miss this one.
2 - Train to Busan
If you enjoy Zombie flicks then this is a must watch. It has a good set of actors and the little girl has done a fantastic job with her role in the movie. Ofcourse, the idea of zombie attack on a train itself sounds pretty cool but I really enjoyed the execution of the idea in this movie.
3 - The Good, the Bad the Weird
This was the first ever Korean movie I watched and had totally forgotten about it until my friend @liberosist mentioned it to me recently. This came out in 2008 and I had managed to grab a copy to see it at the time. I found it entertaining and for years I tried to remember the name but couldn't until recently. This has a lot of gun fights and overall it is quite exciting to watch.
4 - The Man from Nowhere
This was the 2nd Korean movie i'd ever seen and I recall thoroughly enjoying this at the time. There was a Bollywood remake as well which was fine but I loved the original. It has some good action and the actors have done a good job no doubt. Im sure if you enjoy action movies, then don't miss this.
5 - Memories of Murder
This is directed by Bong Joon Ho. Same director as Parasite and is a brilliant movie. The story is set in a small Korean town where two detectives try to solve multiple cases of rape and murder. It a slow developing masterpiece in movie making and I recommend this amongst the rest in this list. You may find it a bit long but I felt it was a good watch on a weekend night.
6 - A Bittersweet Life
If you enjoy a slick action movie with a storyline full of revenge drama then look no further. This one has all the feels. A good mobster movie that's a must watch if you plan on seeing any Korean action drama.
7 - The Host
Another action-drama movie that I really enjoyed. It's about a monster that emerges from Seoul's Han River and attacks people. That's pretty much the premise but the story dives into the life of a victim's family that won't give up on fighting the beast to rescue the victim. The CGI is pretty good all things considered. Put this on your watchlist too.
8 - Veteran
I found this to be a very refreshing movie. It's an action comedy and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. It's about a detective who gets on the wrong side of a successful businessman and decides to hunt him down for his crimes. It's well made and the actors are likeable and have done a good job throughout. Quite an entertainer if you are looking for a good movie on a weekend night.
9 - Swiri
Now there are many South Korean movies with North Korean adversaries in them. This one dates back to 1999 but remains a well made movie. If you've seen Parasite you will recognise of the actors in this movie. It has a few plot holes but it's still a decent way to pass the time.
10 - The Spy Gone North
Amazing movie in the North/South Korean spy genre. This is set in the 1990s and is a high quality drama with a political thriller twist to it. I found it quite brilliantly made actually and the cast has done a fab job with their roles. Do not miss this one and be sure to watch it if you like spy movies.
11 - The Berlin File
Now this is a good action thriller that gives you the feels of a Hollywood flick. If you enjoy North/South Korean spy stories then this is a good watch. The action is pretty good, the fights are well done and the movie is well directed. It's not the best action thriller but it's pretty decent for a one time watch over a weekend.
12 - Steel Rain
This North Korean vs South Korean type spy drama is one that I enjoyed a lot. I felt it was made well and it was a surprise find for me when I went about searching for a few titles in this spy genre. It made me realise that watching too many Hollywood movies we rarely remember that other countries can produce really good movies across different genres. Don't miss this movie as it deals with a coup in North Korea forcing one of its agents to defect to the South with the "Number One".
13 - I Saw the Devil
This one is quite the thriller and I absolutely, thoroughly enjoyed this movie even though it had a lot of gore in it, it remained quite a satisfying watch throughout. It's about a secret agent who extracts revenge on a serial killer and if you can digest torturous scenes in movies then you'll like this one.
14 - Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance
This is the first instalment in Chan-wook's Vengeance trilogy of sorts. It came out in 2002 and tells the story of a deaf man trying to earn enough money for his sister's kidney transplant. Their plan to make money quickly goes horribly wrong and the rest you've got to watch the movie to know more.
15 - Oldboy
A thriller where the film follows the story of the protagonist who is imprisoned in a cell resembling a hotel room for 15 years. He is released but remains trapped by and what comes is quite the drama.
16 - Lady Vengeance
The final instalment in the Vengeance series the film tells the story of a woman released from prison after serving the time for a crime she did not commit. The film is about her story of revenge obviously and it's quite interesting to watch it unfold.
17 - The Handmaiden
This is a long drama at over 2 hours 40 mins but it remains quite engaging for most of its run time. The movie is about a woman who is hired as a handmaiden to a Japanese heiress and how this person is involved in a plot to defraud the heiress of her wealth. It's worth a watch if you have the time to spare and you enjoy drama movies.
18 - The Chaser
Another brilliant thriller that deals with a disgraced Korean police detective who has turned a pimp and becomes involved in a race against time to catch a psycho serial murderer after one of his girls go missing. This was amongst the first five movies that I watched initially which really got me interested in watching a lot more Korean movies. A few twists and turns but more important a good movie to kill your time in quarantine.
19 - The Wailing
This was an interesting movie in which a stranger arrives in a village and a mysterious sickness starts spreading. If you like horror genre then I think you will enjoy this movie. It doesn't have a scary jump out of your seat scenes if you were wondering so don't worry. It was interesting but not exactly my favourite but it's on this list because it's worth a watch.
20 - Peppermint Candy
I finally caught up to this one recently and it deals around the subject of depression and suicide. The movie does a retrospective take on the events causing the protagonist's suicide. It isn't exactly light entertainment and is somewhat thought provoking. Worth a watch and I also feel like it has aged quite well even though it was released in early 2000.
I'm looking forward to watching a few more Korean movies in the days to come and I hope to share another list with you when im done. Meanwhile I hope you enjoy a few titles from this list. Feel free to look them up on IMDB to find out if a title suits your tastes or not.
I'm going to be watching more and write an update to this later on.
Hope you get through this quarantine phase smoothly and have a great time watching these movies.