Korean Gangster Movies

I bet nobody loves to be a gangster but watching gangster movies is what most of us surely love. Korean Gangster Movies never disappoint in refilling that adrenaline surge in you.

This is why I bring forth to you the best 17 Korean Gangster Movies. Fasten your seat belts and take a quick glimpse of the reviews ahead!

 17. The Drug King

  • Logline: The rise and fall of a man.
  • Year: 2018
  • Genre: Crime/Action
  • Duration: 2h 19m
The Drug King
The Drug King

Power, money and fame. The desire for these 3 things drives anyone crazy. The Drug King is a real-life story and it is very fascinating to watch how some people lived their life.

Synopsis

Lee Doo-Sam is a small candyman in Busan of the 1970s. The Government imposes strict measures. Thus, illicit activities are suppressed. Lee Doo-Sam becomes the fall guy sent to prison.

He somehow manages to come out of the prison. This time to make his name into the bigger markets. He emerges as the Lord of Drugs. Addicted to the money and the drugs, he is to witness his slump soon.

16. Night in Paradise

  • Logline: The emotional encounter of a gangster and a woman.
  • Year: 2020
  • Genre: Drama
  • Duration: 2h 11m
Night in Paradise
Night in Paradise

From action to emotion, Night in Paradise has everything in it. Amidst all of this hustle-bustle, our soul craves for something more meaningful.

Synopsis

Tae-Gu is an adept member of a crime syndicate. He wants to leave the gang for his sister and nephew. A choice for the two leaves them on their deathbed.

An angry brother and uncle, he revenges their death. He must hide, so he escapes to Jeju Island. There he meets a woman, Jae-Yeon. This forms the Night in Paradise.

15. Extreme Job

  • Logline: Spies turned chefs!
  • Year: 2019
  • Genre: Comedy/Crime
  • Duration: 1h 51m
Extreme Job
Extreme Job

A crime movie with humor punches to keep the viewers hooked. Extreme Job is different from classic gangster movies. A perfect blend of laughter and mysteries!

Synopsis

5 detectives are a team. They are supposed to raid a drug syndicate. Disguised as ordinary people they enact their assignment.

The spies start working at a chicken restaurant. They unintentionally make it the best eating place in the town. This new recipe will bring new troubles in their original job.

14. I Saw the Devil

  • Logline: The revenge of a fiance.
  • Year: 2010
  • Genre: Thriller/Action
  • Duration: 2h 24m
I Saw the Devil
I Saw the Devil

Gangster Movie? Check. Korean Gangster Movie? Check. A gory movie? Check! This movie has all that spine-chilling brutality. The protagonist is a force to be reckoned with.

Synopsis

A cold night, a lady alone in a run-down car. A stranger, Kyung-Chul comes up to help her(not really). He breaks the window to make her unconscious.

A couple of days later her ear and then head are found near and in a river respectively. Her fiancé was devastated. He pledged to slaughter the murderer more mercilessly than his fiancé.

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13. Oldboy

  • Logline: An absolute mystery in the life of a businessman.
  • Year: 2003
  • Genre: Mystery/Thriller
  • Duration: 2 hours
Oldboy
Oldboy

This Korean Gangster movie is no less than a game. A game played with the protagonist’s life. The movie will get you hooked from the start and keep you stuck to your seats.

Synopsis

Oh Dae-Su is a businessman. A strange incident takes place one night. In a drunken state, he is arrested. A friend comes for him at the police station.

Then he finds himself confined in a decent room. He is kept caged for 15 years with a TV. After the said period, he is released only to be awaited by the worst.

12. Friend

  • Logline: Fading of a friendship for the gamble of power.
  • Year: 2001
  • Genre: Drama/Action
  • Duration: 1h 58m
Friends The Great Legacy
Friends The Great Legacy

Everyone says never kill the child inside you but nobody says why. Korean Gang War movies for sure show everything but this movie is exceptionally crafted. The taste of friendship is ruined with the excess salt of immaturity.

Synopsis

Four students from different backgrounds are best friends. As they grow up, each takes a different path. Two of the group go for further studies.

The other two Joon-Suk and Dong-Su become rival gangsters. Sang-Taek and Joong-Ho reminisce about their good days at this residue of their friendship.

11. A Dirty Carnival

  • Logline: A story of an ambitious man.
  • Year: 2006
  • Genre: Action/Crime
  • Duration: 2h 21m
A Dirty Carnival
A Dirty Carnival

The award for the perfect title goes to A Dirty Carnival! A movie with serious twists and turns is sure to make you scratch your head. 

Synopsis

Byung-Doo is a button man. He is toiling day and night to provide for his family. Sang-Chul, his boss, doesn’t give him efficient tasks. Bung-Doo is set on changing his life now. He reaches out to the top boss, Hwang.

Proposing to complete the task, Sang declined, but Byung-Doo makes the first move. The first move to further convolutions.

10. Breathless

  • Logline: Bond of a gangster and a high school girl.
  • Year: 2008
  • Genre: Drama/Crime
  • Duration: 2h 10m
Breathless
Breathless

There must be people like me who think philosophically. Do Gangsters have no emotions? No, they do have! They just don’t acknowledge it.

Synopsis

Sang-Hoon collects debts for his pawnbroker friend. His harsh childhood has made him the same rough. The emotional baggage has left mere sourness in him.

Hoon behaves impolitely with a high school girl, Yeon-hee too. This meet ignites his emotional side rooting a unique friendship.

9. The Outlaws

  • Logline: Two rivals Gangsters competing to be the best.
  • Year: 2017
  • Genre: Action/Crime
  • Duration: 2h 1m
The Outlaws
The Outlaws

“This is my area!”. “No, this is only my area.” The Outlaws is an action-packed movie. With gangsters fighting over their area of control, they want to emerge as the mightiest.

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Synopsis

Stemming from a real-life story, The Outlaws refers to the ‘Heuksapa Incident.’ Jang Chen is from China. He operates the loan lending activity in Seoul in his own vicious ways.

The popularity and terror of Jang Chen grow in the Chinatown area. Ma Suk-Do is a spy, who is worried about Jang Chen’s rise.

8. The Chaser

  • Logline: Tailing of a callous murderer.
  • Year: 2008
  • Genre: Thriller/Action
  • Duration: 2h 5m
The Chaser
The Chaser

Not everyone is a pro at picking up clues. The Chaser as the name says is about the pursuance of a serial killer.

I loved this Korean movie from the bottom of my heart and would recommend everyone to watch it.

Synopsis

Jung-Ho is an ex-spy. An indecent man, he maintains a group of call-girls. Lately, his girls have been vanishing. The mind of the detective is awakened when he sends Mi-Jin to a customer.

It is the same number the disappeared call girls had received last. This is where ‘the chase’ begins to find the obscure customer.

7. The Gangster, The Cop, The Devil

  • Logline: The ideal story of police and crime-doers.
  • Year: 2019
  • Genre: Action/Crime
  • Duration: 1h 50m
The Gangster The Cop The Devil
The Gangster The Cop The Devil

Usually, gangsters escape because of power and money-minded officers. The justified nature of this Gangster movie will make you scream,” Yeah that’s how it should be done!”

Synopsis

The story wheels around a serial killer. He kills a man after hitting his car. Jung Tae-Suk, an officer investigates the matter. The new target of the criminal is a thug, Jang Dong-Soo.

He does the same with the gangster but fails this time. Tae-Sook comes up with the idea of teaming up with the gangster to find him. What the future holds for him are more crime scenes to bemuse him.

6. A Bittersweet Life

  • Logline: The life of a logical gangster.
  • Year: 2005
  • Genre: Action/Drama
  • Duration: 1h 58m
A Bittersweet Life
A Bittersweet Life

A wise decision doesn’t always bring good for you. Definitely not, if you are in the underworld. This Korean Gang-War movie will show you the consequences of morality.

Synopsis

Sun-Woo is a faithful man of his boss, Kang. Kang assigns him to keep track of Hee-Su. Hee-Su is Kang’s girlfriend. Sun-Woo himself falls for her.

He finally manages to catch her in an affair but lets her escape. This decision of Sun-Woo will cost him his life.

5. Nameless Gangster

  • Logline: A corrupt police officer decides to partner up with a gangster to make money.
  • Year: 2012
  • Genre: Thriller/Crime
  • Duration: 2h 14m
Nameless Gangster
Nameless Gangster

Gangsters yearn for superiority. This chase for becoming THE BIGGEST is the drive behind their dark moves. How long will this domination of mobsters last is what this Korean Gangwar movie is about!

Synopsis

Choi Ik-Hyun is a dishonest customs officer. A core inquiry brings out their corruption. After a couple of weeks, he comes across the smuggling of drugs at the port. He plots to sell the drugs and move out of his job.

Choi Ik-Hyun’s colleagues tell him of Choi Hyung-Bae, a famous crime lord. He might be a big path maker for Choi Ik-Hyun’s success. Ik-Hyun’s strange ways of making success might be just a pipe dream.

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4. The Yellow Sea

  • Logline: The hardships of a taxi driver through life.
  • Year: 2010
  • Genre: Thriller/Drama
  • Duration: 2h 37m
The Yellow Sea
The Yellow Sea

Look before you leap and think before you speak, said always. The protagonist does neither. The way he pushes himself onto making the worst decisions is what The Yellow Sea is all about.

Synopsis

Ku-Nam is struggling in his days as a taxi driver. His unending debts have landed him in serious trouble. Expelled from his job and surrounded by dues, he takes a step for the bad of course.

He agrees to an offer of murder at a huge pay. Setting out for South Korea, he wills to find his wife too. At the time of executing the task, the tables turn. Ku-Nam’s already perplexed life turns into an ever confusing maze.

3. New World

  • Logline: A police officer and his unending assignment.
  • Year: 2013
  • Genre: Thriller/Crime
  • Duration: 2h 14m
New World
New World

Do I need to give a reason for watching uncanny movies like New World?! This Korean Gangster Movie is the go-to movie for all mystery enthusiasts! I was biting my nails while watching it.

Synopsis

Ja-Sung is an undercover cop in the National Police Agency. He has been sneaking into the Goldmoon Group, a potent crime gang.

Within 8 years, Ja-Sung has risen through the positions. The unexpected death of Goldmoon’s leader demands a new head. This is where the plan ‘New World’ comes into action.

2. The Man from Nowhere

  • Logline: A mysterious man wants to save his only friend.
  • Year: 2010
  • Genre: Action/Thriller
  • Duration: 1h 59m
The Man from Nowhere
The Man from Nowhere

Coming across selfless people in real life is a next to impossible thing. This Korean Gangster Movie portrays a selfless character and that too in an action movie. Isn’t it mentally pleasing?

Synopsis

Tae-Sik is a widower and runs a pawnshop. He is a man with a dark past. Hence, he lives a silent life for the world. So-Mi, a neighborhood girl, sees this same quiet side of him.

So-Mi’s mother is involved in narcotraffic. Tae-Sik’s normal life is turned upside down because of this drug smuggling.  

1. Hwayi: A Monster Boy

  • Logline: The evolution of an abducted child raised by gangsters.
  • Year: 2013
  • Genre: Action/Thriller
  • Duration: 2h 6m
Hwayi A Monster Boy
Hwayi A Monster Boy

Why are Korean Gangster Movies so top-notch? Must be thinking the same, right? Let’s not waste time. Read about another movie to watch it. It will make you think of the first line again!

Synopsis

5 fathers of one son. These fathers are skilled gangsters. Their son is a kidnapped child whom they have raised. Hwayi has grown into a deadly murderer.

An incident leads him to his unknown truth. This truth changes the abnormal life he has lived.