Grab your popcorn and your favorite drink because we’re going to talk about the Best Korean Movies!
We’ve compiled our favorite Movies from all genres: Historical Films, Suspense and Thriller, Action, Drama, and of course, everyone’s favorite: Romantic Comedies. There’s definitely something for everybody here.
We’ll even throw in bonus tips at the end of this article on how to learn Korean while watching movies. That’s right! You can have fun and learn a thing or two with your next film, so read on!
- 1 Best Korean Historical Movies
- 2 Best Korean Action Movies
- 3 Best Korean Romantic-Comedy Movies
- 4 Best Korean Suspense-Thriller Movies
- 5 Best Korean Dramatic Movies
- 5.1 Peppermint Candy (박하사탕 | bakasatang) 1999
- 5.2 Oasis (오아시스 | oasiseu) 2002
- 5.3 Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring (봄 여름 가을 겨울 그리고 봄 | bom yeoreum gaeul gyeoul geurigo bom) 2003
- 5.4 Bleak Night (파수꾼 | pasukkun) 2010
- 5.5 How to Steal a Dog (개를 훔치는 완벽한 방법 | gaereul humchineun wanbyeokan bangbeop) 2014
- 5.6 Intimate Strangers (완벽한 타인 | wanbyeokan tain) 2018
- 6 Other Films That You’ll Love
- 7 Best Korean Movies for Studying Korean
- 8 How to Watch a Korean Movie
Best Korean Historical Movies
History fans are going to have a blast with this list. Here are the best Korean movies related to history.
Silmido (실미도 | silmido) 2003
Director: Woo-Suk Kang
Cast: Sung-Ki Ahn, Kyung-gu Sol, Joon-ho Huh
Silmido is based on the true story of Unit 684, A special unit that was recruited to assassinate the North Korean leader Kim Il Sung. Unit 684 is sent to Silmido, an island near Incheon, for secret and extremely tough training.
When the movie was released, it was the highest-grossing South Korean movie that had been made to that point. It helped cause the government to publicly acknowledge the events that occurred on Silmido and compensate the victims’ families.
For a movie to have that much real-world impact, you know it has to be good. Check out Silmido and decide for yourself if you consider it to be one of the best Korean movies (and pick up a couple of Korean phrases while you’re at it).
The Admiral: Roaring Currents (명량 | myeongnyang) 2014
Director: Han-min Kim
Cast: Choi Min-sik, Seung-ryong Ryu, Cho Jin-woong
Want to mix in a bit of Korean history along with your movie-related language studies? Then The Admiral: Roaring Currents may be the film for you! Known as 명량 (myeongnyang) in Korean, this film depicts what happened during the Battle of Myeongnyang at the end of the 16th century.
If you like naval battles, then this is the movie for you!
The Admiral: Roaring Currents gained a great deal of attention because it recorded over ten million views in only a couple of days, which was the quickest that any movie had gained that type of viewership in such a short period of time.
The movie also became the most-viewed movie in Korea right after Avatar had snatched up that title, so it’s widely acknowledged that the movie is worth watching!
The plot focuses on the historic 1957 battle, in which Admiral Yi Sun-sin defeated 330 Japanese ships invading Korean territory with only twelve ships of his own. It is an underdog story full of action, and even though you know how it ends, it’s a movie that will capture your attention and won’t let go until the credits are rolling.
This is a great movie to check out if you want to learn about the Korean language and history at the same time. You can kill two birds with one stone in the short span of a two-hour movie!
Check this movie out, and you’ll realize very quickly why it’s one of the most viewed movies in the world.
A Taxi Driver (택시운전사 | taeksiunjeonsa) 2017
Director: Hun Jang
Cast: Kang-ho Song, Thomas Kretschmann, Hae-Jin Yoo
Aside from the events in the Joseon era, Korean historical movies also discuss contemporary events. So if you want to be entertained but learn something simultaneously, A Taxi Driver is the movie to see.
This movie highlights the life of a widowed man working in Seoul as a taxi driver. One day, he gets a foreign client who plans to go to Gwangju for a day trip. The client is a foreign journalist who wants to know and report about the civil unrest in Gwangju.
The movie was set during a time when the government imposed strict censorship. A series of events led to what is known as the Gwangju democratic movement. What starts as a pretty simple plot becomes much more interesting with some civil unrest thrown into the mix!
The Battleship Island (군함도 | gunhamdo) 2017
Director: Seung-wan Ryoo
Cast: Jung-min Hwang, So Ji-seob, Song Joong-Ki
Another contemporary historical movie released in 2017, the Battleship Island starring So Ji-seob and Song Joong-Ki, garnered much attention from Korean moviegoers.
The story covers the forced labor imposed by Japanese companies on Koreans during the Japanese occupation of Korea. The laborers were brought to an island called Hashima and were forced to work beyond their limit without pay.
It’s an emotional story and an important one for understanding a bit more about Korea-Japan relations.
Best Korean Action Movies
Here are the top Korean movies in the action genre.
Friend (친구 | chingu) 2001
Director: Kyung-taek Kwak
Cast: Oh-seong Yu, Jang Dong-Gun, Tae-hwa Seo
As most Korean lessons and textbooks teach the language as it is spoken in Seoul, people interested in learning the Busan dialect could find Chingu helpful. This movie follows the lives of four friends living in Busan’s gangster underworld.
It starts when they are young children, and continues into their adult lives, so you’re invested in their story by the time the movie’s over.
The Good, The Bad, The Weird (좋은 놈, 나쁜 놈, 이상한 놈 | joeun nom, nappeun nom, isanghan nom) 2018
Director: Jee-woon Kim
Cast: Kang-ho Song, Lee Byung-Hun, Jung Woo-sung
Kim Jee-Woon’s The Good, The Bad, The Weird is a ‘Western’ movie that is very easy to follow and isn’t too fast-paced for an action movie.
It follows three characters (the titular good, bad, and weird) in the ‘Wild East’ of 1940’s Manchuria as they try to find some buried treasure while simultaneously avoiding the Japanese army. Lee Byung-Hun (GI Joe, Terminator Genisys) stars as ‘The Bad.’
Haeundae (해운대 | haeundae) 2009
Director: JK Youn
Cast: Ha Ji-Won, Kim Yoo-Jeong, Myeong-hoon Park
Haeundae builds up the character’s stories slowly before washing them all away in a giant tsunami. As the tsunami is the plot twist (although the English title ‘Tidal Wave’ kind of gives it away), the movie is very easy to follow.
There are also a bunch of fun special effects as the tsunami is gaining force, so if you’re a fan of CGI and disaster movies, then this will be a good fit for you.
Throw on Haeundae the next time you want to practice your language skills but don’t want to pay a ton of attention to what’s going on in the story.
The Thieves (도둑들 | dodukdeul) 2012
Director: Dong-hoon Choi
Cast: Kim Yoon-seok, Jung-jae Lee, Kim Hye-su
The Thieves is a classic heist movie similar to the Ocean’s Eleven franchise. As the plot is quite obvious, it is easy to follow, but that’s not to say it’s not fun to watch. You can focus on the language they use and still enjoy it.
The film is set in Macau and follows a gang of thieves who steal a large diamond. Rather obviously, things don’t go according to plan.
Turn on The Thieves the next time you want to check out a movie that’s equal parts fun, engaging, and easy to understand.
Best Korean Romantic-Comedy Movies
These are the best Korean movies in the romantic-comedy genre.
My Sassy Girl (엽기적인 그녀 | yeopgijeogin geunyeo) 2001
Director: Jae-young Kwak
Cast: Tae-Hyun Cha, Jun Ji-Hyun, In-mun Kim
My Sassy Girl is a Korean classic. Although it is not easy to follow, it does involve situations that might apply to real-life (such as helping someone who has drunk too much soju).
If you were unfortunate enough to watch the terrible Hollywood remake of this movie, then don’t be put off. This film is much, much better! The characters’ realness in this movie is refreshing and makes it stay with you a long time after watching it.
This film’s plot is a tale as old as time — it follows a male student who’s been down on his luck romantically. Fate thrusts this man and a random drunk girl together, and the film progresses as these two enter into a volatile relationship together.
The film (and their relationship) takes twists and turns that you can’t imagine, and all in all, it’s a classic for a good reason. You fall in love with the two main characters and all of their quirks, which makes watching the movie tons of fun.
Check this film out if you’re a romantic at heart or if you’re currently not having an easy time in the romance department — it’ll make you laugh, it’ll make you cry, and parts of it may hit closer to home than you’d like.
You may even learn a phrase or two that’ll be useful for your next relationship.
Highway Star (복면달호 | bongmyeondalho) 2007
Director: Hyun-su Kim, Sang-chan Kim
Cast: Tae-Hyun Cha, Chae-moo Im, So-yeon Lee
If there were an award for the best Korean movie for learning about the kind of music that ajummas listen to, then Highway Star movie would win it!
Kim Sang-chan and Kim Hyun-su’s Highway Star follow the story of a rocker who has to sing ‘trot’ music to make ends meet. He wears a mask so that people don’t know that he is a massive sell-out.
It is an entertaining movie and can teach people not familiar with Korea about a type of music that is very different from BTS or Big Bang.
Two Faces of My Girlfriend (두 얼굴의 여친 | du eolgurui yeochin) 2007
Director: Seok-hoon Lee
Cast: Tae-gyu Bong, Sa Hee, Ryeowon Jung
If you’re looking for something a little less political or action-packed and a little more light-hearted, Lee Seok-hoon’s Two Faces of My Girlfriend is the perfect movie for you! This film is all about serendipity and fate with a bunch of humor added in.
A man who has never had much luck with women finds a wallet, and he sets out to find its owner. The owner is a beautiful, sweet woman named Ani, that the main character begins a relationship.
Throughout the movie, it becomes clear that Ani isn’t as perfect as she seems – she has a unique case of Split Personality Disorder, so the main character is dating Ani as well as her aggressive, hysterical counterpart. Hello, drama!
If you’re looking to get a few laughs in alongside your next Korean lesson, put this movie on and enjoy yourself. It’s tons of fun and features a cast of lovable characters, so you’re bound to have a great time.
Castaway on the Moon (김씨 표류기 | gimssi pyoryugi) 2009
Director: Hae-jun Lee
Cast: Jae-yeong Jeong, Ryeowon Jung, Yeong-seo Park
Castaway on the Moon is about a man whose failed suicide attempt leaves him stranded on a deserted island….in the middle of Seoul. His isolation and that of the young woman who spies on him from her apartment convey the feeling of loneliness that can come from living in a big city such as Seoul.
Even though living in a huge city means people on all sides surround you, it can feel impossible to connect to the people around you. It’s a universal feeling, and it makes for a great movie!
This film feels very philosophical and makes you feel as if you have learned something about yourself and some Korean. You’ll especially love it if you’ve ever lived in a big city, because the story may feel familiar to you.
Turn on this movie and do a little soul-searching while you learn something new about the Korean language!
On Your Wedding Day (너의 결혼식 | neoui gyeolhonsik) 2018
Director: Seok-Geun Lee
Cast: Park Bo-Young, Kim Young-kwang, Kang Ki-Young
A funny and cute film described by many is a story of 2 people who met in high school.
The female character is a new kid on the block, and as soon as the male character laid his eyes on her, he immediately fell in love with her. They begin their relationship by pretending to be dating but eventually turn it into something real.
If you are looking for a story that will take you back to your younger days when you first felt love, then this movie is for you. But Korean romance films are famous for their shocking twists and emotional drama, so be prepared for it.
Best Korean Suspense-Thriller Movies
Grab your popcorn and your favorite drink because you’re about to watch the best Korean movies in the suspense-thriller genre.
Joint Security Area (공동경비구역 JSA | gongdonggyeongbiguyeok JSA) 2000
Director: Park Chan Wook
Cast: Lee Yeong-ae, Lee Byung-Hun, Kang-ho Song
Joint Security Area (or JSA) is a movie by the critically-acclaimed director of Oldboy, and there’s a lot to love about it. This movie has a little bit of everything – war, action, political tension, plenty of mystery, and great cinematography.
The setting is the border between North and South Korea, and the plot follows the investigation of a potential war crime that could blow up and destroy the peace agreements between North and South Korea. A man returns to the South Korean side of the border, leaving two dead North Korean soldiers on the opposite side. A neutral third-party investigator is called in to try to piece together what happened before war breaks out.
The action and the twists and turns of the plot in Joint Security Area will ensure that although you’re studying, you’ll still be having a ton of fun in the process (and anything you learn will stick with you).
This movie is also great if you’re interested in North and South Korea’s relationship – and really, who isn’t? You’ll get a fair share of listening practice for the North Korean dialect.
Add Joint Security Area to your must-watch list, and let us know what you think!
Oldboy (올드보이 | oldeuboi) 2003
Director: Chan-wook Park
Cast: Choi Min sik, Yoo Ji-Tae, Kang Hye-jeong
The year 2003 was a big year for Korean filmmaking, and Park Chan-Wook’s Oldboy had a lot to do with it!
Revenge is a big genre for Korean films, and Oldboy is a classic of that genre. It follows the story of a man who has been imprisoned for fifteen years and then released. He only has five days to find out the reasons for his imprisonment. Will he figure it out in time? Will the knowledge he gains set him free? Find out all of these answers (and more) by watching Oldboy.
Even if you need to watch this movie with subtitles, it is definitely worth watching. This movie quickly became a hit around the world – the story is so interesting, cryptic, and convoluted that it’s hard not to be on the edge of your seat during the entire film.
The ending will be something that you talk about for days or even weeks after.
The Host (괴물 | goemul) 2006
Director: Bong Joon Ho
Cast: Kang-ho Song, Byun Hee-Bong, Park Hae-il
The Host is a lot of fun to watch, but it is not the movie for you if you’re looking for something light-hearted to brighten your day. Bong Joon Ho’s “The Host” is sci-fi at its best, and it was a huge box-office hit in South Korea when it was released, winning multiple awards to boot.
This film was written and directed by Bong Joon Ho. The Director Bong Joon Ho is a famous South Koren film director and screenwriter, known for other films such as Okja and Snowpiercer and Memories of Murder.
The movie’s premise is that chemicals dumped into a major river in Seoul result in a gigantic mutant monster. This creature is the source of much death and destruction throughout the movie, so there’s some violence, but there’s also a ton of drama and emotion (as well as some humor) that brings the film together and makes it a lot of fun to watch.
The characters will make you feel a lot throughout the movie. The main character is a father that needs to face his fear of the monster to bring his daughter back to safety, so of course, you’re on edge the entire movie.
If you’re a fan of action movies and don’t mind getting emotionally invested in cool characters, then The Host is the perfect movie for your next Korean study session.
The Man From Nowhere (아저씨 | ajeossi) 2010
Director: Jeong-beom Lee
Cast: Won Bin, Sae-ron Kim, Tae-hoon Kim
If you’re a fan of action movies and thrillers that will keep you on the edge of your seat, definitely add Lee Jeong-beom’s The Man From Nowhere to the list of movies you plan on watching.
It has all the elements of a great action film — it tells a story of a pawnshop owner who also happens to be an ex-black ops fighter who’s tough on the outside but has a heart of gold, a revenge rampage, and a sweet little girl who is kidnapped early on in the movie. This movie will keep you guessing, and as soon as you think you’ve figured it out, it’ll throw another surprise your way!
Although this film is primarily a crime-based thriller full of tough language and necessary violence, there are also very sweet elements that will make even the most stoic viewers tear up. The end especially will tug at your heartstrings and is worth sitting through the rest of the film for.
This movie is excellent for learning Korean in part because the plot is so interesting — it’ll keep you invested in the movie, and you’ll want to figure out what characters are saying so that you can better follow the story.
There are many short, terse questions and answers that should be easy for intermediate learners to understand without subtitles. Still, you’ll want to keep the subtitles on for some of the faster-paced scenes because it can be a little difficult to pick up on the fast-paced dialogue.
The Witch: Part 1. The Subversion (마녀 | manyeo) 2018
Director: Park Hoon-jung
Cast: Kim Da-Mi, Min-soo Jo, Woo-sik Choi
If you are into revenge thriller movies, this movie is a must-watch. It is considered one of the top Korean films in 2018 with a great cast and acting quality.
It tells a story of a girl who escaped from a government organization that is creating children to be highly skilled assassins. As she escaped the organization, she tried to live her life normally together with her adoptive parents. However, she didn’t know that the organization was hunting her so they can kill her.
The movie landed 1st place in its opening week. Kim Dami, who plays the lead character in the movie, won the best actress and best new actress from different award-giving bodies in Korea.
Best Korean Dramatic Movies
Love drama? Here are the best Korean movies related to the drama genre.
Peppermint Candy (박하사탕 | bakasatang) 1999
Director: Lee Chang Dong
Cast: Kyung-gu Sol, Kim Yeo-Jin, So-ri Moon
Ah, Peppermint Candy. How can we possibly list all of the reasons that we love this movie? One of the more artsy movies on this list, Peppermint Candy by Lee Chang Dong, begins with the plot’s climax, the suicide of the protagonist. That’s one way to get viewers invested in a film, right?
After the suicide, the film progresses with flashbacks moving further and further back into the main character’s life, and at the end of the movie, the final flashback brings it all together and reveals why he killed himself.
It takes a little bit to figure out how to follow the reverse chronological order of the flashbacks, so you have to pay attention when you’re watching this film, or you won’t particularly appreciate it. That being said, if you invest your attention, you get a huge payoff when you finish the film. The ending is really something!
This movie will make you think and reflect on your own life once it’s over and done with, so if you’re not in a particularly reflective mood, it might be too heavy for you. It’s great for learning Korean because the dialogue is deliberate — the director wrote the script so that each sentence is there for a reason, so it’s easy to hang onto every word.
Put this film on if you want to think about life and what it all means — it’s a philosophical film for sure! This film is classic masterpiece by director Lee Chang Dong.
Oasis (오아시스 | oasiseu) 2002
Director: Chang-dong Lee
Cast: Kyung-gu Sol, So-ri Moon, Nae-sang Ahn
Break out the tissues — Oasis will give you all the feels when you watch it, but it’s one of those films that you feel better for watching after it’s over.
This movie follows the story of a mentally challenged man convicted in a hit-and-run case in which a man was killed. After the convicted man is released from prison, he begins a complicated relationship with a young woman with cerebral palsy (who also happens to be the daughter of the man killed in the hit and run accident).
With all of these interwoven dramatic elements, there are bound to be tears! That being said, for a heart-wrenching movie, numerous delicately beautiful moments make the film a gem. While full of adversity and heartache, the relationship between the two main characters is achingly beautiful and will stay with you for a while after the film is over.
This film is a great film for learning Korean if you’re not a fan of action films and would prefer a movie that focuses on the characters’ interpersonal relationships. Because this movie is so relationship-based, there’s a lot of dialogue, so you’ll be able to practice picking up on conversational exchanges.
If you’re searching for a film to watch on a quiet, rainy Sunday, pop this movie on and dive deep into the characters’ lives. You’ll be glad that you did!
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring (봄 여름 가을 겨울 그리고 봄 | bom yeoreum gaeul gyeoul geurigo bom) 2003
Director: Kim Ki-duk
Cast: Kim Ki-duk, Yeong-su Oh, Jong-ho Kim
If you’re trying to watch films without subtitles for the very first time, this movie is a great place to start! There is very little dialogue in Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring, so you’ll be able to understand much more of what is happening compared to most Korean films. This allows it to be used as a gateway for you to get used to watching movies without subtitles.
Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring follows a young Buddhist monk and his master. We watch as the monk grows up and experiences life. This movie is often found on lists of recommended Korean movies and feels profound when you watch it.
The monk’s journey is one that anyone can relate to, whether or not you’ve personally signed yourself up to spend the rest of your days in a Buddhist monastery. Put this movie on if you’re looking to watch a movie that will leave you with something to think about (in a good way) – this is one of those movies that’s hard to forget about!
It does have some very adult elements in it, though, so we might advise you to put it on after the kids are asleep.
Bleak Night (파수꾼 | pasukkun) 2010
Director: Sung-hyun Yoon
Cast: Lee Jehoon, Jung-min Park, Jun-Yeong Seo
Bleak Night is one of those high school movies that will feel eerily reminiscent of parts of your own high school experience. The movie’s plot picks up in the aftermath of a tragedy — a high school student is dead, and in the months following his death, his father still wants closure and has questions that he needs to be answered before he can be at peace.
Through the lens of the father’s search for truth, the film also follows what becomes of the dead son’s group of high school friends. Relationships become strained, and the mystery of the son’s death begins to take its toll on this group of high schoolers as they grapple with mortality for the first time in their young lives.
As you begin to piece more and more together about the mysterious circumstances of the death, you’ll also see flashbacks to the events that transpired immediately before the death occurred, which are full of a slightly nostalgic high school overtone that will stay with you after the movie is over.
This film is great to watch if you’re learning Korean because the dialogue between the characters can be a bit repetitive between the flashbacks and the present-day timeline, so if you don’t pick up on something the first time around, there’s a chance that the characters will repeat the dialogue.
The mystery alone is worth watching the movie for, so it’ll keep you intrigued and guessing until you get to the end.
How to Steal a Dog (개를 훔치는 완벽한 방법 | gaereul humchineun wanbyeokan bangbeop) 2014
Director: Sung-ho Kim, Kim Sung-ho
Cast: Re Lee, Lee Ji-Won, Eun-Taek Hong
As the two main characters in How to Steal a Dog are children, this light-hearted comedy is also relatively easy to follow.
It may not be the top South Korean movie ever made, but it helps improve your language skills. The plot follows a family that is bankrupt and lives out of a van. The girl mistakenly thinks that you can buy a house in Korea for five hundred dollars (I wish!). She then tries to raise this amount by kidnapping a dog then returning it for the reward money.
This is a great film to watch if you’d rather focus more on the Korean dialogue than the movie’s plot. Because the story isn’t particularly engrossing, you won’t be swept up in any interpersonal relationships or action sequences. Instead, you’ll be able to stay focused on understanding the dialogue and practicing your comprehension skills. This is a great movie to watch if you’re beginning to venture into the world of watching Korean films without subtitles.
Put this film on if you have a free afternoon that you want to devote to study Korean! It won’t get you all riled up or emotional (except for some laughs), so you’ll be able to get through the rest of your day without being distracted by tears in your eyes.
Intimate Strangers (완벽한 타인 | wanbyeokan tain) 2018
Director: J.Q. Lee
Cast: Hae-Jin Yoo, Cho Jin-woong, Seo-jin Lee
This film is about four boys who were friends from childhood and continued their friendship 30 years after. They get together one night at a housewarming party for their friend, who is now a doctor. They all meet with their wives and decide to play a game in which all must share messages and calls they received that night.
This is an interesting film for seeing the multi-layered dynamics of Korean relationships. While the evening starts as fun and lighthearted, it gets more serious as the characters find they don’t know as much about each other as they thought.
Other Films That You’ll Love
1. Parasite (기생충)
Director: Bong Joon Ho
Cast: Kang-ho Song, Sun-kyun Lee, Yeo-jeong Cho
2. I Saw the Devil (악마를 보았다)
Director: Jee-woon Kim
Cast: Lee Byung Hun, Choi Min sik, Jeon Gook Hwan
3. 3-Iron (빈집)
Director: Kim Ki Duk
Cast: Seung Yun Lee, Hee Jae, Hyuk Ho Kwon
4. Train to Busan (부산행)
Director: Sang-ho Yeon
Cast: Gong Yoo, Yu-mi Jung, Ma Dong-seok
Best Korean Movies for Studying Korean
The best Korean movies are not always the best movies for studying Korean. You may need to compromise your artistic integrity a bit and watch a few low-brow Korean films if you want to understand better without subtitles.
The best movies for studying Korean won’t feature very complex conversations or plots. Casual conversations are fantastic for learners to listen to when first starting. Over time, you’ll be able to watch even complex Korean movies without subtitles with ease.
It’s a good idea to avoid older movies as the language used in them is very different from modern Korean. Conversational Korean as we know it today has evolved. Korean films are also often fast-paced, so be prepared to watch a movie (or parts of it) multiple times to follow what’s happening. That way, you’ll have time to understand each part of the conversation and get the most out of your studies.
Now without further ado, here is the best South Korean cinema for studying Korean!
How to Watch a Korean Movie
Watching some fine South Korean cinema with the intent of learning or practicing Korean is different from watching a movie for leisure. You’ll still have fun doing it, of course. However, there are a couple of things you can do to set yourself up for success.
1st viewing: Skip the subtitles
Start by watching the movie without subtitles. This will let you appreciate the film for what it is before diving into the language-learning portion.
South Korean cinema is great – much of it is packed with drama, humor, and action – so there’s plenty to absorb and appreciate.
2nd viewing: Turn on the subtitles
Start with English subtitles for your next viewing. This will help you match English words to their spoken Korean counterparts.
Most learners have an easier time reading the English translation first, then match the subtitles to the Korean words, so give that a shot first.
3rd viewing: Turn on Korean subtitles
Watching the film in Hangeul, the Korean alphabet adds another layer of studying to your viewing experience.
Not only are you listening to the Korean words being spoken, but you’re also matching them to how they’re written in Hangeul as well. This can be extremely helpful as not all of the Korean words you hear will be the word you expected them to be.
If you can’t read Hangeul yet, it is possible to learn Hangeul in just ninety minutes, so what are you waiting for?
4th viewing: Turn off all subtitles
After watching a film scene with English subtitles, try turning the subtitles off and watch the scene without any subtitles at all. This will help you practice picking up on the words and phrases you’re now pretty familiar with without a visual aid.
At this point, you should understand most (if not all) of the conversation in the film with no help from subtitles. Yay!
Keep in mind; these steps are just recommendations for getting the most out of the studying part of watching a film. Feel free to only follow these steps some of the time or only for certain scenes or phrases you want to learn. They definitely take plenty of time and energy!
Many other movies can help you improve your Korean. These are just a few of our favorite picks.
Let us know in the comments below which movies we should add to this list and which movies you think are the best South Korean movies for studying Korean!