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Memories of Murder

A Korean movie directed by Joon-Ho Bong

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A thrilling and unsettling depiction of what happens when old school Korean detectives meet American style psychotic killers

  • Dec 31, 2007
A hotshot young detective from Seoul is enlisted to help out the old school small town detectives when it becomes clear they have a sophisticated serial killer on their hands. The local detectives' old school methods -- unscientific crime scene investigation, gathering of usual suspects and assisting them to remember with threats and torture, planting of evidence -- aren't going to cut it with a sophisticated killer on the loose who threatens repeat violence. On the other hand, the new methods -- gathering evidence, looking for patterns, profiling the killer -- are slow and unable to produce certainty. This is a unique kind of serial killer thriller -- unlike almost any I've seen and much more entertaining: in part for the fact that while the threat of the killer and the perverted nature of his crimes are always on the periphery this is not a film that glorifies the killer, American style. It is about the simple people who work to solve such crimes and the way their efforts affect their lives. In that sense this film is much closer to David Fincher's Zodiac than it is to, say, Silence of the Lambs or Seven or the absurd Saw films and their ilk. Another excellent Korean film, well worth watching.

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More Memories of Murder reviews
review by . August 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
*** out of ****     "Memories of Murder" is a beautifully directed, wonderfully acted murder-mystery thriller from Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-Ho. His previous film was "Barking Dogs Never Bite", a witty satire; and the film that he followed up this one with was "The Host". Now, I have always loved "The Host"; which is the best monster movie of the 2000's, and perhaps my favorite of all-time; or at least one of them. I admire how Joon-Ho breathes new life in the form of satire …
Quick Tip by . July 27, 2010
A scary but potent crime thriller from the director of "The Host."
review by . April 15, 2009
posted in ASIANatomy
U.S. dvd cover
"Memories of Murder" (aka. Salinui Chueok, 2003) is a film based on real events that occurred in a small town in South Korea between 1986 to 1991. The film is about South Korea's first serial killer, when advancements in forensics and DNA evidence hasn't been perfected yet. Director Bong Joon-Ho brings us a dramatic police thriller that portrays the investigation of these brutal rape and murders when all cops could rely upon are their instincts, intuition, street savvy and intimidation. I have …
review by . June 29, 2007
This was a well-made mystery based on a series of murders committed in Korea in 1986. Main character Park (Kang-ho Song) is a cross between Dirty Harry and Takeshi Kitano's characters, though on a much more vulgar level. His methods of investigation are appalling (and simultaneously funny). He gets his tips from a lover, consults a fortuneteller for information (and then tries to get her to name a suspect from a series of photos he shows her) and even stoops to the level of stealing a mentally retarded …
About the reviewer
Nathan Andersen ()
Ranked #68
I teach philosophy at Eckerd College, in Saint Petersburg, Florida.      I run an award-winning International Cinema series in Tampa Bay (www.eckerd.edu/ic), and am co-director of … more
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A South Korean thriller based on a true story,Memories of Murdercomes across like a hybrid ofSilence of the LambsandOne False Move. A pair of rural detectives, Park (Song Kang-ho) and Jo (Kim Roe-ha), chafe when a Seoul detective named Seo (Kim Sang-kyung) gets involved in their big case: Korea's first known serial killer, who's killed two women on rainy nights. Seo is dismayed by the rural cops' interrogation methods, which consist of beating suspects until they confess--and they aren't above planting evidence or "helping" a suspect remember the details of his crime. While Park and Jo seek clues from fortune tellers and magic charms, Seo struggles to build a case from hard evidence and the forensic approaches only just starting to take hold (the movie is set in 1986). Shots of the victims and jolting moments of violence giveMemories of Murdera dose of gruesomeness, but the movie has more on its mind that exploitation. Visually stylish and psychologically astute,Memories of Murderis as much a portrait of cultural change as a serial killer mystery.--Bret Fetzer
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Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
Release Date: May 2, 2003
MPAA Rating: Unrated
DVD Release Date: 8/9/2005
Runtime: 2hrs 9min
Studio: Palm Pictures / Umvd
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