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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, disturbing and tragic character drama
Memories of Murder is the best film I've seen from Korea's 'new wave' so far. Inevitably marketed as a cop thriller, this story of the botched investigation into South Korea's first serial killer is much more of a character-driven drama. As the bodies mount up, the local cops are joined by a city cop, setting the scene for a clash between brute force - Kang-ho Song's...
Published on 20 July 2005 by Trevor Willsmer

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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Yeah, it's good n' all...
The story of inane, underfunded detectives in a rural town in South Korea and their investigation of serial sexual assaults and murders committed by someone whom has proved faultless and far too elusive for small-town detectives to catch. This is the backdrop for what the movie really is, which is a lecture on the horrors of certainty, and the cruelness of doubt...
Published on 4 Feb 2012 by Jack


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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dark, disturbing and tragic character drama, 20 July 2005
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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This review is from: Memories Of Murder [DVD] (DVD)
Memories of Murder is the best film I've seen from Korea's 'new wave' so far. Inevitably marketed as a cop thriller, this story of the botched investigation into South Korea's first serial killer is much more of a character-driven drama. As the bodies mount up, the local cops are joined by a city cop, setting the scene for a clash between brute force - Kang-ho Song's local tortures suspects and plants evidence because that's the way things have always been done - and intellect - Sang-kyum Kim believes that documents never lie and relies more on tracing patterns.
To a degree, the narrative betrays a similar tension, with chases and beatings alternating with throwaway scenes highlighting the sheer incompetence of the investigation (the local police haven't bothered to read the forensic reports and they even try to frame the only witness, while they're unable to prevent more killings because the manpower they need is diverted to suppressing pro-democracy rallies). But it's not that simple: no sooner has one approach been finally been comprehensively disproved than the other is found equally lacking, and as no progress is made the detectives turn on each other and then themselves. It takes a while hitting its stride, but when it does it delivers some powerful blows, and the look of hopeless impotence on Kang-ho Song's face that ends the picture is the most haunting image I've seen on film this year.
The extras are fewer than on the Korean disc, but the deleted scenes are interesting. The disc I got had one minor glitch - when tryng to skip back a few seconds to catch the odd subtitle I missed, it would skip further back than desired for some reason - but it's not enough of a problem to avoid buying the film.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars memories of murder, 26 Feb 2006
This review is from: Memories Of Murder [DVD] (DVD)
what with the likes of 'oldboy' and the completely off-the-wall 'save the green planet' korean cinema is carving a niche for itself. 'memories...' shows two rural detectives as they attempt to catch a serial killer, soon to be joined by another from the city. the inevitable clash of styles quickly becomes apparent, but soon we see that nothing seems to be turning up results leading to frustration from all involved and the inevitably ludicrous theories (baldies, anyone?). mixed in with the tension is a rich vein of humour as frame-ups are attempted. also loved the second cop's intro - a nice guy but can get upset at times.
this film says a lot about korea at that time as investigations are foiled by lack of backup (they're suppressing a pro-democrary rally, and we see one of the local cops in action at one themselves). tragic and blackly comic, a great film (though i have have dvd glitches too)
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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars From comedy to drama, 13 Feb 2007
By 
Dr. R. G. Bullock "Gavin Bullock" (Winchester, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Memories Of Murder [DVD] (DVD)
The film is set in a provincial Korean town surrounded by an arable, almost treeless landscape with distant hills. A number of women are murdered in a bizarre and sexual way and these are investigated by the local 'CID' consisting of two detectives who appear to be unaware of the proper procedures. The senior of the two is a great believer in getting suspects to look into his eyes and uses his intuition to determine their guilt - that, plus the planting of a bit of evidence helpful to his case. A real detective is brought in from Seoul, an intense young man who initially makes some sharp observations which make you think he is going to sort it out. The bucolic fuzziness gets to him as well and the three career on their investigation with almost unbelievable ineptitude. They fight, they burst into people's homes without showing their ID and generally terrorise witnesses, whether suspects or not.

Gradually the vaguely slap-stick feeling of the beginning darkens into something much more serious and powerful and the protagonists achieve some sort of self-knowledge. The heightening of the drama is emphasised by the use of darkened landscapes and an atmospheric score. There is a nice twist right at the end which skews your perspective on what has happened.

A minor irritation - why can't they get this right? - is the difficulty in reading the subtitles on a bright background. All they need is a grey, transparent box. There are some gruesome pictures of corpses but nothing worse than in "Waking the Dead" on TV.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent film - disc may have a few glitches..., 4 Mar 2005
This review is from: Memories Of Murder [DVD] (DVD)
This is one of the best films I've seen in ages, and definitely worth getting if you're into Korean cinema, serial killer movies, cop thrillers or dark comedies (who can that leave out?). But from what I can tell, some copies of the R2 DVD have a slight but noticeable glitch: at about five points in the film, the picture goes blurry for about 5 frames. (Mine does, and I've heard one other person complain; but another person had no problem. It's most likely one of those problems that's a product of the disc AND particular players). To be honest, this isn't going to completely spoil the film for anyone, but you should know.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Memories of a Korean classic first seen at a local film festival, 26 April 2010
By 
Andy B (Wellington, New Zealand) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Memories Of Murder [DVD] (DVD)
After a series of rapes and murders in a small town in South Korea the local detectives bungle crucial evidence and their tack is taken over by A more competent Seoul Detective. The film has a high degree of unease but the gruesome images are also balanced by a devilish sense of dark humour. Song Kang-ho the lead actor in the film went onto star in the south Korean blockbuster The Host and more recently in "Thirst". Get your hands on this film it's a milestone in Asian cinema.

From Wikipedia

"Memories of was the second feature film directed by Bong Joon-ho, following his 2000 debut film Barking Dogs Never Bite. The screenplay was adapted by Bong and Shim Sung-bo from Kim Kwang-rim's 1996 stage play about the same subject. Song Kang-ho and Kim Sang-kyung star as two of the detectives trying to solve the crimes.

The film won the South Korean film industry's 2003 Grand Bell Award for best film, while Bong Joon-ho and Song Kang-ho won the awards for best director and best leading actor respectively.

While a total body count was never mentioned in the film, a total of 10 similar murders were committed in the Hwaseong area between October 1986 and April 1991. Over 300,000 policemen took part in the investigation and over 3,000 suspects were interrogated."
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing but very well made film., 10 April 2005
By 
Mr. Ruairi McGovern (Sligo Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Memories Of Murder [DVD] (DVD)
This has to be one of the best murder films ever made as well as one of South Korea's films and is based on the true story of a South Korean serial killer and his string of murders of women from the same area. The police are unable to catch him and the film gets darker with every killing. The performances by the leading actors are brilliant as well as an excellent support cast. It's hard not to notice it's only a film, but it still has the power to grip the viewer up to the very end. Worth buying or renting in my opinion and can leave the viewer very pleased by it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent Korean serial killer thriller., 19 July 2010
By 
Ernie (Kent) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Memories Of Murder [DVD] (DVD)
Based on the true story of a small South Korean village in which someone begins to murder young women, the plot of 'Memories Of Murder' revolves around pair of detectives and a special agent from Seoul assigned to find the murderer. Faced with crime scenes are routinely disturbed by the locals and a forensic team which are always a no show, the special agent is shocked to find that brutal local police are less interested in solving the case and finding the killer and more interested in finding a scapegoat, someone to blame in order to pacify a restless local population.

With memorable dark visuals, a haunting score, and a great story, this is a film which succeeds brilliantly as a deeply haunting and disturbing crime thriller. If you like foreign cinema and enjoyed films like 'Insomina' and 'Seven' then 'Memories Of Murder' is essential viewing.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Memories of Murder, 8 Mar 2005
This review is from: Memories Of Murder [DVD] (DVD)
This is a very engrossing film that tells the true story of a serial killer in South Korea during the 80's.
If you are very used to seeing Hollywood blockbusters, with large budgets and huge castlists you will actually be pleasantly surprised with the lack of background actors and CGI. It adds a very simple effect to the film which helps you concentrate on the story itself.
I have to warn you though - there are at least five scenes in this film that are not for the feint hearted, but in a way I can understand why they are necessary. They add a level of evil and maliciousness that is very rarely seen with Western films (off the top of my head, Se7en comes close) and helps you become emotionally attached to the capture of the criminal.
You may wonder why I have rated this film a 4 after all this praise, but I feel that even though the film is beautifully directed and has excellent comedy value at times, it won't appeal to the mass. Simply because you can become frustrated with the efforts of the police which will leave some people unsatisfied. I would recommend this film to all those who enjoy independent films with an engrossing and emotionally attaching plot.
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5.0 out of 5 stars great, 2 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Memories Of Murder [DVD] (DVD)
It was great! Everything about this purchase went brilliant. I loved the movie. Someone took it never to be back then i moved away
I will buy this movie again it is just great
thanks
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4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent thriller, 17 Dec 2013
This review is from: Memories Of Murder [DVD] (DVD)
I love south korean thrillers and I had to watch this after seeing the title mentioned everywere. The story and acting is great - but it was missing that little something to get up to the standard of i.e. I Saw the Devil. It is still something you should watch if you love these types of movies, though.
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Memories Of Murder [DVD]
Memories Of Murder [DVD] by Jong-Ryol Choi (DVD - 2005)
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