When this action thriller in South Korea was released and made available to all energy seekers, it didn’t take long to attract their target audience and make it the country’s highest grossing movie of the year. It is a film with an unbelievable dynamic where action and violence lead in an emotional connection-conceived story. After all, Cha Tae-sik leaves his quiet life to return to dangerous business for one simple reason: to save a child that is all about him. There are many other amazing stories within this idea of love, salvation and vengeance which impress you visually and which you will grab by the throat with their powerful cinematic realization. Here’s the list of films like ‘The Man from Nothing’ that are our recommendations. You can watch movies like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime from the North.
1. A Dirty Carnival (2006)
Less known in the Western World, “A Dirty Carnival” is an action film from South Korea full of entertaining plot points that range from one place to the other. This is a promise, because its action scenes merge greatly with the music to offer a performance that leaves you stuck to your seat. Kim Byung-doo is the protagonist of the film, a young man who works as a gangster who struggles to help his family from the threat of their eviction. Things begin to change when a public prosecutor is ordered to murder, which earns him the big boss’ respect. Soon he reunites with a friend from childhood who wants to make a gangster movie cost him more than he had planned to give.
2. Trade (2007)
Trade is a powerful film based on an article on sex slaves published in January 2004 in The New York Times. In fact, human trafficking and child slavery are also an important element of the plot of South Korean thriller, and a crucial theme that still needs to be dealt with urgently in the world in which we live. This drama refers to the kidnapping of a 13 year old girl in Mexico City who is thrown into a sexual slavery network with other victims. Her 17 year old brother hopes to find and rescue her from this disastrous accident, and is hunting for his sister’s life on a roller-coaster hunt.
3. The Chaser (2008)
“The Chaser,” a quick-moving thriller, was the debut of director Na Hong-jin. The disturbing and violent story is inspired by a terrifying real-life serial killer arrested in 2004 and now held securely in South Korea, Seoul. The trouble starts when Eom Joong-ho, a former detective turned pimp, reveals that two of his girls have disappeared. Using his past skills, he started an investigation only to face a psychopathic murderer. Brutal, wild but smartly built and executed. An excellent cat and mouse game worth a look for every thriller.
4. The Equaliser (2014)
Like Cha Tae-sik, the protagonist in this film believes that he lives a silent life, has left his past behind and looks to a bright new future. But in action thrillers things are not that simple, are they? Robert McCall, interpreted by Denzel Washington, breaks his promise to his deceased wife when violence, gunfights and trouble enters his life again. As a former CIA black operative, it is easy for him to clear a room of Russian Mafia members in 19 seconds, after a teenage who has just been a friend of his is heavily beaten by her brutal pimp. However, an act of this kind leaves behind traces and serious consequences for Robert’s future. This is a stylish violent film that will premiere in August 2018 with a magnificent Chloë Grace Moretz.
5. The Suspect (2013)
“The Suspect” refers to a man who is chased and chased simultaneously. The man is Ji Dong-chul, who was abandoned during a mission and soon discovered the killing of his wife and daughter. Determined to find his family’s killer, he runs with the pump of vengeance in his blood. A gem for the action genre, every spy and action buff has it to please. The explosive scenes of chaos and violence are perfectly performed while immersing the viewer with craft and power.
6. I Saw The Devil (2010)
Director Kim Jee-woon of South Korea deserves two of his films on this list, the first one being “I Saw the Devil.” While darker than the masterpiece of Lee Jeong-beom, it certainly fits the list with a bloody story of vengeance, filled with extraordinary jump scares and meticulous combat scenes. Defined as an action, horror and thriller, the film gives each of the genres the right impact to the public and strengthens the emotional behind it with every camera move it entails while it fills the room with abominable chill. If you like Choi Min-work sik’s as the relatively good man in “Old Boy,” here is a change in roles you’re definitely going to love.
7. Old Boy (2003)
The masterpiece of South Korea and perhaps one of the best neo-noir thrillers ever produced will surely not be anything but Park Chan-legendary wook’s “Old Boy.” At the prestigious Cannes Festival it won the Grand Prix and won for a reason the respect of endless critics and film lovers. It is not just a feverish story of vengeance but also one that touches on the most profound foundations of humanity. It not only choreographs violence and action for the purpose of visual entertainment but also for what lies behind it. It follows the pursuit of Oh Dae-su of the man who has kept him 15 years shut in a hotel-looking cell, without giving any reason.
8. Léon: The Professional (1994)
“Leon: The Professional” feels like a pick after watching “The Man From Nowhere,” as regards the connection and friendship between Cha Tae-sik and So-mi, or simply because it’s one of the best thrills ever made. With an impressive film debut by Natalie Portman, the film tells of a hitman who becomes the teacher and protector of a 12-year-old girl, after the family is brutally killed in the same building in which he lives. Luc Besson has created a visually fantastic and emotionally powerful masterpiece to guide this violent but delicate story full of strong performances and stylish, sight-seeing cinematography.
9. Taken (2008)
Liam Neeson nowadays is well known for his potential and his multiple participation in action films, and maybe you should pay tribute to his great performance in Taken. Although it was a simple premise, close to the movie we are looking for brothers, the box office received huge achievements, which quickly led to two more sequences. It is fun, entertaining and contains highly performed gunfighting and hunting scenes. Written partly by action friend Luc Besson, the story tells a former CIA operative who must return to his skills to find his missing daughter, kidnapped on a holiday in France.
10. Man On Fire (2004)
A 1980 novel, then a 1987 movie and finally Denzel Washington’s 2004 film “Man On Fire” came first. In the same way as in the South Korean film, we also have a story of vengeance, salvation and friendship. The main characteristic here is a low-spirited and alcoholic former CIA employee who is hired by a rich businessman as a security guard in order to protect the 9-year-old daughter of the man (played by Dakota Fanning), against any possible dangers. In a world of violence and corruption, when he connects with the innocent child, he begins to see a purpose in life. But she’s kidnapped soon enough and it’s when everything begins to blow up.
11. A Bittersweet Life (2005)
When you dive in South Korean films, there’s one that shouldn’t come unnoticed and that is “A Bittersweet Life” from Kim Jee-woon. After being screened off at the year of release of the Cannes Film Festival, this film features stylish violence and kicking movies that embrace a clever and dark gangster story with “film noir” and black comedy subtleties. It tells us how mobster Kim Sun-woo is twisted as his boss and gang enemy, after he does not communicate a secret to be discovered. An eventful and brutal plan of revenge follows.
12. No Tears For The Dead (2014)
The 2014 action movie No Tears For The Dead, with a striking plot and impressive performances, came from the same director of “The Man From Nowhere.” Once again we have a story about an adult male and a small girl. Although she is the motivation behind all her actions, she is not present physically as events progress. Let me explain. Let me explain. Gon is a good hitman who makes a life-changing error: he kills an innocent girl accidentally, leaving the mother childless and drowning herself with guilt and shame. But he receives a final mission, which puts him in an existential dilemma: to kill the dead child’s mother.
13. Tell Me Something (1999)
Chang Yoon-Tell hyun’s me Something is another pioneering film in the Korean cinema wave, an early entry on the regional movie flood that embraces one of the most powerful elements of the country’s genre cinema: crime! South Korea has an outstanding tradition of intense thrilling crime, and Tell Me Something has been followed by an appalling detective who solves a series of appalling killings. A murderer terrorizes Seoul, cutting off its victims with surgical accuracy and scattering their parts around the city. The film is dark and dull, and the detective’s movement around the rainy, dull city is reminiscent of a Se7en sensibility. (If you want a little less horror and action in your crime stories in Korea, see movies like The Man From Nowhere, New World, The Chaser, or The Merciless.)
14. Sorum (2001)
This supernatural thriller directed by Yoon Jong-chan follows a young taxi driver who moves into a rounded apartment building and finally lives in a room where the former tenant died mysteriously. A difficult relationship with other tenant leads the occupant of the maldivided room to Yong-hyun, helps to hide a serious crime, and as the youngster goes down a dark path, he must decide whether the evil is linked to a fantasy in the building — or to the people he lives nearby.
15. Save the Green Planet! (2003)
Save the Green Planet! marketing wants you to know that they are not a comedy, or a horror movie, or science fiction — they are all three (and so much more). A strange, amphetamin-powered bookkeeper named Byun-gu (who is a friend of a dressing goalkeeper) kidnaps a strong businessperson in the feature debut of writer and director Jang Joon-hwan, after being convinced he is part of a foreign plot to destroy the world. Byun-gu is sure that his prisoner has information necessary to stop Armageddon and is therefore embarking on a long torture and interrogation process in the name of Earth saving. But is Byun-gu really so heroic in motivation, or does he have vendetta against an entrepreneur? And will a team of cops apprehend him trying to stop a serial kidnapper they tracked? It’s all part of the demented Save the Green Planet adventure!
16. A Tale of Two Sisters (2003)
The first film on this list by Kim Jee-woon is loosely based on the story of “Jangha and Hongryun,” about two girls left after their true mom dies with their father and cruel stepmom. At the beginning of the two sisters, a couple of sisters return home to cope with their mother’s death after a period of hospitalization. In their absence, their father remarried and one of their sisters was haunted by distracting visions before too long, and eventually became convinced of the family’s dark secret. Two Sisters were both critically and commercially hit massively and strengthened Director Kim’s emergence as one of South Korea’s greatest filmmakers.
17. Spider Forest (2004)
Did you say that you wanted more people hacked into pieces? Oh, good! Good! Because of the wonderful title of Song Il-gon, Spider Forest, a man wakes up in the middle of the forest and finds a couple who are cut to ribbons in a horrible crime scene. And this is only the lead-in. The man, Kang Min, lands at the hospital in an accident, where he is named a murder suspect. From there, we watch Kang Min’s life flashback, deal with tragedy, booze and eventually head to the haunted Spider Forest – a cursed place that he may have his own mysterious connection.
18. R-Point (2004)
R-Point combines the horrors of the supernatural as well as of war when a group of soldiers is looking for a missing patrol force. Set in a brutal Vietnam War slog, the South Korean military base receives transmissions from the long-distant patrol team, and the signal origin is investigated by an emotionally frayed and physically usurped group of soldiers in what everyone thinks to be a lifeless area, named R-points. Life remains, indeed, but it’s not human, and the men on a rescue mission end up fighting for their own survival.
19. The Host (2006)
Two films will appear when you search The Host. Ignore the film for 2013 based on a book by Stephenie Meyer and click on the film by Bong Joon-ho in 2006. Starring the famous Song Kang-ho, The Host is a creature feature of what happens after a massive monster emerges from the Han River and terrorizes the community surrounding it. The scene when the sea beast landed is a splendid sequence of events, combining a high suspense with just the right quantity of classical monster movie camps. Director Bong, who has skewed modern life’s perversions with films such as Snowpiercer and Okja, has been criticizing Korean government cold bureaucracy, environmental violence and American interests in his country. There’s a huge fish mutant, but there’s a message too.