20 Best Korean War Movies of All Time [2022]


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While most of us choose tarnished war movies that distort real-life events slightly and invoke a spirit of nationalism in us, others are more likely to see the battlefield more accurately depicted. Whatever one’s choice may be, it cannot be ignored that some of the popular films in cinema’s history have been offered to us by the war movie genre.

We are all very much aware of all the standard English war movies which have been released for over the years, but we do not know that several high-quality films presenting the Korean War have been made even by the South Korean film industry. This means that Korean war movies about such conflicts still exist.

So are you interested in Korean War movies or movies about Korean war? You are lucky! We cover all these categories, which have a wide overlap, with this list of the Best Korean War Movies. So here’s our list of all the Korean movies that are going to give you an insight into the Korean War.

Best Korean War Movies Ever Made

20- Northern Limit Line

Korean title:       연평해전 (Battle of Yeonpyeong)

Directed by:        Kim Hak-soon

Produced by:      Jung Moon-goo

Cast:                   Jin Goo, Kim Mu-yeol, Lee Hyun-woo

Release date:     June 24, 2015

Running time:    130 minutes

Box office:          US$38.9 million With a Budget of  US$6 million

Ratings:             IMDb (6.6), Rotten Tomatoes (71%)

Why: I thoroughly fell in love with the characters and how they interacted with one another. The film was a little slow-moving initially as we get to know the names, but it was all right. The climactic battle scene was hard-hitting and quite emotional. A maritime Korean war movie, well done!

Northern Limit Line Korean war movies

Plot: PKM 357 perceives the trawlers and their crew, allowing the spies to become acquainted with the superstructure of the ship. Because of the government’s Sunshine Strategy, the North Koreans are finally released upon orders from the South Korean higher command. North Korea’s Navy will regularly reach South Korean waters over the next month to identify and survey the patrolling strategies and protective steps of the ROK Navy.

The South Korean Ministries of Defense is informed of this but the Blue House is again told not to engage first. The Second Battle of Yeonpyeong began with a surprise assault by a North Korean patrol vessel on PKM 357. Until reinforcements from the South arrive, the coming war badly cripples all ships and forces the North’s patrol ship to withdraw. Nineteen wounded and four deaths from uncontrollable fires are reported before PKM 357 sinks. In the Republic of Korea Navy, whose bravery and comradeship the film brings front and center, you’ll also develop a new appreciation for sailors.

19- White Badge

Directed by:        Chung Ji-young

Produced by:      Chong Nam-gook

Cast:                   Lee Geung-young, Ahn Sung-ki, Shim Hye-jin

Release date:      1992

Running time:     124 minutes

Box office:           Unknown

Ratings:              IMDb (6.7), Letterboxd (3.3/5)

Why: The film gives hints of how the war in Korea was depicted (a lot of gov’t censorship), the grievances of the “poor” Koreans competing for the “rich” Americans as proxies, and the reality that several of these Koreans turned to their own country where there is a constant presence of US troops. Even, I suppose it’s worth your time watching this Korean war movie to get an insight into the experience of Vietnam that you may not be able to get anywhere else.

White Badge movies about Korean war

Plot: WHITE BADGE, based on a book, deals more with the consequences of human massacres in battle than with war itself. This gives a seldom-seen view of the Vietnam War from the participation of Korean soldiers in that unjustifiable proxy war; it juxtaposes the misery of the Vietnamese with the exploitative relationship between South Korea and America. At one point, the main hero, who is a novelist, recalls the involvement of the American army during his childhood in the Korean War. Otherwise, the top Korean war movies mostly switches between two periods of time, the horrific scenes in the late 1960s Vietnam War and the turbulent present with the uprising against martial law in late 1979 and early 1980.

He had PTSD, an attempt at writing a serialized Vietnam War novel. Han receives several calls from his old friends during the war, despondent and living in isolation. The film gradually exposes their experience of war and shows the degree to which these two men are affected. In the first half, the film has some pacing problems, and the message is open and often artificial, but clear and evident. Even for watching this under-seen south Korean war movies , the cathartic end alone is worthwhile.

18- Ode to My Father

Korean title:       국제시장 (Gukjesijang)

Directed by:       Yoon Je-kyoon

Produced by:      Park Ji-seong

Cast:                   Yunjin Kim, Hwang Jung-min

Release date:     17 December 2014

Running time:    130 minutes

Box office:          US$125 million With a Budget of  US$30 million

Ratings:             IMDb (7.8), Rotten Tomatoes (71%)

Why: Realistic portrayal of a common man who thrived for all miseries to keep the promise he gave to his father. This Korean war movie walks you through the history, life, love, and sacrifices of forgotten people in this present. The actors, the cinematography, story all give us a rollercoaster ride of emotions. I encourage others to watch this movie when you feel life is hard and you are lost. If you watch this with your heart open, you will get to know many lessons.

Ode to My Father Korean war movie

Plot: During the Korean War of 1950, when a lot of refugees were brought to the south by the U.S. A boy lost his sister, and his father keeps behind to look for her, advising his son to take his two younger siblings with his mother to the port town of Busan, where his aunt operates an imported goods shop. The father vows him to be the caretaker of his place before leaving the family.

He becomes his family’s breadwinner from an early age, doing all sorts of odd jobs to support the family. In 1960, he traveled to Europe with his best friend, where they find dangerous work in German coal mines to pay for his brother’s University Fee. He falls in love with a fellow, survives a mining accident, and leaves Germany after his visa expires. They have a modest wedding, begin a life together, and eventually have two sons. Find the remaining story after watching these Korean war films.

17- My Way

Korean title:      마이 웨이 (Mai Wei)

Directed by:      Kang Je-gyu

Produced by:     James Cho

Cast:                  Joe Odagiri, Jang Dong-gun

Release date:     December 21, 2011

Running time:    119 minutes

Box office:          US$16.5 million

Ratings:              IMDb (7.7)

Why: I found this in Korean war movies list as entertaining for a Korean audience and focused on the Korean people’s pain and suffering. If that was its primary target, it was successful, but An international audience also enjoyed the movie. There were plenty of characters that could have been grown more through the film and had their direction. It is really the best war movie to be enjoyed.

My Way Korean war films

Plot: Young Kim (main Character), along with his father and sister, worked on the Hasegawa family farm in Japanese-occupied Korea in 1928. Both brothers are skilled in running and become strong competitors by the age they are teens. In a bomb attack, a Korean war criminal kills his grandfather, and a Korean runner then wins a full marathon against Japanese competitors.

He later began working as a rickshaw driver, and Koreans were barred from engaging in sports at that time. Even though he has been admitted by a medical college in Berlin, Tatsuo chooses to stay in Korea to run a marathon in an All Japan Trials. As punishment, they were drafted into the Japanese army. With 100 other Koreans, they fought in the battle on the Mongolian border, where a Chinese sniper—this film itself a war mystery and a must watch movies about the Korean war.

16- The Bridges at Toko-Ri

Directed by:       Mark Robson

Produced by:     William Perlberg

Cast:                  Mickey Rooney, William Holden

Release date:     December 1954 (U.S.)

Running time:   102 minutes

Box office:         $4.7 million With Unknown Budget

Ratings:             IMDb (6.7), Rotten Tomatoes (80%)

Why: This Korean war movie is about fear and the potential loss of life, liberty, and family. Fact is often stranger than fiction, and characters similar to some shown here exist; the bowler hat is no stranger to war zones. This film shows carrier ops in some detail, which adds to the realism, and the flying sequences are good. I am surprised by the storyline in some areas; that’s why it makes up for an outstanding war movie.

The Bridges at Toko Ri best Korean war movies

Plot: The Bridges of Toko-Ri is a weighty drama that unveils the grotesque underbelly of war. “Forney” had also been in trouble brawling and wearing a green top hat and scarf that was non-regulatory when flying his helicopter as an aid to downed water pilots. The Carrier commander took an interest in him, back on board his ship as he remembers a Navy pilot murdered in World War II.

The Savo Island heads to Japan’s port, where Brubaker and his family are granted three-day shore leave in Tokyo. Whenever anyone comes to him looking for his assistance in bailing Forney out of the brig after a brawl, the reunion is disrupted. When his wife hears that he had to drop his jet at sea, Nancy gets angry and threatens her when we return to Korea. The Bridges at Toko-Ri are brilliantly filmed, and the once-taboo subjects of fear and tension in battle are confidently discussed.

15- Sayonara (1957)

Directed by:       Joshua Logan

Produced by:     William Goetz

Cast:                  Patricia Owens, Marlon Brando

Release date:     December 5, 1957

Running time:   147 minutes

Box office:         $26.3 million With Unknown Budget

Ratings:             IMDb (7.1), Rotten Tomatoes (93%)

Why: I enjoyed Korean war movies as I thought the main character did an excellent job and showed a kinder, softer side of his acting ability. The Japanese actresses performed well, and the costumes, choreography, and scenery as breathtaking. I watch this movie a lot and enjoy it every time as the plot seemed contrived. This movie portrayed the contrast clearly between the Japanese and American cultures and compellingly. To me, the film Sayonara meant “sad” rather than “goodbye.”

Sayonara movies about the Korean war

Plot: The main character, “Ace,” is a U.S. Air Force Fighter, the son of a U.S. Army General who is stationed at Itami Air Force Base, near Kobe, Japan, and has been rehired from combat assignments in Korea. Despite the opposition of the United States military establishment, another soldier, the enlisted crew chief of Ace, is about to marry a Japanese woman, who would not accept interracial marriage because it is usually illegal under American law. The Air Force is against the marriage, so Both Air fighters argue, but later Ace apologizes and becomes his best man at the wedding.

Ace falls in love with a Japanese entertainer who works in a theater company. She suspects that Ace is in trouble and heads towards him to warn, but when she learns that Joe’s house has been under Army surveillance, where she discovers that he has been seeing a local woman. These types of movies about Korean war story is exceptional, and hard to find any unrealistic scene.

14- Men in War (1957)

Directed by:       Anthony Mann

Produced by:     Sidney Harmon

Cast:                  Aldo Ray , Robert Ryan

Release date:     January 26, 1957

Running time:   102 minutes

Box office:         $1.5 million With Unknown Budget

Ratings:             IMDb (7.2), Rotten Tomatoes (89%)

Why: It is one of the Best directed or the imaginary best Korean war movies; it seemed as though you were in the scene yourself watching from a tree. The movie is relaxed, quite soulful, so even though you might argue that the soldiers were stereotypical, they were so credible, and that they behaved so well, they also seemed to be part of that world. The actors are superb, totally reasonable, and the scenes are heart-breaking. I recommend this film to anyone; it’s merely the best largely unknown war film ever.

Men in War

Plot: Because of losing radio communication, an isolated and tired platoon is cut off and harassed by unidentified North Korean snipers who secretly kill the American soldiers and take their weapons. There are just unclear directions for the platoon leader to hit a specific hill to meet up with American forces.

The patrol stops a jeep with shell-shocked passenger “the Colonel,” who cannot speak and is tied to his seat. The squad is on its way to the mountain. Montana shoots a surrendering North Korean sniper, who points out to have a hidden weapon inside his cap. Montana turns the platoon back into a combat unit and proceeds successfully through sniper assault, artillery fire, and minefields, during which Sergeant Lewis is killed. As all the deaths are depicted as essentially meaningless, it is a classic example of the meaningless cruelty of war. Another well-made feature of the south Korean war movies is the scenery, whose dullness and peace contrast with the anticipation and suspense that war brings.

13- Wolmido

Known as:          Wolmi Island

Directed by:       Gyong-sun Cho

Written by:        Lee Jin-woo

Cast:                  Gyong-sun Cho, Hyun Chang-Gyeol

Release date:     1982

Running time:    92 minutes

Box office:         Unknown

Ratings:             IMDb (5.4)

Why: Naturally, it is an exciting film as it gives the impression of the Korean War from the side of the North Koreans for a change. This is a comparatively small-scale movie in which the plot focuses on the efforts of North Korean soldiers to protect their island territories from the colonial villains’ overwhelming power, the USA. I went into this not knowing what to expect, except maybe some funny cheesiness. Well, I got what I expected from top Korean war movies but also a lot more.

Wolmido top Korean war movies

Plot: To spice up this list, we’ve added Wolmido—one of North Korea’s most popular war movies. This North Korean vividly represents the tragic fate of the coastal battery unit that fought to the last man protecting the Wolmi Island in September 1950. The North Korean commander and his team men tested the UN landing activity for three days by showing remarkable courage and a more fantastic standard of self-sacrificing faith, countering 50,000 soldiers and over 500 warships. This film also portrays the role of women in participating alongside men on the front line and to the rear in the Korean War.

 12- Fixed Bayonets! (1951)

Directed by:       Samuel Fuller

Produced by:     Jules Buck

Cast:                  Gene Evans, Richard Basehart

Release date:    1951

Running time:    92 minutes

Box office:          $1.45 million With Unknown Budget

Ratings:             IMDb (6.9), Rotten Tomatoes (100%)

Why: This is an exciting Korean war movie to watch on themes of responsibility and its inevitability. The role is to be the leader of a guerilla war in this film to prevent the North Koreans from shutting down in on a battalion to withdraw. The chain goes from the regimental officer, who we see as the film begins, a sort of one of the guys” with a wad of chewing tobacco, grouped in a tent with other men, to a younger lieutenant who is the group appointed to replace the guerilla war.

Fixed Bayonets 1951

Plot: The Korean War was fought in one of the world’s most unforgiving conditions. The story is set during the Red Chinese Invasion during the first winters of the Korean War. The tale follows the fate of a lone 48-man platoon left to protect a choke point as a rearguard, to cover the retreat of their division over an exposed bridge. The plotline alone shows what a crazy film this is, going where no film had gone before. Fixed Bayonets! is as thrilling as it is depressing, as most war movies tend to be; it’s a grim reminder of what war does to men.

11- Operation Chromite

Korean title:       인천상륙작전

Directed by:       John H. Lee Jae-han

Produced by:      Lee Kyu-chang

Cast:                   Lee Beom-soo, Lee Jung-jae

Release date:     27 July 2016

Running time:    111 minutes

Box office:          US$50.9 million With a Budget of  US$50.9 million

Ratings:              IMDb (6.2)

Why: Patchy and half baked, but worth a onetime watch. These movies about Korean war does tell an important story that would otherwise fade away. The Korean War isn’t something considered particularly pivotal in a global context. Still, it was a war that shaped much of East Asia as it is today, dividing an entire country, homes, and families. If nothing else at all, this movie is an excellent reminder of how hard-won freedom usually is for nations and people.

Operation Chromite

Plot: South Korea also made a movie about the Battle of Incheon. The plot starts as Few months after North Korean forces have overrun most of South Korea, an American-led UN coalition is deployed to Korea to aid the struggling South Koreans. The Army General is devising a hidden strategy to assault the port city of Incheon behind enemy positions. The risky tactic is resisted by the leaders of the other military branches, prompting him to devise an undercover operation to obtain valuable information known as X-Ray.”

The linchpin of this top-secret incursion, Captain and seven members of the X-Ray unit, disguised themselves as a North Korean inspection unit and infiltrated the North Korean army command center. Their primary aim is to assess the positioning of North Korean defenses (such as mines and artillery) and protect a lighthouse that is critical to the success of the landing.

10- A Little Pond

Korean title:          작은 연못 (Jakeun yeonmot)

Directed by:          Lee Saang-woo

Produced by:        Lee Woo-jung

Cast:                     Shin Myung-cheol

Release date:       October 12, 2009

Running time:      86  minutes

Box office:            Unknown

Ratings:               IMDb (6.6)

Why: This film is an incredibly heavy retelling of true events during the Korean War when U.S. troops massacred ordinary South Korean villagers. This brief and concise film portrays a raging war machine’s calm, sweet beginning, basic life events, all mauled and violently destroyed. The banality of war is well illustrated, and here, too, is the sudden arrival of death, plain and loud. If you are weak at heart, never watch these type of Korean war movies, as it leaves an utterly severe and heavy pain.

A Little Pond Korean war movies

Plot: The story draws on the backgrounds of No Gun Ri victims, but the roles are all fictional. The film begins with scenes that set the ordinary domestic traditions of a Korean village in the mid-century, with kids at play, men enjoying a board game, and a young professor leading her students to a singing contest in practice. But as battle shifts south, the fighting front of the war, which started many weeks ago, will soon intrude. The U.S. has hastily sent inadequately equipped Japanese troops to join the South Korean army to protect against invaders from North Korea.

Rumors have circulated among American soldiers that among South Korean refugees, North Korean infiltrators are masked, and American warplanes unexpectedly attack fighting villagers. An ensemble cast of South Korean actors play characters inspired by those who died during the Massacre of No Gun Ri in A Little Pond. It’s a rare, significant look at a divisive moment in Korea, although this is not your typical war movie.

9- The Long Way Home

Korean title:        서부전선; (Seobu Jeonseon)

Directed by:        Cheon Sung-il

Produced by:       Gang Min-gyu

Cast:                    Yeo Jin-goo, Sol Kyung-gu

Release date:      September 24, 2015

Running time:     111 minutes

Box office:           US$4.1 million With a Budget of  US$6.7 million

Ratings:              IMDb (6.5)

Why: The Long Way Home is one of the movies about the Korean war that touches the subject of battle, as many others have done numerous times. The story is about two soldiers from different sides with their plans, goals, and orders to follow. You see them fighting comically one moment and loitering around joking after drinking snake wine the next. In making this movie enjoyable, they performed well enough and added a smile on the faces more than often. As the few fight sequences here but there have been filmed well and genuinely, the film has excellent production value. Some may enjoy it; some will not—a combination of drama and humor.

The Long Way Home movies about Korean war

Plot: Placed during the Korean War and three days before a ceasefire happens. Nam-Bok, a soldier from South Korea, was conscripted into the military; he was just a peasant. Nam-Bok then gets an order at a specified time and place to deliver a top-secret document, but an invasion by the North Korean army triggers Nam-Bok to lose the document. “Young-Gwang” is a North Korean soldier and a part of a crew in a truck. His team is being attacked while heading south, but he’s the only one remaining. He’s about to come back home, but a top-secret document suddenly comes across him.

8- The Steel Helmet (1951)

Directed by:       Samuel Fuller

Produced by:     Samuel Fuller

Cast:                  Robert Hutton, Gene Evans

Release date:    January 10, 1951

Running time:   85 minutes

Box office:         Over $2 million With a Budget of  $104,000

Ratings:            IMDb (7.4), Rotten Tomatoes (100%)

Why: This Korean war movie feels a little dated but still powerful and significantly evolved for a war movie of its time. Characters seem very real: the movie avoids stereotypes typical to war pictures. The supporting characters, I felt, were the best part of the movie. Especially arresting is the first scene, and the sudden beginning and partial ending are very successful in making the movie feel genuine.

The Steel Helmet 1951

Plot: The Steel Helmet is a grim, haunting tale about some U.S. soldiers in an ancient Buddhist temple battling Communist troops. The story starts with the surrender of an American army unit to the North Koreans; their hands are tied behind their backs and executed by the prisoners of war, but only Sergeant Zack survived. He is liberated by a South Korean orphan, who, despite the irritation of the sergeant, tags along.

Corporal Thompson, a black medic and also his unit’s lone survivor, comes across them. If snipers pin down the guys, a battlefield emergency demands interracial solidarity. Together, Zack and Sergeant Tanaka kill the snipers. Without any further incident, they entered the abandoned temple. In Korean war films, the Steel Helmet also contains some fun military humor you expect, and that’s the kind dialogue that impresses us to the protagonists and makes us weep when they’re killed.

7- In Love and War

Korean title:       적과의 동침(Jeokgwa-ui Dongchim)

Directed by:       Park Geon-yong

Produced by:     Kim Beom-sik

Cast:                  Jung Ryeo-won, Kim Joo-hyuk

Release date:     April 27, 2011

Running time:    135 minutes

Box office:         Unknown

Ratings:             IMDb (6.8)

Why: I loved this movie because a beautiful blend of comedy and tragedy, and the characters and the acting are excellent. The director and story writers did a superb job showing the complexities of war and human nature complexities. The quiet, tender scenes in this movies about the Korean war are just as great as the dramatic ones. There were moments where it was hilarious and crazy where it was severe, but I wasn’t sure whether the characters would get their happy ending or not till almost the very end. Watch this movie and find out for yourself.

In Love and War Korean war movie

Plot: The inhabitants manage to find a village that North Korean forces have invaded the South through the chief’s radio. The groom is compelled to leave a few days before the ceremony when news spreads that Northern forces are quickly seizing cities and decimating anti-communist protesters. North Korean troops arrive in town and announce their holy mission to “liberate” the Southerners.

As the chief’s granddaughter and schoolteacher, Seol-hee must remain strong — but instead of resisting the unwelcome guests, she joins the town’s intricate survival scheme and zealously embraces the Marxist teachings. Then, a rivalry ensues between her and a neighboring village to host a bomb shelter’s construction under the soldiers’ supervision.

6- Welcome to Dongmakgol

Korean title:       웰컴 투 동막골 (Welkeom tu dongmakgol)

Directed by:        Park Kwang-hyun

Produced by:      Lee Eun-ha

Cast:                   Shin Ha-kyun, Jung Jae-young

Release date:      August 4, 2005

Running time:    133 minutes

Box office:          US$31.8 million With a Budget of  US$8 million

Ratings:              IMDb (7.7), Rotten Tomatoes (86%)

Why: A fantastic movie with a beautiful cast, stellar performances; the plot never dragged on; nothing felt like buying time. The musical score by Joe Hisashi was the highlight of the production; how it drew out the emotion within a scene and made it all the more poignant. Overall, an extraordinary experience. Without a doubt, one of the Korean war films I would revisit for years to come.

Welcome to Dongmakgol Korean war films

Plot: During the Korean War, in September 1950, the U.S. A Navy pilot was captured in a strange butterfly storm, and his plane crashed in a mountainous region part of Korea. Villagers found and nurse him back to health. He is cut off from the outside world and taught by village scholars to communicate, but he effectively gives up.

A South Korean unit ambushes a platoon of North Korean soldiers, and the ensuing skirmish leaves most of the North Koreans dead. The surviving North Korean soldiers managed to escape through a mountain passage. An absent-minded girl finds the North Korean soldiers and leads them to the village.

5- Pork Chop Hill (1959)

Directed by:       Lewis Milestone

Produced by:      Sy Bartlett

Cast:                   Rip Torn, Gregory Peck

Release date:     May 29, 1959 (USA)

Running time:    97 minutes

Box office:         $2.1 million With a Budget of  $ 3 million

Ratings:             IMDb (7.1), Rotten Tomatoes (83%)

Why: One of the few classic Korean war movies, “Pork Chop Hill” is a genuinely good specimen of a nitty-gritty war film in the pre-blood and guts era. What the movie lacks in natural language and violence, it more than makes up for in intensity. The old civil rights-era movie also touches on some cultural issues, presenting a brotherhood between every ethnicity. Overall, this is a well-made classic war film model with the best American artists of all time in the leading role; you can’t go wrong.

Pork Chop Hill 1959 best Korean war movies

Plot: U.S. infantry soldiers, headed by Lieutenant “Joe Clemons” and their unit, were to recapture “Pork Chop Hill” from a greater Chinese Communist military force in April 1953, during the Korean War. They manage to take the hill, but their quantity is destroyed; only 25 remain left from the 135-man group. They are planning for a Chinese counter-attack on a wide scale, which they know would overpower and eliminate them.

In the meantime, cease-fire talks proceed at nearby Panmunjom, and the U.S. Army Military Leader is reluctant to improve the hill because no more casualties are worth its benefit. Yet they will not leave the mountains either, because in the cease-fire talks, it is a negotiating point. It might not have the blood and violence of modern war movies, but this doesn’t take the focus of the movie away from it. It’s a sordidly realistic Korean war films that sets you against battle-weary men in war.

4- 71: Into the Fire

Korean title:      포화 속으로

Directed by:       John H. Lee

Produced by:     Choi Myeong-gi

Cast:                  T.O.P, Kwon Sang-woo

Release date:     June 16, 2010

Running time:   120 minutes

Box office:         US$42.1 million With a Unknown Budget

Ratings:             IMDb (7.3), Fandango (90%) , Rotten Tomatoes (90%)

Why: This is one of the best war movies I’ve ever seen! (including Hollywood). The ‘war’ has been pictured brutally yet so beautifully. Extraordinarily intense and emotional! Loved it! The perfect mix of emotions and brutal war action scenes are beautifully portrayed; kudos to the entire movie team.

71 Into the Fire south Korean war movies

Plot: The South Korean student is a volunteer military soldier in a Korean War combat inside Yeongdeok. He is drawn into a group of South Korean soldiers led while attempting to flee as the 766th Unit overruns the city, 5th Division, North Korean People’s Army. They were discovered by other South Koreans and eventually got aboard among the last trucks out of town to a hospital in Pohang.

As he is one of only three volunteers with fighting experience, Capt. Kang assigns him to command a freshly student-soldier unit. Three young criminals join the unit. Later, while patrolling, they are attacked by a North Korean sniper who leads them into an ambush. The students suffer heavy casualties before disengaging. The film includes ample, well-choreographed combat scenes.

3- M*A*S*H (1970)

Title:                    MASH

Directed by:        Robert Altman

Produced by:       Ingo Preminger

Cast:                    Elliott Gould, Donald Sutherland

Release date:      January 25, 1970

Running time:     116 minutes

Box office:           $81.6 million With a Budget of  $3.025 million

Ratings:              IMDb (7.4), Rotten Tomatoes (87%)

Why: This is genuinely the best military comedy ever made. It’s amusing, but it portrays the savagery of war honestly and the casualness it eventually encourages in its victims. Some of the funniest, yet also most shocking, moments in this Korean war movie, for instance, come when the doctors operate on wounded soldiers, complete with horrific sound effects, but discuss too trivial issues. The film also benefits from some great performances.

MASH 1970 top Korean war movies

Plot: These movies about Korean war is not close to critical or even readily understood. To be honest, I favored the TV show over the movies, mostly because there was some semblance of morality in the TV show, of course. Two new surgeons, uncooperative, womanizing, silly rule-breakers, were assigned to the Army Surgical Hospital in South Korea. However, they soon prove to be exceptional combat surgeons, arriving in a stolen Army Jeep. Other characters already deployed at the camp include blustering commanders.

The camp’s main characters are divided into two factions. They transfer him to some other tent, frustrated by Burns’ religious zeal, so that John, a recently arrived chest physician, may move in. The three doctors are subject to pranks, womanizing, and excessive alcohol, having been drafted into the Army. The two connect over their compliance with regulations and begin a secret romance. The Swampmen insert a mic into a camp with Radar’s help, where the couple make love and stream their love over the PA system of the base, humiliating them badly. This War movie is a testament to how humans cope with horror.

2- The Front Line

Korean title:          고지전 (Gojijeon)

Directed by:          Jang Hoon

Produced by:        Lee Woo-jeong

Cast:                     Go Soo, Shin Ha-kyun

Release date:       20 July 2011

Running time:      133  minutes

Box office:            US$20.6 million With a Unknown Budget

Ratings:                IMDb (7.4), Rotten Tomatoes (67%)

Why: I’ve watched many war films, but I think this one has to be the best I’ve seen that is as serious as it comes to the consequences of war. It seems like a never-ending fight, apart from just the disturbing scenes as in any war movie, it has touched and reached through to the emotions many times. The acting, particularly the brothers, is beyond amazing and does not show that their rivals are the most evil on the planet, but that war itself is leading them to make this conflict happen. A great remarkable movie because you’ll Love this film.

The Front Line

Plot: With The Front Line, we move to the Korean War’s closing days. Early in the Korean War in 1950, as the North is rolling through South Korea, the South Korean Army Two privates are captured in battle and brought to the Korean People’s Army captain. The captain informs the hostages that the war is about to end in a week.

But for many years, the war didn’t end. The fighting continues across the hills, pending peace agreements, as each side battles to decide the potential dividing line between the North and South. The hills, used in the talks as bargaining chips, change hands regularly and so easily that the negotiators of the truce do not always know who owns them, yet both sides covet them. In The Front Line, both North and South Korean soldiers openly ask why they’re fighting but choose to do that because their primary way of life is now war.

1- Taegukgi

Korean title:          태극기 휘날리며 (Taegukgi Hwinallimyeo)

Directed by:          Kang Je-gyu

Produced by:        Lee Seong-hun

Cast:                     Won Bin, Jang Dong-gun

Release date:        February 6, 2004

Running time:       148 minutes

Box office:             US$69.8 million With a Budget of  US$12.8 million

Ratings:                IMDb (8.1), Rotten Tomatoes (80%)

Why: This was a fantastic movie about the Korean War and brotherhood! Despite all the horrid blood scenes, this movie touched on war-sensitive subjects like family and humanity. It was also a very heart-breaking movie seeing the love the brothers had for one another. Everything about the movie was so spot-on; nothing in this movie was hidden. I would surely recommend watching this movie if you are interested in war movies and learning more about them. But fair warning, if you have a weak stomach and a soft heart, I would rethink watching this movie.

Taegukgi Korean war movies

Plot: Finally, and above all, we have by far the most famous Korean war movie ever, “Taegukgi”. The theme of the film “Brotherhood of War” derives from its story of two brothers fighting on opposite sides of the Korean War. Set up during 2003, trying to dig up remains on a Korean War battleground to set up a memorial site, an older man is told by a South Korean Army excavation team that some remains were marked as his own even though he is still alive.

South Korea is invaded by North Korea, and both brothers of the LEE Family are forcibly recruited by force. They are allocated to the 1st Division of Infantry, serving in the Pusan Perimeter. Jin-tae volunteers for many dangerous missions, perform suicidal acts of bravery to earn the medal and is quickly promoted to sergeant. His heroism during the urban Battle of Pyongyang finally results in Jin-Tae’s nomination for the award. Trying to rescue his brother, Jin-tae loses consciousness and wakes up believing Jin-Seok died in the fire. The film also marked South Korean cinema’s increasing maturation. Its critical and commercial success helped pave the way for many of the other Korean war films you see on this list.


This article by Zain Mumtaz Summaries the Korean war movies genre. Although War Movies interest seemed to have been going down everywhere, even now, Korea is going high. I hope you are amazed and got the best Korean war movies you are looking for, also check my blog on Best Action Anime.

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