4 Best Movies to Watch by Koo Kyo-hwan

Staff & contributors

Despite their rising popularity, K-dramas have sustained a reputation for being, at times, too sentimental for their own good. Extraordinary Attorney Woo is not exempt from that tendency, but when it does shoot for schmaltz, it makes sure to aim right at your heart. Thanks to clever twists and moving performances across the board, Extraordinary Attorney Woo is an excellently emotional series. Every romantic encounter will make you swoon, every courtroom scene will have you cheer, and every ending will leave you in tears. 

Moreover, it’s not a show that simply happens to be about lawyers. It is a law procedural that deals with each new case with the utmost care. It’s smart and educational, with the proceedings and resolutions blending seamlessly into the characters’ own arcs. 

There’s something for everyone in this series, and it’s sure to be an easy favorite for one reason or another.

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Family

Actor: Baek Ji-won, Ha Yoon-kyung, Im Sung-jae, Jeon Bae-soo, Jin Kyung, Joo Hyun-young, Joo Jong-hyuk, Kang Ki-young, Kang Tae-oh, Kim Hieora, Koo Kyo-hwan, Park Eun-bin

Director: Yoo In-sik

Rating: TV-14

I didn't know anything about the movie before watching it (this was my husband's pick for 'one of us picks something that the other knows nothing about' night). It is Korean, sweet, funny, touching, unique, odd, poignant. I think the fact I knew nothing about the movie when I watched made it even more enjoyable so I hesitate to write more details in this review! Since watching it I have read that an American remake may be in the works, so I would recommend watching it before there is too much info out there about what is destined to be a less charming and successful version

Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance

Actor: Jae-yeong Jeong, Jae-young Jeong, Jang Nam-yeol, Jang So-yeon, Jung Jae-young, Jung Ryeo-won, Koo Kyo-hwan, Lee Kyoo-hyung, Lee Kyung-joon, Lee Sang-hun, Mi-kyeong Yang, Min Kyung-jin, Park Young-seo, Ryeowon Jung, Yang Mi-kyung, Yeong-seo Park

Director: Hae-jun Lee, Lee Hae-jun

Rating: PG-13, Unrated

Escape from Mogadishu follows diplomats from the North and South Korean embassies as they put aside their differences and work together to escape from an outbreak of civil war in Mogadishu, Somalia. Director Ryoo Seung-wan provides thrilling, high-budget action, especially intense car chases and suspenseful escape scenes that pump you with adrenaline and leave you on the edge of your seat. However, the Somali side of the story leaves much to be desired. Only existing to kill or be killed, the depiction of the Somalians is distasteful, and the country it’s set in seen as nothing more than a senseless warzone.

It’s in crafting a political thriller where Ryoo strikes a chord, following the tradition of South Korean films and dramas that question the current South/North relations. It’s also the aspect that pushed this film to win awards, given that it’s based on a true story from the 1991 civil war in Somalia, albeit with blockbuster flair. Sure, it’s a highly fictionalized story, but the political tensions and heightened atmosphere make good entertainment. And, as with all Korean thrillers, you’ll have to get on a certain wavelength of melodrama to be fully on board with the bonkers yet emotional escape.

Genre: Action, Drama, Thriller, War

Actor: Ahn Se-ho, Han Chul-woo, Heo Joon-ho, Jeong Man-sik, Jo In-sung, Joo Bo-bi, Kim Jae-hwa, Kim So-jin, Kim Yoon-seok, Koo Kyo-hwan, Lee Jin-hee, Park Kyung-hye, Park Myung-shin, Yoon Kyung-ho, Zo In-sung

Director: Ryoo Seung-wan