The Top 8 Original Korean Movies to Stream on Netflix in 2021

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Within the past few years, Korean movies have been on the rise in popularity. They hit an all-time high when Parasite (2019) became the first non-English language film to win Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Parasite also broke a few records for South Korean movies; it was the first South Korean film to be nominated for Best Picture and the second East Asian to receive that nomination. At one point, the whole world was talking about that film. And with the rise of Korean films, many streaming services began creating their own Original Korean Movies. This includes Netflix, which notoriously has its Netflix Original Korean Movies/Series.

If you’re looking for some new Korean movies to watch as we round in on the last quarter of 2021, then we’ve got just the list for you. Here are eight Netflix Original Korean movies you’ll definitely want to watch!

Netflix Original Korean Movies: Romance

Firstly, we all love a good romance film. And Korean shows—specifically Korean dramas—are famous for their romantic gestures. If you want to find more dramas within this genre, you can check out our “2021 Korean Dramas to Watch” blog. Or even read our blog about couples within dramas that have amazing off-screen chemistry as well.

In any case, Netflix has a couple original Korean movies in the romance genre that you’ll definitely want to check out. They’re funny, full of surprises, and lots of love (well.. mostly).

Sweet & Sour (2021)

At one hour and forty-two minutes long, this 2021 Korean film is the epitome of the twisty world that life is when you combine work and love. Directed by Lee Kae-byeok, the film follows a couple that’s faced with the challenges that come with a long-distance relationship. Though they didn’t originally start long-distance, the couple is put through each difficult situation that arises with it. Including miscommunication, another love interest, and more.

You can watch the trailer for this film here:

 

The main actors/actresses include Jang Ki-yong, Chae Soo-bin, and Jung Soo-jung.

Unfortunately, this film isn’t as big of a hit as you might want. On Rotten Tomatoes, it only has a 30% rating. And on IMDb, it only has a 6.7/10. Not very good compared to the other Netflix original Korean movies on this list.

However, I still highly recommend watching this film because it leaves an impression on you after you watch it. There’s enough twist and turns that you’ll find yourself still thinking about it long after it’s over.

You can watch it on Netflix here.

Tune in for Love (2019)

Tune in for Love is a 2019 film that’s been talked about quite a bit since its release on Netflix. At two hours and two minutes, the movie is spent following a pair who meet and separate in a repetitive loop throughout their years of knowing each other. They first met in the 1990s, but they spend a long time trying to find each other in the years following. Somehow, though, life keeps pulling them apart from each other.

The director of this film is Jung Ji-woo. You can watch the trailer here:

 

A few of the actors/actresses include Kim Go-eun, Jung Hae-in, and Park Hae-joon. With the lead actors’ beautiful love story unfolding throughout each minute of the movie, this quickly becomes one of the Netflix Original Korean movies that you don’t want to miss. It’s a simple story, but entirely enticing how they go back to each other.

It received a 70% Rotten Tomatoes score and a 7.1/10 on IMDb. You can watch this movie on Netflix here.

Netflix Original Korean Movies: Mystery/Thriller

If there’s one thing Korean movies are known for, it’s their work in the horror, mystery, and thriller genre. Over the years, there’s been plenty of highly reviewed Korean films within these genres—this includes the previously mentioned Parasite film that broke records with its popularity. If you enjoy movies that keep you on the edge of your seat, you’ll definitely love these Netflix original Korean movies.

Lucid Dream (2017)

Overall, the first mystery-thriller film on this list, Lucid Dream is a great place to start. With only one hour and forty-one minutes, this film takes you on the high-edge journey a man takes to find his abducted son. After three years of just searching, he tries to track him down through lucid dreams. Directed by Kim Joon-sung, this movie is exciting and leaves you unable to tear your eyes away in fear of missing something.

You can watch the trailer here:

 

With a 6.2/10 on IMDb and a 37% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the film is a little underrated. But, if you like sci-fi and mystery films, you’ll for sure want to check it out. With actors Ko Soo, Sul Kyung-gu, and Park Yu-chan, this is one of the Netflix original Korean movies that will keep you watching for plenty of reasons.

You can find this film on Netflix here.

Forgotten (2017)

As another 2017 film, Forgotten strikes the bullseye with its fear-gripping and suspenseful plot. At only one hour and forty-eight minutes, there’s so much packed into this film that it goes by far too quickly. With the director Jang Hang-jun, this movie follows the mystery a man tries to unfold after his brother returns from an abduction nineteen days later with seemingly no memory of what had happened. This man tries everything he can to find out the truth behind the kidnapping.

You can watch the trailer here:

 

A few actors/actresses in this movie include Kim Moo-yul, Kang Ha-neul, and Na Young-hee. With an 83% Rotten Tomatoes rating, it has the highest rating on the list thus far. It also has a 7.5/10 rating on IMDb. With these ratings, it’s one of the Netflix Original Korean movies you’ll want to add to your list this year.

Watch this film on Netflix here.

The Call (2020)

Since its release late into 2020, The Call became one of the most talked-about Netflix Original Korean movies. We even have a blog post written about it! Which you can read by clicking here. With its thrilling and twisted plot, you’ll find yourself holding your breath throughout the entire thing as you wait for the next this to happen.

At one hour and fifty-two minutes long, this movie follows the haunting story of a serial killer and a woman. Both are connected by a phone in the same house. However, the twist is that they live twenty years apart. The serial killer puts this woman’s life on the line to change her own fate.

Lee Chung-hyun is the director of this film. You can watch the trailer here:

 

With actors/actresses Park Shin-hye, Jun Jong-seo, and Kim Sung-ryoung, this film has a powerhouse performance. It’s dark, it’s suspenseful, and it’s most certainly haunting in the best way possible. Out of the entire list, this film has the highest Rotten Tomatoes rating at 100%. And on IMDb, it holds a solid 7.1/10.

You can watch this movie on Netflix here.

Netflix Original Korean Movies: Crime/Drama

Following behind the mystery-thriller genre, Korean movies also dive into a crime and drama genre. You could say that Korean films tend to be quite angsty… but in a good way that we all love. These two Netflix Original Korean movies expose corruption, crime, and just about everything in between.

Night in Paradise (2021)

At two hours and twelve minutes, this is one of the longest Netflix original Korean movies on our list. It follows the dramatic life of a mobster who was hiding out in Jeju Island after an incident and a woman who’s battling her own demons.

It’s directed by Park Hoon-jung. It slips into the dramas and film noir genre but is also quite violent and dark. So be ready when you watch it.

Of course, you can watch the trailer here:

 

A few of the actors/actresses in Night in Paradise include Um Tae-goo, Jeon Yeo-been, and Cha Seoung-won. It also earned a pretty high Rotten Tomatoes rating at 72%. And, of course, a 6.7/10 rating on IMDb.

If you’d like to watch this film, you can find it on Netflix here.

High Society (2018)

The 2018 Korean film High Society is filled to the brim with corrupt characters and secret plans. It’s two hours and seventeen minutes long. And Byun Hyuk is the director. It follows the path a curator and her husband follow to join the elite. And they’ll do just about anything to do this.

This film is for mature audiences—because of the sex, nudity, and language. You can watch the trailer here:

 

This movie includes popular actors/actresses Park Hae-il, Su Ae, and Yoon Je-moon. Unfortunately, though, this film is quite low on the rating scale. It holds a 25% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a 5.5/10 on IMDb.

You can watch this movie on Netflix here.

Netflix Original Korean Movies: Zombies

Finally, what would Korean movies be without their zombies? Probably nothing. Korea is notorious for its zombie apocalyptic plots. Train to Busan is probably one of the most widely known Korean films. Because of its popularity, there have been a plethora of zombie films in the Korean industry. Including this one:

#Alive (2020)

Lastly, this film is a modern take on a zombie apocalyptic world, the 2020 movie #Alive is all kinds of action-packed. It sits at just over an hour and a half long. And Cho Il is the director.

The movie follows the struggle a man has as zombies rampage the city. He’s been locked inside his apartment since the whole thing started, trying to find help in any way he can. Unfortunately, he’s cut off from the world physically and digitally. So his hope of finding a way out seems slim. That is until he finds someone else who is alive—a woman in the apartment across from him. Together, they try to make it out alive.

You can watch the trailer here:

 

The two main actors in this film are Yoo Ah-in and Park Shin-hye. It’s one of the fear-gripping Netflix original Korean movies that you’ll find yourself sitting on the edge of your seat for. It has definitely earned its 88% Rotten Tomatoes rating and 6.3/10 on IMDb.

You can watch this movie on Netflix here.

Which of these Netflix Original Korean movies made it onto your list?

Overall, out of these eight outstanding Netflix Original Korean movies, which ones seem the most interesting to you? If you’re looking for a few more Korean movies to watch, you can read through this blog we’ve written about Korean Horror Movies! Or you can just scan through our Movies Category for other posts we’ve made.

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