Shin Su-won (2012)

15 Certificate


Our Score
This South Korean drama suggests there's a dark truth behind the country's stellar education statistics, as the fight for top marks at a leading Seoul high school turns very nasty indeed. Dorky new arrival David Lee is desperate to join the top ten pupils afforded special tuition for the National University entrance exams, but academic alpha male June Sung and his wealthy, privileged cohorts may not accept this working-class interloper so easily. Writer/director Shin Su-won delivers nothing less than a broadside against his nation's seemingly interwoven social and educational hierarchies, but couches it within an engrossing storyline that switches back and forth between the aftermath of and run-up to a brutal killing. Be warned, there's some unpleasant business with bin-liners not to be copied at home, but it's justified within the context of a bleak, confrontational story that plays like the modern Korean equivalent of Lindsay Anderson's classic public school fable if...


Working-class Kim June (David Lee) is transferred to an elite school in Seoul based on his scholarly merits, but once there discovers that a clique of wealthy and privileged pupils do not rely solely on academic prowess for success. He attempts to join the circle to be given the same fast-track access, but he is required to perform a series of increasingly extreme initiation rites. Korean thriller, starring David Lee.

Cast & Crew

Kim June David Lee
Yujin Taylor June Sung
Senior detective Cho Sung-ha
Jung Su-jin Kim Kkobbi
Han Myung-ho Kwon KIm
Director Shin Su-won
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Other Information

Language: Korean +subtitlesColourTheatrical distributor: Third Window FilmsGuidance: Violence.Released on: 6 Jun 2014