• 18
  • Park Chan-wook (2003)
  • S Kor (SUB)
  • 114 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
4 out of 5

Director Park Chan-wook demonstrated that his critically acclaimed Sympathy for Mr Vengeance was no flash in the pan when he received the Grand Prix at the 2004 Cannes film festival for this mind-bending action thriller. Choi Min-sik plays the happily married father who is kidnapped and incarcerated for no apparent reason. He's then horrified to discover that his wife has been murdered with himself as the principal suspect. Fifteen years of unexplained Kafka-esque detention follow. Suddenly, he wakes up to find himself free and gets down to the serious business of vengeance by leaving a trail of blood and mayhem that would make Quentin Tarantino proud. Some viewers will be repulsed by scenes of self-mutilation and the most painful visit to the dentist since Dustin Hoffman and Laurence Olivier's tête-à-tête in Marathon Man. However, Oldboy has more to offer than action and violence - it's an imaginative tale of guilt and revenge, with a shocking climactic twist.

Plot Summary

Action thriller starring Choi Min-sik. Oh Dae-su is kidnapped and imprisoned for no apparent reason. He is then horrified to discover that his wife has been murdered and he is the chief suspect. After being held for 15 years, his mind disorientated by hypnosis, he is released without explanation and sets about seeking vengeance against those who incarcerated him.

Cast and crew


Oh Dae-su
Choi Min-sik
Lee Woo-jin
Yu Ji-tae
Gang Hye-jung
No Joo-hwan
Chi Dae-han
Park Cheol-woong
Oh Dal-su
Chief guard (Mr Han)
Kim Byeong-ok
Yoo Hyung-ja
Lee Seung-shin
Lee Soo-ah
Yoon Jin-seo
Lee Dae-yun
Suicide man
Oh Gwang-rok


Park Chan-wook

Other Information

Korean +subtitles
Theatrical distributor: 
Violence, swearing, sex scenes, nudity.
Available on DVD and BluRay
Released 15 Oct 2004
Certificate 18
Tartan Video Ltd