New York Times - 03/25/2005
"A master of composition, Mr. Park makes some of the snazziest-looking pulp fiction going."
Entertainment Weekly - 04/01/2005
"The brio and glee that Koran bad-boy filmmaker Park Chanwook brings to the gaudy psycho-shockeroo OLDBOY is undeniable, even impressive."
Chicago Sun-Times - 03/25/2005
"OLDBOY ventures to emotional extremes, but not without reason."
Sight and Sound - 05/01/2005
"[With] rigorously inventive direction and an emotional undertow that builds to a startling level of intensity."
Rolling Stone - 04/07/2005
"[A]n explosively exciting psychosexual revenge drama from Korean powerhouse Park Chanwook that makes movies feel alive again."
Premiere - 09/01/2005
"Park Chan-Wook is a tremendous craftsman....He ratchets up the sadistic suspense in a variety of fruit flavors."
Movieline's Hollywood Life - 09/01/2005
"Park's direction is bristlingly inventive, and his themes are ancient Greek in scope."
Entertainment Weekly - 12/30/2005 Ranked #5 in Entertainment Weekly's Top Ten DVDs Of The Year -- "Fans of Tarantino and films with surprise endings that are actually surprising should flock to this Korean import..."
Rolling Stone - 12/01/2005 Ranked #10 in Rolling Stone's "Top 25 DVDs Of 2005' -- "[A]n explosively exciting revenge drama..."
It would be a sin to reveal too much about this riveting and bizarre thriller from Korean director Chan Wook Park, except to say that it's about a man named Dae-Su (Choi Min-Sik) who is locked in a hotel room for 15 years without knowing his captor's motives. When he is finally released, Dae Su finds himself still trapped in a web of conspiracy and strangeness. His own quest for vengeance becomes tied in with romance when he falls for an attractive sushi chef (Gang Hye-Jung), who feeds him live octopus and who may or may not be involved with the bizarre mystery. This is all served up in a striking palette of purples and dark reds; oozing with post-neo-noir style, and stuffed with insanely malicious twists and turns. Choi Min-Sik is terrific in the lead, counterbalancing over-the-top hysterics with deadpan cool to run the gamut of Asian antihero traits. There are intense fight scenes (Dae Su's favorite weapon is a hammer), look-away moments of torture and self-mutilation, sex, and gallons of black humor. Not for the squeamish, but for those seeking something wholly original and daring, this cinematic entree is alive--it's hard to imagine a better slice of psycho-shock sensationalism.