This page presents the sad Korean films that have been chosen by the public, released in cinemas or directly on DVD / VOD / Streaming. This list includes all the saddest Korean movies, spanning across all time periods. You can find a 36 Korean movie to watch among the best on this list that will probably make you cry !

Mother

South Korean movie MOTHER. Director Joon-ho Bong, starring Kim Hye-ja, Choi Jin Goo and Bin Won is set in South Korea at the end of 2009.

When his father died, only one-year old Do-Joon wasn’t taken care of by his mother the way she should have. He is spoiled and loved too much for his own good. He’s 28 but he still has a naive personality and is not always aware of how he behaves.Do-joon, a victim of wrongful imprisonment, was charged with murder on the day his incarcerated before he even had a chance to defend himself. he spent the next few years waiting for trial until his mother found evidence of someone else’s guilt that led to their release. Mother is a South Korean life-changing drama, which has been received positively by critics, and sees the mother struggling to save her son

PARASITE

2019 – SOUTH KOREA – Thriller, Drama, Sad, Society, Satire

DIRECTOR: Joon-ho Bong

ACTORS: Kang-ho Song, Lee Sun-kyun, Yeo-Jeong Jo

Palme D’Or for Cannes 2019, Parasite marks the return of Bong Joon-ho, South Korean filmmaker and director of genre films. With an engaged & social back story, the film is a big hit amongst attendees at Cannes this year. The film (The Host, 2006) was one of its cult classics because of the iconic concept it followed. The film had an at times tragic, tense, and action-packed premise that allowed for a humor to shine through. This story surrounds a son of poor immigrant parents who takes on the role of tutor in order to get closer to his wealthy friends. The movie director who also brought us “Memories of murder”, “Snowpiercer”, and the Netflix Series ‘Okja’ is directing here actors ‘Song Kang-ho’, ‘Choi Woo-sik’, and Lee Sun-kyun

A Tale of Two Sisters

2004 – SOUTH KOREA – Thriller, Horror, Sad korean movie, Suspense, Supernatural

DIRECTOR: Jee-woon Kim

ACTORS: Su-jeong Lim, Geun-Young Moon, Jung-ah Yum

Kim Jee-woon’s horror blockbuster ‘The Age of Shadows’ has been a huge success, as the film is now well into the top 10 best-selling horror movies from Korea. It stands out from its rivals by combining aspects from small and big movies alike to leave the audience with a fascinatingly “old & new” experience. it provides an action-packed follow-up to the two young sisters who come up against their sister-in-law in a home where macabre events unfold. To create an ominously dark atmosphere, this stylish & sophisticated film relies on an actress who is skilled in the art of powerful acting. She’s portrayed as a menacing figure that ranks among the best of her kind. When she’s not overacting, the cast includes many well-known actors.

JSA (JOINT SECURITY AREA)

2000 – SOUTH KOREA – Thriller, Sad korean drama, Suspense, Touching

DIRECTOR: Park Chan-wook

ACTORS: Kang-ho Song, Lee Young-Aeh, Byung-hun Lee

There are currently high tensions in North-South Korea, but two Korean soldiers have been killed at the border in an attack.. Sergent Sophie E. Lang initiates an investigation to see whether or not the forensic scientist, Sergent Oh Kyeong-Pil, knows the truth. Joint Security Area can be seen as a thriller that exposes just how difficult the relations between South Korea and North Korea are.

SEA FOG

2015 – SOUTH KOREA – Drama, Sad, Shipwrecks, Boat

DIRECTOR: Sung Bo Shim

ACTORS: Kim Yun-Seok, Han Ye-Ri, Lee Hee-joon

Sea Fog is a dark drama on the fate of Chinese migrants moving to Korea at their own risk. The film was co-written by the director of acclaimed films The Host & Snowpiercer, Bong Joon-Ho

BREATHLESS

2009 – SOUTH KOREA – Action, Sad movie korea, Crime, Gang

DIRECTOR: Yang Ik-Joon

ACTORS: Yang Ik-Joon, Kot-bi Kim, Man-shik Jeong

Leader of a band of delinquents, Sang-hoon throws his entire anger into his job as an underemployed loan collector. His life and daily routine are one long story of violence, so much so that he seems incapable of expressing emotion.

POETRY

2010 – SOUTH KOREA – Korean sad drama, Seniors / Old, Mourning

DIRECTOR: Chang-dong Lee

ACTORS: Jeong-hie Yun, Da-wit Lee, Hira Kim

Mija, an eccentric woman, curious and careful, lives in the province of Gyeonggi with her son. One day, she decides to take a poetry class and graduates into writing poetry. Slowly but surely, old lady Mija begins to explore hidden parts of herself that she hadn’t seen before. Mija, an eccentric, curious and careful woman, lives in Gyeonggi province with her grandson, still in college. One day, she decides to take a poetry course and thus embarks on writing poetry. Little by little, the old lady rediscovers the world as she had never seen it before. A South Korean sad drama about a woman who is torn between duty and desires, with an impressive performance by Yoon Jung-hee.

The Day After

2017 – SOUTH KOREA – Love, Drama, Sad, Contemplative, Relationship problem

DIRECTOR: Sang-soo Hong

ACTORS: Min-hee Kim, Hae-hyo Kwon, Jo Yoon-hee

The Day After is a dark black and white film with a slow pace, focused on the themes of the movie, filled with well written dialogue. Over the past few years, alcohol and romance have been mixing and getting more and more dangerous. We see this happening for both good and evil reasons. The protagonist of the novel is a charismatic leader who orchestrates his own pseudo loves stories with disastrous consequences for everyone involved. Presented at the Cannes Film Festival in Competition 2017, and very well received, it counts among its cast a very small number of talented actors.

BLOOD BROTHERS

2004 – SOUTH KOREA – War, Drama, Sad, Family, Violent

DIRECTOR: Je-kyu Kang

ACTORS: Dong-Kun Jang, Bin Won, Eun-ju Lee

Seoul, South Korea, in the 1950s. Jin-tae is a shoe-shiner who dedicates his humble resources to teach his younger brother Jin-suk and hopes to send him to University soon.His mother, widow, and disabled runs an ice-cream stand with the help of his girlfriend that she adopted a few years ago.On June 25th, 1950, the happiness of this family crumbled. Jin-suk was drafted for war and sent to fight on the front lines. Jin-Tae tried to help plead with him but he didn’t have the same success as Jin-suk.Two brothers join this army in the south, poorly equipped, poorly fed, poorly organized and constantly harassed by an enemy with superior numbers & force.

IN ANOTHER COUNTRY

2012 – SOUTH KOREA – Love, Drama, Sadness, Relationship Problem, Adultery / Infidelity

DIRECTOR: Sang-soo Hong

ACTORS: Isabelle Huppert, Jun-Sang Yu, Jung Yu Mi

In a country not her own, the woman who is neither exactly the same nor exactly another person met, meets and will meet people at the same place every time to experience an entirely new moment.

SECRET SUNSHINE

2007 – SOUTH KOREA – Drama, Sad, Touching, Mourning

DIRECTOR: Chang-dong Lee

ACTORS: Do-yeon Jeon, Kang-ho Song, Park Myeong-Shin

Shin A-Ya, who lost her husband recently, has relocated to Miryang after he died. There, she’s taking classes on the piano, exploring new relationships, and befriending Jong Chan at his garage. After a long period of time, during which she led a rather private and uneventful life, the tragedy struck and Shin-ae lost everything. But throughout this difficult time, she looked for ways to keep herself alive and continue living her life the best way she could.

A GIRL AT MY DOOR

2014 – SOUTH KOREA – Drama, Sad, Lesbian, Rural world and agriculture

DIRECTOR: July Jung

ACTORS: Doona Bae, Hie-jin Jang, Sae-ron Kim

In Girl at My Door, July Jung tells the story of Young-Nam, a female detective who has been transferred to a small village where she takes care of a girl. The story is very emotional and suspenseful. The writer is fiercely criticizing both intolerance and the way it treats people with care. The tenderness that arises from these two women being together is a great subject to focus on as a theme in a piece of art. Girl at my door has received critical acclaim and has positioned itself among the best lesbian films, and the most popular romance trend best-selling author.

PIETA

2012 – SOUTH KOREA – Drama, Sadness, Society, Sexuality

DIRECTOR: Ki-duk Kim

ACTORS: Min-soo Jo, Jung-Jin Lee, Ki-Hong Woo

Formally abandoned at birth, Kang-do was a man who had no family and no friends. An unrepentant debt collector and sadist, he threatened the people of a neighborhood slated for demolition if they couldn’t come up with what they owed him. One day, Kang-do received a visit from a woman. They had never met before but they were able to identify each other as mother and son. For the first time in his life, he felt doubt creeping in.

Woman is the Future of Man

2004 – SOUTH KOREA – Love, Romance, Sad, Contemplative, Love triangle

DIRECTOR: Sang-soo Hong

ACTORS: Ji-tae Yu, Tae-woo Kim, Hyeon-a Seong

Preliminary snowfall has fallen in Seoul. Munho, a newly hired art teacher, reunites with his friend Hunjoon after he migrated from the United States. They head out to look for Sunhwa, a former student both men loved.

THE DAY HE ARRIVES

2012 – SOUTH KOREA – Love, Drama, Sadness, Relationship Problem, Adultery / Infidelity

DIRECTOR: Sang-soo Hong

ACTORS: Jun-Sang Yu, Kim Sang-joong, Seon-mi Song

Seungjun has just visited his friend Youngho in Seoul. He walks around Bukchon, the northern part of the city. A group of young film students get on his nerves so he starts to get angry., It was a moment that changed Yungho’s life. That night, with his old mistress Kyungjin, he had found new hope in what seemed impossible to get back. The talks and discussions continue as the days go by, passing through a space-time indefinable until a young stranger captures him in a picture, fixing only on his forlorn face.

HILL OF FREEDOM

2015 – SOUTH KOREA – Love, Drama, Sad, Touching

DIRECTOR: Sang-soo Hong

ACTORS: Ryo Kase, Sori Moon, Young-hwa Seo

Mori is a young Japanese man who travels to Seoul to search for his fiancée. But when he gets there, he finds she’s not at the apartment and decides to wait in a hotel to pass the time until she arrives. Hill of Freedom is a tragic sad korean drama full of twists and turns.

CARANCHO

2011 – SOUTH KOREA – Drama, Sad Korean, Legal, Medicine

DIRECTOR: Pablo Trapero

ACTORS: Ricardo Darín, Martina Gusman, Carlos Weber

His last name is “Carrancho” and he is an attorney in Buenos Aires. He has his own law firm where the number of people who are involved in automobile collisions results in rich benefits for Carancho. One evening, looking for potential clients, he meets Luján, a young emergency room doctor who is struggling with addiction. The story of their love begins there on the sidewalk as she tries to save someone’s life.

SAMARIA

2004 – SOUTH KOREA – Drama, Sad, Violent, Sexuality

DIRECTOR: Ki-duk Kim

ACTORS: Yeo-reum Han, Ji-min Kwak, Eol Lee

Yeo-jin is an adolescent who lives with her father, a widower. He’s a policeman.. When she’s not at school, she helps her best friend, Jae-young, who is a prostitute. One of the two female protagonists has a crush on men and is finding it difficult to resist her impulses, but Jae-young’s new boyfriend doesn’t seem pleased with this.One day, Jae-young, one of his clients who was involved in a police raid on a red-light district hotel, ended up getting arrested instead of himself. Instead of going to jail he jumped out the window and severely injured himself, Jaeyoung asks Yeo-jin to find a client that she fell in love with… In a wildly innovative new project, The New Wave’s most rebellious filmmaker writes a poignant and powerful film that digs into the cracks of modern-day Korea.

TIME

2007 – SOUTH KOREA – Dramatic comedy, Sad, Supernatural, Illness

DIRECTOR: Ki-duk Kim

ACTORS: Ji-Yeon Park, Jung-woo Ha, Sung-min Kim

After two years of living together with Ji-woo, See-hee worries about the future of their relationship, weariness that time can bring to their love. Jealousy weighs her down so much that she doesn’t even allow her partner to look over other women or address them. See-hee, on the other hand, suffers from the fact that amid all her deep and lasting love for her partner, she is constantly giving him the same face and body as every night after night even as their relationship is falling apart. One day after a particularly upsetting argument with her partner But, See-hee realizes it’s time to be alone for good. Entirely without notice, she goes to a clinic and asks for her face to be completely remade. For five months, no one will see her as anything other than masked; at the sixth month, she is reborn as someone unrecognizable

THE NET

2017 – SOUTH KOREA – Drama, Sad, Contemplative, Peach

DIRECTOR: Ki-duk Kim

ACTORS: Seung-bum Ryoo, Lee Won-keun, Young-min Kim

Kim Ki-duk’s prolific film career continues here with a new controversial work. After his dramas with an extreme tone L’Île, Samaria, L’Arc, Souffle, Time, or Pieta, or his calmer meditations, such as Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter … and Spring, he returns with a dramatic film with elements of thriller, which addresses the question of the borders between the two Koreas. THE NET is one of the most intense sad korean movies

A Brand New Life

2009 – SOUTH KOREA – Drama, Sadness, Youth, Family

DIRECTOR: Ounie Lecomte

ACTORS: Sae-ron Kim, Do yeon Par, Ah-sung Ko

Seoul, South Korea, 1975. Jinhee is 9 years old. Her father places her in an orphanage run by Catholic Sisters. The separation then begins and the long wait for a family begins. Time passes by, it becomes clear that Jinhee’s adopted daughter is going to give up her dreams as she leaves for a new life. However, this decision ends up breaking some bonds and friendships that were only just beginning to form.

THE COAST GUARD

2002 – SOUTH KOREA – Drama, Sadness, Society, Illness

DIRECTOR: Ki-duk Kim

ACTORS: Dong-Kun Jang, Jeong-hak Kim, Ji-a Park

In South Korea, a military base on the coast keeps watch to make sure no North Korean spies come into the country. For many of the soldiers present, this mission feels more like a chore than anything else. Soldier Kang is very passionate about his duty as well as the mission. He barely sees anything else in life and is eager to kill any enemy spy. On one particular night, he’s on duty and sees a shadowy figure crawling far away from him on the beach near where he’s standing guard. There’s no doubt that it’s actually a disguised enemy agent. Kang opens fire and, in order not to give his target a chance, even throws a grenade. Once there with his unit, the young man obsessed with the trigger discovers a very different reality: the man he shot is a local fisherman who was making love with his sweet, Mee- Young …

THE BOW

2005 – SOUTH KOREA – Drama, Sad, Contemplative, Peach

DIRECTOR: Ki-duk Kim

ACTORS: Si-jeok Seo, Jeon Kuk-hwan, Seong-hwang Jeon

An old man lives with a young girl whom he tries to keep away from the world, on a boat in the middle of the ocean. He is going to marry her when she turns 17. The fishermen stopped their boat to notice the girl out in the water, who always seemed to be under the watch of her guardian. However, this all changed when she started showing interest in a young man from the city.

AFTER MY DEATH

2018 – SOUTH KOREA – Thriller, Drama, Sadness, Inquiry, Youth

DIRECTOR: Kim Ui-seok

ACTORS: Jeon Yeo-been, Young-hwa Seo, Ko Won-hee

Without a body, the school community is on turmoil as one student has disappeared. The victim’s family, teachers and students want to pass the blame onto each other for not being able to find the missing student, as well as wanting to preserve their image as a reputable school. A suicide is suspected. The victim’s mother thinks Yeong-hee is the culprit and starts to treat her poorly. This makes it difficult for her to understand what she did, or didn’t do, that led to her daughter’s untimely demise.

1987: WHEN THE DAY COMES

2018 – SOUTH KOREA – Drama, Sad, Touching, Youth

DIRECTOR: Joon-Hwan Jang

ACTORS: Jung-woo Ha, Kim Yun-Seok, Yoo Hae-jin

Park Jong-cheol was captured by police in 1987 while he was a university student and participating in the pro-democracy movement.. He is then tortured to death. Media, citizens & government are all involved in an attempt to reveal the truth of the case. However, the police have gone to great lengths in order to hide it.

Breath

2007 – SOUTH KOREA – Love, Romance, Sadness, Prison / Prison Universe, Life in prison

DIRECTOR: Ki-duk Kim

ACTORS: Chen Chang, Jung-woo Ha, Ji-a Park

An inmate on death row is granted an execution delay after unsuccessfully attempting to commit suicide multiple times. A husband who once deceived his wife encounters this prisoner and decides to visit him in prison. This sentence turned into a love story.

The Old Garden

2007 – SOUTH KOREA – Love, Romance, Sadness, Society, Prison / Prison Universe

DIRECTOR: Sang-soo Im

ACTORS: Jung-ah Yum, Jin-hee Ji, Yu-ri Kim

When Hyun-woo was arrested in 1980, he entered the world of the outside. He had to learn how to survive on his own. After many years of staying hidden, he finally escapes prison and meets an unexpected character who helps him find his way out of the darkness.

LEONERA

2008 – SOUTH KOREA – Drama, Sadness, Society, Sexuality

DIRECTOR: Pablo Trapero

ACTORS: Martina Gusman, Elli Medeiros, Rodrigo Santoro

Julia, 26 , finds the bodies of two men at her home, including that of the father of her child. The accident has happened too recently for her to remember how it happened , and she is arrested by police . Immediately, she is imprisoned in a special prison for young mothers awaiting their trial.Julia knows that she would only be able to keep Thomas close to her for four years because he was sentenced to a jail term. Despite this, she did get a few moments of happiness with her son while they were together. One day, Julia’s mother comes to take the boy away. But Julia is so upset about the separation, she will do everything to get him back.

APRIL SNOW

2006 – SOUTH KOREA – Love, Romance, Sadness, Adultery / Infidelity, Relationship problem

DIRECTOR: Jin-ho Hur

ACTORS: Ye-jin Son, Yong-jun Bae, Sang-hyo Lim

After finding out that their husbands had crashed their cars, In-Su and Seo-young decide they need to see each other again. They also decide to learn more about themselves, their feelings and the type of people they are pursuing.

CHUNHYANG

2002 – SOUTH KOREA – Love, Dramatic comedy, Sad, Music, Contemplative

DIRECTOR: Kwon-taek Im

ACTORS: Hyo-jeong Lee, Seung-woo Cho, Sung-nyu Kim

A young aristocrat meets a young girl who he falls in love with. However, the man has to follow his father and after leaving her, they never truly find one another and pass away without meeting again and falling in love. Governor Chunhyang has been losing his popularity at the region and people grow weary of his rebellious attitude. However, Mongryong arrives to restore order, despite being discovered by the people who will not let him stay for his fight against injustice.

BLACK STONE

2016 – SOUTH KOREA – Drama, Sad, Contemplative, Society

DIRECTOR: Gyeong-Tae Roh

ACTORS: Tae-hee Won, Hae-Sung Lee, Hyun-Joo Baek

Shon Sun ran away from the military when he felt they were abusing him, but his parents were missing on his return. He travels with the help of an old map drawn by his father to find them in the jungle. The book is thought-provoking & takes you through a wild journey with Shon where your heart will be in danger hours before your eyes.

THE BACCHUS LADY

2018 – SOUTH KOREA – Drama, Sad, Touching, Society

DIRECTOR: Je-yong Lee

ACTORS: Yuh Jung Youn, Hyun-jun Choi, Mu-song Jeon

So-young is an elderly woman who does not have a retirement plan and has to make ends meet by becoming a Bacchus Lady, an elegant term for a prostitute. Her clients are fewer. Her longtime regulars are aging, just like her, and have their own healthcare issues that coincide with senescence.

Han ni zai yiki

2002 – SOUTH KOREA – Drama, Sadness, Youth, Touching

DIRECTION: Kaige Chen

ACTORS: Yun Tang, Peiqi Liu, Hong Chen

13-year-old Xiao Chun is considered a virtuoso by his dad. His dad takes him to Beijing to try out some competitions, which was fascinating for the young violinist. but not as fascinating as the beautiful Lili, a young woman kept near where he settles with his father. To pay for his son’s lessons, Liu Cheng accumulates odd jobs and sacrifices all his savings. Xiao Chun learns so much about himself as he starts to master his knowledge of traditional Chinese culture, violin playing, and life at home with his father. He also becomes friends with Lili who helps him feel more comfortable in school. However, there are many decisions to make for Xiao Chun since he is only 16 years old. There are always choices to make beyond what’s expected

LAND OF SCARECROWS

2008 – SOUTH KOREA – Drama, Sad, Touching, Society

DIRECTOR: Gyeong-Tae Roh

ACTORS: Sun-Young Kim, Phuong Thi Bich, Duwon Jung

The three characters of this poem are Jiyoung Jang, Loi Tan, and Rain. They each face difficulties in their lives but they’re never too busy to pursue their dreams..In the Philippines, scarecrows (humans) go to seek children and wives, but toxic land can no longer support these people anymore..

OLD BOY

2003 – SOUTH KOREA – Drama, Thriller, Sad, Delinquency, Incest

DIRECTOR: Chan-wook Park

ACTORS: Min-sik Choi, Ji-tae Yu, Hye-jeong Kang

After 15 years, the character has been abducted and locked away in a prison for no reason. He has only one idea – to escape from the prison to get his revenge. 15 years later, Oh Dae-Soo is finally released from prison and soon the man responsible for the kidnapping, who had been torturing him over those years as a mere punishment, offers to find out what happened. But as a result of being kept in lockdown for so long, he has developed an inner rage. Dark & violent sad Korean drama “Old Boy” takes on a slow descent into hell as a man thought to have no history plummets from his last moment of stability.

THE AXIS

2010 – SOUTH KOREA – Drama, Sad, Financial world, Touching

DIRECTOR: Park Chan-wook

a senior executive recently lost their job due to a relocation and decided to focus on competitive devaluation of rivals. They have focused all efforts on eliminating one competitor at a time until they find a new job.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to not get emotional when you want to watch a sad/tragic movie. These moments typically revolve around listening to tear-stained songs or going on a sad Korean movie binge. Some people might find it sad when you’re feeling down, but watching movies might actually help to cheer you up. we hope you liked the list of the saddest korean movies ever. You can watch them whenever you’d like or share them with someone who needs some cheering up.