5 Korean Movies Guaranteed to Make You Cry

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5 Korean Movies Guaranteed to Make You Cry

Simon McEnteggart from the Korean movie review site Hanguk Yeonghwa gives Korvia.com his list of 5 Korean movies guaranteed to make you cry.

If there’s one thing modern Korean cinema does well, it’s crafting melodramas that force audiences to sob like a newborn baby. Directors within the industry have a knack for creating emotionally powerful films that resonate long after the credits have rolled, while certain actors and actresses have solidified their reputations as kings and queens of the genre. There are dozens of great titles to choose from, but here are five of the best Korean movies guaranteed to make you cry.
Ode to My Father

image photo sad korean movies ode to my father - 5 Korean Movies Guaranteed to Make You CryWhen Ode to My Father – also known as International Market – was released in winter 2014, it smashed box office records to become the second highest-grossing Korean film in the country’s cinematic history. It’s popularity was assured through the depiction of incredibly saddening moments in peninsula’s history following the Korean War, which had older audiences flocking to cinema screens in droves.

While the film glosses over the darker aspects of Korean history in favour of melodrama, Ode to My Father is a real tear-jerker – especially during scenes set during the 1980s. Click here to read the full review.

“the collective grief of TV show ‘Reuniting Separated Families’ is powerfully poignant.”
Maundy Thursday

image photo sad korean movies maundy thursday - 5 Korean Movies Guaranteed to Make You CryMaundy Thursday is the rather odd English title for Our Happy Time, a powerful melodrama about a man on death row who comes to form an intimate bond with a young woman who regularly visits the prison. Played by superstars Kang Dong-won and Lee Na-young, the duo initially dislike each other during the meetings, however they gradually begin to form a powerful relationship where their traumatic histories come to light. As they share their suffering with each other, it’s truly impossible not to feel deeply moved by their bravery in the face of awful circumstances. Click here to read the review.

“a riveting delight, that exemplifies the importance of sharing sadness as well as happiness in the creation of love.”

image photo sad korean movies always - 5 Korean Movies Guaranteed to Make You CryStarring Han Hyo-joo and So Ji-sub, Always is a classic romantic melodrama that will have fans of the genre weeping. Always was the opening film of the 2011 Busan International Film Festival, for which tickets sold out in a shocking seven seconds.

The film follows the lives of down-on-his-luck ex-boxer Cheol-min and blind telemarketer (Jung-hwa, who meet while working in the same building. The couple steadily grow increasingly closer as their lives become difficult, leading to a classic romance and a finale that will have fans sobbing. Click here to read the review.

“Fans of the romance genre will undoubtedly be delighted with Always as destiny intervenes to push the couple together”
You Are My Sunshine

image photo sad korean movies you are my sunshine - 5 Korean Movies Guaranteed to Make You CryAn interesting variation on the romance genre, You Are My Sunshine explores the life of a nice but unintelligent farmer who falls head over heels in love with a local prostitute. Despite her attempts to push the farmer away, his passion and devotion gradually win her heart. However, she holds a secret so large that it threatens to tear them apart forever.

The film stars Hwang Jung-min and Jeon Do-yeon, who display palpable chemistry on screen. Click here to read the review.

“an impressively effective and entertaining tear-jerker.”
A Moment to Remember

image photo sad korean movies a moment to remember - 5 Korean Movies Guaranteed to Make You CryQuite possibly the greatest romantic melodrama ever created in Korean cinematic history, A Moment to Remember stars Son Ye-jin and Jung Woo-sung in a classic tale of a mismatched couple who become star-crossed lovers. However, their happily-ever-after story is ruined by the onset of early Alzheimer’s disease.

Su-jin (Son) initially beings to forget minor details, but the film becomes truly heart-breaking as the illness progresses, resulting in buckets full of tears by audiences. Click here to read the review.

“one of the most emotional and compelling romantic films committed to celluloid, and a truly poignant tale of love”

Of course, this is just a selection of the emotionally resonating films that the Korean film industry produces each year, so sign up to Hanguk Yeongwha for more updates.

By |2018-04-19T20:00:06+00:00November 23rd, 2015|Featured Articles, Korvia Contributor Editorials|8 Comments

About the Author:

Simon McEnteggart
Simon McEnteggart has resided in Ilsan, South Korea for the past five years and is the founder of K-cinema website Hanguk Yeonghwa. He also freelances, and has written for Groove Korea and the Korean Film Council.


  1. Johnny Robinson October 15, 2016 at 4:31 pm - Reply

    You forgot Kwon Sang-Woo/Lee Bo-Young/Lee Beom-Soo/Jung Ae-Youn in MORE THAN BLUE:

    K (Kwon Sang-Woo), a radio producer who loves a woman named Cream (Lee Bo-Young) first meet each other in high school & both are orphans; K was abandoned by his mother after his father died of cancer who nevertheless left him a sizable sum of money, while Cream lost her entire family in a traffic accident. The two become soulmates and come to share a home, though K watches Cream switch from boyfriend to boyfriend as he keeps his own feelings for her to himself. Knowing that Cream’s biggest fear is to be left alone, K keeps the fact that he has terminal cancer a secret, and instead he urges her to marry a kind and healthy man. When Cream announces that she is in love with affluent doctor Joo-hwan, K is left heartbroken, but is satisfied that she has met her ideal partner…

    You also forgot the movie and drama series based on a true story…far more ‘bluer’ than More Than Blue…

    ” A Liter of Tears”

    15-year-old Ikeuchi Aya was an ordinary girl, the daughter of a family who works at a tofu shop, and a soon-to-be high schooler. However, odd things have been happening to Aya lately. She has been falling down often and walks strange. Her mother, Shioka, takes Aya to see the doctor, and he informs Shioka that Aya has spinocerebellar degeneration – a terrible disease where the cerebellum of the brain gradually deteriorates to the point where the victim cannot walk, speak, write, or eat. A cruel disease, as it does not affect the mind in the least. How will Aya react when told about her disease? And how will Aya live from now on?


  2. Edward Fred February 3, 2017 at 6:11 am - Reply

    You also forgot The Miracle in Cell No. 7

  3. suni May 10, 2017 at 1:58 pm - Reply

    you forgot about ‘A Werewolf Boy’ if you want to your tears to turn into a galxy then you should watch it.

  4. suni May 10, 2017 at 2:00 pm - Reply

    you forgot about ‘A Werewolf Boy’ if you want your tears to turn into a galaxy then you should watch it. I highly recommend this movie.

  5. Akma July 30, 2017 at 8:05 am - Reply

    And Miracle in cell no 7
    Ughhhh so saddddd

  6. Jana November 6, 2017 at 11:46 pm - Reply

    A miracle in cell 7 is so ooooo underrated and everyone cries it sos good

  7. JJ July 28, 2018 at 3:43 am - Reply

    Brotherhood of War… especially if you have a brother

  8. Irene November 14, 2018 at 10:25 am - Reply

    train to Busan made everyone cry tear of blood..

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