“Ode to My Father” (국제시장)

In a review that ran in the New York Times, film critic Jeannette Catsoulis gave “Ode to My Father” a big thumbs down for being “syrupy” and for having “packaged pain … likely to leave Western audiences cold.” While there is no doubt that director Yoo Je-Kyoon would’ve loved for American audiences to embrace his movie, it’s also undeniable that this film was not made with Western moviegoers in mind. It was made for Koreans.

Korean tensions erupt in action film ‘Shiri’ (쉬리)

The opening sequence of “Shiri” is so frenetic and violent that some filmgoers may wince at the unrelenting brutality. But if you can make it through the first few minutes, there’s cinematic eye candy waiting to enthrall you. One of the fiercest soldiers on an elite North Korean force is Hee, a young female sniper who shoots to kill and never misses. When enemy soldiers are hunted, she shows no feeling as she decapitates her prey. When she retires, she is given a solemn, heroic sendoff.