5 MUST-WATCH K-MOVIES & K-DRAMAS ON NETFLIX

Hello everyone and welcome back to another top Korean movies content by EonTalk! In today’s post, I’ll be bringing you a list of Top 5 K-dramas and K-movies that are definitely worth checking out on Netflix. 

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If you’re a fan of EonTalk, you’d know that I usually review and cover Korean movies. However, there have been tremendous requests for K-dramas as well, and so in today’s post, I’ll be introducing not only amazing Korean movies, but must-watch K-dramas on Netflix as well!

There’s been a lot of added Korean content on Netflix recently, so it was a bit difficult trimming down just 5, but I tried my best to include movies and dramas that I very much enjoyed, as well as ones that I haven’t mentioned a lot in previous content. The rankings of the K-movies and K-dramas I’ll be introducing will be based on my personal recommendations, so they are totally biased towards my opinions, and I’ll be going back and forth between a drama and a movie. If you have differing views and thoughts, please feel free to respectfully leave them in the comments down below!

#5

Starting off the list, the first K-drama is a series that I think would be the first to come to mind to a lot of people when they think of Korean Netflix originals, “Kingdom.”

Ahh yes, “Kingdom,” the zombie-thriller that took the world by storm. Koreans have come to become known for making incredible zombie productions, and what makes the zombie genre so great when the Korean industry gets a hold of it is its originality. Take for example <Train to Busan>; the film not only has zombies, but also the added element of having to survive on a moving train. There’s a mission that the protagonists have to achieve.

Much like this, “Kingdom” also not only superbly executes the “zombie” element, but also has an additional layer to it of Korean history. The way it’s able to mesh these two together so well is what makes it so different and original, which is why I believe it was able to attract so much international attention. Where else can you seen zombies in a periodical piece?

What made “Kingdom” even better were the incredible performances by the leads Ju Ji-Hoon, Ryu Seung-Ryong, and Bae Doona. I believe Ju Ji-Hoon is one of the best when it comes to delivering the character’s personality with his expressions; case in point, <Dark Figure of Crime>. And adding Ryu Seung-Ryong and Bae Doona to the cast elevated the drama even further. Ryu Seung-Ryong is one of the top actors that starred in films that recorded more than 10 million at the box office. His films <Masquerade>, <Extreme Job>, <Miracle in Cell No.7>, and <The Admiral: Roaring Currents> all recorded over 10 million! Not to mention, Miss Bae Doona starred in not only amazing Korean productions, but Western productions as well.

“Kingdom” was co-directed by Kim Seong-Hun and Park Inje, who also did the films <Tunnel> and <The Mayor>, respectively. The series was written by one of the most well-known writers of K-dramas, Kim Eun-Hee, who famously wrote “Signal.” Rated a whopping 96% on Rotten Tomatoes, “Kingdom” is definitely a must-watch, and to make matters even better, there’s 2 seasons of it available!

#4

Moving along, the #4 movie is the most recently released film, which had an exclusive release on Netflix in February of this year, <Space Sweepers>.

Directed by Cho Sung-Hee, who also directed <A Werewolf Boy> and <Phantom Detective>, <Space Sweepers> is an SF film with an all-star cast of Song Koong-Ki, Kim Tae-Ri, Jin Sun-Kyu, and Yoo Hae-Jin. The movie, as the title makes clear, takes place in space, and this was a new endeavor for Korean cinema, expanding into the space opera field. The movie was originally supposed to have a theatrical release last year during the summer, but was delayed due to the pandemic. It was initially delayed to wintertime, December I believe, but was then delayed again, before eventually having a global release on Netflix. I believe this is a good way for the global audience to enjoy Korean films simultaneously, and hopefully we see more K-movies releasing on Netflix simultaneously across the world.

When you watch the film, the first thing you notice about this movie is the visuals. I mean, that’s kind of a given, as it is an SF-space-opera. You can tell they invested a lot of time and effort in the VFX, as the movie had one of the best CGIs in recent Korean films. However, the movie didn’t have the biggest budget in comparison to Hollywood productions. The movie had a budget of about 24 billion KRW, or about 22 million USD. Let me put that into perspective – <Guardians of the Galaxy> had a production budget of 232 million USD, <Avengers: Endgame> had 356 million USD, heck, even the <Star Trek> movie that came out 12 years ago had a budget of 150 million! And so for the production teams of <Space Sweepers> to have been able to all of what they accomplished with the limited budget they had was definitely incredible, and shows how talented the teams were.

Furthermore, it was great to see the chemistry between the four main leads, and definitely great to see Song Joong-Ki in movies once again. The rating for <Space Sweepers> on Rotten Tomatoes is 72%, so it isn’t the highest, and no, it’s not the best space movie, but it was fun nonetheless, and definitely worth watching on Netflix.

How to Watch K-Movies & K-Dramas on Netflix from Outside of Korea

Before progressing further into the list, please note that the selection of movies and dramas may vary depending on the location you are in. However, if you’d like to access more Korean content, you can do so by using a VPN service and accessing the Korean Netflix server. And I’ve got a VPN service that I highly recommend!

A VPN is a tool for protecting your privacy and securing your Internet connection, and it not only protects you from possible risks, but allows you to bypass geo-restrictions! Put simply, you can be from Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia, the US, India, or anywhere else in the world, and access the Korean Netflix! I highly recommend using ExpressVPN, one of the most recommended and trusted VPN services out there, and once you sign up for and install Express VPN, it’s as easy as choosing the country you want to access, and connecting!

If you would also like to access a wider range of Korean content, be sure to sign up for ExpressVPN using my linkexpressvpn.com/eontalk, and get 49% off an annual plan, PLUS 3 extra months for free! Better yet, if you sign up and don’t like the service, there’s a 30 day money back guarantee, meaning you can cancel anytime within the first 30 days!

#3

The #3 spot goes to the K-drama that first aired early last year, “Itaewon Class.”

“Itaewon Class” is a K-drama that I absolutely fell in love with from episode 1. You know how there are those K-dramas that you need to invest some time and effort into, in order to really see the fun and addictiveness of a K-drama? Well, put that off to the side. “Itaewon Class” had me HOOKED from episode 1 all the way to its final episode.

Starring Park Seo-Joon, Kim Da-Mi, Yoo Jae-Myung, Kwon Na-Ra, Kim Dong-Hee, and Ahn Bo-Hyun, “Itaewon Class” had one of the best on-screen chemistry between the actors. Park Seo-Joon and Kim Da-Mi, who played Park Sae-Ro-Yi and Jo Yi-Seo, respectively, were perfect fits for their roles, and both rocked new hairstyles that started a new trend. The drama also covered a lot of different social issues within its stories, such as the social disparity, conglomerate monopolization, and even sexual discriminations that exists in Korea.

“Itaewon Class” was co-directed by Kim Sung-Yoon and Kang Min-Gu. Director Kim also did another K-drama that I highly enjoyed, “Dream High.” Itaewon is a district in Seoul, Korea, and is known for its lively, cosmopolitan dining and nightlife. It also is a hub for a lot of visitors and foreigners, so it’s definitely a melting pot of various cultures. “Itaewon Class” was actually filmed in “Itaewon,” and so it was really interesting and fun to spot locations that you can actually go to in real life. If you visit Korea and are in Seoul, Itaewon is definitely a place you should check out. Also, if you haven’t seen “Itaewon Class” yet, I highly highly recommend doing so, as it’s a very enjoyable drama, as evident by its staggering TV rating of 16.5%!

#2

And now, just two productions left; one K-movie, and one K-drama. The #2 K-movie goes to a film that’s relatively older when compared to other movies and dramas on this list. Released in 2017, the #2 film is <1987: When the Day Comes>.

Directed by Jang Jun-Hwan, the director of the films <Save The Green Planet> and <Hwayi: A Monster Boy>, <1987: When the Day Comes> was a film based on true events that took place in the year 1987. I won’t get into too much details as I don’t want to give any spoilers, but the film revolves around the events that led up to the June Democratic Uprising in Korea, more specifically the death of and the coverup by the cops of a student protestor during a police interrogation.

<1987: When the Day Comes> had amazing performances by Kim Yoon-Seok, Ha Jung-Woo, Yoo Hae-Jin, Kim Tae-Ri, Park Hee-Soon, and Lee Hee-Jun, and it was their outstanding acting that sold it for me. <1987: When the Day Comes> is an eye-opening film into the contemporary history of Korea, and if you are interested in the background of South Korea and how Korea came to be where it is today, then this is a must-watch. The movie is a very real one that gets emotional, but it isn’t a film that forces the tears upon its audience and is very genuine, which is why I picked it as #2 film to watch on Netflix.

#1

And now, the #1 spot. The #1 K-drama that I picked that’s a must-watch on Netflix is another drama that got me hooked from episode 1. The #1 spot goes to the K-drama “Crash Landing on You.”

I think practically everyone that’s into K-drama, K-movies, K-pop, and just K-entertainment in general has probably seen, or at least heard of this drama. This was one of the few K-dramas that I saw my friends from the U.S., that aren’t into K-dramas, really get into. Seeing all the memes and posts of “Crash Landing on You” on various social media channels and on Subtle Asian Traits is what really solidified its international popularity for me. The drama is full of cute and heart-fluttering moments, and what makes it even more amazing is that the leads Hyun Bin and Son Ye-Jin, who are couples in the K-drama, came out as being real-life couples! Such a perfect couple…

Anyways, “Crash Landing on You” also starred Seo Ji-Hye and Kim Jung-Hyun, and was directed by Lee Jung-Hyo, the director of the dramas “Romance Is a Bonus Book” and “The Good Wife.” “Crash Landing on You” revolves around a South Korean chaebol heiress who accidentally ends up ‘crash-landing’ in the North Korean section of the DMZ, or demilitarized zone. There, she meets Captain Ri of the North Korean military, and their story unfolds from there. The movie gained massive respect for not only the cute and lovable scenes, but also because they apparently depicted North Korea very well. From interviews of North Korean defectors, we were able to learn that a lot of the depictions of North Korea were actually true, such as the below-ground storage and the accents/dialects.

As with the #3 K-drama, “Itaewon Class,” there aren’t a lot of K-dramas that really gets me hooked, and it’s very rare that a K-drama comes around that I adjust my schedule for in order to watch it live, but “Crash Landing on You” was one of those rare few. Definitely a must-watch. It had a whopping 21.7% TV rating.

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Conclusion

And that concludes today’s content on 5 Must Watch K-Movies and K-Dramas on Netflix. Remember, these movies and dramas were based on my personal preferences, and are totally biased towards my opinions. However, I’d love to hear your thoughts as well, so please leave a comment and share your thoughts on which are your favorite K-movies and K-dramas. Remember, to watch these amazing films, be sure to sign up for ExpressVPN using the link provided to get your special price! If you would like me to continue making posts on not only Korean movies but K-dramas as well, be sure to let me know in the comments! 

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Disclaimer
Please keep in mind this review is composed of solely my own opinions, and should be taken with a grain of salt. I am in no way a professional writer, nor have I majored or studied journalism. This is for informative entertainment purpose only, representing my personal views. I do not own the images and/or videos used in the review. No copyright infringement intended.

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