Top 20 Korean Movies (2000~2020) – Grand Bell Awards

Hello everyone and welcome back to another post by EonTalk. Today, we’ll be taking a look at the movies that won the “Best Film” from the Grand Bell Awards during the past 2 decades.

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The Grand Bell Awards is an annual event presented by The Motion Pictures Association of Korea, the latest being held on June 3rd 2020. The awards range from Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Screenplay, Best Director, to name a few, and the cream of the crop is, of course, Best Film. The Grand Bell Awards dates back to 1962, but in this video, we’ll be taking a look at the list of movies that won Best Film from the past 20 years.

The list will go in reverse-chronological order, meaning the movies aren’t ranked based on ratings or box office, but from the year 2020 to the year 2000. Because there are a lot of movies we need to get through, I won’t be giving too much info on each film, nor a detailed synopsis. If you would like more content regarding the movies mentioned, please let me know in the comments and I can make another content!


Starting with the 56th Grand Bell Awards, the film that won the Best Film of 2020 was <Parasite>. Directed by the legendary Korean film director Bong Joon-Ho, <Parasite> is an absolute must-watch that not only took Korea by storm, but the world overall! The film starred Song Kang-Ho, Lee Sun-Kyun, Jo Yeo-Jung, Choi Woo-Shik, Park So-Dam, Lee Jung-Eun, and Jung Hye-Jin, and it had over 10 million people show up at the domestic box office.


Next, the 55th Grand Bell Awards took place in 2018, and the movie that won Best Film was <Burning>. <Burning> was directed by another incredible Korean director, Lee Chan-Dong, whom we’ll see a couple more times on this list. This mystery drama starred the likes of Yoo Ah-In, Steven Yeun, and Jun Jong-Seo, and despite it having great critical acclamation, it had a fairly low box office turnout, raking it only 520,000.


The 54th Grand Bell Awards from 2017 had <A Taxi Driver> as Best Film. Directed by Jang Hoon, <A Taxi Driver> had a great cast lineup of Song Kang-Ho, Thomas Kretschmann, Yoo Hae-Jin, and Ryu Jun-Yeol. <A Taxi Driver> is not only a very informative film revolving around the Gwangju Uprising, but also gets really emotional. The film recorded over 12 million at the box office.


Moving along to the 53rd Grand Bell Awards, the Best Film of 2016 was <Inside Men>. <Inside Men> was a crime movie directed by Woo Min-Ho, and this is a film that I also highly enjoyed. It takes a look at the shady sides of politics and business, and there’s also an extended version of the film that gives even greater insight. Starring Lee Byung-Hun, Jo Seung-Woo, and Baek Yoon-Shik, <Inside Men> had over 7 million people at the theaters.


The 52nd Grand Bell Awards that took place in 2015 had <Ode to My Father> as its Best Film. Directed by Yoon Je-Kyoon, <Ode to My Father> is one of the most versatile movies out of Korean cinema. It has a great story and progression, is able to make you really invest in the characters, has humor but also gets really emotional, and of course, amazing acting. The film starred Hwang Jung-Min, Kim Yoon-Jin, Oh Dal-Soo, and Jung Jin-Young, and had a box office number of over 14 million.


Next, the 51st Grand Bell Awards. The 51st Best Film from 2014 was <The Admiral: Roaring Currents>. Directed by Kim Han-Min, this historical film not only won the Best Film, but Choi Min-Shik won Best Actor with this movie. Furthermore, <The Admiral: Roaring Currents> was also able to win Best Planning as well as the Technical Award. The movie starred the likes of Choi Min-Shik, Ryu Seung-Ryong, and Cho Jin-Woong, and the film also holds the highest box office number at a whopping 17,610,000.


The Best Film of 2013 from the 50th Grand Bell Awards was <The Face Reader>. This historical drama was directed by Han Jae-Rim, and has a very interesting premise. The movie is about a man with a very special talent in reading people’s faces to tell their destinies, and starred Song Kang-Ho, Lee Jung-Jae, Baek Yoon-Shik, Jo Jung-Suk, Lee Jong-Seok, and Kim Hye-Soo. This film was able to rake in over 9 million at the box office.


Moving onto the 49th Grand Bell Awards, the Best Film of 2012 was <Masquerade>. Directed by Choo Chang-Min, <Masquerade> is another historical drama, but isn’t like other typical historical dramas. Starring Lee Byung-Hun, Ryu Seung-Ryong, and Han Hyo-Ju, the movie has comedy, drama, action, and thrill, and is also my personal favorite historical drama. And I’m not the only one that enjoyed it, as over 12 million people showed up at the domestic box office to watch this movie.


The 48th Grand Bell Awards from 2011 had <The Front Line> as its winner of Best Film. Directed by Jang Hoon, who also directed the 54th Grand Bell Awards Best Film winner, <A Taxi Driver>, <The Front Line> is a war film that starred the likes of Shin Ha-Kyun, Go Soo, Lee Je-Hoon, Ryu Seung-Soo, Go Chang-Suk, David Lee, Ryu Seung-Ryong, and Kim Ok-Bin. The movie was able to record over 2.9 million at the box office.


Next, the 47th Grand Bell Awards, held ten years ago in 2010, had its Best Film as <Poetry>. Directed by Lee Chang-Dong, whose name is coming up twice now, the first being with <Burning>, <Poetry> is a drama film that isn’t as widely known. Its box office record sits at just over 200,000, but that didn’t stop it from taking its title as the Best Film of 2010. The film starred the likes of Yoon Jung-Hee, David Lee, Kim Hee-Ra, and Ahn Nae-Sang.


Moving onto the 46th Grand Bell Awards, the film that won the Best Film of 2009 was <The Divine Weapon>. Directed by Kim Yoo-Jin, <The Divine Weapon> is a historical drama that starred the likes of Jung Hae-Young, Han Eun-Jung, and Heo Jun-Ho. This Best Film recipient recorded over 3.7 million at the box office.


The 45th Grand Bell Awards took place in 2008, and the movie that won Best Film was <The Chaser>. <The Chaser> was directed by one of my personal favorite directors, Na Hong-Jin, and this is also one of my personal favorite thrillers as well. <The Chaser> had great performances by Kim Yoon-Seok and Ha Jung-Woo, and this crime thriller was able to bring in over 5 million at the box office.


The 44th Grand Bell Awards from 2007 had <Family Ties> as Best Film. Directed by Kim Tae-Yong, <Family Ties> had a cast lineup of Moon So-Ri, Go Doo-Shim, Uhm Tae-Woong, Gong Hyo-Jin, Bong Tae-Kyu, and Jung Yoo-Mi. Although the film received great response from the critics and was ultimately able to win Best Film, it didn’t perform as well at the domestic box office, recording just 200,000.


Moving along to the 43rd Grand Bell Awards, the Best Film of 2006 was <King and the Clown>. <King and the Clown> was another historical drama and was directed by Lee Joon-Ik. Starring Gam Woo-Sung, Jung Jin-Young, Kang Sung-Yeon, and Lee Jun-Ki, <King and the Clown> had a box office number of over 10 million, which is incredible considering the movie was released in 2005.


The 42nd Grand Bell Awards that took place in 2005 had <Marathon> as its Best Film. Directed by Jeong Yoon-Chul, <Marathon> is another great drama that gets really emotional. The film starred Jo Seung-Woo, Kim Mi-Sook, and Lee Ki-Young, and recorded over 4 million at the box office.


Next, the 41st Grand Bell Awards. The 41st Best Film from 2004 was <Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring>. This film was directed by the late Kim Ki-Duk, who was one of the most beloved Korean directors, who passed away on December 11th due to COVID. Although he has passed, his name and work lives on, especially with his great productions like <Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter… and Spring>. This film starred Oh Young-Soo, Kim Ki-Duk, Kim Young-Min, Seo Jae-Kyung, and Cha Soo-Ah. The box office numbers of the movies from hereon out are unavailable, as the Korean Film Council only provided the data after 2004.


The Best Film of 2003 from the 40th Grand Bell Awards was <Memories of Murder>. This crime thriller is one of, if not the best in this genre. The film was directed by the one and only Bong Joon-Ho, who also directed the 4-time Oscar winner <Parasite>, and starred Song Kang-Ho and Kim Sang-Kyung. If you haven’t seen this film, I highly recommend watching this masterpiece.


Moving onto the 39th Grand Bell Awards, the Best Film of 2002 was <The Way Home>. <The Way Home> is a family drama that was directed by Lee Jeong-Hyang. Starring Kim Eul-Boon and Yoo Seung-Ho, this was the first Korean movie I’ve ever seen in theaters. They had a showing of this Korean film near the city I lived in back in the US, which was very uncommon back then, and I remember going to see it with my family. The movie is extremely sad and gets really, really emotional. The little Yoo Seung-Ho who was a child actor then was really great, and he’s grown to be such a great actor.


And now, just two movies left. The Best Film of the 38th Grand Bell Awards from 2001 was <Joint Security Area>. Directed by Park Chan-Wook, who I’m surprised only came up once on this list, <Joint Security Area> is another masterpiece that starred the likes of Lee Young-Ae, Lee Byung-Hun, Song Kang-Ho, Kim Tae-Woo, and Shin Ha-Kyun. To be honest, the movie is pretty slow to start, which is common in older films, but it gets so good as it progresses. The mystery it has was spectacular, and basically anything with Song Kang-Ho and Lee Byung-Hun is good, but to have both of them in a single movie? This is a must-watch.


And finally, the 37th Grand Bell Awards, held twenty years ago in the year 2000. The movie that received Best Film at the start of the Millennium was <Peppermint Candy>. Directed by, once again, Lee Chang-Dong, whose come up a total of 3 times on this list, <Peppermint Candy> is a drama film that starred Seol Kyung-Gu, Moon So-Ri, and Kim Yeo-Jin. This movie not only won the Best Film at the turn of the century, but is also a classic that’s used frequently in lectures and classes as an example of a great Korean film.


And that concludes today’s post on the 20 movies that won Best Film at the Grand Bell Awards from the years 2020 to 2000. This was a long one, so I sincerely do appreciate everyone that read til the end, and if you have requests for future of Korean movie-related content, please let me know by commenting down below. Also, join the EonTalk Patreon if you would like to really show me your support in the content I make, and also the EonTalk Telegram group to further discuss with other Korean movie lovers!

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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.

3 thoughts on “Top 20 Korean Movies (2000~2020) – Grand Bell Awards”

  1. I like the list but where is:
    The Wailing,
    The handmaiden,
    Miracle in cell No.7,
    The age of shadows
    Extreme job.

  2. Do people even read what the list is about? They are listed the winners.

    It’s like making a list of the Oscar winners and then complaining that non-Oscar winning films are not on the list.

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