Hello everyone and welcome back to another post by EonTalk! Today, I’ve got another Top 10 Movies list of one of my favorite Korean actors: Lee Jung Jae.
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Lee Jung Jae, though was already extremely popular in Korea and the K-movie scene, has seen immense international growth with the release of “Squid Game.” In the series, he plays a rather lowlife, bum-like of a character that has everything going against him. However, many unfamiliar with Lee Jung Jae may find it surprising that he actually was and still is one of the nation’s heartthrobs that stole the hearts of millions.
He’s an extremely versatile actor, playing a very wide range of characters in each and every one of his works. And so, for both hardcore fans and those new to K-dramas and movies alike, I’ve decided to introduce to you 10 of my personal favorite Korean movies that Lee Jung Jae starred in.
But before getting into the list, I’d like to remind you that this list is ranked based on my personal recommendations, which means that the films will be totally biased towards my opinions. Also, please note that these are Top 10 Movies, so K-dramas and shows will not be included in this list. However, if you’d like another content of those as well, let me know in the comments, as well as other actors and actresses you’d like to see me cover.
Okay then, that being said, let’s get right into today’s list on Top 10 Lee Jung Jae Movies.
Starting off the list, the #10 film is the 2019 mystery thriller, <Svaha: The Sixth Finger>.
Directed by Jang Jae Hyun, who also directed <The Priests>, <Svaha: The Sixth Finger> starred Lee Jung Jae, Park Jung Min, Lee Jae in, and Yoo Ji Tae. The movie stands on the borderline between thriller and horror, and is about a Pastor that investigates a mysterious and newly formed cult, and a murder case that may be intertwined with that same cult. If you’re a fan of the dark, mystery genre, I’d recommend giving this a go.
The next movie is a war film that was released in 2016, <Operation Chromite>.
<Operation Chromite> was directed by Lee Jae Han, the director of the films <A Moment to Remember> and <71: Into the Fire>, two other highly recommended films, and starred Lee Jung Jae, Lee Bum Soo, Liam Neeson, and Jin Se Yeon. Yes, that’s right, the Liam Neeson; the guy from <Taken>. Anyways, the movie is based on true events, and is about American General Douglas MacArthur sending eight members of the Korean Liaison Office, led by a South Korean Navy Lieutenant, on a secret mission far behind North Korean lines to carry out a mission called “Operation X-ray.” If you’re a fan of war movies, this is down your lane.
Next, the #8 film is a film that’s over a decade old, releasing in 2010, <The Housemaid>.
Directed by Lim Sang Soo, who did <The President’s Last Bang> and <A Good Lawyer’s Wife>, <The Housemaid> is an erotic thriller starring Jeon Do Yeon, Yoon Yeo Jung, Seo Woo, alongside Lee Jung Jae. The film revolves around a poor Korean woman that takes on a job as a domestic servant in the lavish home of a handsome businessman, played by Lee Jung Jae. Under the guidance of her new boss, the woman quickly learns the ways of the house and that the owner’s word is law. But when she allows him to seduce her, the benefits of her new position become dwarfed by the consequences of her actions.
Moving along, the #7 movie is the oldest film on this list, releasing in 1999, <City of the Rising Sun>.
This film was directed by Kim Sung Soo, the director of <Asura: The City of Madness>, <The Flu>, and <Beat>, and starred two of the most handsome Korean actors, Jung Woo Sung and Lee Jung Jae. The film is an older one, and so the progression may not be what you expect, but still a must-watch if you’re a Lee Jung Jae fan, and if you want to see the younger Lee. The movie is about two friends in their mid twenties, struggling with life, set in the late 1990s Korea. If you’d like to see a 180 degrees different side to Lee Jung Jae from “Squid Game,” as he’s over 20 years younger in this, then <City of the Rising Sun> is a must-watch.
The #6 movie is the 2012 crime comedy, <The Thieves>.
Directed by the amazing Choi Dong Hoon, who’s filmography includes the likes of <Assassination>, the first <Tazza>, and <The Big Swindle>, <The Thieves> had one of the most star-studded lineups. Starring Kim Yoon Seok, Kim Hye Soo, Jun Ji Hyun, Simon Yam, Kim Hae Sook, Oh Dal Soo, Kim Soo Hyun, and Angelica Lee along with Lee Jung Jae, <The Thieves> had an A-list star, after an A-list star, after even more A-list stars. The film raked in over 10 million at the box office, and is a heist movie about a group of thieves going after a 20 million dollar diamond. If you’re in for a comedic fun with great pacing and great acting by some of the great actors and actresses in Korean cinema, then I highly recommend giving this a go.
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!
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Coming in at #5 of my list of favorite Lee Jung-Jae movies is the most recent film on this list, <Deliver Us From Evil>.
This crime action was directed by Hong Won Chan, who directed <Office>, and starred Hwang Jung Min, Lee Jung Jae, Park Jung Min, and Park So Yi. This movie was even more noteworthy not only because of its incredible action and acting by the actors, but also because it saw the reunification of Hwang Jung Min and Lee Jung Jae in a feature film following <New World>. <Deliver Us From Evil> is about an assassin that goes to Thailand in order to solve a kidnapping case linked to him, and finds himself being chased by the man of a brother he killed. This film had some of the best action sequences in recent Korean movies, and displayed a total “badass” side of Lee Jung Jae, so if that seems like something that interests you, give this one a go.
Moving onto the #4 spot, the #4 movie is the 2013 film, <The Face Reader>.
If you know me, I’m not a big fan of historical dramas, but this was one of the few that I highly enjoyed. Directed by Han Jae Rim, who also did <The King> and the upcoming film <Emergency Declaration>, which looks amazing by the way, <The Face Reader> had an extremely memorable line by Lee Jung Jae that was picked up and quoted on various TV shows, and parodied countless times. Based on the age-long art and tradition of face reading, the film is about a Korean face-reader that learns of a prince’s plan to seize the country’s throne. Lee Jung Jae has a very strong, intimidating presence in this, and it’s hard to place into words how strong of a demeanor he has. Watch <The Face Reader> to see for yourself.
Next, the #3 movie is the second oldest film on this list, <Il Mare>.
Directed by Lee Hyun Seung, the director behind <Hindsite>, <Il Mare> is a film that’s hard to understand at first, as its concept is quite puzzling. The film starred two of the best looking actor and actress in Korean cinema, Lee Jung Jae and Jun Ji Hyun, and was picked up by Hollywood for a remake, titled <The Lake House>, starring Keanu Reeves and Sandra Bullock. The movie is about a man and a woman that realize they are separated by two years of time when they exchange letters from different years in a mailbox. The movie was beautifully shot, and although the movie is now over 20 years old, it’s aged very well.
And now, just two movies left. The #2 movie is the action drama that released in 2015, <Assassination>.
Directed by Choi Dong Hoon, who was mentioned earlier for directing <The Thieves>, <Assassination> saw Lee Jung Jae reunite with the actress from the prior movie, Jun Ji Hyun, and also starred the very talented Ha Jung Woo. This is another film that had a very memorable line by Lee Jung Jae that’s had equal amount of cultural impact. Furthermore, <Assassination> is another movie that Lee Jung Jae starred in that reached over 10 million at the box office, and come to think of it, the other was also a film directed by Choi Dong Hoon. Anyways, the movie takes place during the Japanese imperialism period, when Korea was occupied by the Japanese Army, and the resistance plans to kill the Japanese Commander. However, the protagonists’ plan is threatened by a traitor within the group, and the enemies’ forces are on the hunt to track them down.
And finally, the #1 Lee Jung Jae movie. If you’ve been watching EonTalk videos and have seen my other content, you definitely will know which movie is my favorite Lee Jung Jae film. The #1 movie is none other than <New World>.
<New World> is a crime action noir, and was directed by Park Hoon Jung, who also directed <The Witch Pt.1>, <VIP>, <The Tiger>, and <Night in Paradise>. Alongside Lee Jung Jae were other phenomenal actors such as Choi Min Shik, Hwang Jung Min, Park Sung Woong, and Song Ji Hyo, and I can’t express how great everything about this movie was. If you haven’t seen this yet, this is a must-watch. The movie is about an undercover cop inside an extremely large company, that’s more like an organized gang, and I’ll leave it at that. Definitely watch this, as this is the best Lee Jung Jae movie, in my opinion.
And that’s it for today’s video on Top 10 Lee Jung Jae movies. Some films that you believe should have made it on this list may not have been included, but please remember that this list was based on my personal recommendations. Nonetheless, I’d love to hear which movies you believe are deserving of the title “Top 10 Lee Jung Jae Movies,” as well as movies on this list that you’ve seen and enjoyed, so please leave a comment or join in on discussions on the EonTalk Telegram group to further discuss with me and other Korean film enthusiasts. Finally, your support on Patreon will be very helpful in making more content. Once again, thank you to everyone that read til the end, and I’ll see you guys in the next one!
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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.