Released 1999


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Movie Summary

Je-gyu Kang
Shiri, a Korean action/espionage blockbuster, is notable for ushering in a new era for Korean cinema, setting new standards for budget and scope. The plot centers around two South Korean counter-terrorism agents tracking the notorious, Lee Bang-hee, a female North Korean sniper, who over the past few years has assassinated numerous South Korean officials. Hiding somewhere in the South as a sleeper agent Bang-hee won't be easy to find. Charged with the task of capturing her, Yu Jong-won (Han Suk-kyu) has becoming increasingly unable to balance his life between the secrecy of the agency and the comfort and honesty of his life with his girlfriend Yi (Kim Yoon-jin, who viewers may recognize from her role as Sun Kwan on TV's Lost). As they get closer, the detectives discover Bang-hee's next target will be by far the most terrifying and deadly of her career, and the hunt becomes a desperate chase, millions of lives and the fate of all South Korea hanging in the balance. Shiri's Hollywood style production and pace, combined with its big budget and evocative themes of Korean unification, made it a success at box-offices both in Korea and Internationally.moreless

Metacritic Score

  • 90

    Los Angeles Times Kevin Thomas

    In recent years, South Korean cinema has fully flowered, producing both uncompromising highly personal films and crisp, intelligent genre movies, with Shiri the most spectacular ex...

  • 60

    The New York Times Dana Stevens

    Mr. Kang is a gifted choreographer of bloody chaos, but he has enough range and imagination to strew a few interludes of haunting tenderness amid the shell casings and ketchup packs.

  • 50

    San Francisco Chronicle

    Suffers most from being overlong.

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Thrillers, Foreign Language