Release Date
March 12, 2010
Joon-ho Bong
Joon-ho Bong
Park Eun-kyo
Distributed By
CJ Entertainment
$5 million
Action, Crime, Drama, Foreign, Mystery, Thriller
Rated R for language, some sexual content, violence and drug use
128 minutes


Joon-ho Bong’s “Mother” is a Korean thriller, which takes one mother’s deep love for her simple son and turns it into an intriguing murder mystery with a slight hint of darkness. When Do-joon, a mentally challenged young man, is put away for the murder of a high school girl, his mother becomes determined to prove his innocence. Hye-ja Kim, who plays Mother, portrays an innocence all her own, with a deep sadness projected from her eyes in every scene, while blindly devoted and completely positive of her son’s inability to commit such a crime, carrying this film from start to finish. Most of the characters she comes across feel guilty of something, whether it be the murder in question or something equally as bad, and prove just as devious as one has come to expect in the dark world of Korean cinema. Had the film been darker and captured more of a horror film feel, “Mother” would have been the perfect thriller. Instead, it rides the line between thriller and drama, never quite letting all the way go. With some stunning cinematography and a thought-provoking twist to a murder mystery, Bong’s transcends its inability to stay dark and leaves a memorable benchmark in foreign films.


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