If you want to learn Korean, listening to the speech of Korean native speakers is a great way to train your ear and familiarise yourself with the sounds of the language.
But if you’re outside of Korea… that might be tricky, right? The next best thing is the wide selection of Korean movies on Netflix!
Here are 20 Korean movies on Netflix that are perfect viewing for learners from beginner to advanced.
#1 Parasite 기생충 Gisaengchung, 2019
Let's kick off this list of Korean movies on Netflix with one of the most famous Korean films of the last few years. Bong Joon-Ho’s must watch Oscar winner is a witty and tense social commentary thriller on class dynamics in Seoul.
The story follows the struggling Kim family who live in a semi-basement flat (반지하 banjiha) as they hatch a scheme for each family member to work with the wealthy Park family.
Parasite has simple dialogues that take place between family members, making it a great introduction to the family hierarchy in South Korea for beginner learners.
#2 Train To Busan 부산행 Busanhaeng, 2016
Pessimistic and divorced fund manager Seok-woo reluctantly agrees to honour his daughter Su-an’s birthday wish to see her mother in Busan.
When a young woman infected with a virus that turns people into zombies suddenly boards the train before departure, everything changes for the passengers.
The vocabulary used in the film is simple, and there isn't too much dialogue (unless you include zombie groaning sounds!).
#3 Love And Leashes 모럴센스 Moreolsenseu, 2022
Based on a webtoon of the same name, “Love and Leashes” is a slightly unconventional romantic comedy film that touches on themes of sexual freedom.
The two leads, Ji-woo and Ji-hoo, are co-workers, and the film is a great way of familiarising yourself with the Korean workplace hierarchy and formal language.
The film is more suitable for an intermediate learner who already knows the difference between being a 선배 (senior) seonbae and a 후배 (junior) hubae.
#4 Miss Granny 수상한 그녀 Susanggan Geunyeo, 2014
A light-hearted comedic film about a 74-year-old widow who visits a photo booth and mysteriously transforms into a 20-year-old version of herself.
Keen listeners will notice that Doo-ri maintains the accent of an old lady speaking with a regional dialect despite being only 20 years old!
The film is a great introduction to age and seniority-based Korean speech styles for beginner learners, as Doo-ri tends to use the more casual 반말 banmal style despite now being younger than the people she speaks to.
#5 High Society 상류사회 Sangnyu Sahoe, 2018
A drama film that offers a glimpse into the upper echelons of high society in Seoul, as viewed by ambitious university professor Tae-joon and his assistant gallery curator wife, Soo-yeon.
The film features some complicated legal and political vocabulary as well as plenty of dialogue, making it more suitable for an intermediate to advanced learner.
#6 Night In Paradise 낙원의 밤 Nagwonui bam, 2020
After a violent altercation with the rival Bukseong Gang, mobster Tae-gu must hide out in Jeju Island. The film is a violent entry in the crime drama genre, with plenty of action.
The dialogue mostly occurs between gangsters, and there are multiple characters who speak in dialect (사투리 satoori), which may be beyond the scope of a beginner learner.
Language aside, the film is a stunning introduction to the rocky cliffs and natural beauty of Jeju Island.
#7 The Call 콜 Kol, 2020
Based on the 2011 film “The Caller”, “The Call” is a tense thriller that looks at the concept of fate.
The two main characters in the film, Seo-yeon and Young-sook, are living in realities 20 years apart, but a series of fateful phone calls changes their lives forever.
Most of the dialogue in the film is conversational and in the informal 반말 banmal style, perfect for an intermediate learner who is getting to grips with informal speech.
#8 Sweet & Sour새콤달콤 Saekom-Dalkom, 2021
A romantic comedy based on the Japanese novel “Initiation Love”, the film centres around a couple who slowly start to drift apart due to the demands of working life and their differences.
The film is not too difficult to follow and would be suitable for an upper beginner.
#9 Tune In For Love 유열의 음악앨범 Yooyeolui Eumakaelbum, 2019
Set in the 1990s against the backdrop of the IMF Crisis of 1997, bakery worker Mi-soo falls in love with Hyun-woo through a radio programme, but their relationship suffers from bad timing.
The story spans several years throughout the 90s, giving a glimpse into the social and economic changes in South Korea during that time. The dialogue is simple and easy to follow, making the film suitable for beginners.
#10 Forgotten 기억의 밤 Gieokui Bam, 2017
After moving to a new home with his mother, father, and older brother, Jin-seok starts to feel uncomfortable.
After watching his brother Yoo-seok get kidnapped in the middle of the night to mysteriously return days later, Jin-seok tries to find out what’s going on.
Switching between events in 1997 and 2017, the plot and vocabulary used in this psychological thriller is complicated and is more suitable for a higher intermediate/advanced learner.
#11 Space Sweepers 승리호 Seungriho, 2021
In the year 2029, planet Earth has become unhabitable.
Four misfits working on a space junk collection ship called The Victory come across a child robot called Dorothy, who contains more secrets than the crew could ever imagine.
There's a lot of technical sci-fi language, perfect for intermediate learners.
#12 Unlocked 스마트폰을 떨어뜨렸을 뿐인데 Seumateuponeul tteoreotteuyeosseul ppuninde, 2023
Na-mi is your typical hard-working office worker, but her ordinary life is flipped upside down when she drops her phone on the bus.
Na-mi’s phone is picked up by somebody who is hell bent on making her life miserable in this chilling thriller. Though not overly complicated, the film features enough vocabulary that may be more suited for an intermediate learner.
#13 The 8th Night 제8일의 밤 Je8ileui Bam, 2021
According to legend, 2,500 years ago, a monster tried to cross the bridge between hell and the human realm to cause chaos.
The monster was thwarted by Buddha, who ripped out the Red Eye and Black Eye and hid them.
When the Red Eye emerges in the present day, exorcist monk Park Jin-su sets out to prevent a catastrophe. Blending legend, religion, and the supernatural, there is a lot of vocabulary that will be unfamiliar to beginner or intermediate learners.
#14 Steel Rain 강철비 Gangcheolbi, 2018
Based on a 2011 webtoon of the same name, “Steel Rain” is a political action thriller following Eom Chul-Woo, an agent of the North Korean special forces, and his involvement in a political coup.
In certain parts of the film the language is especially tricky due to the differences between the Korean spoken in North and South.
With the heavy political plotline, this is one for advanced learners and those who wish to learn more about North Korean speech.
#15 Time To Hunt 사냥의 시간 Sanyangui Sigan, 2020
In a dystopian version of South Korea, Jun-seok has just been released from prison for a heist gone wrong with his friends.
The Korean Won has crashed, and the friends hatch another plan to rob a gambling house with dollars. The film is a tense thrill ride from start to finish with fast paced dialogue, better suited for an intermediate learner.
#16 20th Century Girl 20세기 소녀 20segi Sonyeo, 2022
Another entry in the 90s nostalgia romance genre, “20th Century Girl” revolves around high school first love (and drama) for four high-school students in Cheongju. A very conventional romance that is suitable for learners of all levels.
#17 Pandora 판도라Pandora, 2016
Jae-hyeok, who lost both his brother and father to nuclear radiation, works at the local nuclear power plant. When an earthquake hits the town and sends the plant into nuclear meltdown, chaos erupts.
This disaster film is no easy watch and is better suited to an advanced learner. Listen carefully and you’ll hear that Jeo-hyeok’s mother speaks in Gyeongsang dialect.
#18 Wish You 위시 유 : 나의 마음속 너의 멜로디 Wisi yu : naui maeumsong neoui mellodi, 2021
A heart-warming romance about a keyboardist working for a Korean entertainment company who falls in love with a street singer.
This film is perfect light watching for LGBTQ fans and is suitable for beginners due to simple dialogue and vocabulary.
#19 The Bros 부라더 Buladeo, 2017
Some of these Korean movies on Netflix are a bit heavy right? If you’re more into light-hearted comedies, then “The Bros” is the film for you!
On their way to their father’s funeral, two brothers Seok-bong and Joo-bong hit a woman with their car, resulting in her having amnesia.
As time goes by, the two brothers begin to learn more about their family with the help of the mysterious woman. Offers a valuable insight into traditional Korean family values and funeral rites. Suitable for a beginner.
#20 The Drug King 마약왕 Mayakwang, 2018
Based on the true story of Lee Doo-sam, a drug smuggler in Busan in the 1970s, this crime drama charts his ascent from small time dealer to drug lord. Many of the characters speak in dialect, making this film better suited to intermediate learners.
How To Find Korean Movies On Netflix
Many of the more recent Korean movies on Netflix featured on this list are Netflix Originals. And you shouldn’t have any trouble finding them if you click the ‘films’ tab and then set the language to Korean.
Most have Korean subtitles, which can help train your ear and assist in making visual associations with Korean words. Korean speech tends to be fast paced, so using Korean subtitles will be a challenge.
Korean movies on Netflix span genres, so there’s something for everyone! For beginners, romantic comedies are a good place to start due to simple dialogues, whereas advanced learners may prefer a thriller or drama with more complicated vocabulary and dialogue.
Korean Movies On Netflix
So there you have it, the 20 best Korean movies on Netflix for Korean learners.
Thanks to these Korean films, you'll be able to improve your Korean listening skills, pick up new Korean phrases and immerse yourself in Korean culture. What more could a Korean learner want!?
That said, don't forget to also follow the rules of StoryLearning and read books in Korean. As you read in Korean, you'll pick up vocabulary and structures naturally, and soon you'll be using them fluently in your speech or writing.
In the meantime though, grab some popcorn and check out one of these 20 best Korean movies on Netflix.