There are hundreds of Korean movies out there to watch, but which are the hottest? In addition to their suspenseful works, Korean directors have also pioneered the seductive genre. If you are looking for something unique, you should look no further. As we all know, Korean movies set new standards, and the plots and storylines of steamy Korean movies are similar to those of Korean dramas.
I’ve compiled a list of 17 Korean hot movies that you need to watch right now. From romantic comedies to hot thrillers, these movies will give you a peek into the culture and entertainment of South Korea. So grab some popcorn and settle in for an amazing ride!
1. Love and Leashes
Original title: – ; Director: Hyeon-jin Park 2022; 1h 57m; Netflix
It’s hard to think of another movie that’s quite as hot as Netflix’s latest original Korean movie. Love and Leashes are the Korean 50 Shades of Gray. Jung Ji Woo (Lee Jun Young) is the classic perfect man on the outside with a secret he hides from everyone. Then there is the stoic Ji-woo (Seo Hyun), who controls her feelings until she accidentally discovers Jun Ji’s secret. Though their work relationship turns into an unconventional relationship, Ji-hoo wants to obey and Ji-woo wants to command, setting up an intensely unorthodox relationship so they can explore and find love.
“Love and Leashes” presents a controversial subject in a “relaxed” way, not overly frivolous and crude. The steamy scenes are present because they reflect the mental state of the main characters.
Most Korean dramas make the mistake of “sticking to the topic” too much. That’s exactly what happened with “Love and Leashes,” which starred an excellent cast but lacked chemistry. The story focused more on leashes than love, and it would never hurt to be a little more cheerful. Despite these flaws, there’s no need to skip this movie. It’s great entertainment.
2. My Sassy Girl
Original title: Yeopgijeogin geunyeo; Director: Jae-young Kwak; 2001; 2h 17m; Amazon
Gyon-Woo (Cha Tae-Hyun), is a college student who falls for the hot titular “sassy girl” (Jun Ji-hyun). Gyon-Woo first meets the girl when she accidentally hits him with a rock while he’s on his way home from work. He develops feelings for her after she spends the night at his apartment, caring for him after he gets drunk.
However, the sassy girl is revealed to be suffering from a rare condition called “split personality disorder”, which causes her to have two completely different personalities. Her other personality is cold and cruel, and she often mistreats Gyon-Woo despite his efforts to help her. Despite the challenges, Gyon-Woo remains determined to win over the girl’s heart.
The movie is so engaging that I can’t stop thinking about it, I was seriously absorbed from the first seconds I laid eyes on it. It has a good narrative and it doesn’t quite give away anything although it keeps implying a subtle message which will tie everything together. The leading actors appear to be normal everyday people, definitely not the hottest Korean movie stars with perfect bodies (I ended up loving that girl), Cha Tae-Hyun and Jun Ji-Hyun blend together so nicely that I could believe that everything that happens on the screen is real.
“My Sassy Girl” is so good that I can’t stop thinking about it. I was pulled in from the very beginning and I haven’t been watching the clock. The narrative of the film is strong, and it all ties together at the end. The leading actors appear to be normal everyday people, definitely not sexy Korean movie stars with perfect bodies. Cha Tae-Hyun and Jun Ji-Hyun blend together so nicely that I could believe that everything that happens on the screen is real.
3. The Handmaiden
Original title: Ah-ga-ssi; Director: Park Chan-wook 2016; 2h 25m; Hulu
Park Chan-wook’s adaptation takes place in 1930s Korea, the days of the Japanese occupation, and deals with a young pickpocket (Kim Tae-ri) who is hired by a crook (Ha Jung-woo) to serve as a maid (Kim Min-hee ) for a frail heiress who lives in her aunt’s mansion (Cho Jin-Woong), as part of a plot to rob her of her fortune. However, the relationship between the maid and her mistress takes an unexpected turn and soon escalates into a hot streak.
Park does something unprecedented in “The Handmaiden” or at least unusual in the context of Korean cinema – throughout 144 minutes of non-stop visual beauty, at the heart of this large, invested, and enjoyable production that devours the screen without apology or hides behind fluttering curtains. This is one of the hottest Korean movies of all time.
4. A Good Lawyer’s Wife
Original title: Baramnan-gajok; Director: Im Sang-soo; 2003; 1h 44m; Amazon
A family discovers one day that they have fallen into a web of indiscretion. Hong Byung-Han (Youn Yuh-Jung) a sixty-year-old grandmother finally discovers meaning in her life through an affair with her elementary school sweetheart. But instead of condemnation, her daughter-in-law Eun Ho-Jeong (Moon So-ri) quietly applauds her mother-in-law’s confessions of “foolishness”.
The husband, Yeong-jak (Hwang Jung-min), presents himself as a model citizen-lawyer, but in fact, he tirelessly focuses his energy on wooing women despite his love and devotion to his family.
Eun, meanwhile, looks at her partner’s hypocrisy with disdain rather than anguish. Eventually, she too decides to bring a little change to her life by giving the neighbor’s teenage son Shin Ji-un (Tae-gyu Bong), who has been stalking her, a lesson or two about sex.
So what’s the big deal with a little fun and romance when it might lighten things up a bit?
5. Nothing Serious (2021)
Original title: – ; Director: Ga-Young Jeong; 2021; 1h 34m; Amazon
Director Jeong Ga-young always manages to surprise her audience with clever and daring films. “Nothing Serious “ is no exception, managing to make frank and honest the subject of emotions without being too vulgar or indulgent.
Woo Ri (Son Suk-ku) is a 33-year-old bachelor. He wants to become an author, but in the meantime, he’s just trying to stave off loneliness. Woo Ri has had bad luck with romantic relationships, so he’s been single his whole life. Ja Young (Jeon Jong-seo) is a 29-year-old single woman who desires to be more mature and reasonable. She assumes she’ll learn how to be 30 by herself for now, without sacrificing her dignity as she does it.
After dating for one month, Ja Young’s boyfriend dumped her after discovering all of her debts. Ja Young decided not to date anybody else because she was tired of the hurt and inevitable heartbreak. Woo Ri and Ja Young meet on a dating app.
It follows the perspective of Ja-young who’s looking for love in all the wrong places when she meets Woo-ri. Together they find beauty and love in this 1-hour 40-minute movie. This is a story you won’t grow bored watching. The chemistry between Jeong Ga-young’s lead actors also makes for quite a cute couple!
Original title: In-gan-jung-dok; Director: Dae-woo Kim; 2014; 2h 12m; Tubi
In 1969, Colonel Kim Jin Pyong (Song Seung-Heon) returns to South Korea after fighting valiantly in the Vietnam War. He is considered a trusted and respected person by the army commander, who is also his father-in-law, and by those present at the military base. However, he suffers greatly due to his experiences in the war.
One day, Kyeong Woo-jin (Joo-Wan On) is transferred to work for Kim Jin Pyong. He is the type who will say or do anything to please his boss.
Soon, Colonel Kim Jin Pyong meets Jong Ga-heyn (Ji-Yeon Lim) the wife of his new commanding officer. A couple also moved into the house across the street. On a fateful evening, when the colonel is teasing a bird in a cage on the balcony of the neighbor’s house, a suffocating obsession begins between him and the wife of his command.
I was thoroughly impressed with the acting. The emotion expressed in this film took my breath away, and I love it when motions capture their thoughts and feelings so well. Ji-Yeon Lim deserved the Best Actress award for this movie! There are many hot scenes which were, by the way, very daring but also gentle, and wow, that romance between Song Seung-heon (one of my favorite actors) and Ji-Yeon Lim is just Wow!- beautiful and passionate.
7. 20th Century Girl
Original title: 20segi Sonyeo; Director: Woo-ri Bang; 2022; 1h 59m; Netflix
A mysterious tape brings back Na Bora’s (Kim Yoo-jeong) memories from high school. In 1999, she was a 17-year-old high school student and her best friend was Yeon-doo (Roh Yoon-seo). Yeon-doo heads to the United States for surgery, snot before she confides in Na Bo-ra about the new boy she is in love with. Bo-ra promises to keep an eye on Yeon-dee’s crush Hyun-jin (Park Jung Wook). She reports back what she learns about him to Yeon Doo, hoping to play matchmaker. Things take a turn when Na Bora falls in love with Hyun Jin’s best friend Poong Woon-ho (Byeon Woo-seok). When she realizes that Hyun Jin and Woon Ho are best friends, she begins using the latter to get closer as the friendship turns into a steamy relationship.
In spite of the last 30 minutes being rather doll, 20th Century Girl isn’t a bad movie by any means. I had a fun 90’s blast to the past, with close friendships, thrills and fears of first love, and wholesomeness we’d want to see depicted in televised Korean high school dramas. As with Woon-ho, I loved all of Bo-ra’s oddities, and Joo-yung’s acting is impeccable.
Original title: Bin-jip; Director: Kim Ki-duk; 2004; 1h 28m; Apple TV
A young man named Tae-suk (Hee Jae) breaks into people’s homes while they’re away and lives there for a short time. While he’s living in someone’s home, he takes care of everything and leaves the place better than he found it.
One day, Tae-suk breaks into the home of a woman named Sun-hwa (Seung-Yun Lee). At first, she’s terrified of him and tries to fight him off. But after she realizes that he’s not going to hurt her, she starts to open up to him.
As the story progresses, Tae-suk takes on an increasingly abstract character. He realizes that his physical presence is an obstacle in the real world and manages to slowly turn into a kind of ghost. Thus he wanders, seen and unseen, in the tormented world of the modern city, and like God, he punishes the wicked and rewards the good.
At the climax of the film, a perfect romantic triangle is formed, in which Tae-suk acts as an invisible lover. The scenes in which the director illustrates this hot triangle demonstrate cinematic virtuosity and rare technical discipline.
So many times we learn a lot about ourselves when we welcome guests into our apartment, or when our partner goes abroad and the apartment is “emptied” of him. This is the philosophical ‘trigger’ from which the film is fed and succeeds in convincing us of its artistic sincerity.
9. Whatcha Wearin’ (2012)
Original title: Na-eui PS pa-teu-neo; Director: Sung-hyun Byun; 2012; 1h 54m; Tubi
Both Hyun-Seung (Ji Sung) and Yoon-jeong (Kim Ah-Joong) long for a real human connection. Hyun-Seung doesn’t want to let go of his ex-girlfriend, while Yun-Jung is actually in a long-distance relationship with her boyfriend. They never see each other and when they finally do meet, she breaks up with him over the phone.
Fate brings the two together through a misdialed phone call. Yun-Jung initiates a conversation about suggestive topics and moans, not knowing that Hyun-Seung has answered instead of her boyfriend. Hyun-Seung and Yun-Jung finally meet and the sparks fly.
Whatcha Wearin’ answers the question of how to reconcile 21st-century technology with a human connection. It is a refreshingly open discussion, while still managing to deliver the sweetness that audiences crave. Still, there are emotional twists and turns, and always a HEA (happily-ever-after).
10. Sweet & Sour
Original title: Saekomdalkom; Director: Kae-Byeok Lee; 2021; 1h 41m | Netflix
Hyuk (Lee Woo-je) a chubby, uncool, and completely smitten guy is admitted to the hospital and falls in love with the nurse Ga-eun (Chae Soo-bin) a warm, sweet, and just the right amount of weird woman. Hyuk and Ga-eun grow closer during his stay at the hospital, and the two stays connected and soon, they begin to date. But when Hyuk tries to fit into Ga-eun’s T-shirt, he realized he needs to lose weight and be awesome for Ga-eun’s sake. He takes a lot of weight off and the hotness factors up a few notches. We continue to follow these two and their relationship, lingering on them sometime in the future.
I find this movie very realistic, showing that the love relationship between couples is not always filled with sweet moments, but could be burdened by many real-life situations.
11. Tune in for Love
Original title: Yuyeolui eumagaelbeom; Director: Ji-woo Jung; 2019; 2h 2m; Netflix
The film is set in the 1990s and follows the story of two people who meet and fall in love through music. While the overall tone of the movie is fairly light and comedic, there is some seriously engaging interaction between the two main characters.
Mi-soo (Kim Go-eun) working at a record store in Seoul. She meets Hyun-woo (Jung Hae-in), a part-time DJ, and they begin to develop feelings for each other. However, their relationship is put to the test when Hyun-woo’s ex-girlfriend appears and Mi-soo’s family faces financial difficulties.
Despite the challenges, Mi-soo and Hyun-woo continue to pursue their relationship and find comfort in each other’s company. “Tune in for Love” is a heartwarming story about first love and the power of music to bring people together.
12. A Muse
Original title: Eungyo; Director: Ji-woo Jung; 2019; 2h 9m
The movie tells the story of an older man who becomes infatuated with a much younger woman and begins to write her poetry.
The older man, Lee Juk-Yo (Park Hae-il), is a 70-year-old retired poet who now lives in a secluded cabin in the mountains. One day, he meets 17-year-old high school student Eun-gyo (Kim Go-eun). She has come to visit him because she is interested in his work and wants to be his apprentice.
Soon, Lee Jeok-yo becomes obsessed with Eun-gyo and starts writing poems about her. He even starts stalking her, but she is completely unaware of his feelings for her.
There are moments of sexual tension, but the film doesn’t do what you may be expecting. This is actually a film with flaws and worrisome moments (like every film), but it has beautiful frames, sublime moments between A and B, and a novel that is emotionally moving though occasionally stupid. It concludes with certain anticlimaxes.
13. The Housemaid
Original title: Hanyo; Director: Im Sang-soo; 2010; 1h 47m; Amazon Prime
The Housemaid is a hot Korean psychological thriller film that tells the story of Do-yeon Jeon (Jeon Do-yeon), the eponymous housemaid, who is hired by an affluent couple, Hae-ra (Woo Seo) and Hoon Goh (Lee Jung-jae), to take care of their young daughter and their home. However, what initially seems like a dream job quickly turns into a nightmare when the housemaid begins to exhibit increasingly erratic and disturbing behavior.
As the couple grows increasingly uneasy with her presence, they begin to suspect that she may be possessed by a malicious spirit. Their suspicions are confirmed when they discover that she has been secretly videotaping them and their daughter.
Hanyo is a captivating thriller that is driven by subtle gestures and dialogue. The film has well-composed visuals, carefully crafted scenes, a graceful pace, and sophisticated acting. But, its weakness is the lack of character development.
Original title: Natali; Director: Kyung-jung Joo; 2010; 1h 30m; Amazon Prime
When sculptor and art critic Hwang Jun-hyeok (Lee Sung-jae) meets a dancer, Oh Mi-ran (Park Hyun-jin), sparks fly. He falls head over heels in love with her, but Oh gets pregnant and leaves the professor for fellow student Jang Min-wu (Kim Ji-hoon).
The two eventually get married and have ten years of marital bliss before Hwang has an exhibition of his sculptures in which one of which is a life-size sculpture of Oh. When Jang hears about it and goes looking for Hwang to settle some things once and for all.
The film is beautifully photographed, and has a beautiful lead actress, and just enough of the ludicrous to leave you smiling.
15. A Frozen Flower
Original title: Ssang-hwa-jeom; Director: Ha Yoo; 2008; 2h 13m; Netflix
A Frozen Flower is a movie I found while browsing through some Korean historical movies and thought that it looked hot. The movie is about a love triangle between the king, his bodyguard, and the queen.
The king’s guard is loyal to him, but he also has feelings for the queen. When the queen finds out about the affair, she demands that the king chooses between her and his lover. The king chooses his lover, and the two of them run away together. However, they are caught by the queen’s forces and are forced to fight for their lives.
Frozen Flower can be easily related to any love triangle relationship drama, sharing a similar plot.
16. My Little Bride
Original title: Eorin shinbu; Director: Ho-joon Kim; 2004; 1h 55m; Amazon Prime
Seo Bo-eun (Moon Geun-young) is an eighteen-year-old girl forced to marry a man twice her age named Park Sang-min (Rae-won Kim) in order to save her sick father. Even though Sang-min is initially reluctant to marry such a young girl, he soon begins to develop feelings for her.
As a result of its cradle-robbing premise, the film somehow defies expectations to become more humorous and involving than it should be. Viewers are taken on a very funny and fun rollercoaster with both the characters and plot getting more random and hilarious with time
17. Be With You
Original title: Jigeum mannareo gabmida; Director: Jang-Hoon Lee 2018; 2h 12m; Netflix
A woman dies and comes back to life, her husband tries to keep her alive. ‘Be With You’ is heartwarming and ultimately tragic.
The movie opens with the death of Woo-jin’s (So Ji-sub) wife, Soo-a (Son Ye-jin). Woo-jin is devastated by her death, but he is determined to keep her alive. He finds out that she had made a wish to come back to life for one month, so he does everything he can to make that happen.
Woo-jin and Soo-a as they try to make the most of their time together. They are both incredibly hot and their chemistry is off the charts.See recommended: 10 Hot Korean Drama With Lots Of Skinship