If you're a film fan who has made it to 2024 without checking out the thriving world of Korean cinema, now's the time to change that. In the past decade, South Korean entertainment has found breakthrough success in the U.S., with thrilling films like Train to Busan and Oldboy becoming beloved classics, to Parasite and Minari star Youn Yuh-jung taking home Academy Awards. The Korean film wave isn't slowing down any time soon, and its 2024 film slate is already chock full of highly-anticipated releases. Some on the list so far: Don Lee's latest apocalyptic action flick; an adorable dog-lovers anthology; a chilling exorcist thriller; and an epic romance between Korean emigrants in Belgium.
Read on to discover the Korean films coming to U.S. theaters and streaming platforms this year. (And if you're looking to get your feet wet in Korean cinema, check out our recommendations for the best Korean movies on Netflix and the best Korean movies of 2023.)
'Alienoid 2: Return to the Future'
Releases: January 10, 2024
Starring: Kim Tae-ri, Ryu Jun-yeol, and Kim Woo-bin.
This sequel to the genre-bending 2022 film has already topped the Korean box office, starting off the year with a high-octane continuation of the war between aliens and humans. When a mysterious time portal opens, Goryeo-era Taoists searching for a legendary sword cross paths with fighters from 2022 hunting an alien imprisoned in a human's body.
Releases: January 26, 2024 on Netflix
Starring: Don Lee (a.k.a. Ma Dong-seok), Lee Hee-joon, Lee Jun-young, Roh Jeong-eui, and Kim Young-sun.
This Netflix action-thriller takes place in a dystopian future, after a massive earthquake levels Seoul. In this lawless wasteland lives Nam San (Don Lee), a notorious huntsman who does what he can to survive. When he makes friends with a teen who is abducted by a barbarous doctor (Lee Hee-joon), the badland hunter becomes determined to rescue her.
'Citizen of a Kind'
Releases: January 26, 2024 in theaters
Starring: Ra Mi-ran, Gong Myung, Yeom Hye-ran, Jang Yoon-ju, Ahn Eun-jin, Park Byung-eun, and Lee Moo-saeng.
This action comedy based on a real-life incident follows a housewife (Ra), who becomes determined to take down a voice phishing operation after she loses her entire savings. With the help of friends, as well as one of her scammers who agrees to become an informant, she tracks down the masterminds behind the scam ring.
Releases: February 7, 2024 in theaters
Starring: Youn Yuh-jung, Yoo Hae-jin, Yunjin Kim, Jung Sung-hwa, Kim Seo-hyung, Tang Jun-sang, Lee Hyun-woo, and Daniel Henney.
This heartwarming comedy featuring Oscar winner Youn Yuh-jung follows pet owners who cross paths in a vet's office. It chronicles their relationships to their pets as well as the relationships they form with each other.
Releases: February 22, 2024 in theaters
Starring: Choi Min-sik, Lee Do-hyun, Kim Go-eun, and Yoo Hae-jin
This creepy mystery-thriller follows a pair of young shamans (played by Lee and Kim) who are hired to save a wealthy Los Angeles family that's being tormented by the dark shadow of an ancestor. The duo teams up with an exorcist (Choi) and a mortician (Yoo) to exhume the ancestor's grave, located in a remote Korean village. To their dismay, the exhumation unleashes a malevolent force buried below.
'My Name Is Loh Kiwan'
Releases: March 1, 2024 on Netflix
Starring: Song Joong-ki, Choi Sung-eun, Cho Han-cheul, Kim Sung-ryoung, Lee Il-hwa, Lee Sang-hee, and Seo Hyun-woo.
This highly-anticipated drama follows a North Korean defector (Song) who escapes to Belgium and struggles to adjust to the foreign culture as he waits for refugee status. He soon falls for a young Korean woman (Choi) who has lost the will to live.
'Officer Black Belt'
Releases: TBA on Netflix
Starring: Kim Woo-bin and Kim Sung-kyun
This action buddy comedy will reunite Black Knight director Jason Kim with star Kim Woo-bin, as the actor depicts the world of "martial arts officers." When he rescues an officer from an assault and temporarily takes up the post, he partners with a dedicated probation officer (played by Kim Sung-kyun) to keep the community safe.
Releases: TBA on Netflix
Starring: Kim Da-mi and Park Hae-soo
This disaster flick is set during the last day on Earth, as a catastrophic flood threatens the entire planet. Itaewon Class's Kim Da-mi stars as Anna, an artificial intelligence researcher who struggles to survive a tidal surge and rescues a child from a flooding apartment. Meanwhile a security team member named Hee-joo (played by Squid Game's Park Hee-soo) tries to help Anna and the child.
Releases: TBA on Netflix
Starring: Gang Dong-won, Park Jeong-min, Cha Seung-won, Kim Shin-rock, Jin Sun-kyu, and Jung Sung-ill.
This historical epic, co-written and co-produced by acclaimed director Park Chan-wook, takes place in the Joseon era, a tumultuous time in the aftermath of war. The film depicts the lives of two childhood friends turned adversaries: Cheon-yeong (Gang), a slave and remarkable swordsman who struggles to break free from an unjust servitude, and Jong-ryeo (Park), Cheon-yeong’s master and the son of Joseon's most influential military family.