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Burning 2018 / The Complex South-Korean Award-Sweeper

Not Rated
In Korean

Vague statement alert: Burning is not a movie that you “get”; it’s a movie you experience.

Based on a short story by Murakami, it’s dark and bleak in a way that comes out more in the atmosphere of the movie rather than what happens in the story.

Working in the capital Seoul, a young guy from a poor town near the North Korean border runs into a girl from his village. As he starts falling for her, she makes an unlikely acquaintance with one of Seoul’s wealthy youth (played by Korean-American actor Steven Yeun, pictured above.)

This new character is mysterious in a way that’s all-too-common in South Korea: young people who have access to money no one knows where it came from, and who are difficult to predict or go against.

Two worlds clash, poor and rich, in a movie that’s really three movies combined into one – a character-study, a romance, and a revenge thriller.

Written By: Staff

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This movie is a must-see. It keeps you engaged, even though it is a bit slow-moving. You become invested in the characters and feel for them. Highly recommend.


This is a movie which treats the audience like a group of intelligent people, which is so rare these days.

Frederic S.
Frederic S.

2 and a half hour movies intimidate me, so I was worried going into Burning. But I have to say, that runtime is completely justified. It’s really two movies in one. Also I found the acting to be fantastic.


An excellent long and slow Korean thriller. The two parts of the movie, one a romance, and the other a mystery of a girl’s disappearance, intertwine beautifully. The movie’s value comes from its atmosphere and the intrigue it creates, and after watching the whole thing the title “Burning” will make sense.

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